Teen Librarian Toolbox
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The 2012 Project: Update January 20th 2012

First, I have to give a huge thank you to VOYA Magazine, School Library Journal and Capstone Press.  They each have done a great job of supporting the project and helping me get the word out.  And special thanks also go to Harlequin Teen and others that have retweeted the message out.  You can follow the project on Facebook or @TLT16, #the2012project on Twitter.  Lots of teen librarians have been sharing pics and they are so amazing to see.  Libraries everywhere are doing creative, innovative programming for teens and yes – teens still do read!

You can see the project photo album on the TLT Facebook page.

I used some of the images submitted to create a new promotional poster for the project, because I have been getting some really fun, innovative and just creative pics.  Please feel free to download and share the poster electronically or via your various online resources.

I also have used some of the submitted pics to create some general library promotional posters, which you should also feel free to use.  I think they make the statement we are going for: teens still love (and use) their libraries and they still are reading.

Check back here next week to learn how you can be a part of a creative Valentine’s day themed The 2012 Project picture drive AND win a copy of Boy Meets Girl edited by Kelly Milner Halls and signed by all 12 authors that contributed short stories. More information coming soon, contest will begin January 29th.  Until then enjoy the book trailer, this is a book all your teens will want to read!

The 2012 Project: January 12th update

The 2012 Project began because I had read yet another article bemoaning the death of libraries, sure that soon we will have no need for them whatsoever.  And as a Teen Services Librarian in a public or school library, you know that we face funding challenges, staffing challenges, and sometimes – well, people just don’t seem to like teenagers.  (I don’t know why, teens are pretty amazing.)  So I thought, let’s change their mind and remind them that libraries rock and so do teens! The charge is simple: we want to collect 2,012 pictures of teens reading and using their libraries to make a visual statement – teens still read, libraries are thriving, and teen librarians everywhere are providing amazing programming and services that help our teens and our communities.  If you would like to participate, simply upload your pictures of teens reading or in your library.  You can share them on Twitter (@TLT16, #the2012project) or share them on the TLT Facebook wall.  They are completely anonymous to preserve privacy issues, no names or locations are given unless you choose to do so.  And periodically I collect them and share them to help make that strong visual statement.  In just 12 days we have collected a little over 40 pictures.  This is what a library in 2012 looks like.  It’s not dying, it’s not irrelevant . . . In fact, libraries today are thriving and teens are walking through our doors every day to read and learn and play and use computers and study and so much more.

This week The Fault in Our Stars by John Green came out and teens rushed to the library to get their copy.
Inspired by the popularity of Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry and zombie love everywhere – many libraries are having zombie themed programs.  Even mine.
The 2012 Project runs throughout all of 2012, help us reach our goal of 2,012 pics.

The 2012 Project: because teens love libraries and libraries love teens!

Pleaes note: You can see all information including updates and links to the project pictures here

This year e-readers have really taken the world by storm.  Many people interpret this as another nail in the coffin of libraries.  We don’t need books and libraries they proclaim, and yet every day teen services librarians – you – are making the difference in the lives of teens, and in your communities.  So let’s SHOW the world that libraries are still a vital part of teen lives.  Your teens can help, too.  Read on for what I am calling The 2012 Project.

Instagram, Twitpics, Facebook – social media is used every day and sends a powerful message, so let’s use it.  Our goal is to get 2,012 pics of teens in the library or reading books during the year 2012.  You can take pictures or your teens can send them in on their own.  Each month I will take all the pics and put them here in a visual blog post demonstrating the power of libraries in the lives of our youth.  We will need to collect approximately 6 pics per day to get to 2,012.  But what a powerful, visual message we can make!

Here’s how it will work:
Take your pics.  You can use your cell phone or a digital camera.  You can use an app or a photo editing software.  You can be creative or take a straightforward pic.  Text, no text.  It doesn’t matter.  This is a great time to be creative and inspire creativity in your teens.

You can tweet your pic @TLT16 or post it on the TLT Facebook wall.  No names will be included to protect every one’s privacy.  We will simply create a strong, visual image that sends a clear message.

Get Your Teens Involved:
You can print off this poster (it was originally created in 11×17 size) and put it everywhere.  You can also send it out electronically or put it on your webpage.

Be sure and take pictures at your programs.  When you see teens hanging out ask them if they mind you taking their pic.  Take pictures at TAB meetings, SRC kick-offs, school visits, and more.  Don’t hesitate to click the pic.

But wait, you can make it fun . . .

Have a photo taking party.  You can provide spare parts for teens to get creative and make costumes for the pictures.  Better yet, create a photobooth.

Have tech workshops where you teach teens to use basic photo editing software.  Picnik.com is a free, easy to use online photo editing program.

Have a photo scavenger hunt through the library. Create a list that works for your library: have teens find hidden treasures, unique library landmarks, and of course their favorite titles in the stacks.  Other challenges can be to find items in the library by genre, letter of the alphabet, etc.  You can make it a contest at your library: post a new photo challenge each week or month on your FB page and then ask your teens to submit their pics that illustrate the challenge. 

Have your school art club create a backdrop for your pictures; you know, the kind where you poke your head through a hole and take a pic.  Then invite teens to drop in and have their pictures taken.  To make it really fun have a new background for each month: January could be a snowman, February could be a romance novel cover, March could be science fiction aliens, April could be Steampunk, and May could be a graphic novel/comic book themed illustration for Free Comic Book Day.  You could also just do this digitally.

This is a great opportunity to have your own in-house picture contest and provide incentives to your teens.  Then, when you are done, take the winning pics and make them into wall art to decorate your teen area.  Check out this post on 10 Things You Never Knew You Could Do With Your Instagram Pics to learn more ways you can use the created artwork and reward your teens.

Have a local photographer come in and do a lesson or a series of workshops.

Encourage teens by creating your own photo diary and sharing it online.  You can take your cues from celebrities such as Selena Gomez and Tony Hawk, avid Instagram users.  Remember that teens are visual creatures living in a multimedia age – speak their language and make your pages visually stunning.

Be sure to check out these previous posts for some ideas:

Generate Marketing Creativity with iPhone Apps
Here I discuss my 10 favorite iPhone apps for creating amazing images.  Since I wrote this post I have also decided I love Instagram and Pic Collage.

Picture It: 30 Days of Art Activities, part 4
This post has links to creating a photobooth.

Check out these The 2012 Project updates:
January 12th
January 20th