Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

TTW: Pop goes the information, everything you wanted to know about pop culture

Did you hear – Justin and Selena broke up?  Sound the alarm! This is just one bit of recent pop culture news that you needed to know about.  Not because you care, but because you work with teens and let’s face it – some of them care.  I know who One Direction are, who Rob and Big is, and more.  Some of it I even care about.  Some of it I just know enough to be able to acknowledge its existence in the life of my teens.

At the same time, the number of magazines in my teen area are dwindling, going out of publication.  (I still miss you Sassy magazine!)  More and more teens are getting all their information online.  To be honest, I do, too.  So here are some of my favorite sties to help me serve my teens.  Please share yours in the comments.

A part of Entertainment Weekly online, this is hands down my favorite pop culture blog.  Sometimes they focus heavily on certain trends (don’t go there right now if you don’t like Twilight).  It doesn’t focus on teen content exclusively, but they get plenty of attention there.  Check out the right side bar for picture slideshows.  And do remember to click on there Shelf Life feature as it features a lot of YA.

Just Jared, Jr.
Yes, there is a Just Jared Sr. Although it doesn’t call itself that, it’s simply Just Jared.  Just Jared Jr. focuses on young hollywood celebrity news.  Be sure to check out their partners by scrolling down to the bottom of the page.  They team up with other pop culture websites like Cambio, Wetpaint, PopCrush, and TooFab.com.

Want to know what teens care about pop culture wise? Teen.com is a great resource.  And here is my tip, scroll down the the bottom where they have links for a slew of similar websites.  Even just glancing at the headlines will give you a heads up about what your tweens and teens are thinking about.

Bop and Tiger Beat
I spent a ton of years skipping lunches so I could spend my lunch money buying the newest issue of Bop and Tiger Beat, but now you can just visit them online.  Think of all the hunger I could have avoided.  You can still subscribe to the actual magazines if you want to rip the posters out and decorate your wall.  What, you totally know you did that.  Keep in mind that most of your in-house teen magazines have a pretty well developed online counterpoint, and they often have great quizzes and such to share with your tweens and teens.

Mashable is a great way to keep up on all things tech related.  And as a bonus, they share things like25 Clever Twitter Keyboard Shortcuts and those funny memes that are great for passing along to your teens via your social media.

Alloy entertainment
Alloy was really popular for a while selling clothing.  Then they moved into publishing books.  Over the years they have built a very extensive online community.  They have fun quizzes (you know what I am going to say – great to share on your social media sites), celebrity news, and more.

Coming soon.net
Get announcements on movie rights that have just been purchased, see on set pictures, and get a first look at trailers.  This is great information to share with your teens on your varous social media pages.  Also check out Variety online, Vanity Fair online, and Zap2It

Aint It Cool News
This is geek news in all of its glorious geekery – we’re talking sci fi, fantasy, and comic book goodness.

They may not show videos any more (a brief moment of silence), but they are still connecting with teens.  They have a variety of shows that teens love, including Ackward and (shudder) Jersey Shore (which is coming to an end).  They also have some fascinating news shows including True Life, which shows teens and young adults living a variety of interesting lives.  Even if you don’t watch the shows, check out their webpage occassionally and get the 411 on teen life.

Rookie began as an online blog of a teen, and now that teen – Tavi Gevison – is considered a fashion expert, or so they told me on a recent episode of Project Runway where she was a guest judge. Rookie is a very cool online zine created by a teen, I think she is still a teen, and if you aren’t reading it, you should be.

Bonus Site: Ypulse.com
Ypulse is not a pop culture site, but it is a tremendously useful site that looks at trends among the Ygeneration and talks about marketing to them. I highly recommend it.

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