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Youth Services

Page history last edited by Dave Macneil 7 years, 7 months ago

How do you attract tweens and teens to Discover? What about parents of small children? This section will explore some ideas and features of Discover that may assist in helping youth services on a day to day basis.



Parents of Small Children

Through 2012 and 2013, we have gradually been adding enhancements to the Discover catalogue, many which serve to offer better services to our younger patrons and their parents. Since Discover pulls records from all of our collections, as mentioned earlier, one of the most prominently placed refine sections in now Target Audience. Whereas our old children's catalogue limited its search results to material from the childrens' collection only, Discover retrieves material from all collections for every search. This fact alone can be useful, as quite frequently children will find material from the adult collection is better suited to their needs than similar titles produced solely for children, and vice versa.


However, whenever desired, a simple click in the Target Audience section will allow you to refine your search to show either Adult, Teen, Childrens' or Preschool age materials. Slightly below the Target Audience Refine facet is another for Reading Level. This breaks down the Children's portion of our collection even further to where we can refine by first chapter books, preschool and school age picture books, toddler books, etc. Discover pulls all of this content out from our bibliographic records and provides them as facets in the Refine toolbar. These facets allow you to drill down to find items being sought, or to discover items with certain criteria.


The screen capture to the right shows a portion of the Refine menu after performing a basic search for the word Christmas. Note the many ways you can refine your search through these facets.


Also, remember you can sort by library location, which allows you to provide items that are available and in your branch that day!


Tweens and Teens

Review it! Tag it! Save it or Share it!

What are your friends reading? Want to create your own personal booklist or post your absolute, all-time favourite book to Facebook? Now you can!


Will this grab the attention of your Tweens and Teens? Maybe, maybe not. But it is important to understand that Discover no longer operates as just an inventory for finding items, but rather a tool for sharing, discovering and creating your own content.



Parents of teen readers have expressed their teen’s interest in sharing favourite books through Facebook, or seeing what their friends are reading. In fact, what friends are reading is a strong influence on their own reading choices. SIM Professor, Vivian Howard, has examined this in her research, wherein she has studied teens and pleasure reading, targeting Nova Scotia teens in her research.


As a result, the social aspect of Discover may have the power to attract our younger patrons, so long as they (and we) know how to use it.


Tagging, Reviewing and Creating Lists with My Discoveries

We all know how to tag. We find a book, movie or other item we like and add a tag that’s meaningful to us - perhaps a “to read” tag, “favourites,” or a term we feel that isn’t included in the subject headings, but representative of the item.


What if we asked our Teens and Tweens to create tags? Perhaps it’s a joint effort, where Teens all use the same tag, such as TEENFAVES10 or ask them to jointly create a reading list for a specific topic. For example, what are Teens reading on the topic of sex or abuse? How do we do this and have our patrons stay anonymous?


For something that involves tagging their favourite books using the tag TEENFAVES10, they would simply use their own My Discoveries account. Using the TEENFAVES10 tag, they could search the list as it grows (by their own creation and that of their peers rather than staff). The tag name could be linkable from the Teen website, by sharing through social media, or by texting!


Building a list based on a tag

  1. Staff create a tag and ask teens to add that tag to books that are relevant.
  2. Teens login to My Discoveries and find books associated with the tag and tag their items.
  3. Staff create a link, as described in the section Creating Reading Lists, or they can ask the Collection Access Librarian for assistance. This link can be added to the Teen website, where the actual tag would by hyperlinked to the results in the catalogue, or it can be shared through Facebook, Twitter, email or by texting a friend.

While the anonymity of the user is protected, a great motivator may be to give a prize for or recognize the “top tagger” for that list and display the usernames for those top taggers on the Teen website.


This same idea can be done with reviewing or list creations - where top reviewers or list makers are featured on the Teen website.


Imagine a scenario where there are a handful of teen book clubs throughout several branches. Perhaps each book club has their own My Discoveries account and there’s a competition among the clubs for the best reviews or most interesting reading lists...The possibilities just need to be explored!


Building lists created by Tweens and Teens on Controversial, Private or Embarrassing Topics


While some tagging, lists and reviews are easy to make and can often be lighthearted, a Teen who may share his/her username with friends may still feel uneasy about tagging books about controversial topics. My Discoveries is a great resource for staff - creating a generic My Discoveries account that can be shared by a group of Teens who want to put together a list of important resources to Teens, created by Teens, but they don’t want to use their own username to do it.


Discover enables a level of collaboration and sharing not just in a social media sense, but in a community sense, where the creators of resources can be made by peers within the community, with the guidance from staff. And, this sharing and collaboration isn’t restricted to the HPL community. All of the My Discoveries features share their information with other AquaBrowser public libraries throughout the world. For example, a tag added by a patron in Tantallon can be seen by a patron in Queens, New York (another library who uses AquaBrowser). As a result, the community we share and collaborate with can be as big or small as we want it.



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