Category Archives: teens

Oh My Gosh, My Feet Were Sore!

I could hardly hobble out of my room this morning, so when I discovered I was in the wrong location for my morning session, I opted to stay where I was and make the best of it.  And I’m so glad I did!

It was a panel “conversation” among librarians from a public library, middle school library, and others about using audiobooks to engage students and their families.  Major points included the benefits to ESL students of hearing spoken English outside a classroom context, providing cultural enrichment through use of narrators with appropriate accents, providing “personal shopping” services by matching the length of audiobook selections to the length of a car journey, and showing kids it’s OK to do other things while “reading with their ears”: drawing, playing computer games, watching the Windows Media Player visualizations, jogging, etc.

But the MOST interesting fact to come from this session is a program called Sync, in which a classic YA title is paired with a contemporary title, and both are able to be downloaded as MP3 files free AND free of DRM from OverDrive for one week.  You get to keep the books forever and put them on any listening device. A couple of pairings, for example, include Shiver / Romeo & Juliet, and Immortal / Wuthering Heights. Sync also offers text alerts when new free audio books are available.

All the panelists were on the original Odyssey award committee, and all review audiobooks for Booklist. Mary Burkey provided a link to her blog, Audiobooker,


Online Safety for Kids – What Parents Need 2 Know

Training Day is coming up again in a couple of months. Suddenly our admin is jumping on the library 2.0 bandwagon, and this year the event will have a markedly “tech” feel.

I’ve been involved with a small group that is charged with creating a presentation for parents about social networking sites teens and kids use, and what to be aware of regarding online safety and preservation of privacy. My particular part is the “now you know what some of the dangers are, and what some of the good things are about social networks, here’s what you should do to keep your kids safe online” piece. I’ve begun a set of powerpoint slides that will be appended to the sets being prepared by the others, and I’ll be working with a teen services librarian to make the advice strong, relevant and compelling. I’m also preparing a bibliography to go along with it that we can hand out.

I know other libraries have done similar programs, – in fact, I think I’ll take a look at the Hibbing Public Library’s (MN) computer classes page to see if there’s something I can adapt. How clever I am!