Connecting Teens with Technology at the Library presents a balanced view of the often complex relationship between teenagers and their technology. This book will help support fellow teen-serving staff nationwide in program creation and collection development on this relevant topic. Throughout the chapters, the authors take a lens of inclusivity to address the needs of many teens-not just those that are avid users. While programming is central to most books about teens and technology in the library, this read goes beyond a mere listing of program ideas or reviews but offers practical advice for linking these technology programs with real-world applications such as future careers and community partnerships. The authors provide options of low-tech and high-tech as well as how to engage youth during the pandemic and beyond. The book also explores areas of connecting teens with technology beyond programming and into areas of mentoring and community building; the foundational blocks of the library. Whether readers are just starting out in libraries or are a seasoned library worker, this book has tips to engage every reader in welcoming teens to the technology resources of the library.
With Connecting Teens with Technology at the Library, Czarnecki and Harris have created an essential manual for working with teens through and with technology. From matching your program with the library’s mission, to developing your professional and teen collections with technology centered materials, to sample programs that your teens will love, this book has everything you need to create an impactful technology program that works in and out of the library.
Kelly Czarnecki completed her MS in 2002 and MEd in 2001 at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana. She worked at the Bloomington Public Library in Illinois for four years as the young adult services librarian. Czarnecki started at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library at the ImaginOn Branch in 2005 as the teen librarian and is now the teen loft manager. She has over twenty years of experience in working with persons experiencing homelessness who are sheltered. Czarnecki has contributed extensively to the literature on teens and libraries, particularly with technology as a focus. She is currently a columnist for Tag Team Tech with VOYA.Marie Harris completed her MLIS at the University of North Carolina Greensboro in 2018. She began working for Charlotte Mecklenburg Library in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 2012 in the Loft at ImaginOn as a teen library services specialist. While in this role, she worked with Kelly Czarnecki to plan many technology-related programs for teens, including facilitating the use of Studio i digital media lab for individuals and groups, planning and implementing a Google Maker Camp series for preteens and teens for two summers, collaborating with community experts to bring coding to the library, planning and implementing dozens of technology-related programs for the public, and partnering with a community teen robotics team. She is currently employed as a branch leader at the Cornelius and Davidson branches of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, where she manages a team of fourteen library staff members.
Series Editor’s Foreword
Part I Getting Started
Chapter 1 Technology and Today’s Youth
Chapter 2 Technology Setup
Chapter 3 Funding Technology
Chapter 4 Aligning Technology Programs with Your Library’s Mission
Part II Connecting Teens with Technology
Chapter 5 Mentorship
Chapter 6 Career Readiness and Exploration
Chapter 7 Partnerships and Collaboration
Part III Technology in Practice
Chapter 8 Tech without Tech
Chapter 9 Making, Makerspaces, and the Maker Movement
Chapter 10 Collection Development
Chapter 11 Sample Technology Programs
About the Authors
Czarnecki and Harris outline successful methods for creating spaces that allow for the exploration of technology for teen library patrons. The authors are teen librarians whose work at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg public library has created a standard for teen maker spaces. Each chapter carefully outlines the steps necessary not only to create a teen maker space but also to implement programs and maintain technological relevance; the authors also discuss where to find inspiration going forward. The magic of this text is that it takes the time to discuss the ever-changing world of computer technology and to explore how to connect teens with technology that isn’t just digital. Not every tech program needs expensive equipment and computers—chapter eight outlines the possibilities of “Tech without Tech.” The text is clearly aimed at teen librarians, but the authors themselves suggest that anyone working with teens in a space that allows for a connection to technology will benefit from its lessons. The index makes for easy searching and each chapter’s title allows for quick scanning when a deadline looms.
In a post COVID world libraries have proven to be even more essential, yet high need groups such as teens can easily get left behind with lack of funding or advocacy. Czarnecki and Harris give a thoughtful hands on approach for making a case for technology services geared toward teens and how to align that with your library mission. This book also tackles and gives solutions for how to maximize virtual programming and how the library is a platform for teen growth and development. Use this book as your guide to keeping teens engaged and present at your library through COVID and beyond.
COVID-19 has forced libraries to pivot and provide services in a new way, often utilizing unfamiliar technologies or resources. Czarnecki and Harris's indispensable handbook covers creative and realistic methods to plan, advocate, procure funding, produce and evaluate teen tech programs, with methods that are useful through the pandemic and beyond. The dozen or so best practices that are scalable for any sized school or public library serving teens are the icing on the cake. Never heard of iGens? Wondering how to add some lighting to your iPhone? Intrigued by the concept of analog tech programs? Start here.