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YA Clicks: Web Sites for Young Adults and Their Librarians, June 2013

Here We Are Now, Entertain Us

Rebecca Purdy and the Web Surfers from the Central Rappahannock Regional Library

June 2013

Are your teens tired of surfing the same old sites day after day?  Are they ready for something fresh, new, and fun? Books are always an option and librarians are always armed with suggestions, but here are some Web Surfer recommended sites to chase away those summertime blues, when things turn from relaxed to bored.

Through YA Eyes

Addictinggames.com [1]

Nickelodeon

2I 5R 5U

M J

This is a great website for those who are bored and looking for something fun to do online. There is a vast number of games, each with its own age rating. Many are family-friendly and offer hours of enjoyment. There are a few games with educational properties, but most are just for fun. The site is very navigable, and there is a search bar to help you find a specific game and a genre list, for those who have no idea what kind of game they are looking for. All-in-all, this is a fantastic website that can easily relieve the stress that school puts on teenagers.–Brandi Roland

bored.com [2]

Bored.com

1I 5R 3U

M J S

This website is great for when someone is bored with a bunch of free time on their hands because once you start, you can’t stop. Bored.com offers a huge variety of games appealing to people of every age and ranging from shooting to cooking.  Hours can be spent exploring the whole site and there are categories to choose from, allowing you to scroll through to see what games to play. They also have apps for the iPhone and iPad and even other gaming site suggestions to explore even more fun. I would definitely recommend this site.  After all, who wouldn’t want to be shooting zombies right now?–Vincent Lin

Instagram.com [3]

Instagram

3I 5R 5U

S

Do you love photography? Well, if you do, there is a website that is perfect for you! By visiting Instagram.com, you can connect with your friends and with people around the world, to share everything that is going on in your life.  You can take pictures of family, friends, pets, places you have been, or anything that has caught your eye. The website, which is easy to use, has a very bright and joyous appearance. You can upload your own pictures, or visit your friends’ accounts and like, or “double tap” them. There is also an easy-to-use app and Instagram can also connect you to other social networking sites. There’s never a dull moment, because you can always search for something that will interest you.  Getting started is easy. All you have to do is logon to Instagram.com, set up an account, tell your friends to follow you, and then you are on your way to enjoying this picture wonderland! It’s the perfect website to just sit back, relax, and occasionally laugh at, anytime you want.—TyShiana Powell

Tumblr.com [4]

Tumblr, Inc.

3I 5R 5U

J S

Have you ever wanted to not only connect with friends, but connect with them over similar interests? Tumblr is a free, easy-to-use site that integrates social networking and blogging in one neat package. The interface allows for easy navigation through friend’s blogs, and the ability to reblog videos, chats, audio, or photos. Tumblr also gives you the opportunity to do a variety of things all at once.  Say you want a blog for staying in touch with friends and sharing your personal life, but also want to have a blog to talk about your favorite shows; Tumblr allows for you to manage both blogs at the same time without making a new account for them. You can find useful information about subjects by searching through tags, and then tracking them if they interest you. The one downside of Tumblr is that there are no parental controls, so a certain level of maturity is advised before using the site.–Katelyn Snyder

1I 5R 5U

M J S

Do you ever wonder how your friends put up cool pictures on Instagram or maybe those sloth quotes? Most of them go on Tumblr to find pictures that are interesting, which include favorite celebrities, foods, and fashions.  Tumblr offers surreal pictures of things you could not imagine and lets you reblog pictures that you find interesting. It shows gifs which are short little films, but is also a photography site, showing some of the best photographs that can be captured. It has over 100 million blogs and 50.5 billion posts and beats out Facebook for being the most logged on website. Create an account and you can to talk to the people you reblog on Tumblr (or use the anonymous tool) and write little comments under the picture you reblogged.  Tumblr is a great site to go on if you are bored or just want to find pictures that interest you.–Deja Gray

Tvtropes.org [5]

TV Tropes Foundation, LLC

5I 5R 2U

S

Many unassuming media connoisseurs have stumbled onto TV Tropes, but few ever leave. This website is easier experienced, but the best explanation is “a comprehensive online database of TV shows, books, movies, and other forms of media and the ‘tropes,’ or archetypes, that they share.” It has a simple interface, just a white background and some text, but type in your favorite movie or book, and you’ll be able to read about all of the quirky archetypes/tropes it has, as documented by other fans (“tropers”). For such a simple website, it’s surprisingly well-organized.  When I searched Harry Potter, I found links to pages for nearly all the books, movies, video games, parody musicals, and fanfictions. My personal favorite trope is “Absurdly Powerful Student Council,” poking fun at the trend in the media to portray student councils as actual bodies of policy-making and reform, but an example of a trope seen in the Harry Potter series is “Adaptational Attractiveness,” which points out that nearly every character in the movies is attractive, even if Rowling described them otherwise. Bellatrix Lestrange is the most obvious offender. The website is even kind enough to hide spoilers, which can be revealed if the hidden text is highlighted. While it’s always good as a time waster, I’ve used this website before to help me with an archetypes assignment in my mythology class. For occasional language, I’d recommend it for high schoolers and older, but truly anyone who appreciates media and the archetypes they share will fall in love with TV Tropes and waste hours upon hours exploring its many pages, just as I have.–Kira Zahedi

Youtube.com [6]

YouTube, LLC

5I 5R 4U

J S

When you’re at home and have nothing to do, YouTube is the perfect place to have some fun. Kick-back and relax to watch some funny videos or entertaining DIY tutorials! YouTube has many informational and comical videos to enjoy. YouTube has different categories listed on the side panel if you want to narrow your search. Each category leads you to a list of videos in that topic, making your search easier. YouTube even offers free and full-length movies which come in one video so you don’t have to watch it in parts. Have something to share? You can make your own videos and easily upload them to the site and use YouTube’s video editor to enhance your video. This is a great site for those who need some entertainment.—Aribah Hussain

Kudos for Library Teen Sites

Evolver [7]

Denver Public Library (CO)

 

Evolver grabbed my attention immediately!  The homepage of this visually appealing teen site uses nine tile-shaped icons to showcase current highlights.  The multiple images have a similar color scheme on a black background and avoid overwhelming the viewer.  Hovering over each tile changes the picture to a few words or a sentence describing what’s behind each click.  Some of the highlights include a contest for teens to submit an application to make their program or event idea a reality, a photo of author Jay Asher with some teens promotes their teen podcasts, and another promotes the grand opening of their Idea Lab, a digital media lab just for teens.  At the top of the homepage, visitors can choose from a variety of content subjects like “Homework” and “Fun,” which then offer sub-headings to further allow users to refine their search.  Strong teen participation is present, providing teen-rated and reviewed movies, books, and writing.  Denver Public Library staff have done a great job creating a site that offers not just teen appeal, but substance!

Purdy headshot, used with permission [8]Rebecca Purdy is the youth services coordinator for 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 their library blogs and Web pages

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