Barack, L. (2013). Talking teen engagement. School Library Journal, 59(6), 12-n/a.
The Chicago Public library teen section has a podcast that started off with the youth librarian learning as the kids learned. They did this together, even though Taylor Bayless, the librarian, had no previous knowledge present. Not knowing how to do something is not an option. Bayless states that "Someone working with youth has to have the capacity and desire to learn new technology." It is important to bring out the creative talents of all students who enter the library and if media is one of these outlets, it must be fostered.
However, if social media is also being used, there needs to be lessons in regards to digital citizenship. Privacy issues, fair use, digital footprints, these are all lessons and conversations that need to happen. At times, students are not aware of who may be viewing the information they share, how that can reflect on them, and how they can post on social media, yet still protect themselves. Chris Shoemaker, states that this is important to do before anything is posted so that you are not having a teenager pull something down after the fact. By talking about proper social media use instead of having rules and regulations to determine their behavior, the students are able to take ownership of what they create and what it is reflecting.
Once you have students taking ownership and being proud of the work they are doing in social media, it can only benefit the library and the program after that. Bringing friends to the library to share in the fun and work they have been doing shows that the use of media can be successful. When the students then decide to post on their own social media pages about where they are at and what they are doing, it will only encourage questions and conversations about where all these amazing things are happening. "Brother Mike" Hawkins, associate director and lead mentor at YOUmedia's Digital Youth Network says it best when he states that "If students see something cool, and they see a place where adults care about them, they're going to promote it more than we ever could." This could be the huge difference for a library with no marketing budget to bring students into their space.
I think this is a smart way to use media in the library. Even if nothing is going online and the media stays in house, the students will see a safe place for them to create and explore. This is a great place to teach digital citizenship as well. To then turn media use into social media use to promote the library is brilliant. I have always believed that ownership is the most important thing for a student to have, regardless of what they are doing. It works when you have them putting together a library display and it works when you have them creating something with media, even if it never gets posted. However, for it to them be posted online can create another level of a sense of accomplishment.