medialab update

Six people came to my “convert VHS to DVD” class yesterday, four of whom I’d never seen before. A few teens are using the medialab stuff. Slowly, slowly people become aware of the stuff being offered in the library. It’s not quite “build it and they will come” unfortunately. Somehow I need to make people aware that this stuff is here, and that it’s fun/useful to use it.

I’m working on a grant right now to get more makerspacey stuff: 3d printer, sewing machine, screen printing machine and painting supplies. I hope I can get this moving.

As for the older teens in my town: WTF? Are you telling me there’s SO MUCH to do in this tiny town, that you never even consider using the library? Hellooooooo, anyone out there? Why can I not get anyone over the age of 15 in the library? Do you flee the town as soon as you get your licenses?

(Can’t say I blame you, I was a teen in a small rural town–but mine didn’t have an awesome library filled with cool tech toys and rad programs.)

Didn’t-Even-Graduate-High-School-I-Was-So-Desperate-To-Leave, Illinois

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Chris Crutcher rules.

Next time you want to get a book for your thirteen-year-old, send her to Barnes and Noble with a few bucks to buy what she wants. Take a look at it. Read it with her. Talk about what you like and don’t like, and learn what she likes and doesn’t like. Don’t make her read it; the freedom to read includes the freedom not to read. Put yourself into that enviable spot of being someone to turn to when your daughter’s life, from her point of view, matches up with some book, because as much as you think — or hope — it won’t, trust me, it will. When it does, if she thinks she will be diminished in your eyes, she’ll go elsewhere for help.

from the Huffington Post

I can’t think of any way to better express the idea that teens NEED to read what they CHOOSE to read. So. What he said.

One commentator said:

The market offers a myriad of choices for the young adult reader. Twilight or Vampire Academy may be full of dark magic, but there are other series books that offer teen readers light fun stuff, such as the Clique or Gossip Girl books.

Wow. I’d much rather my kid read Twilight (as awful as it is) than the nasty, vindictive, money-obsessed Gossip Girl books. And I gladly tell her so, as she reads both. And lots of both terrible and fantastic books. This is the kid that recently said “Because of books, I learned how to be a person.” So I’m not too worried about her reading choices.

As for the teens I help to find books every day–they often love the dark, the dangerous, and the out-and-out grim. Living vicariously through these lives, which may or may not reflect their own lives, and which may or may not creep their parents out, helps teens experience different kinds of decision-making and consequences. They learn how to be people. It’s awesome.