YA Clicks June 2007
Fun, Fun, Fun!
REBECCA PURDY AND THE WEB SURFERS FROM CENTRAL RAPPAHANNOCK REGIONAL LIBRARY
School is out and teens have a little extra Web browsing time.We all know that YouTube and MySpace can provide hours of entertainment, but what else is out there for teens in the world of online entertainment? Be careful—while you are reviewing sites for teens, you could get carried away yourself.
YA LIBRARIAN’S CHOICE
Internet Movie Database
Here’s the site to visit when you know that you’ve seen that actor before, but you can’t quite place him. Is that guy on Heroes Rory’s ex-boyfriend from Gilmore Girls? The Internet Movie Database can provide the answer. Simply type the name of any movie or television show and find a list of stars. Follow the link to the name you want, and find other movies in which he was featured or guest appearances that he made before becoming famous. It’s addictive!
Most of us have come across magnetic poetry on someone’s refrigerator; now it’s online and free! “Choose a kit” and spend hours creating your own “magnetic poems.” Themes include “Romance,” “The Poet,” “Genius,” or “The Artist.” The site is very user-friendly and self-explanatory. Visitors drag words from one side of the screen to the other to begin writing. The only tricky part is reading the words from which to choose, because they are piled on top of each other. If you are particularly proud of your poem, register for free and submit it so that others can enjoy it as well. One especially nice feature is that you can e-mail your poem and share your hard work with others.
THROUGH YA EYES
America Online, Inc.
5I 5R 5U
With all the YouTube hype, many Web surfers are looking for good alternatives to that wildly addictive site. You might search and search “free online videos” on Google, but you will never find a better “free” music player than Music.AOL. The library of songs is—simply put—incredible. Type in any artist’s name and you will find his latest work. You can even view whole concerts! You’ll also find top songs, new releases, and even AIM interviews. Who said that music was limited to the PC? You can sample music and then download it onto your MP3. Sweet! The Web site also features creative music videos; many of them are humorous.
Many are only available at Music.AOL. If you are looking for a well balanced, fun music Web site, then Music.AOL is for you. There is no other place to get more music.—Chris Cai.
4I 5R 3U
This site is amazing; it’s educational and fun at the same time because it is a great way to be creative and practice your reading and writing skills.Visit the site and find a book (or Anime/Manga) that you like, or choose from other categories such as TV Shows and Games. Once you find your book or show, you can write what you think will happen next or read what other people think. Writing and submitting your own stories is one of the best parts. Sometimes you can also find letters from the author. In the letters, the author might explain parts of the book that you don’t understand, or give hints about the next book. Writing letters to
the author is also fun, but when authors are writing books, they have a hard time responding to everyone. —Maya Mardini.
0I 4R 3U
HomestarRunner is a great comedy site that has been around for years. Filled with seriously silly humor, catchy tunes, and fun games, it never gets old. The original idea came from a children’s book, The Homestar Runner Enters the Strongest Man in the World Contest, published in July 1996. Then it was made into another children’s book and finally found its way onto the Internet. It has since become an instant hit and a popular site for young and old alike. If you decide to visit this site, make sure to watch some Strong Bad e-mails, along with some of the short, one- to five-minute “toons” made over the years.
The site also has games that go from simple sidescrollers to complex text and graphics-based games. The site is updated frequently, and even has a store so you can buy shirts and other clothing to support your favorite characters. Have fun.—Kurt Vinnedge.
0I 3R 4U
Quizilla has really good quizzes on everything from IQ to what high school stereotype you are. There are stories categories where people who write fanfiction can post, and there’s also a section for poetry. In their ranking system, people can rank quizzes on how much they like them, and Quizilla also has a top 25 list. Quizzes are organized by categories provided by the authors. You can have a friends list and can message and talk to other people, and also create your own profile. Membership is free, and members of Quizilla can write and post their own quizzes as well as poems and stories. Some quizzes can be really nasty, but you can choose an age level. Because anyone can post, there are some really bad spellers out there, which is very annoying. Overall it’s a great way to kill time if you’re extremely bored.—Courtney Buzzard.
Central Rappahannock Regional Library
3I 4R 4U
Okay, you’re probably thinking it’s really cliché to review our own library’s teen site. What can I say? Teenspoint is really interactive. If you like being heard, look no further. You can submit reviews of Web sites and shout out your opinions, which has always been really important for me. I’m sure that many people are tired of being unheard. The site is obviously run by the library, so you can expect information on poetry, books, and the like. However, they do add an upbeat touch; reviews like these make the Web site fun and somewhat addicting. I would advise anyone to try it if you’re looking for a site where you can chat and cool off. Hopefully you can see my reasoning. —Chris Cai.
Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
4I 4R 4U
Whenever you’re looking for information on a certain topic, be it for a school assignment or for your own enjoyment, it’s often tough to find accurate information on the Internet. When Wikipedia, a free online encyclopedia, was introduced in 2001, this problem was solved. The encyclopedia contains a wealth of articles on different topics ranging from science to pop culture. The interface of the site is very easy to navigate. Since most people come to Wikipedia looking only for the articles, the main page has a simple design with a basic search engine and an article of the day. The articles are usually pretty well-written
and informative. But because articles are edited by users, the information in them might not be completely accurate or unbiased. Occasionally a few articles have some faulty information. Nevertheless you can get quick and reliable information on practically any topic you can think of at Wikipedia, so overall the Web site is an excellent resource for all kinds of information.—Kevin MacArthur.
KUDOS FOR LIBRARY TEEN SITES
Seattle Public Library
One of the first things that you see at this site is the friendly, welcoming face of Jennifer, Central Library’s Teen Librarian, inviting you to visit the Teen Center’s MySpace (http://www.myspace.com/splteencenter) and read the latest teen book reviews. Teens are also invited to check out the “Teens Calendar” for upcoming programs (such as an All Ages Arts Night) and Ask a Librarian. The basic areas you would expect (“Homework Help” and “Reading Lists,” for example) are in place, but Seattle Public’s site goes beyond the usual. Audio is provided of teen participants in library spoken-word opportunities, reading their work aloud!
[Note on the Kudos section: If you think your library blog, wiki, podcast, or site is worthy of consideration, please e-mail me at email@example.com. The Web Surfers and I will surf submissions and choose one to showcase for each column.]
Rebecca Purdy is the Youth Services Manager at the Headquarters Library of the Central Rappahannock Regional Library system in Fredericksburg, Virginia. The Web Surfers are a collection of teens willing to volunteer some of their time to see their names in print and help young adult librarians find good sites for your Web pages.