Monday, October 25, 2010

Plugged-In Tweens

The virtual world has opened up a lot of opportunities for today's youth beyond social networking sites and Twitter. Technology is improving ways that tweens can stay connected and up to date with what interests them. As librarians, we should keep our eyes open for new trends in their online world.

As I was browsing online, I found an article in USA Today, about tweens being more socially responsible. I thought that in comparison to when I was in that age group, some 10 years ago, there have been more opportunities to help out and volunteer available simply because it is easier to make people aware of the cause through the Web. When I was a tween, I wasn't very aware of the ways I could help beyond the occasional comments made at school or on kids' programs… mostly the educational ones, though Disney and Nickelodeon did show kids doing good deeds and encouraging viewers to do the same.

This article by Sharon Jayson (2010) is about tweens that "have created their own non-profits, and… websites enlisting the support of kids like themselves who also want to help others." Reading about these kids who are in middle and elementary school is inspiring and makes you want to encourage others to think outside the box in ways to help a good cause.

I think that with so many issues, like poverty, natural disasters and concerning the environment, being in the media so much, that tweens are using their natural thirst for knowledge to become informed and then try to make a difference. As librarians, we should remember to insert some nonfiction recommendations that may interest those tweens that we see showing concern about global issues. Creating displays that link volunteering and doing good deeds with the nonprofit websites made by peers their own age would raise interest in helping the global community.


References:

Sharon, J. (2010, October 14). Tweens reach out to help others at home, globally. USA Today, 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=J0E033722884310&site=ehost-live

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