Wednesday, September 12, 2012

How Common is Cheating? Can We Help?

The New York Times has a rather depressing article this week that really makes you think:

Studies Find More Students Cheating, With High Achievers No Exception 

Studies of student behavior and attitudes show that a majority of students violate standards of academic integrity to some degree, and that high achievers are just as likely to do it as others. Moreover, there is evidence that the problem has worsened over the last few decades. 

Experts say the reasons are relatively simple: Cheating has become easier and more widely tolerated, and both schools and parents have failed to give students strong, repetitive messages about what is allowed and what is prohibited. 

The article goes on to make some pretty clear points about why this might be happening, but I'm afraid the fact is cheaters are rewarded more than punished in our society.  Sure sometimes we will hear about CEOs or bad traders getting caught, but the risk factor still doesn't seem that bad (one can assume most of their spoils have been squirrel off shore by the time they serve a jail term).

Librarians can educate teens on what plagiarism is and how to avoid it when writing, but how can we, educate about integrity and the less tangible rewards it brings to a society?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Showing Milennials What's in It For Them

I thought this was a pretty interesting article on getting Millennials to interact with your brand and bring customer loyalty to a new level:

Canadian Millennial Generation Redefining Customer Loyalty - Millennials willing to engage with marketers but want to know what's in it for them

  • 83% of Millennials participate in loyalty programs, compared to 89% of older Canadians 
  • 63% of Millennials say the top reason to join a rewards program is that it's free, compared to only 37% of non-Millennials 
  • 48% of Millennials surveyed agree that they're more likely to share personal details with a brand that offers loyalty and reward incentives 
How could we apply this to libraries?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Cyndi Lauper, Homeless Teens, and Libraries

I've been meaning to share this interesting article with you that School Library Journal featured:  Cyndi Lauper's Youth Homelessness Awareness Project Reaches Out to Librarians.

Cyndi Lauper has started a new organization to help educate folks about the very serious problem about LGBTQ homeless teens.  Why this group?  Because "while LGBT kids make up an estimated three to five percent of the general population, they account for as much as 40 percent of the homeless youth population. The reason? Because families often abuse, neglect, and reject gay and transgender teens due to their sexual orientation or gender identity."

School and public librarians are not only in the perfect position to educate and get the word out about this problem—but they also offer LGBT teens a safe haven, says Greg Lewis, executive director of the True Colors Fund, which seeks to advance LGBT equality and was cofounded by Lauper. "There is much that the public and those who work directly with kids can do, especially librarians," he says. "For many young people who find themselves homeless, the local library is the only place where they can search the Internet for information and resources. For this very reason, libraries and librarians can play a major role in dispersing effective, sometimes life-saving information for homeless or at risk gay and transgender youth looking for help." Lewis says he encourages all librarians to familiarize themselves with the information and resources available on the Forty to None Project website, and to "urge any homeless or at risk gay and transgender youth who may visit their local or school library to seek help."

I encourage you to read through this site and be prepared for when you encounter this challenge in your community.  Odds are, some of your teens may already be in this situation.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Is It Better to Be a Geek in High School?

I came across this article a while ago and have been meaning to share it:

Why it’s good to be a high school loser 
Screw being popular -- an expert explains why geeks grow up to be more successful adults
By Adele Melander-Dayton

Risky Teen Behavior: Inappropriate Texting

A great article from YPulse:

Texting While Driving: How Millennials Weigh Risky Behavior

 We all do it: shift our attention from working, talking, or walking to our cell phone when it buzzes, beeps, or otherwise alerts us of an incoming communication. But depending on where we are and what we’re doing, the costs of such a shift can have serious consequences — many of which we experience time and time again. Walking and texting? You might bump shoulders with a pedestrian coming towards you. Talking and texting? You might experience the psychological phenomenon known as “insertion,” accidentally typing the word you’re saying or saying aloud the sentence you’re typing. We multitask constantly with technology. How does it benefit — and how does it impair — the lives of teens to be continuously shifting attentional focus to a technological interruption?

Great stuff to think about, and talk with teens about.  Do you ever catch yourself texting at bad times?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

How The Hunger Games Was Marketed

YPulse has been reporting on talks at the Millennial Mega Mashup, and while some of it seems eyerolling obvious (guys 18-34 like humor?) some bits are pretty interesting.  David Levithan VP Editorial Director for Scholastic (and awesome author) did a presentation on how Scholastic marketed The Hunger Games.

The success of “The Hunger Games” would have happened without “Harry Potter” and “Twilight” going before it. The notion of fandom was key — the fans of those series wanted something new to latch on to. Within weeks of the book coming out, teens were acting out scenes from the film and talking non-stop about “The Hunger Games.”
Fandom is the backbone around which everything can be made.

How can we help bring fans together more in our libraries?   We've done our Hunger Games programs...what is next?  What are your teens getting ravenous about now?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Geek Stars Bring Board Games to TV

Do you like games? I don't know about you, but I really enjoy playing board games with my friends. If somebody knows how it works, and is willing to teach everyone, and can promise me it will be a great time. As much as I like board/card/video games in theory, I find I have little patience for figuring them out for myself. So how am I supposed to discover new games to share with my teens and build inter-generational gaming communities in my libraries?

Happily, uber-geek celebrities Felicity Day and Will Wheaton have come together to create a new YouTube show called Tabletop on her new premium YouTube channel, Geek and Sundry, where they will play a different game each week with their friends. While it should be good silly entertainment, it is also an awesome opportunity for us to learn about how games are played and why they should be fun.

Here is a preview:

Which board games would you want to see played?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Do you speak Millennial?

MTV has released a study called "What Millennials Are Just Sayin'", where according to this article "advises that if marketers take the time to understand the everyday language of their target audience, they can speak to them more effectively."  In the vernacular of my youth: DUH.  Still, there is some stuff of interest here:

OMG: Want to Reach Millennials? You Have to, Like, Speak Their Language

 The study says marketers should draw on what millennial lingo reveals about them, namely:
  1. The desire to be seen as smart and funny; and appreciation for clever and quick wit
  2. Originality and authenticity
  3. A heightened sense of drama about their own lives
  4. Optimism over rebellion
How can this apply to libraries?

Friday, February 10, 2012

Young Adult Unemployment at 64 Year High

Terry forwarded me this info, from the latest Pew Research Center report Young, Underemployed and Optimistic Coming of Age, Slowly, in a Tough Economy:

"Young adults hit hard by the recession. A plurality of the public (41%) believes young adults, rather than middle-aged or older adults, are having the toughest time in today’s economy. An analysis of government economic data suggests that this perception is correct. The recent indicators on the nation’s labor market show a decline in the unemployment rate. Nonetheless, since 2010, the share of young adults ages 18 to 24 currently employed (54%) has been its lowest since the government began collecting these data in 1948. And the gap in employment between the young and all working-age adults—roughly 15 percentage points—is the widest in recorded history. In addition, young adults employed full time have experienced a greater drop in weekly earnings (down 6%) than any other age group over the past five years." 

We've definitely been seeing this in our libraries.  What can we do to help this group?  Job training programs and resume classes don't cut it when jobs simply do not exist.  What can libraries do?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

GLBTQ Film Festival - This Weekend

This Sunday, January 29, 2012 the SnoGLOBE Equality Alliance is presenting their 2012 Winter Film Festival: An Afternoon of Inspiring LGBTQ Stories at the Everett PUD Theatre.  It looks to be a wonderful afternoon.

The first film they are showing at 2pm is Inlaws & Outlaws (which you can also check out from Sno-Isle Libraries) which will include a special introduction and Q&A with the filmmaker Drew Emery.

Marriage from the inside-- and out. This film weaves together the true stories of couples and singles, both gay and straight, into a collective narrative that is, at once, hilarious, heartbreaking and inspiring.   

At 4:45pm they will be showing Out in America, a documentary that recently premiered on PBS (and is not yet in our libraries).  You can see a trailer here:

If you have any teens who are Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered or Questioning, or have family members who are GLBTQ, I highly recommend encouraging them to attend this event.  Doors open at 1pm for a social and concession sales.  Tickets are $10.  For more info click on the image of the flyer below.