Thursday, April 7, 2011

Teens Want to Geek Out @ the Library

Next year's Teen Tech Week (or for the more ambitious of us Teen Tech MONTH) theme has been decided. Teens voted on the theme through YALSA's website and picked Geek Out @ Your Library.

I'm perfectly happy with this as a self professed book and comics geek, but then again I've never had a problem with the image issues a lot of people seem to feel libraries should be fighting. Maybe it is time that we not only embrace our Marian the Geek image, but really market it? A few years ago at one of our Teen Project meetings with our Marketing folks as guest speakers then mentioned that we gear our marketing toward the overachievers, those kids in honor society, sports, plus an elective getting them into college, with the idea that if they come to the library, others will follow. Perhaps this might be a good strategy for database promotions and volunteer recruitment, but for getting teens to attend programs and develop a real library fan base? I question this.

Perhaps it is really time to reach out to our fellow, younger geeks. To say do you love books, knowledge, and individual thinking? do we!

Having just read Into the Wild Nerd Yonder by Julie Halpern, I can't help but think that the nerd and geeks have always been our most loyal, if quiet, users and need to be embraced and celebrated. And admitting our love for them shouldn't be hard, but like Marian the Librarian, worrying about other people's perspective hangs us up (though really, she is a kick-butt librarian). Perhaps by admitting, yes hanging out at the library can be a mega-geeky hobby, we can revitalize our fellowship, and give it the place in this glorified golden age of geek culture it deserves.

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