From digital train tickets to fitness tracking devices, technology is a constant in our daily lives. While some may just be the trends of our times, digital literacy is more important today than ever. We have all of these electronics at our fingertips, but what about the ones geared toward education and experience beyond college?
Teen Tech Week (TTW) is when libraries showcase digital resources and services available to teens to help them succeed in school, prepare for college, and keep up with the constantly changing 21st century. The weeklong event is sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) in conjunction with the American Library Association. Industry experts speak on internet services and sources throughout the week, including this year’s national spokesperson for TTW, young adult author Gene Luen Yang. Each day during TTW, a different expert took over the YALSA Twitter account and answered questions on topics including web literacy to library makerspaces.
The Twitter takeovers included non-profit digital literacy group The LAMP who promoted various skills on how to access social media resources, media comprehension, and the broadening of perspectives. Gene Luen Yang, author of the new series the Secret Coders, also chatted with students interested in speaking with him and the Teen Tech Week Committee. ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy wrapped up the week by promoting library access to electronic resources.
At Helen Plum Library, we have several sources to help students and life-long learners. Some recommended resources by our own Teen Services Librarian Katie include NoveList, a site for reading lovers looking for similar titles to a favorite book, and Zinio, an online resource that allows you to read a variety of magazines, including your favorites, on your computer, smartphone, or tablet. For those looking for homework help, Katie suggests Tutor.com, an online site with one-on-one help available daily for students between 10am and midnight. And last but not least, is General OneFile, described as the “one stop shop” for general research needs on locating those elusive sources for that last minute paper.