Public libraries and the Internet

Teens and computer

Photo courtesy of Portland Public Library Teens via Flickr

Well, I’ve finished another term of library school. I am now more than half way through the program. Eight courses down, seven to go. This term I took my required course in Public Library Service. I was surprised at how little was new to me after 3 1/2 years working in the Army library in Belgium. But I did use the research project as an opportunity to learn more about the importance of blogs, wikis, Facebook and all of those amazing Web 2.0 tools for librarians working with teens. (My concentration is child and youth services and I hope one day in the not too distant future to be a teen librarian.)

Watching my two kids, who a in their early 20s, I realize how integral technology is to their everyday lives. My daughter, who is currently serving on a ship based out of San Diego, just spent a week and a half at sea with no phone or Internet service. Before the ship had even docked, she’d used her iPhone to log onto Facebook. (Amazingly, a text to mom was her next move.) Today’s teens just don’t remember a time without technology, though Facebook itself is only 6 years old. The changes have been rapid and will only become more so.

That presents a bit of challenge for this 40-something future librarian. I’d never paid that much attention to technological advances. But then, I’d never really had a reason to. Once I had a reason, and got over my nerves, I discovered it really can be a lot of fun. I don’t kid myself that many people (any?) actually read this. But I’m learning new skills all the time, which will definitely help me when I finally get to work with teens in a library.

Next tool to master (besides improving my WordPress skills) – Delicious social bookmarking. I have loads of great sites that will help you decide what to read next based on the type of books you like, your favorite authors, etc. I think it makes sense to use social bookmarking to share them with you rather than creating endless blog posts of two or three sites at a time. We’ll see. I may still use the blog posts to provide more information about the sites. After all, I’m still experimenting and, best of all, having fun!

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About booksnquilts

I'm the Children's Services Coordinator for the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library in Central Virginia.
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