Teen Librarian Toolbox
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Middle Grade Mondays: 5 Things I Love Right Now, from a Tween

Robin broke her arm, in two places!, so we are punting for this week’s Middle Grade Monday.  So I gave my Tween homework: write a post about the things that you love right now.  I added some notes because she apparently is a minimalist.  But it is always good to know what your patrons are interested in and get their point of view.  So here you go . . .
Flappy Bird

A game where you have to get a bird through pipes without hitting them. It is hard, but fun.  All of my friends are playing it.
Karen’s note: It is hard, I have only gotten a 2 on it. This game is really popular right now among the Tween set.  It is simple in concept, but actually kind of difficult in execution.  And like Minecraft, mentioned below, it has kind of that old school video game feel to it.
Minecraft
You probably have heard of this but it’s a game where you build things and in survival mode try not to get killed.  I like the create mode because you make your own world.
Karen’s note: Minecraft has been around for a while and is of course very popular.  But the tweens around me have just discovered it.  They all come over and sit around playing on their iPads after school.  Here is a cool Pinterest board for Minecraft in the Library.
Wonder Struck
This book is about a boy whose mother is dead and so he goes to the city where his father lived.  It was brilliant and amazing.  I can’t stop talking about it.
Karen’s note: I had a copy of this laying around and she picked it up and started reading it.  She did a marathon read – couldn’t put it down – and read it all in one day.  It is a huge, daunting looking volume but a lot of it is pictures so it’s not as overwhelming as you would think.  She then spent days talking about how much she loved this book and has gotten all of her friends to read it.
The Land of Stories
Okay if you have not heard of this book stop reading this and get it, this book is amazing. So two kids get a story book and get stuck in it and have to stop an evil queen.  It includes a lot of fairy tale characters and twists.
Karen’s note:  For Christmas this year we drove from Texas to Ohio and she read The Land of Stories on the way.  She picked it out and purchased it as a Christmas gift from Christie, who of course got her a bookstore gift card for a gift because she is the best auntie ever.  She seriously loved this book.  And I know she has another friend who read and loved this book.
Dork Diaries
This book is about a girl who is not so popular in school and has a rival who is super mean.  It’s funny, and a quick read.
Karen’s note: These books are still really popular in my library.  I can’t keep them in on the shelves.
These books and games are super amazing so try them now.     

TPiB: When Books Inspire Art

One of the things I love most about the Doctor Who Tumblr is all of the amazing fan created art you find there.  Sometimes there are quotes, sometimes not.  But the thing is, Doctor Who is obviously a show that is touching a lot of people and inspiring them to create in response to them.  For many people, books do this as well.  Many of the authors I follow will share the artwork that fans send to them.  They may be drawing characters or scenes depicted in the books.  Sometimes they take their favorite quotes and make them into art.  The thing is, when books move you they can inspire a creative response.

Like many reading fans, I do this as well.  But I am not an artist.  All I have is a smartphone, some apps, and a desire to create.
Sometimes, I take a photo and it makes me think of a book so I create a promo pic.

Here, I used Diptic to create a type of word game/pictogram of some of my favorite children’s stories.  These are great to share online as a fun, interactive talking point.

 
Sometimes, I just really love quotes from books so I create ways to save those quotes for myself.  I simply used Instagram to take the photos, added some text to them, and voila!  They print off nicely and make great room decorations.
These quotes are from Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver, a book that I desperately loved.  It is a book about a future where love is outlawed.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs is a book where old photographs play an important part of the story.  These are not regular photographs, but haunting ones.  In this picture I just accidentally framed it wrong and cut my daughter’s head off.  Oops.  But it immediately brought the book to mind so I ran with it.
Both of these photographs inspired by Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis were taken months apart, which just goes to show you how much the book stays with you. It is set in a future America where water is sparse and a girl named Lynn must protect the pond on her land.  One day my 4-year-old went outside and sat on top of her playhouse with a pair of binoculars and when I saw her, it immediately made me think of the book (this is how the book begins actually).  Then months later, the Texas land was parched and cracking and I thought this is what the world in Not a Drop to Drink would look like, so I had to capture it.

I love so much about Alice in Wonderland.  I love how part of the heart of the story is that Alice is a person full of wonder and imagination, and how as she grows older she risks losing that.  As a mom my desire is that my girls will never lose it, either their muchness or their belief in impossible things.  So I made a bunch of art to decorate their rooms and remind them to dream big.

I am a person who loves words.  Words inspire me.  They remind me of who I want to be and how I want to live my life.  And so I collect quotes.  I literally have journals full of my favorite quotes.  Sometimes, they need to come out of a journal and be front and center where I can see them.  So I make art for my home and office to keep the quotes where I can see them and absorb them.
Often I combine them with pictures of my girls because I AM a mom and we like to have those pictures around the house too.  My two favorite things: my girls and books.

The thing is, you don’t have to be an artist to create art inspired by your favorite books.  I am not an artist.  I am just a girl with a phone and a mad, crazy passion.
5 Things You Can Do With Your Book Inspired Art:
1) Print it out and frame it
2) Print it out and mod podge it onto a blank canvas (part 1 and part 2)
3) Put several panels together and make a bookmark
4) Print it out and make end cap displays
5) Make personalized gifts, cards and more.  Seriously, you can mod podge them onto anything.
Here is a list of my favorite photo apps
Here is a list of my favorite word apps
If you are a teen that creates book inspired art, or someone that loves one, don’t forget that you can submit your art in this year’s It Came from a Book teen art contest.  The deadline for submissions is November 1st and you can get complete details at The Library as Incubator webpage. This contest is sponsored by Teen Librarian Toolbox, the Library as Incubator Project, EgmontUSA and Zest Books.
Please note: The Quarantine photo is a photo is the only photo that is not an original photo.  Author Lex Thomas tweeted the photo and I manipulated it with permission as a promo pic for a guest post they wrote at TLT, because it is a truly cool photo.

TPiB: 10 Things To Do With a Blank Canvas, part 1

One of my recurring programming themes is Renovate Your Room.  We are actually in the midst of doing this right now as the Tween has decided that she no longer wants a princess room (sob, why do they grow up so fast?).  Now we are creating a new room with a Paris/Doctor Who theme.  My vision is that Doctor Who will fly in the Tardis and take a trip to Paris.  But redoing a room doesn’t have to be expensive or out of a box.  In fact, libraries are full of books that teach us simple, easy and often inexpensive things we can do.  This makes a room personal.  My current obsession is to create art projects out of blank canvases (bought in bulk when on sale).  While I experiment, I thought I would share with you 10 projects that we have done to help decorate the Tween room.  I am also going to be doing this as a tween/teen program later this month, so I know they all work.  I am a huge fan of using either pictures (I do love my kids) or words (I do also love a good quote).  

Make a Pseudo Canvas Portrait


Print any digital portrait/picture, including your favorite Instagram pictures.  You can try and do this transfer process outlined here.  But when I couldn’t get it to work, I simply glued my printed picture onto the canvas and decoupaged it.  Turns out, it works just as well. First, I prepped my canvas by spray painting it black (any color will work).  Then, I gently tore off the edges to create the older effect that I wanted.  Then after I glued and allowed my picture to dry, I did some stippling of black paint (use acrylic) along the edges.  Then, after again letting it dry, I did a finishing coat of Mod Podge.

Paper Collage

Using a variety of scrapbook papers, you can make a collage of any sort.  Simply glue it onto your canvas and decoupage.  You are only limited by your creativity.  Here I created the classic Mikey Mouse head/ears shape for my toddler’s room. You could use maps, scrap pieces of paper, postcards, etc.

Picture Collage/Memes

Made with PowerPoint

For more advanced collages, there are lots of things that I envision in my head that I don’t have the actual skill to make a reality.  So I often turn to Microsoft Publisher to help make it happen.  Here I use a combination of clip art, word art and downloaded photos to create collages.  Then I simply print and decoupage them onto canvas like I would a regular picture.

You can make a picture collage in both Microsoft Publisher or PowerPoint.  After you have layered your elements the way you want them, connect them together as a group (under format) and then choose “save as picture” to create a picture.  You don’t have to do this if you are simply printing your picture out, but you’ll want to do that if you want to send or import the new picture into another program.  You can, for example, do this and create your own postcards. It’s true.

Made with Instagram and Over apps

 You can make your own art to decorate your library.

Made with Instagram and Over apps

Use pictures and combine them with your favorite quotes to decorate your home or your library.  There really is no limit to what you can produce quickly and easily with the right tools (see my “see also” at the end of this post for a look at some of the tools I use).

Grid Pictures

Grid Photo made with PhotoShake app

In order to create these cool graph pictures that I decoupage onto canvas, I used the iPhone app Photoshake.  You can create graphs of up to 20 pictures I believe.  Then you simply print them, glue them onto your canvas and decoupage.  You can add words to your grid picture by creating a separate picture first in something like Over (see these apps to learn more) and then using that picture as one of the pictures in your grid picture.  Although this is a variation of the pseudo canvas portrait, I added it separately because it is currently my favorite thing ever.  They make great gifts for friends and family members to highlight a variety of pictures of your relationship.  Or to capture the different ages of a child.  Or you know, a collection of flowers or whatever your thing is.

You can also create this type of a look directly onto the canvas if you size your pictures correctly.  Use a 12×12 sized canvas and print out 9 of your favorite Instagram pics at size 4×4.  You can now create a grid collage with 3 rows of 3 pictures.  The have more information about this over at A Beautiful Mess.

Shadow Reliefs

One day I had a vision for a series of representational Doctor Who pieces (see above).  What I wanted to do was to take icons from the series and create some representational art.  If you wanted to do things like initials or common, every day objects (say hearts and stars), you could use pre-purchased stencils for this.  But we had to create our own.  This was a more involved project.

Step 1: Prep the Canvas

Anytime you just need a base color for your canvas, spray paint is your friend.  Quick, easy, and gets the job done well.  You will want to make sure you have two contrasting colors for this project.  Your base coat will be the color of your canvas so you will want to make sure you paint the outside edges of the canvas as well.

Step 2: Make Your Stencils

To make the stencils, we used blue painters tape, a crafter’s cutting mat, a pencil, and an exacto knife.  We overlaid strips of blue painters tape onto the craft mat to create a sheet of it that covered our canvas.  We then drew an outline of the shape we wanted in pencil.  Pencil was important because it erased really easily and we did have to make some adjustments.  We then used our exacto knife to cut out our stencil.

Step 3: Apply Stencil and Paint

Apply your stencil to your pre-prepped canvas and spray pain in your contrasting color.  You will want to make sure and cover the edges of your canvas with painters tape as well because there can be overspray and you don’t want it to get on your already primed edges.

Step 4: Seal

You can use decoupage (Mod Podge for example) or any spray sealant to help protect the longevity of your piece.

So here are some basic tips you’ll want to keep in mind:

Photo Printing
You can use regular photographs, but they are bulkier and don’t adhere to the canvas as well.  I recommend printing your pictures onto regular paper using your color printer.

Size is Everything
Make sure and keep picture and canvas sizes in mind.  You can buy canvas in smaller sizes, which would work well for doing say 4 Instagram pictures.  See the Shadow Relief canvases to get an idea of what I am talking about.  You can buy 8 by 12 canvases, which is the size of standard printing paper.  They also have 12 x 12 canvases which is the standard size of a piece of scrapbooking page.  You just keep sizing in mind when creating your project.  If you want to do larger projects (and they do make larger projects), you can do poster size printing at places like Staples for a fee. 

Patience Really is a Virtue
Anytime you glue something down, wait until that layer dries completely before moving on to the next layer.  This same rule applies to painting.  It is a process, be patient (which is really hard for me).

When your project is set up the way you want it to, you are now ready to seal it with decoupage.  There is spray decoupage and the liquid kind you find it jars and spread with brushes.  If you use the spray kind, do it outside (when it is not windy) because it stinks and gets all over.  Either way, you will want to apply multiple coats.  YOU MUST LET YOUR PROJECT DRY COMPLETELY BETWEEN COATS.

In order not to make this post too long, I have divided it into two parts. You are welcome.  Part 2 can be found here (after it posts).

See also: Using apps for Marketing, Instagram crafts 1 and 2, and Memes

Tech Talk

Technology is a HUGE part of what we do everyday.  Whether we are helping our teens use technology, using technology to connect with our teens, or trying to put together teen programs – there is no escaping it, and no escaping how often it changes.  Since we write about it, I thought we would make it easy for you to find it all in one place – HERE!  After all, geek is the new black.
Apptastic Marketing


Social Media 101
Relational Reading Revolution: Using social media to connecting readers with authors
The Beginners Guide to the Hashtag
Harness the Power of the Hashtag 
A Scientific Guide to the Best Times to Tweet, FB, Blog, etc. 
The Science of Social Timing 
Executing Your Social Media Marketing Strategy
6 Steps to Creating a Social Media Marketing Plan 
Examples of People Using Social MediaWell:

Facebook
Ongoing changing in policies are causing some users to defect, less popular now, teens are defecting, can now use Hashtags





Instagram




Tumblr

26 Ways to Market with Tumblr
5 Things You Can Do with Tumblr:

 

Twitter


YouTube

A Defense of Online Gaming in Libraries 
TPIB: When Books Inspire Art (Using Apps to Create Book/Library Related Art)
Teens, Tech and Programming 
The Relational Reading Revolution Revisited: Using social media to connect teens w/authors and get them invested in the reading community
Hosting a Coding Club

Gif Making

Resources 
www.slashgear.com – tech news
www.buzzfeed.com – great example of content; find content to share
www.mashable.comfave info resource
www.hypable.com – sharable content
www.ypulse.com – news about teens & millenials
www.socialmediatoday.com – all about social media

Marketing with Apps Presentation Outline
TLA Relational Reading Revolution Presentation

Geek is the New Black: Meme the Apps (Using iPhone apps and your photos to create memes, I rate the apps)

“How do you make your graphics?”  I get asked that question a lot.  The truth is, I use a variety of tools, including PowerPoint (for a quick image), Publisher (for posters) and sometimes GIMP (I am still not very good with this program and don’t know how to do text in it).  But you would be surprised to know how much of it I actually do on my smart phone.  It is, after all, a mini computer.  I have shared some of my favorite apps before, but today we are going to talk about apps to create Memes.  I have used these 5 apps to create memes at one time or another and here’s what I think. As Lake Library System just tweeted, “It’s Appy Hour”!

Over
After trying several, this is the one that I prefer when I am looking to do a quick photo edit and add a simple line of text.  You can easily spin the edit wheel to change your font style, crop your picture and more.  There are not the filters that you get on Instaquote (see below), but you can tint and change the opacity of your picture.  If you are looking for quick and easy, this is a good choice. Cost: $1.99. 4 out of 5 stars and highly recommended if you are looking for quick, easy and block quotes.

Instaquote Pro
Is a Free+ app, which means some basic components of it are available for free and then you have to pay for additional features, which include backgrounds, etc.  In this case, the pictures also have a watermark unless you pay a basic fee, and nobody wants a watermark that says “Instaquote” on their pictures.  So I bought the upgrade to see what it could do.

The biggest plus is that ff you don’t want to use one of your photos, you can purchase various background packages to create cool memes.  Which, of course, is its own minus as well because it involves more fees.  You can pretty easily change fonts and font colors.  As with a lot of the apps here, you only get one text window which means you get one block quote. But it does allow you to change the color of words within a line of text so that is a bonus.  Cost: $2.99  3 out of 5 stars, great when you want a background that is not a picture you have taken (but it will cost you more).

 Made with one of the backgrounds provided in the app


Title Fx
The advantage of Title FX is that it has way more fonts (50 compared to Overs 25) and it lets you add effects like shadows and glow (you can also do this to a lesser extent in Instaquote by changing the text style).  I spent the least amount of time with this app, but you get a lot more options with number of text lines, variations in text, and the placement on the photo. So if ultimate creativity is your goal, this is a good app for you. Cost: $1.99.  Still trying to decide, around 3 stars.  It doesn’t really do anything that you can’t do in TypoInsta.


Photo in Word Pro
Some of the best signs I have ever created have been done by taking my title text and making it out of a photo.  I just found and downloaded this app and haven’t had a lot of time to play with it, but it creates some cool looking images.  I am not, however, a fan of the save feature; you save it to a WordPhoto library and then have to save it to your phone library.  For me, I would have to further manipulate the images created in another app to create a final product that I was happy with.  I like the effect it can create, but wish you could just use the text as a .png as opposed to a whole picture.  Cost: $0.99.  2 out of 5 stars, not my fave.

I had to crop this photo in PowerPoint to make it look how I wanted


TypoInsta
Has the most diversity of all the apps here.  You can add multiple lines of text and freely manipulate them individually.  In addition. TypoInsta has its own filters and frames, so you can get the look of Instagram with text over it.  If you are looking to create Instagram type pictures with text, this is your best option, which is not surprising because it is part of the Instagram family.  The one thing I don’t like is that it is really touchy and easy to accidentally move an item while trying to manipulate something else.  All of THESE memes were made using TypoInsta, it is the app I have been using the longest.  4.5 out of 5 stars, highly recommended.

 
Remember the key to making good photo memes on your phone is that you first have to take good photos! 

In all of the apps you can take the photo right there or import a photo from your photo album.  So you can use other photo apps to create the best looking photos and then import them if you would like.  I am a HUGE fan of Instagram, but also like Comic Book for some projects.  And if you are a Instagram user, you might also want to try Hipstamatic, although there is a lot of additional cost involved.  I am not kidding when I say that there are more than 60,000 pictures downloaded on my computer (I had to buy an external harddrive) and over 6,000 pictures on my phone.  Mostly of Thing 1 and Thing 2 of course, but also of events and the various things I see that I think, “hmmm, I could make a meme of that.”  So there you have it, get snapping and get creative.

What are your favorite apps?  Tell us what and why in the comments.

Now For a Word From Our Sponsors: Booktrailers

A movie trailer is designed to make you want to go see a movie.  If they do it right, they show you just enough of the movie to get you interested so you’ll shell out your $14 bucks on opening night. A booktrailer is the same thing, except for books.  If you search online you can find booktrailers for a wide variety of books; some of them are made by publishers but many others are fan, and librarian, made.

You can use booktrailers in a wide variety of ways:
Put them online in your blog, websites and more to help stir interest in the books,
Push them to your FB fans by sharing them on your teen services pages,
Download them and loop them in your teen area,
Use them when visiting schools or in programming to supplement booktalks

Booktrailers are also a great way to get teens involved in learning about technology tools while learning creative ways to do book reports and presentations if you get them involved in the creation process.

Also, you can use all the information below to make trailers (or commercials) for your library, teen area, or teen programs.  Use your teen patrons or tab members as your focal point and then you get teen generated marketing and as we have discussed before, it really increases interest and personalizes the library.  I have made a couple of TSRC ads using photos of my teens in the past and they really respond positively to it.

So How Do You Make a Booktrailer?

Naomi Bates is a school librarian from Texas and she has an emphasis on making and sharing booktrailers.  She has put together a tutorial which she has shared at ALA for you to refer to.  Her blog, YA Books and More, is a great place to find book reviews and booktrailers.  Bates also has a Prezi presentation available that you may want to check out.

Other booktrailer creation resources:
Teacher/Librarian Michelle Harclerode shares a tutorial of her own at Book Trailers for Readers.
Author Nathan Bransford has a guest blog post at his page with an informative tutorial.
Wanda Richards has a youtube tutorial that you may also find helpful.
Joy Millam also shares information on how she makes booktrailers at Booktalks and More.
Judith Graves also has a discussion of booktrailers at Booktrailers to Die For.
Idaho libraries has also done a good book trailer project and you can get information from it.

Finally, here is an online book trailer manual by Dary Pattison that you don’t want to miss.  This site is chock full of tips and refers you to a ton of other good resources.  If you want to really look into booktrailers you must visit here.

And it is always helpful to have someone tell you what NOT to do, which they do at YA Book Shelf.

What Can You Use to Make a Booktrailer?

To begin a simple approach, you can try using Animoto.com.  You can sign up for a free account to make a quick, short video trailer, but the free account provides you with minimal choices.  If you find that you like Animoto, you may want to consider paying for an upgrade account.  In the past I have made a few of my own booktrailers in Animoto using the basic free account and they definitely get the job done and are a good starting place, but they are nowhere near the quality of many of the booktrailers that you find being produced by others online.  Also, Animito is limited to using still photography as opposed to video photography but it is a good place to start.

Many creators of booktrailers use Windows Movie Maker.  A free online project called JayCut can also be used.  A Flip camera is a great tool for making booktrailers.  And if you have an iPhone you can use iMovie or one of several Super 8 apps.  Some other resources used include Photo Story and Masher.

You want to apply they same tips of booktalking to making booktrailers.  And you never, ever want to give away the ending.  Your goal is to hook readers!

A Note About Design (and Rights)

When making trailers of your own, you’ll want to keep in mind some basic design tips.  You want to create a unified, consistent look throughout your trailer.  You want to choose a color scheme (no more than 2 to 3 main colors), font scheme (again, no more than 2 to 3 fonts) and an image type to weave the images together and make a whole.  Too much, or an inconsistent palette, is jarring and takes the viewer out of the moment and spoils your effect.  Remember that a movie trailer is typically 30 to 60 seconds; you don’t want to make it too long or give away too much information.

The right music is key to making a good trailer, but you want to be very careful about copyrights.  Animoto, for example, provides you with choices of music and has the rights built in.  When making a trailer on your own in formats such as Movie Maker, you want to make sure you search free music sites or clear any music rights necessary.  Many of these sites will tell you specifically how they want to be acknowledged in your piece so be sure to read and follow those instructions.  You can look at sites such as Freesoundtrackmusic.com, freeplaymusic.com, and creativecommons.org.

The other key element in creating good trailers is having good images, which are also subject to copyright.  The best way to avoid this issue is to create your own images using your own digital camera.  Be sure to check out TLT’s previous post on using iPhone apps to create some powerful images.  If you feel you can’t create the images you need for your trailer, you can also search online for free or pay the fee to use a wide variety of images at places like 123rf.com.  As with the music, you’ll want to make sure to read the terms and include any proper citations.

iPhone Hipstamatic + Word Foto

Where Can You Find Good Booktrailers?

Doing a simple search for “teen fiction (or young adult) booktrailers” at YouTube will produce some results.  You want to make sure when looking at the trailers to see who produced the work; as mentioned earlier some of them are fan produced so you’ll want to make sure to review them for quality and content just as you would the work it is representing.

Many author and publisher pages have booktrailers for their books so if you have a book in mind you can go online to see if there is a trailer to go with it.  Amazon.com also has booktrailers with some of their book listings.

At YA Book Shelf they have a recurring feature called Book Trailer TalksHere you can find a post about the 5 best animated booktrailers.  They briefly discuss the trailer for Tell Me a Secret by Holly Cupala, hands down one of the most amazing trailers I have ever seen.  This blog is both a good source of book trailer info and book trailers to share.

Booktrailer channels:
Bonner Springs City Library
Booktrailers.net
Booktrailers for All (lots of links to other booktrailer sites)
HarperTeen channel
No Wicki Productions
ScholasticTeen channel
TrailerSpy Young Adult Trailers Page
2011 Teens and Technology Booktrailers by libraries.idaho.gov
YALSA 2010 Teens Top Ten Nomination Booktrailers

And a little bit of research for you:
Cool Kids Read – Recruiting Young Readers with Book Trailers
ALA10: Lights! Cameras! Booktrailers!
The Book Trailer: Engaging Teens through Technology

If you find you enjoy making booktrailers, you may want to consider creating your own YouTube channel to share them on.  Teen librarians are always looking for good booktrailers to share with their teens so make sure you make them easy to find with thorough and accurate labelling.

Please share in the comments your favorite booktrailers, booktrailer channels, and booktrailer creation tips.

Generate Marketing Creativity with iPhone Apps

First off, I realize not everyone has an iPhone and I apologize.  Also, I don’t know if the apps are available on other form platforms, but if they are – I recommend you check them out. 

When trying to come up with images to promote activities, reads, etc – well, sometimes I just can’t find something I think will work well so I have had to find an easy way to go out and create them on my own. I am not super talented at this, nor do I have a lot of time, so I need quick, easy and cheap tools.  Thankfully, I have found there are a ton of iPhone apps that help me fill the bill.

Along the way I have come to understand that teens love it when you use THEM in your images.  How fun is it to walk into your local library’s teen area and be able to say to your friends, hey that’s me?  It makes it feel more personal and cultivates that same sense of ownership that librarian’s try to achieve through advisory boards.  Check to see if your library has a policy for the use of photos, and then get creating.  You can create images to share online, in marketing tools and to decorate your teen space.  You can also ask your teens to create images and share them with you so that you can use them this way.  This is a great way to promote your teen area, teen services in general, or specific programs and events.

Made in Publisher using a variety of pics and some Wordle art

Imagine clicking on a short promo video for a library’s teen summer reading club and seeing your friends promoting it – it gives it a sense of fun.  It’s the ultimate way of tapping into teens and their peer orientation.  And the bonus is that teens are more likely to spread the word if they have that type of buy in.

So, here they are

1.Hipstamatic – This is my favorite camera app.  The basic package starts at $1.99 and then you can purchase additional film/lens/flash packs.  You want to be sure and buy the additional b&w package for some amazing b&w images.  This is a simple point and click camera, but it produces the most amazing looking images.  You’ll want to practice with it to find out what combinations create which affects, but they have a new contest feature on the app which gives some examples and they tell you which combinations were used to create each image.  The only downfall to this camera app is that what you see in through the image finder is not true to what is being taken, the perspective is a bit off.

Made in PowerPoint using a pic taken with Hipstamatic

2.  Pocketbooth – This app lets you create a 4 image photo strip like you would take in a photobooth.  It is easy and fun.  You can create this type of image using a variety of software editing tools pretty easily, but this app takes the pictures 1 after another pretty quickly like you are sitting in the actual photo booth.  You can choose black and white or color so there are options.

3.  Wordfoto – This app lets you take a photo and input a saying and then it recreates the photo out of words.  There are some ways of fine tuning the way it looks, but at the end of the day some photos work well in this app and other do not.

4.  Photo Shake – This app lets you input a bunch of pictures and create a collage.  This is a more extensive tool that takes a while to figure out how to use it successfully, but once you do it is worth it.

5.  Zombie Booth – Who doesn’t love zombies?  Take a picture of a teen and zombify them.  Yes, I know that isn’t a word.  Max Brooks, the author of World War Z, also has a zombie app but it is kind of lame – but the book is awesome!  I prefer this app.

6.  Adobe Photoshop – It is a more simplistic version of the popular software, you can do less but it is easier to use.  Great for adding a border or making a picture tinted.

7.  Photoforge – This app let’s you manipulate pictures more extensively than the Adobe app, but it is more complicated to use.

8.  Color Splash – This app takes a color picture, turns and black and white, and allows you to colorize a part of the picture for emphasis.  It can make amazing images.

9.  Super 8 – This is a video camera app that allows you to make old Super 8 looking movies.  It is a tie-in to the recent Super 8 movie.  You and your teens can make some fun promotional videos with this app.

10.  Comic Book – This app is a quick, easy way to put your pictures from your photo library into a comic book format.  There are a variety of layouts, word bubbles, and stickers to add.
Each app is just a tool, and are only successful if you use them.  So practice.  Then you can use your images on your FB page, webpage, blog, signs, posters and more.  You and your teens can get creative and have fun.  You can work together, have contests, and promote, promote, promote!
Please note: I am not involved in any way with any of these apps and I make no money from recommending them.  I just like to use them in a variety of tools because they do what I need them to do.

Another great part about creating your own images to use in promotional materials – you don’t have to worry about copyright issues.
And let me take a moment to make the unconventional suggestion that your library purchase an iPhone for library use.  Not only will this allow you to have one in house for the purposes listed above, but it gives you a library cell phone to use should you be in a program and need to call for additional supplies or help.  And really, with the wide number and variety of apps available, you can do a lot of things with it.  And no, I am not paid by Apple in any way.