A huge part of being a successful teen librarian is staying current on teen reads, pop culture, marketing tactics, teen issues and more. Honestly, we have to be informed on a wide variety of knowledge. Part of my daily routine is to visit a series of blogs - I just pop in and take a quick glance to see what's hot right now. For the Christmas season I thought I would do a play on the 12 days of Christmas and share the 12 Blogs of Christmas and highlight 12 blogs that I check in with regularly to help keep me on my toes. These 12 blogs (plus this one right here, shameful plug insert) are essential tools in your Teen Librarian's Toolbox (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).
The 12 Blogs of Christmas: Blog #1 - YA Books and More Naomi Bates is a high school librarian in Texas, an amazing one. On her blog, YA Books and More, Naomi reviews the latest teen titles and often makes book trailers that you can share with your teens. Her blog is also a great place to visit to learn how to make booktrailers of your own because like every good librarian, she shares how she does it in a tutorial.
12 Blogs of Christmas: Blog #2 - GreenBeanTeenQueen Besides having a cool name and cool design scheme, this blog is full of book reviews by a tween and teen librarian. You'll want to check it out if you are not already following it.
The 12 Blogs of Christmas: Blog #3 - YA Book Shelf I stumbled across this blog one day doing a search for book trailers. Here I found an article highlighting 5 of their favorite animated book trailers, ones that I had never seen, and I was hooked. First, they were totally correct in how awesome those booktrailers were, proving they had good taste. Second, they provide me with a lot of good information not only about booktrailers, but about books themselves. It's a good site.
The 12 Blogs of Christmas: Blog #4 - Popwatch Popwatch is a pop culture blog on the Entertainment Weekly website. They cover everything: video games, books, movies, TV, and celebrity in general. Lots of Twilight and Hunger Games movie updates. Plus, it's fun. I have also gotten a lot of inspiration here for poll and contest ideas, sometimes just simply sharing what they already have put together. And I love their "bite" of the night which features a quote from a TV series the night before; I think this would be a good ongoing book feature (it's formatted in a very visual way, too, and I recommend you copy that idea.) Although there are multiple contributors, I think they tend to have a good writing style and are a good example of how to appeal to a mass audience.
The 12 Blogs of Christmas: Blog #5 - Teen.com To work with teens you have to spend a little time in teen culture so I go to Teen.com. Teen.com is the Popwatch of teen culture. I think it skews towards the younger end of the teenage spectrum, but I appreciate getting a look at what's hots with teens. Plus, a lot of their stuff is great for sharing through my teen services Facebook page, or getting some good ideas of things to do with my Facebook page.
The 12 Blogs of Christmas: Blog #6 - Reading Rants! Reading Rants is now over 10 years old and it is still fantastic. Here a middle school librarian, whose favorite flavor if you should care to know is blue raspberry, writes insightful but fun book reviews and puts her books in unique book categories like "Dead-heads and Moshpits" and "Fanging Around". If you ask real nice, Jen will even hit the road and do some training at your library for you.