That’s a wrap, part 2
Last blog post we were discussing my unconventional top 10 list, and today I present you with items 1 through 5. Those of you who read TLT will not be surprised by #1. Enjoy.
5. Teens find their voice (especially in politics)
Even though teens younger than 18 can’t vote, it is important for them to be aware of what is happening in the world around them and speak up. After all, the things we are deciding today are affecting them, both now and in the future. This year we saw the Occupy Wall Street movement take off and we discussed why it was important for teens to see others take a stand. It’s important for teens today to find their voice and start learning how to use it. As mentioned earlier, Mtv’s True Life did a show about teens/young adults involved in the OWS movement. And Mtv has always been good about encouraging teens over 18 to vote with their Rock the Vote campaign. Recognizing the rise of political activism as teens everyone wait and worry with their parents if the sky really is falling, Time magazine named the Protestor as person of the year.
This year also saw a return of the protest song, designed to make us think and Dorian Lynskey wrote a book (and a blog) called 33 revolutions per minute to highlight the history of the protest song and some of the best of 2011.
See: Occupy the Capitol: Engaging teens in politics
Us teen librarians are always looking for great craft ideas or just inspiration in general, and Pinterest is a great place to find it. It is also a vortex of time suck, but it is creatively energizing time suck so it is all good. Pinterest allows you to create a variety of boards and you pin your ideas in various categories that you create for yourself. Teen librarian Heather Booth even created a collaborative board called Teen Programming in Libraries that you will want to check out. To use Pinterest you have to request an invite and wait for them to contact you. I got my log-in information the very next day and have been happily pinning away since then.
While using Pinterest I noticed I kept coming across these similarly formatted book quotes: they all have a block of color, a number, and then simple text that says something about reading. It turns out that these are the product of something called Bookfessions. Bookfessions is an open site on tumblr.com that allows posters to create and share their quotes about books and reading. As a librarian I of course LOVE them. It is also a great project to share with teens electronically and even get them involved in.
2. Booktrailers (as long as they aren’t made by James Patterson)
As more and more people are creating booktrailers, including the publishers themselves, they are really jumping up in quality. Well done booktrailers can really spark interest in a book. You can create your own or give teens the opportunity to create theirs. And they are great for sharing on your website or social media pages.
See: Now for a word from our sponsors: Booktrailers
These past few years we have really seen an increase in the amount and quality of teen fiction being published – to which I say woohoo! And although I love the trend of dystopian fiction being produced right now (it makes me giddy with reading pleasure), I have to say without a doubt my favorite is zombie fiction. I am especially loving the Rot & Ruin series (although Jonathan Maberry did make me very mad in the Dust & Decay book and if you are reading it you know why). I also appreciate how zombie fiction really captures our current zeitgeist and allows me the opportunity to talk with teens about deep subjects but in fun ways: what is evil? What makes someone a monster? It also makes for some cool programming opportunities. Who doesn’t love a good zombie party?
Looking forward to what 2012 has to offer – especially the Hunger Games movie, more great teen lit, more programming, and The 2012 Project. It’s a great time to be a teen librarian. Happy holidays.
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About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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