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Posts Tagged ‘teens’

And, no, that doesn’t mean we will spend all day scratching ourselves…

scratchday2 Scratch Day is on May 16, 2009 – follow the link above to find more info. It doesn’t say, but I think this is the first of its kind. If there are any librarians out there who have considered trying something like this I think this is a perfect opportunity to see what your community’s reaction would be.

Scratch is that great free program from MIT that allows anyone to create their own computer games and animations. It’s so easy even kids are using it. I know there are several libraries in the Chicago area that teach classes on how it works to get them started. There are even gaming days where everyone can come in and play the games they made! I was hoping to get something like that started when I was at Indian Trails Public Library, but I wasn’t there long enough. In respect to offering workshops in a library setting I like that the kids can not only create games but tell their own stories through animations they can make themselves.

There is also a program called Alice that I’ve played around with. I can’t say one is easier than the other, but they do work a little differently. There is a version of Alice called Storytelling Alice that I think might be good for the younger set, but I have yet to try it out on anyone but myself.

In any case, I think kids around the world would love to be introduced to the wonders of Scratch on May 16, 2009. So, if you’ve been thinking about it go ahead and do it. If nothing else you can bring some kids in to the library and let them play the Scratch games other people have created available on the Scratch home page. That’s plenty of fun on its own!

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I have a new favorite thing…

I’m not sure why I haven’t played it before gaming night for class last week – we own the game at my library, and the teens love it. Granted they tend to want it all for themselves, but when I said to one of them, “How come y’all have never asked me to play?” She reminded me that she had, and I was too busy… Well, that’s about to change.

After I got home from our lively gaming class, I dragged my guitars (on loan from my fantastic boss at Brookfield Public Library), plugged them in to my PS2 and started playing. Needless to say, I went to bed way too late that night… My boyfriend is now hooked as well, and we have both played every night since. I started a band, LIBRARYSTORR, and I’m getting pretty good – whittling down the high scores now, and I find myself humming Kansas songs all day that I never even liked before.

How does this apply to libraries? I know the teens love to come here and play, because they do. My library has two different monthly events where we have gaming, and they are very well attended. Our last Late Night at the Library saw 54 teens in the building for 3 hours!

How does me knowing how to play the games figure in? I can relate to them. When they see me jumping around on the DDR mats, a little of that authority figure intimidation is gone. It brings some humanity to the library, and to me as the librarian. And, of course, there’s nothing more illuminating than having a casual conversation with a 16-year-old about how hard Freebird is on Medium.

As I continue to hone my new, if a little obsessive, skills on Guitar Hero I keep in the back of my head the practice of a fellow teen librarian that I’ve been impressed with ever since I first read about it on Jenny Levine’s blog, The Shifted Librarian. Maybe some day soon I’ll be good enough that teens in Brookfield can challenge me to release fines or get cool prizes.

Here’s a video of my first-ever Guitar Hero performance with my classmate and friend Marlene on bass (I’m the curly headed one on guitar), recorded by another classmate and friend, Ruth – The Utopian Library. (I swear I’m much better at this now!) 🙂 If you haven’t already, give it a try and enjoy!

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Well, here it is. I finally got this edited and posted to the web last week. Hear the teens and tweens of The Brookfield Public Library doing podcast theatre!

It looks like the site where I’m hosting the podcast is having problems…  Looks like I’ll be moving to a new place on Monday, but I’m not at work and I don’t want to work right now, so here’s a direct link.

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