Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Game On: Games in Libraries

Game On: Games in Libraries

Just got an e-mail from the local YA Listserv referencing this blog - looks interesting. I think it's a great idea, if you have the space and resources, which, in my opinion, our library does not. And, I will admit it - I am not a big fan of gaming, but I will also admit that that may simply be because I have no frame of reference for it.... I don't know, am I old now? The other day a pre-teen boy spent 5 straight hours on one of our computers playing video games - 5 hours. Since it was gorgeous out, there were no people waiting to get online, and I had no reason to ask him to get off the computer. But, I just kept thinking, "Shouldn't he be OUTSIDE running around on a day like this?" God, I've turnedinto my mother (who, for the record, would LOCK US OUTSIDE on gorgeous days!).

Oh, yeah, I blogged this using the "Blog This!" feature - works great.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Homework Help

I am in the process of putting together a homework help drop in program (for 12-18 yr olds) here at the library. I'm hoping to use volunteers from the local colleges as tutors.

This is something I have been thinking about for a while, but I really didn't think I'd get the backing from The Powers That Be. I should know by now that I can almost never predict that - it seems to vary from day to day what is and isn't considered a good idea. At any rate, TPTB thought it was a great idea (yay!) and so now I am in planning mode before anyone changes their mind.

I'd like to have something - anything - in place by fall (I may be delusional). I don't expect that this will be a large venture at first, as we are not a big facility, and don't have a tremendous amount of teen foot traffic (something I am tirelessly working to address).

Anyway, I'd love to know about your teen homework help program, if you have one. You can either direct me to your webpage, leave a comment, or e-mail any helpful info - any feedback/input is welcome! I am also interested in the screening/training process you may have for your potential tutors, and what paperwork you require (if any) from the parents of teens using the service.

I am also posting this as a topic on the Library Talk Forum in another futile attempt to sway librarians towards the forum - feel free to answer there!

Friday, July 21, 2006


I think perhaps I should print this information out and send it to the Town Council. Maybe then someone would realize that a library the size of ours SHOULD have some sort of REAL YA programing (and a librarian paid to do it).

Oh, what am I talking about?

I received the following e-mail via the local YA listserv. Very interesting information. Makes me feel like I am not crazy to think that libraries are actually important (to teens, and in general). Give it a read.

Last Tuesday, the Americans for Libraries Council, a nonprofit library advocacy group, released "Long Overdue: A Fresh Look at Public Attitudes About Libraries in the 21st Century." It reports the results of a national study of the general public as well as interviews with national and local civic leaders. The study was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and conducted by Public Agenda (a nonprofit, nonpartisan opinion research organization).
Quoting from the press release
"Four areas of opportunity resonated most with the public and leaders alike: (1) providing stronger services for teens, (2) helping address illiteracy and poor reading skills among adults, (3) providing ready access to information about government services, including making public documents and forms readily available and (4) providing even greater access to computers for all."
"The public is very concerned about teenagers and feel that providing safe and productive activities for teens should be a high priority (72%) for their communities. This is also an area where the public potentially holds their local governments accountable as they believe local government both can and should do more for teens. In the public's reckoning, libraries can potentially fill the gap: 3 out of 4 Americans (74%) believe providing services for teens should be a high priority for libraries."
There's a "Fact Sheet" on libraries and teens at
Go to for links to the full report, a two-page summary, and "5 Things Civic Leaders Should Know About Libraries and the Public" (the fifth of which lists the "four specific opportunities for public libraries to integrate themselves more fully into the life of their communities" -- the first of which is "a safe and engaging place for teens").


Very excited - I was just hired to do a freelance job! This isn't my first freelance gig, but it is the largest, and what is most cool is that the people saw my webpage and contacted me, unlike doing work for/through friends. Yay!

I was on Block Island for a couple of days, and did a little shopping in a posh bath/body products store (my personal shopping weakness). The owner was out of a product that I wanted, and I asked for her web address so that I could contact her to mail order it - she said she didn't have a webpage. I said, "I can put one togther for you." We traded cards. Mind you, I am far from being a web designer - FAR from it. But, I know enough to put together a simple page, which is all she's interested in. So, cool. Maybe I will barter for bath products. No, seriously.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Ok, right this very second, I am watching as a mother tells her pre-teen son that he can only take out two books. He is NOT happy about this - he wants to take out four (we allow 30 books out at a time). Oooo, the older (16ish) sister just asked her mother why he can't take out more books. The mother said, "Shhhh! Don't add to the problem!"

While the boy is definitely of the bratty variety, it kills me to see a 12 year-old boy's request for MORE BOOKS thwarted.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Well, this is interesting...

Two things from YA at the Middletown Public Library land:

All of a sudden, kids are signing up for my Teen Spot Reviews project. I've had three people join in two days and I couldn't be happier. Now, if they actually write a review, I'll be thrilled!

I had one response to my inaugural What Do You Want experiment. I was happy with that, especially since it was left by a teen that I didn't actually accost and force into participating. The interesting part, however, was her responses; she's a 17 year old girl, and her "picks" reflected that for the most part. But next to
The Full Spectrum : A New Generation of Writing About Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, and Other Identities by David Levithan and Billy Merrell, she penned in a large "NO". She did not do this on the other books she didn't select as "buy this" - just this title. And perhaps this simply reflects my own biases/preconceived notions/stereotyping, but I was actually surprised, as she is a GIRL (I wouldn't have been surprised if a teenaged boy had done this). Hmmm. I'm not sure how I feel about her adamance that a "gay" title NOT be included in the collection (OK, it totally bums me out), or my own prejudices - but, of course, I ordered the title anyway...

As for accosting the kids, well, I am finding that if I am on the reference desk, and a teen comes in, I make it a point to approach the teen and TALK to them. I show them the collection, I show them the projects that are going on, and generally HAND them the materials and hope for the best. It seems to be working - who knew?

What Teen Angst Book are You?

I admit it - I love silly quizzes - though I rarely post them on my blogs for fear it will make me look like the dork I am.

This quiz, however, was a must given that I work with the YA crowd. Thanks to Bookshelves of Doom for the link. Links to the quiz and my result is near the bottom of the sidebar. I think it's funny that I am termed "boozy," given that I don't drink - at all. I have had this book on my "must read" list for a while, and now it moves to the top.