No threat at DDR

All the kids who hang out at teen night at the Chatfield Public Library have nothing to fear from me — I’ll never beat them at DDR (Dance Dance Revolution.) It was fun to try it, though. Monica, the Chatfield PL Director set up DDR as a demonstration for the other librarians as a warm up for their regular meeting yesterday. A few tried it, more watched. But what a great thing they’ve got going in Chatfield for the kids. Now here’s another one of those “if I had a library posts” . . . .

Of course, if I managed to keep my feet in the center of the controller, I’d have done a lot better.
Monica and Barbara

However, 2 of my colleagues have it down to “perfect” — Congrats AJ and JP! How cool is this?
Aurora and Jonya

Pimping library carts

From the Racine Report blog of the Journal Times . . . . yesterday the Racine Public Library (in Wisconsin) had a “Pimp my Cart” contest for teens. Sounds like the 12 kids who participated had a lot of fun. The contest was based on the MTV show “Pimp My Ride.” The kids tricked out library carts, and the library has pledged to use the book carts, although it sounds like one of them, dubbed “Road Kill” and made out of parts from an old Honda motorcycle and two wheels from a Chevrolet Camaro, will have trouble cruising the aisles in the stacks. All the carts will be displayed outside during Monday‚Äôs Hot Rod Power Tour in Racine.

Racine Public Library joins many other libraries in trying novel ways to appeal to kids and get them to the library. Good for them!

What I find remarkable is the public comments (21 of them at the time of this posting) that follow the blog post — many of which miss the point of the activity and use the opportunity to bad mouth the library. Here are some examples (exact quotes):

  • Computers and the internet have reduced library use! Millions of books are being “digitized” and will soon be available on the web! Libraries are offering many new services and gimmicks in their attempt to “survive”! Unsupervised internet access for children, coffee shops, DVD rentals, travel tours, gimmicks like this! The libraries know in the years to come, they face extinction!
  • This is sad. The library sets the bar for our youth so low that MTV can make it over. It is insulting to the teens of Racine. They should have more respect for our youth!
  • Will the library director eventually concede this was a dated, contrived, and somewhat demeaning promotion?
  • Honestly, I’d prefer my kids stay away from the libraries– with no limits on the content the patrons can access on the internet, no limits on what kids can check out (R rated movies included), and the declining quality of juvenile literature (did YOU know that your 11 year old is considered a YOUNG ADULT? The YA designation references a great number of books that contain graphic teen sex, violence, drug use, many of which are NOT in any way appropriate for 11 year olds, or most teens in general, if you care at all what your kids are exposed to).
  • I think the library needs to grow a pair and impose appropriate limits on what kids can check out and what adults can access on the internet. How simple is that? Apparently not simple enough.Until that happens, I’ll discourage my older kids from hanging out at the library. We’ll teach them about sex and drug use and the wiles of internet porn in our own time, thank you very much.

Uff-da! Here’s a public relations challenge for the Racine PL director. Here’s hoping for a turn in the comments trend.