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When (my) teens read

November 4, 2009

Yesterday as I was shelving books at the Dupont Branch, I found a copy of Halo: the Ghosts of Onyx by Eric Nylund, which I set aside to check out for my 13-year-old son, who is a huge fan of the Halo video games.   It came as no surprise that my bright, creative, ADD-riddled son who performs poorly in school picked the book up and read the first 35 pages within a few minutes.

My friend Christi was telling me about a book she’s been reading: NurtureShock : new thinking about children.  She is a children’s librarian and she told me about some particularly interesting chapters which describe why teens rebel, why they lie about it, and why they are bored all the time.  This book is definitely on my parenting reading list now!

Then today I found an interesting blog post from Stephen’s Lighthouse with twelve reasons people read:

Why Do People Read?

I also think we need a better discussion on why people read. It seems basic but do we really understand why people read? Here’s my modest unranked list of twelve reasons off the top of my small noggin (add to it in the comments):

1. To learn
2. To engage in hearing other’s opinions (to agree or disagree or just to understand and be empathetic)
3. To develop more knowledge about myself and develop as a whole person
4. To be entertained and laugh, to engage and interact
5. To address boredom and the inexorable progress of time
6. To research and keep up-to-date
7. To participate well in civil society (everything from news to voting)
8. To be informed (and maybe smarter)
9. To understand others (individually and culturally)
10. To escape our day-to-day lives
11. To stimulate the imagination and be inspired
12. To write and communicate better through reading others
13. To teach
14. To have something to talk about
15. To connect with like-minded people

My son was complaining the other day about how bored he was, so I’ve been trying to find ways to engage him.  He’s also recently become intensely interested in classical music, mostly because that’s the elective they’re studying this quarter at school.  Bless his little heart.  He’s bored out of his mind, but he fascinates me when he really gets into a subject.

I’m going to keep the Halo books coming, and when he’s done with those, we’ll find some more equally captivating books to read.  How do you engage your teen(s)?


IOLUG Fall Meeting, November 13

November 4, 2009


IOLUG Teaser from Toby Greenwalt on Vimeo.

Library 101. Learn it. Know it. Live it!

October 29, 2009

Social networking: professional and private concerns

October 28, 2009

As librarians dive more and more into social networking, a lot of questions and interesting situations seem to be coming up.  Concerns about privacy, how we represent ourselves online, and responsibility for content are all causing us to question how we approach social media tools.

One of the main issues is social media strategy.  As I learned from Meg Canada of Hennepin County Library at the “Building Communities” preconference at ALA, libraries need to have a social media strategy, just as they need to have a written communication plan.  If we want professional librarians to use the Library 2.0 tools in a useful, organized way, we need to have an idea of who is responsible for posting to blogs, adding pictures to Flickr, posting YouTube videos, etc.  Webjunction has posted information about creating a social software policy for your library.

Maybe a bigger area of concern though, is privacy and how we blur our professional and private lives on social networking sites.  It’s clear that librarians are quite concerned, and they are reacting in a variety of ways.  Some librarians may choose to unfriend fellow staff members for the sake of privacy.  Others might delete their accounts altogether.  Personally, I think that one of the advantages of social networking is that people see us as real human beings, and it allows us to make greater, deeper, more meaningful connections with our customers.  And when I see a link posted or a remark by a librarian that reveals his political or religious point of view, I don’t worry about it.  Really–what that person believes and practices outside of the library makes no difference to me, as long as it doesn’t prevent them from practicing unbiased, intelligent, thoughtful librarianship.

When I gave a presentation about videos at the Paul Clarke Nonprofit Resource Center earlier this week, we discussed social media use briefly and NPR News Staff Social Media Guidelines was mentioned as a good model to follow.  I have to question though, whether we should hold ourselves to the same guidelines as journalists–because we aren’t journalists.  We do need to stick to our code of ethics, but when we are not working as librarians, when we’re living our lives outside the library, I think if we follow some general practices of behaving as ladies and gentlemen, then we should feel no fear about being who we really are.  We are Christians, Jews, Muslims, atheists, Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians; we are also dancers, runners, knitters, hikers, body-modifiers and reality TV fans.  Above all, we love books and libraries, and we’re proud of that.  Let’s be ourselves, and not be afraid to share ourselves with others.

Until your library has a social media policy firmly in place, you might want to follow some of the guidelines in the article “Top 10 Things You Should Not Share on Social Networks”.

For more information, read Elyssa Kroski‘s recent article in School Library Journal, “Should Your Library Have a Social Media Policy?”.

For further reading:

Libraries and Social Media

Social Media Governance’s Policy Database

Lawsuits & PR Nightmares: Why Employees Need Social Media Guidelines

Librarians and Others – Learn How You Are Being Evaluated By Your Social Media Footprint – Prepare to Be Judged!…04.08.09 « The Proverbial Lone Wolf Librarian’s Weblog

The 4 Ps of the Internet: Personal, Private, Professional, and Public | Compliance Building

Public, private, personal, political

Facebook Transition – From Personal to Professional | Shiny Door

YALSA » Who Are You? Your Public, Private, and Professional Life

Experts: Employers should make social media policy clear | Journal Record, The (Oklahoma City) | Find Articles at BNET

Blurring Personal and Professional Lives on Social Media – ClickZ

Social Networks: Separate Professional From Personal ? – Marketing …

Social Networks – The Personal vs. The Professional

Chris Brogan: Ways to Be Human at a Distance

What are your tips for using your social networking profile for professional work?

WebJunction – Social Networking & Web Tools

IBM Social Computing Guidelines

Social Networking and Employees: Where Do You Draw the Line?

Another ACPL librarian in the news

October 28, 2009

Deb Noggle, Tecumseh Branch Manager

ACPL’s Deb Noggle, manager of the Tecumseh Branch Library, appeared in Sunday’s Journal Gazette in an interview about vampire fiction!  Check out the 5 questions and a podcast of her interview.

Region starring online: video makers find audience on YouTube

October 22, 2009

Check out this article that the newspaper ran about promoting services on YouTube.  It’s great to see our local media talking about what we’re doing to promote the library!

Region starring online

Video makers find audience on YouTube

Stefanie Scarlett
The Journal Gazette

Libraries and tigers and UFOs – they’re all stars on Fort Wayne’s various YouTube channels.

Here, you can watch a tiger enjoy hydrotherapy and see whether a convention morphs into an episode of “Librarians Behaving Badly.” Listen to a local chanteuse belt out her version of Beyoncé’s “Halo” and follow someone’s driving tour of downtown.

Besides those cats who just want to have fun, some local residents are using the wildly popular site ( as a marketing tool. Their efforts haven’t gone viral yet, but you just never know.  Read the rest of the article

What is Anythink?

October 22, 2009

Check out this page that describes in further detail what Anythink means.  Anythink is the new brand of the Rangeview Library District in Colorado!