Thank you so much for having me here today. I appreciate the chance to share some information with you and exchange ideas. I’m here as a representative of the Young Adult Library Services Association, or YALSA.
Teens (& their parents) also need to know that libraries are about a lot more than books A recent study by ALA’s Office for Research revealed that the majority of today’s public libraries have great tech tools like free Internet access, databases, online reference or homework help, etc. However, the study also revealed that many of these libraries’ patrons were unaware of all the great resources their library had. So, Teen Tech Week is about giving libraries a chance to throw open their doors and market their tech resources to their communities.
While there are official dates for the event, YALSA encourages librarians to do what works best for them. If the official dates conflict with something going on in your library, school or community, then choose different dates that work for you.
The URL for the TTW web site is www.ala.org/teentechweek. It’s provided on a later slide. Mini grants are available each year that YALSA is able to secure a corporate partner to fund them. In the past, YALSA has given out 20 mini grants per year worth $500 each. The goal is to assist libraries that would like to celebrate TTW but that don’t have funds to do so. Librarians and educators who register to participate are eligible to receive freebies from TTW sponsors and partners
Many of you may already have a set budget. If that’s the case, then make a note for next year to put TTW in your next budget. A TAG is a Teen Advisory Group. If you don’t have one, consider starting one. There are some tips and resources for doing that on YALSA’s wiki under the heading “Youth Participation.” Even if funding isn’t an issue, be sure to share your TTW plan w/ your supervisor to put this event on their radar
Besides TTW mini grants, are there any grant-making organizations in your community or state that you might also be able to take advantage of? Easy partnerships are schools and public libraries working together. Your partners may vary based on what your actual events and programs are.
VIPs are anyone who has influence in your community, especially in terms of determining support and funding for libraries. VIPs could be elected officials, school board members, the head of a parent organization, etc. Besides inviting VIPs to attend or observe events, you might also want to think of ways to actively engage them. Could they be speakers? Judges for a contest? Something else?
Web 2.0 tools can be great for marketing. Consider blogs and microblogs, like Twitter, as well as social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook.
Be sure to share positive evaluations, photos, success stories, etc. with your supervisor to build a case for expanding your TTW efforts next year Don’t expect that press will actually attend. Many news organizations are short staffed right now, and if it’s a busy news day they may need to be somewhere else. However, do take photos, write up your own press release and send it in to the news organization. Often times they will run what you send them and are grateful to you for doing the legwork.
These are just a sampling of ideas. You can find many more at www.ala.org/teentechweek
When planning programs, events or contests for TTW, it’s important to get teen input. If you have a Teen Advisory Group, recruit them to help you plan and implement your TTW celebration. If you don’t have a TAG, then consider working with one or two regular teen patrons or a middle or high school class (perhaps a computer studies, or other relevant class). Gaming doesn’t mean you have to purchase expensive Xboxes, Wiis, etc. You may be able to borrow what you need if you want to focus on video games. If not, there are many online games that teens can play for free. YALSA’s Teen Tech Week web site has many more ideas for programs of all kinds Does anyone have any other ideas for fun tech programs?
Be sure to check the TTW web site for additional programming ideas. The ones mentioned in this presentation are just a few suggestions. More resources as well as more detailed information are available online. Has anyone in the audience had a successful educational program that incorporated technology they’d like to share?
Wikis and blogs are good (and free) tools for sharing book reviews. They are easy to set up and don’t require any knowledge of web design or HTML. An example of a resource for microblogging is Twitter What other ideas do you have for connecting reading and technology?
www.phones4charity.org is one example Many charities rely on volunteers to accomplish important tasks. Teens could help a local charity build a web site, recruit volunteers through Facebook, make fliers with desktop publishing, create an ad to post on YouTube or show on a public access channel and more.
The first two items are books that can be purchased via the ALA online store. YA-YAAC is an email listserv that is open to anyone who wants to subscribe. Young Adult Library Services is YALSA’s quarterly journal which regularly features best practices in serving teens, including programming ideas and resources. It’s $50 to subscribe, or free with YALSA membership.
YALSA has four full time staff. They are happy to answer any questions you may have, so please don’t hesitate to call or email them. They’ll do their best to return your call or email within 24 hours.
Does anyone have a question about Teen Tech Week or YALSA that I can answer? (note: if someone asks a question you can’t answer, get their business card, write their question on it and pass it on to the YALSA office and they will answer it) Thank you so much for coming to this presentation! Please be sure to grab the handouts on our way out of the room.
TEEN TECH WEEK : Showcase Your Library’s Latest Resources