Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fines Suck, Wii is Fun

So I posted this idea a while ago, but the discussion last week on how to get people to fill out a survey got me thinking about it again.

You're trying to engage teens, right? Or just patrons in general, whathaveyou. And we've recognized that most people are cheap and want to get the library fines to go away as painlessly as possible. Plus, teens like people paying attention to them and competition that doesn't make them feel judged or like an outcast.


Teens versus the librarian in a contest of their choosing (within a set list of maybe twelve options). If you can beat me in xyz, I waive your fines.

So bring on the Mario Kart tournament, my Bowser will totally p0wn your Princess Peach, Random Example Teenager! YuGiOh? YuGiNo! As in no way are you beating me, *snap* *snap*.


Have a beat the librarian night, and either way you win. If they beat you, they love it, you've just gotten proof for the other teens that it can be done and managed to engage others in a cheap and easy way (word of mouth). If you beat them, they become even more determined to try it again--- let them sign up again for the next BEAT THE LIBRARIAN NIGHT, or best out of three it, depending on the situation.

(Also, provide snacks. That seems to be a running theme.)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Video Games

Okay, so here's my thought:

Kids are not as dumb as we seem to think they are.

Yes, teenagers can overestimate their abilities, caught up in the fiction that they are immortal and invincible, but they're not dumb. They know the difference between reality and fiction, and if they don't that's not because they're a teenager: it's because they've got serious psychological problems that library content choices can't impact.

We'd fight to let a teenager have access to a book that talked about sexual orientation, drug addiction, substance abuse problems, abusive relationships, dating advice, and a whole host of other issues that teenagers are actually being confronted with on a regular basis-- I really don't see the problem in letting them have access to a video game. Their real lives seem a lot scarier than whatever they could be doing in Grand Theft Auto.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Ways of Killing Twenty Minutes

Reading other people's blogs!

The Subway Book Club
Some guy on the subway checking out what everyone else is reading. I like this because a) it's well-written and b) I do the same thing, I'm just not articulate or well-read enough to know what to say about those titles.

Awful Library Books
Blog from a weeder going through terrible books in her library. Titles featured include such gems as "What to Do About Your Brain Injured Child" (happily rainbow colored-- your child may have cerebral palsy, but he is fabulous) and "So You're Adopted" (squiggly letters make things easier to deal with).

Everything is Terrible
Think of this as an informercial archive. Some person has all these old VHS tapes. Some person has enough time on their hands. Result: Awesome hilarity.