Monday, December 31, 2007

good news to end the year

Sometimes it is nice to hear something that makes you think that just maybe all your hard work is paying off:

Study: Web generation heaviest users of public libraries

Rainie added that young adults are the ones likely to have visited libraries as teens and seen their transformation into information hubs, with computers and databases alongside stacks of printed books.


Thursday, December 27, 2007

A lovely article about Westerfeld and Larbalestier

Meet the East Village "It" Couple of Young-Adult Lit
Living large in Y.A.
by Carol Cooper
December 26th, 2007

Makes you want to run away and become a YA author in NYC, no?

Great interview with Nick Hornby

This came out last month, and is one of the most enjoyable author interviews I've read in a while. He says some great things about YA lit and the Alex Awards, too!

The Younger Side of Nick Hornby
by Jessica Murphy
in The Atlantic

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Scholastic's new multi-platform series for tweens

Scholastic Plans to Put Its Branding Iron on a Successor to Harry Potter

I'm not sure this will have much appeal for teens, but it is an interesting concept. It will feature 10 books be various authors including Rick Riordan and Gordon Korman, plus web based games, collectable cards, and cash prizes for readers who puzzle it all out.

“We want to go where the kids are and really be part of their complete world, rather than going to one aspect of their world,” said David Levithan, an executive editorial director at Scholastic. He added, “We talk of it as being subversively educational.”

Monday, December 17, 2007

books into movies in 2008

Over on the YALSA-BK listserve someone just posted a list of all the movies based on kids and teens books coming out next year. WOW! Looks like there could be some really fantastic programming tie-in opportunities here!

Spiderwick Chronicles, books by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi
Jumper by Steven Gould
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
Cirque du Freak by Darren Shan
Horton Hears a Who by Dr. Suess
Chronicles of Narnia, Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis
Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
City of Ember by Jeanne du Prau
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
Tale of Desperaux by Kate Dicamillo
Coraline by Neil Gaiman
Ball Don’t Lie by Matt de la Pena
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 by Ann Brashares

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

World of Warcraft saves boy's life

A random example of a benefit of playing video games:

After playing World of Warcraft, the 12 year old boy knew how to cope when he was attacked by a moose in the forest.

In the article he describes how he first yelled at the moose, distracting it so his sister got away, then when he got attacked and the animal stood over him he feigned death. "Just like you learn at level 30 in World of Warcraft."

Who would have thought?

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Are web communications oral traditions reborn?

Some interesting perspective on how we communicate online:

Myspacebook.past.: Friending, Ancient or Otherwise
By ALEX WRIGHT for the New York Times
Published: December 2, 2007
Academic researchers are starting to examine that question by taking an unusual tack: exploring the parallels between online social networks and tribal societies. In the collective patter of profile-surfing, messaging and “friending,” they see the resurgence of ancient patterns of oral communication.

I particularly like the conclusion:

Still, the sheer popularity of social networking seems to suggest that for many, these environments strike a deep, perhaps even primal chord. “They fulfill our need to be recognized as human beings, and as members of a community,” Dr. Strate says. “We all want to be told: You exist.”

How can we satisfy this need for community teens?

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Teen Tech Sherpas - cool volunteer program

In US classrooms, 'tech sherpas' assist teachers with computers
In a role reversal, students provide the tech support, creating a 'culture of respect' between teachers and teens.
By Stacy Teicher Khadaroo in Christian Science Monitor

As American schools look to incorporate 21st-century technologies into everyday lessons, some teachers are intimidated by technical glitches or the prospect of being left behind in a generational divide. Teachers have even become targets of cyberbullying, with students taking secret videos of an angry or embarrassing moment in class and posting them on popular websites such as YouTube. But this district and many others are trying to foster more collaboration – staving off problems by putting students' enthusiasm to constructive use.

I love the idea of giving students such empowered volunteer opportunities. How could we make something like this work in our libraries?

What Do Youth Volunteers Want?

from The Everyday Giving Blog

The following list of traits that should be a part of any volunteer project that involve youth:

  1. Provides a new experience
  2. Shows "immediate" progress in making a difference
  3. Is fun
  4. Is well prepared and organized
  5. Encourages (but doesn't force) participation
  6. Matches work to skills of each youth volunteer
  7. Involves a group of friends and other youth
  8. Work is challenging
  9. Adequate number of supervisors and trainers
  10. Future volunteer opportunities are available
Something to think about with our teen volunteers. What could we do to provide such an experience?

Monday, December 3, 2007

rainy day aphorism from Lemony Snicket

A library is like an island in the middle of a vast sea of ignorance, particularly if the library is very tall and the surrounding area has been flooded.

- Lemony Snicket, from Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can't Avoid

Here is hoping your area hasn't been flooded.