All About Adolescent Literacy

All about adolescent literacy. Resources for parents and educators of kids in grades 4-12.
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MySpace pages and Facebooks

In the last few weeks, I feel like I've been bombarded with a new fear — that teens are using MySpace and other online social media rather than reading. And that this is harmful, making teens (and adults) dumber.

At the recent American Library Association conference, I attended a session about the future of libraries. At this meeting, I noticed a curious dichotomy: librarians are embracing MySpace and Facebook, making pages, and trying to meet kids where they are. However, "techies" at the event were encouraging libraries not to forget about the books!

Some studies show that the amount of time teens spend on reading is shrinking; yet, other research shows teens are buying books at a faster rate than ever before. So what's really going on?

I believe the truth is somewhere in between. Teens are reading less and they are on MySpace more. But many teens are using social networking sites to make connections with authors (some of whom have profiles of their own) and to list their favorite books, something that both MySpace and Facebook feature prominently.

What is the responsibility of those of us who love books and reading? Continue to learn about good books and share your enthusiasm with teens, but don't rail against the new technology. For more on this, read what first-time young adult novelist and "techie" Cory Doctorow has to say in Locus magazine.

Also stay tuned to information coming from YPulse. In just a few weeks, they will host their second YPulse mashup, a conference aimed at "reaching today's totally wired generation with technology." More importantly, YPulse will dedicate an entire preconference to books and reading!

Who says technology and print have to be separate?


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