Pop Culture Round-Up: The Hunger Games, Part II

26 Mar

Love it or hate it, The Hunger Games opened this past weekend with a 12A rating. This film (and the trilogy it’s based on) is backed by marketing clout of Twilight and Harry Potter caliber. In the next few weeks libraries will most likely be inundated by requests for all three Hunger Games novels as well as tie-in books.

If you’re curious how the film became so popular, I suggest reading this New York Times article: How ‘Hunger Games’ Built Up Must-See Fever.

Some reviews are glowing, others skeptical. Here’s a quick list:
The Daily Mail
The Guardian
The Indpendent
The Telegraph

As well as read-alikes, you might also want to suggest some “watch-alikes” from this list ofBest Post-Apocalyptic Movies. (Note: some carry ratings of 15 or 18.)

The Hunger Games in Charts is quite amusing if you’ve seen the film or read the books.

For Hunger Games read-alikes and library event ideas, see the previous Hunger Games post.

Advertisements

Two Reminders

15 Mar

Just a few weeks to go until the Teen Book Giveaway ends, so enter now for a chance to win!

The Hunger Games opens on the 23rd of March. Is your library ready for an influx in interest? Take a look at these Hunger Games film and event ideas in order to prepare.

Hiatus Update (and a Few Good Reads on Youth and Libraries)

5 Mar

Weekly posts will resume on 2 April 2012. Thank you to everyone who sent a note after my previous post!

The deadline for the Teen Book Giveaway has been extended until 2 April, so enter in (and spread the word!). Winners will be announced by Friday 6 April.

No doubt you miss YA Library UK terribly and are dreading the empty, empty month of March. Never fear, for in the interim you can read a few other wonderful blogs:

I highly recommend the February issue of Teen Librarian Monthly, which (among many exciting things!) includes a fantastic introduction to Nerdfighters and a information on Speak Up for Libraries. Teen Librarian also recently posted an article about John Green and Nerdfighters.

Author Janet Dickey provides a free (and teen-tested!) outline for running a teen writing workshop.

Teen Librarian’s Toolbox is one of my favourite blogs for inspiration. A few interesting recent posts include projects for getting teens involved with poetry, an introduction to Pinterest, and a giant list of craft projects.

Did any of you give books away to young people for World Book Day? What are your plans for World Book Night next month? Will any of you be handing out books to or with young people?

YA Library UK Hiatus

15 Feb

As of today YA Library UK is on hiatus due to a death in my family.

Update 16/02/2012: the contest is still open, but it may take longer to select winners and mail prizes.

Helping Teens Lead and Fund Library Projects

13 Feb

Money is in short supply these days. However, teens with a great idea for improvements or events that take place in or related to the library can still apply for money. You can find a list of current sources of funding here. Starbucks Youth Action is offering funding for young people right now. Applications due by 9 AM on 5 March 2012.

If you already work with a small group of teens (a reading group, Teen Advisory Group, or just a bunch of library regulars you’ve gotten to know), you may notice that they have ideas for improving the library. This type of event would be great if it ever happened, they say. That collection of books is deficient, they claim. In many cases you may not have the time, budget, or supporting staff to execute their ideas, even if you know the ideas are strong. The good news is that in many cases, you can help young people implement these ideas themselves. By providing guidance and appropriate advice, you can assist them in creating the teen library service they want to see.

Even in the current economic climate, there is some funding is available to young people leading projects in their local area. The primary criteria of these projects is usually that they be teen-generated and teen-led. Many of them (like 02 Think Big) also expect there to be adult supporters involved. That’s your role! You can also help teens structure and articulate ideas, and assist them by helping them break intimidating aspects of projects or applications into manageable tasks. You’ll act as their supporter: librarian and cheerleader rolled into one.

Premise: The teens you work with have a great idea! They want to host a manga day, or to start a volunteer programme to help younger readers, or to improve the teen space, or something probably much clever than anything I’ve come up with. Now what?

Break the process into five steps:

Get Permission
Brainstorm
Choose Funding Source
Be Realistic and Optimistic
Fill Out the Application

Get Permission

If you need permission for some portion of the project, ensure that you have it. If teens obtain funding to revamp the teen area but your supervisors aren’t keen, that money may never go to fund a great project. “We’ll fund it ourselves!” usually makes a winning argument.

Brainstorm and Choose a Funding Source to Apply To

Take a look at the various funding pots. Is the proposed project a £300, £3000, or £30,000 project? The easiest way to establish this is to guide them through the particulars. This is an area where you’ll definitely be of help, as you most likely have more experience articulating the finer points of a project and drafting budgets. Help them turn general assertions (“we want it to be awesome”) into specifics (“we want a new set of awesome books that cost £200”) through brainstorming.

Be Realistic and Optimistic

Next, take a look at the applications. Maybe the £30,000 project is amazing, but given the needs of the application (that a certain amount of hours be dedicated, for example, or that other funding be secured), the £300 grant is the best to start with. (Again, you can help by demonstrating how the project can be broken into meaningful chunks.)

Complete that Pesky Application Form

Young people need to be able to articulate the following (not necessarily in order of importance!): 1) why the project is important to them; 2) how it will benefit them and others (in the community); 3) how they will deliver the project; 4) what they’ll deliver, when they’ll deliver it by, and how much it costs. The last issue (what/when/cost) doesn’t have to be exact, but it does need to demonstrate some concrete pre-planning. Other considerations – depending on size and scope of the project – might include how they will consult their peers/those benefiting from the project, and how they will evaluate the project.

Your role here is to guide, not to dictate. Allow them to write the proposal. You can help by offering structural hints when they get stuck, editing, and finding helpful reference materials (this last one is especially handy when compiling a rough budget or helping them locate local demographic information). You liaise with staff and supervisors; young people commit their time to the project.

Young people will benefit from the project itself, which will not only empower them but will also boost their CV. I also recommend that you offer volunteer hours (there will be a post about this soon) and recommendation letters to young people who become regularly involved in these types of projects.

The benefit to the library is tremendous: young people will know – or find out – how to reach and benefit other young people in the area. Their projects will help the library build rapport with local teens and the broader community. It also helps support projects that the library wants to develop but couldn’t otherwise fund.

Maybe you’re reading this and thinking, “But the teens in my library aren’t proactive.” Many young people aren’t used to feeling empowered to enact change in their communities. Engage them in a dialogue about improvements they’d like to see in the community. Take their ideas and concerns with respect. Let them know that there are funds (and adults!) who can assist them in achieving these goal. (Of course, you don’t have to embrace every project idea with open arms; “swimming pool in the library” is a good part of a healthy brainstorming session but should probably never grow beyond a daydream. That said, if you do end up building a swimming pool in your library, please tell me, because I’d love to have a swim surrounded by books.)

If you’re reading this and thinking, “great, but I don’t already know the teens in my library,” start reaching out to those already using your service. Introduce yourself, host an event, or reach out to teens in the community. For those who are feelings daunted based on time constraints, look out for an upcoming post about reaching teens in just a few hours every week.

The YA Library UK Teen Book GIVEAWAY!

9 Feb

To say thank you for your interest in teen library services in the UK – and HOORAY for 100+ email subscribers and 400+ Twitter subscribers – YA Library UK is hosting a giveaway! I will randomly select TWO winners to win a bundle of three new YA novels OR Cool Teen Programs for Under $100 OR Young Adults Deserve the Best: YALSA’s Competencies in Action OR The Ultimate Teen Book Guide (your choice!). (Both winners will receive the prize they select, even if they both choose the same prize.)

The contest is only open to residents of the United Kingdom. This is YA Library UK, after all!

Entries to the giveaway close on 2 April 2012. The Giveaway is now closed. Winners will be announced by Monday 9 April.

Links Round-Up: On Work Experience, Teen Involvement, and a PRIZE DRAW

9 Feb

When YA Library UK reaches 100 email followers to this site (and, hopefully, 400 Twitter followers!) there will be a prize draw for followers in the UK! So far my ideas are as follow: 1) YALSA’s Cool Teen Programs for Under $100 (plenty of stuff in here that still applies in translation) or 2) a bundle of new YA releases! Or, 3) I could pick several winners for several new YA releases. There’s also 4) Something else (activity packs? Promotional materials?). What do you think? What would you most like to win? Comment, tweet, et cetera. (There are currently 98 email followers, so it’s very close!)

Now back to your regularly scheduled links round-up:

New research suggests work experience reduces the drop-out rate, leads to greater employability of young people.

How to put ‘the “Teen” in Your Teen Space’, a post about getting teens involved and excited about your library’s activities.

In response to The Hunger Games‘ pending release, Springfield-Greene County Library has created Hunger Games website, and a roster of a week’s worth of library activities for teens.

Pinterest is the “rising star of social media”. It’s easy to use, highly visual (like Tumblr!) and worth getting your library involved with while it’s hot.

A new book website called Small Demons finds and lists all the things mentioned in your favourite books: places, people, other books, movies, music, et cetera. The site is still in its nascent stages and doesn’t have many books added yet, but in time it could serve as a great help in planning programmes and displays (for example, I can imagine around a popular book of “books and/or music and/or films enjoyed by the characters”).

This is from 2011 but it’s new to me (and thus maybe to you): Sherman Alexie on why the greatest books for young people are “written in blood”. Alexie writes, “I have yet to receive a letter from a child somehow debilitated by the domestic violence, drug abuse, racism, poverty, sexuality, and murder contained in my book. To the contrary, kids as young as ten have sent me autobiographical letters written in crayon, complete with drawings inspired by my book, that are just as dark, terrifying, and redemptive as anything I’ve ever read.”