Coming Soon the Winter 2014 Issue of YALS

When YALSA members (and YALS subscriber) open up their mailboxes in mid-January they will find the winter issue of YALS. And, even though the issue won’t be in mailboxes for a few more weeks, it’s definitely time to let you know what’s going to be worth reading in the issue.

2014 Teen Tech Week logo - theme DIY @ your library

The winter 2014 YALS theme is Teens, Tech, and Learning (just in time to help you get ready for Teen Tech Week (TTW) 2014: March 9 – 15):

  • The theme for TTW 2014 is DIY @ your library and TTW Committee members Carla Avitabile and Christie Gilbrich write about a host of ways to celebrate the week with teens at your library. All of the ideas give those working with teens the chance to have teens participate in planning TTW programs. They also connect DIY ideas to learning. For example, building a makerspace and maker projects with and for teens gives everyone the opportunity to gain critical thinking skills, problem solving and troubleshooting skills, as well as skills related to STEAM topics.
  • Tiffany Williams, another TTW 2014 Committee member, writes about the value of integrating technology in library programs and services for teens. She discusses the digital divide that separates those who have tech skills from those that don’t, and the library’s key role in helping to bridge this divide so that teens are able to succeed in academic and career pursuits. Continue reading

Michigan Makers (Winter 2013)

by Rachel Goldberg, Media Specialist, East Middle School (Plymouth MI)

Note from YALS: The winter 2013 issue of YALS focuses on technology and teens. Read this article to learn about more ways that libraries are integrating technology in programs and services for adolescents.

Michigan Makers is a collaboration between several graduate students at the School of Information at the University of Michigan, a faculty member at that school (Kristin Fontichiaro), and me (a School of Information somewhat-recent alum). During the 2011-2012 school year, I started an after-school computer club at the request of several students who enjoyed coming to the library to play on computers. These students had once taken an ed tech class with me in which I introduced them to Alice. From Alice, I showed them Scratch, and from there, I started teaching them Python. That year, I also taught them about computing basics, like binary code and what it means to “debug.” In order to plan for each week’s computer club, I relied on books and online tutorials (thanks to Dr. Chuck Severance, who made his Python course freely available).

But my students wanted to program and I am not a programmer. I am, however, approximately twenty miles away from the School of Information. I reached out to graduate students interested in community informatics and eventually found a core group of future librarians who were curious about new, inexpensive technologies designed with budding computer programmers in mind. The graduate students and I began to talk about the possibilities that tools like the Raspberry Pi or the Arduino had the potential to afford my curious middle school students and, in short, Michigan Makers was born.

Now, almost one year later, we’re at a place where we can look back, thoughtfully, and see what worked, what didn’t work, and what we can do differently as we move forward.
Continue reading