Friday, August 14, 2009

Archived posts: IFLA 2008, day 5

The final session I attended was one of the best!

Session title: Libraries for Children and Young Adults - Setting sail for new horizons: what tools do we need and want?

1. Canada's Teen Reading Club with KIRSTEN ANDERSEN (Greater Victoria, Public Library, Canada)
The Teen Reading Club (TRC) is a library-based online social network that connects teenagers who enjoy reading. Any teen can join the site and participate in the discussion groups, and any librarian can act as a moderator. The site contains many features, including functionality for teens to recommend books to each other (“because we know that peer relationships are paramount at this age!” and, as added incentive, “each time a teen submits a book review, he/she is eligible to win a prize”), librarian-created booklists, tagging for reviews, discussion forums moderated by librarians, chat (including online author chats!), and a “Your Words” section where teens can post their own writing and get feedback from peers. The site runs all year, with higher participation in the summer. Kirsten mentioned that TRC has recently expanded into partnerships with libraries in New Brunswick, which made them aware they need more French content, especially for future plans to expand into Quebec. This is an obvious place where OPL librarians could make a contribution! Kirsten reminded us that TRC functions at no cost to individual libraries and involves over 590 libraries and 65 librarians. Some participating libraries simply promote the club to their teen patrons, and others run in-house programs or conduct local-level prize draws.
Other random TRC stats:
  • 3,000 teens signed up
  • 30,000 posts to the discussion forums
  • Most users ever online at once was 170 on September 8, 2007. This would be considered excellent turn-out for any library program!
  • Last summer 704 different teenagers posted book reviews and a total of 2,968 teens registered overall.
  • The most reviewed books were the Harry Potter books, Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, and The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants by Ann Brashares.
  • However, hundreds of different books were reviewed in over 4,000 reviews.
Final editorial comment: Kirsten Andersen is one of my absolute librarian heroes, and one of the influences for me entering library school, after we worked together. It is always a pleasure to hear her speak, as her enthusiasm for teen services and her love of teens and reading is palpable!

2. A quels défis votre bibliothèque a-t-elle dû faire face? Comment y avez-vous répondu? Cas du Bénin with BÉATRICE LALILON GBADO (Bibliothèque départmentale de Parakou, Benin)
Discussion of La Semaine béninoise du livre de jeunesse, a book week program focusing on representations of Africans in books (Béatrice began publishing folktales and the Editions Ruisseaux d’Afrique publishing house was founded) and library visits for schoolchildren in Benin. In 2008, the 10th book week had 39 participating libraries and more than 5000 new children’s books distributed (through NGO donations and other government book promotion schemes). The program also succeeded in revitalizing the local library network and strenthening the local publishing industry.

3. 2020 Mars Express - towards the future children's and young adult's library with LO CLAESSON (County Library Jönköping, Sweden), ANNA GULSTRAND (Regional Library of Västra Götaland, Sweden) and ELISABET HÅKANSSON (County Library of Skane, Sweden)
This interesting program focuses on getting children and young adults involved in developing and designing their space in the library, and is based on Howard Gardner’s educational theories about multiple intelligences. Libraries should play with: words (linguistic intelligence – this one is fairly obvious for us!), pictures (spatial intelligence: colours, materials, structure of the library, windows, furniture, etc.), music (musical intelligence: having a music room, instruments for lending), self-reflection (intrapersonal intelligence: quiet spaces, reading rooms, theatres, fireplaces, sofas), physical experience (bodily-kinaesthetic intelligence: ladders, sofas, climbing walls, skateboard ramps, playground outside), social experience (interpersonal intelligence: group work rooms, café, friendly helpful staff (!!!!)), experience in the natural world (naturalist intelligence: plants, fountains, maps, a nice smell in the library!). Questions to ask in the process include: How can interaction with the library space develop? How can you strengthen language and stimulate the joy of reading with new techniques? How can you develop meaningful participation for children and young people when it comes to developing the library space? The project organized focus groups with children and incorporated their drawings and 3D models into renovation plans. The web site for the project acts as a resource for other librarians interested in the project.

This concludes my IFLA report! For more info, check out:
• The IFLA Express daily conference newsletter

On the drive home, Matt Abbott and I visited the Bibliothèque Gabrielle-Roy. One interesting thing: they loan art prints for 58 days for $3.50!!

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