Williamsburg Regional Library Celebrates Teen Tech Week

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Williamsburg Regional Library staff will use their Mobile Library Services vehicle to visit three neighborhoods to provide tech training in addition to their regular services. (Courtesy Williamsburg Regional Library)
Williamsburg Regional Library staff will use their Mobile Library Services vehicle to visit three neighborhoods to provide tech training in addition to their regular services. (Courtesy Williamsburg Regional Library)

The Williamsburg Regional Library will be celebrating Teen Tech Week next week with two initiatives designed to spread the word about the resources available to Historic Triangle teens at their local libraries.

Teen Tech Week – an annual event sponsored by the American Library Association – kicks off Sunday and is all about “showcasing the digital resources and services that are available through the library to help teens succeed in school and prepare for college and 21st-century careers,” according to a recent news release from the library.

In an effort to promote digital literacy throughout the week, Williamsburg Regional Library will be hosting a series of neighborhood visits throughout the week as well as accepting submissions for a technology-oriented Instagram contest.

The neighborhood workshop initiative is a partnership between librarians at the Williamsburg and James City County libraries and their colleagues at Mobile Library Services.

Experts from all three branches will be stopping by the Burnt Ordinary, Country Village and Lafayette Square neighborhoods on Monday, Tuesday and Friday, respectively, to lead training sessions on how to take advantage of library resources remotely on their e-readers and tablets.

“Digital access to library collections eliminates the constraints of transportation and time that can stand in the way of teen library use,” said Rachael Nelson, WRL’s Adult and Teen Services librarian. “It is important that we let teens know about these sources as they are reliable and legal, where some sources they come across online are not.”

A Williamsburg Regional Library teen advisory group member demonstrates how to "bookface." (Courtesy Williamsburg Regional Library)
A Williamsburg Regional Library teen advisory group member demonstrates how to “bookface.” (Courtesy Williamsburg Regional Library)

Attendees at the workshops will learn how to legally download free music, books and magazines as well as tips on how to do research for school without leaving home, according to the release.

All participants at the training sessions will receive free earbuds and a chance to win one of two e-readers.

While the neighborhood training sessions are aimed at teaching teens useful research skills, the “Bookface” Instagram challenge is taking on the lighter side of Teen Tech Week.

Bookface is an Instagram trend that “involves strategically lining up your face or another body part alongside a book cover that features a matching body part so that there appears a melding of you and the cover art,” according to a library news release.

The trend has been embraced by numerous bookstores and libraries around the country, Nelson said, and WRL was eager to issue the challenge to local teens as a fun way to highlight both reading and technology.

Teens are encouraged to submit their entries by March 12 in order to take part in the contest and be eligible to win one of three prizes- a $20 Target gift card and two canvas swag bags stuffed with buttons, advanced reader copies of books and other “fun, nerdy, gift-y items,” Nelson said.

The winners of the contest will be randomly drawn March 14 and the library will contact them via phone that day.

Click here for more information about when and where the neighborhood training sessions will take place. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own device if they have one and reservations are not required.

To enter the Bookcase contest, email your entry as a .jpg file along with your name and phone number to teens@wrl.org by March 12. Multiple submissions will be accepted per applicant but each individual is only eligible for one prize.