As tweens and teens are spending more time online, they face temptation to veer away from books. The truth is that no matter what they're doing online, they are still reading. Going online and looking for something involves various search strategies that they have to employ – sometimes googling isn't enough and they must problem solve their way to finding what they're looking for.
These days many book or author related web sites offer a wide variety of activities and bonus material that enhances the experience. Encouraging tweens to explore the websites of their favorite authors/books would give them an inside view into the author's thought process when writing, a better breakdown of characters or any other interesting tidbits. Some authors post playlists of music on their sites as well as personal thoughts on blogs, creating yet another connection with readers (Beaman, 2006). Author websites also allow a connection with fans – librarians should encourage readers to try and communicate with their favorite author if they want to know more about the book they read and why it was written in a certain way as well as possibly finding out clues to what will happen next.
As for librarians, from a professional stance we can provide and promote media and information literacy to tweens by sharing resources. Creating web pages on the library website that offer a collected list of the author websites of tween books or web pages of resources for projects will help not only connect tweens and teens with the information they are seeking but show that the library is meeting their needs. If librarians also wrote blogs with book reviews and other musings related to tween interests then maybe this would encourage tweens to explore the reading choices we are recommending.
Beaman, A. (2006). How technology is enhancing the pleasure reading experience for teens. Knowledge Quest, 35(1), 30-33. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database at Persistent URL: http://libaccess.sjlibrary.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=22900553&site=ehost-live
Gilton, D. (2008). Information literacy as a department store: Applications for public teen librarians. Young Adult Library Services, 6(2), 39-44. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database at Persistent URL: http://libaccess.sjlibrary.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=28717245&site=ehost-live