July 6, 2011
I attended a workshop while I was at ALA titled “Trends in YA Services: Using Mobile Devices to Serve Teens” which I thought was excellent. There were four speakers from libraries in New York and Texas, as well as two teens from the New Orleans area who were giving their feedback about services libraries are providing.
The gist of the program was that while access to computers remains spotty across socio-economic backgrounds, practically every teen has access to a mobile devices. One of the teens mentioned that the iPad is the “most desired” devices for every teen. The Nassau County Library (New York state) has developed a teen reads app that was clean and simple, but still useful.
It got me thinking that this is probably the best way libraries could reach out to teens. Creating useful apps and resources that will be used by teens outside of the library, but will still connect teens with libraries. However, as I’ve seen mentioned several times recently (at ALA and in other online content I’ve read), libraries don’t seem to be embracing the app. This is a challenge we should embrace and figure out.