In a Flash: Tech Services for Teens
YALSA’s Teens and Technology Interest Group sponsored a Pecha Kucha 20x20 session on programming and other technology issues for teen services.
Pecha Kucha is a short-format talk. Each speaker prepares a slide show of 20 images, which each show for 20 seconds before advancing automatically, for a total presentation time of just under 7 minutes.
Erin Dorney’s presentation, “All Up in Your Face(Book): Virtual Identity Management for Teens and Young Adults,” addressed teaching teens the importance of managing their online reputations. While the news isn’t all bad—the 2010 Pew Internet Report on Reputation Management and Social Media found that teens managed their online presence more actively than adults—the “pressure of a sharing society” can still have serious consequences. Dorney, outreach librarian at Millersville (Pa.) University Library, observed that librarians should focus on the concept of personal branding, rather than the dangers of any particular sites. “They’re going to eventually leave [currently popular] sites behind, but if you teach them the concepts, they’ll get the message.”
Scott Rader of Hays (Kans.) Public Library spoke on how teen librarians can use social media. “Don’t treat social media like the cool thing you’re doing just to fit in,” he advised. “Treat it like any other service.” That includes marketing, because teens won’t use a site if their friends aren’t there.
Cynthia Karabush, library media specialist at Grayslake (Ill.) High School, offered suggestions for using QR codes in the library. Quick Response codes—two-dimensional barcodes that are easily read with smartphone apps—are powerful, because “We can have special things going on and get our kids right to a link.” Valuable applications include linking to social media, directing readers who are fans of one series book to other titles in the series, library treasure hunts, surveys, and posting on a study room to offer convenient room reservations.