What’s up with Snapchat?

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I hear the teens talking a lot about social media in the library. Some are taking videos of their friends doing silly stuff and sharing it with their friends while in the library. So my questions is, how do we utilize the social media the teens actually use in order to get them interacting with the library? I’m finally using Snapchat, which has had some dubious uses in the beginning, but is now being more widely used by companies, podcasters, and the guy next door to reach large audiences. I hear the teens talking about Snapchat and I want to see what it would mean for the library to get in on some of the action (meant in the positive way, nothing inappropriate!). By the end of this month I hope to have an answer as I focus on this social media outlet for an assignment I’m working on. Stay tuned to see what I conclude.

Hashtag Mania

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Teens and tweens are all over social media; Snapchat, Tumblr, and Instagram seem to be the most popular in my area. You don’t need to understand where hashtags (#) came from to see them in use or even loosely learn how to use them. It seems simple enough to use that you may see them everywhere you go on the internet and even while watching TV. These little markers are trying to connect an audience to topics they may find interesting or important through your favorite social media platforms.

Most teens and tweens may be going a little overboard with their tagging, using the hashtags to portray every little part of the narratives they’re creating online. This can be overwhelming for those of us who may not have grown up with technology in every aspect of our lives. Don’t be frightened away from using hashtags, especially while trying to reach this age group to connect them to libraries! Just remember when tagging your social media posts to use the hashtag to tell what the post is actually about, such as creating a tag with your library’s initials and the word teens (ex: #DKLYteens) and encourage your attendees to post pictures to their favorite social media using that hashtag.

Program Ideas

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I’m already thinking ahead to summer! Take a look at my ideas for this year’s teen summer reading theme: Read for the Win.

Darcy Tatlock Program Plan-Summer Reading

Darcy Tatlock Summer Reading Flyers

Darcy Tatlock Summer Reading Logs

 

Also take a look at some other program ideas I have below!

 

Cinematic Teen Reads: a teen book and movie discussion group

Darcy Tatlock Program Plan-Cinematic Teen Reads

Darcy Tatlock Cinematic Teen Reads flyer

 

Family Stories: a read-aloud chapter book story time for 3rd-6th graders and their families

Darcy Tatlock Program Plan-Family Stories

Darcy Tatlock Program Plan-Family Stories flyer-bookmarks

 

To see some of my inspiration for programs and displays check out my Pinterest page here.

Thoughts on My Library Career

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My Elevator Speech: to get the public to say, “Tell me more!”

I help 10-14 year olds develop reading, writing, and communication skills at the library so that they can grow to become free thinking, responsible members of society through their individual strengths.

 

Tween Programming Philosophy

In our determination to reach the children of DeKalb ages 10 to 14 years old, the library has created programming specifically for tweens. Children between these ages tend to get lost in the shuffle, too old to be a young child, but not quite old enough to be a teen, they have their own interests and thought processes. Programs for this age group allow tweens to continue to find value in libraries, not just as young children and then adults, but through their tweens and into their teens as well. The library develops programming, collections, and meeting areas with tweens in mind in order to create a safe, fun environment where tweens can meet others their own age with similar interests, be themselves, and express their independence.

In order to assist tweens on their journey through life-long learning we develop programming meant to enhance their reading, digital, visual, information, and cultural literacy. Monthly book discussions, writing programs, and activities are created to be fun and interactive ways to learn about the world around them. While most programs are held in the library, some may partner with community organizations and businesses in order to help reach tweens who are unable to regularly attend the library and to build a sense of place in their local society.  Monthly activities may use art, science, computers, math, reasoning, reading, and communication skills in order to accomplish the task at hand. All tween programs take into consideration the needs, wants, and interests of those they were intended to serve in order to provide entertaining and interesting ways of sharing and learning.

 

To view my professional development check out my resume here.

More IT Fluency

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I have completed my very own website! Check it out here. It is a very simple site but I know I would not have been able to create it without taking an Information Technologies class. I think it was actually pretty fun using HTML5 to create the site. Uploading it to the internet was also a learning experience, really where does one go to upload such a thing? But with a free online program and a few clicks it is up on the bama.ua.edu server!

We also learned how to use simple Unix commands to manipulate the site using strictly keyboards. This was actually harder for me than the HTML. Thank goodness my dad is a wiz with computers and had the original user manual published by the creators back in 1984.

I realized that without Unix we would not have the much easier to use programs of today to upload websites and manipulate them on a server. So thank you Unix for paving the way for the current generation of website creators!

How many ability points do I earn for increased IT fluency???

IT Fluency

As I’m working toward becoming a Librarian I have been asked to create a website for one of my classes. To say this was an intimidating request was definitely an understatement. Fortunately, there is this really great book we are using: HTML5 Step by Step. I have found that not only is it not difficult to use, but it’s actually kind of fun! I know that without a doubt my understanding of the world of technology is slowly increasing so watch out sis! I also find that I’m asking more questions about technology of those who have a greater understanding than I.

I do believe I can plan that basic coding program for my libraries teens soon! Teens of DeKalb, look out!

Tween Writing Group

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mm_magazine

Once a month I invite local tweens to participate in a library program we named Magic Muffin Magazine. I have laptops from the library for the kids to use with internet and Word. I let them write whatever they want as long as they keep it PG-13. If needed, I have pictures they can use for inspiration. I sometimes print out lists which I think might be helpful for the young authors. One girl expressed an interest in making a play out of her story so I located samples of play manuscripts for her to work off of. I noticed the kids use the word “said” a LOT so I found a list of words which can replace it.

I love watching the kids process their ideas into a story. Some come up with something at home and are typing it and others just spend the two hours available to write a story they come up with that day. They’re all open on ways to make their story better. Sometimes I help them type but mostly I make sure their grammar is fixed and they story makes sense. I always do a read through with each tween and ask them questions if any part of the story is confusing or unclear.

The tweens are always asking how many people have read their work. Please feel free to read the first three issues and let me know what you think!

2014-06 Magic Muffin Magazine issue 1

2014-07 Magic Muffin Magazine issue 2

2014-08 Magic Muffin Magazine issue 3

Libraries and Technology

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I’m currently working on earning my Masters in Library Science and this semester we’re looking into technology. The course book is HTML5 Step by Step by Faithe Wempen. To say this was a little intimidating was an understatement. I spoke with my family about learning HTML and I had different reactions.

My father is fully technology fluent. He is excited to share his expertise with me. He’s been working with computers since the 1960s. I remember him telling me how big computers used to be, taking up whole rooms. He has been my computer programmer and IT guy my entire life. New technology out in the world? It was only a matter of time before we owned it. I was never too worried about doing something wrong on my computer because I knew Dad could fix it. I have always wondered why my sister and I didn’t inherit his tech savvy.

My mother on the other hand is practically a luddite. She gave me a “good luck look” when I told her about learning HTML. Any time new technology is introduced to the house we have to warm her up to it. New TV? New laptop? New Smartphone? All are challenging. I understand where she’s coming from, its intimidating to learn things from scratch, especially since you feel like you just got used to the last new thing before it ups and changes. Though anytime something on a computer or phone doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to she gets angry with it very easily. Thank goodness Dad’s good at trouble shooting!

My sister and I are technology literate. We understand how to use and manipulate most technology we come across. Though I do think she is either more patient in learning new apps and devices or she has a weird 6th sense on where the designer has decided to place tools and buttons in the technology. I now feel like I’m getting a leg up on her by learning HTML5 because I will have a basic understanding of how websites and such are created and work. Hey sis, need me to help you start a blog? I think I’m figuring it out!

All of this technology talk has me thinking about the kids at the library where I work. The Teen Librarian has been telling me every teen should know a little bit about coding so they don’t let technology take advantage of them in the future. I wasn’t sure I agreed with him since, at the time, I didn’t want to learn it. I try to not do programs and activities with the tweens and teens unless I too have an interest in it. If can’t get excited about showing them how to do it, how can I get them excited about it? But after going through the first several chapters of the HTML5 book I realize this is actually pretty easy and don’t know why I thought it would be so hard.

The next question is: How can I turn this into a teen program and actually get them to attend???

New to Blogging

I frequently am looking for different programs for tweens and teens at my library. Many times a search for “teen crafts” brings up a wide selection of crafts picturing young children. Some times I think “wow, even though it looks like 5-year-olds are enjoying this activity I know my teens will too.” On the flip side, when I find an activity showing teen participation, I sometimes know that teens in my town will not enjoy such an activity. So to possibly help other tween and teen programmers have an idea of activities that work and don’t work, I plan on sharing my experiences here. Please feel free to share thoughts and ideas!