Nearly 1,400 U.S. libraries celebrate Teen Tech Week™

Image from the Anoka County Library's Facebook page

Thousands of school and public libraries throughout the country joined the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), in celebrating Teen Tech Week 2012, March 4-10. Nearly 1,400 libraries embraced the 2012 theme, Geek Out @ your library®, by hosting an array of events and programs that encouraged teens to take advantage of the many free technological resources available at the library.

This is the fifth year for Teen Tech Week and record numbers of librarians signed up for it,” said Sarah Flowers, YALSA president. “That just illustrates how much teens, libraries and technology go together. There are so many great things going on in libraries that both take advantage of teens’ interest in technology and help them learn to use it effectively.”

Library staff offered a wide array of events, with something for the least techie teen to those who wear their geek cred proudly:

  • Indian River Library in Chesapeake, Va., held a craft program, creating wallets from repurposed computer keyboards
  • The Rum River Branch at the Anoka County Library System in Minnesota held a Teen Geek Out event that incorporated Wii games, an open Internet lab period, database demonstrations, ereader and tablet demonstrations and more
  • The New Port Richey (Fla.) Library held a Teen Tech Challenge, a five question interactive quiz that encouraged teens to find resources from the library website, including how to access Overdrive, search the Florida Electronic Library, find articles available through the library database and explore the library’s blog. All teens who entered the challenge were eligible for a $25 gift certificate to Best Buy
  • The Tomahawk Creek Middle School Library in Midlothian, Va., held a Teen Technology Leadership Conference, in which teens instructed their peers on new technologies, including hands-on time for other students

YALSA held two tweetups during Teen Tech Week, a discussion on STEM on March 7 using the tag #yalstem and a discussion on The Hunger Games using the tag #THGyalsa. YALSA‘s STEM Task Force led the March 7 chat, while The Hunger Games tweet-up was sponsored by The Hub, which simulcast the chat using CoverItLive.

In addition, Debby Carrico, branch manager and teen librarian at the Elmwood Branch of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, won a Skype visit from author J.J. Johnson, courtesy of Teen Tech Week Promotional Partner Peachtree Publishers.

Teen Tech Week is a national initiative sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association and is aimed at teens, their parents, educators and other concerned adults. The purpose of the initiative is to ensure that teens are competent and ethical users of technologies, especially those that are offered through libraries such as DVDs, databases, audiobooks and videogames.

Teen Tech Week 2012’s Promotional Partners include ALA Graphics, Audio Publishers Association, AudioGo, Figment, Hackasaurus, Peachtree Publishers and Tutor.com.

For more than 50 years, YALSA has been the world leader in selecting books, videos and audio books for teens.  For more information about YALSA or for lists of recommended reading, viewing and listening, go to www.ala.org/yalsa/booklists, or contact the YALSA office by phone, (800) 545-2433, ext. 4390, or email, yalsa@ala.org.

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