YA Clicks October 2015
Rebecca Purdy and the Web Surfers from the Central Rappahannock Regional Library
Remember when there was a much narrower definition of community, one that typically implied the ability to be in the same room at the same time? Now, thanks to the Internet, physical proximity is no longer a requirement or a barrier, and community can encompass the entire world! Folks with common interests can gather virtually and share their enthusiasm (or not) for anything, at any time, day or night, simultaneously, or whenever it’s convenient. The Web Surfers have evaluated some of these collaborative sites about everything your teens geek out about, including books, games, music, television, and more.
Through YA Eyes
2I 5R 5U
Take your favorite books, shows, movies, and more onto a whole other level with this website. Fans have taken it into their own hands to use their imagination and create amazing extensions on their favorite shows or books. From supernatural to Hannah Montana, the stories are endless. Whether it is another point of view from an aired episode, or an alternate world that you would never have thought of, this site will keep you entertained for hours. I will say that this site should only be read by older teenagers or adults because many of the stories are graphic and have topics around the subject of sex. However FanFiction.net allows you to write your own stories and share them with other people who enjoy the same subject; perfect for anyone with a creative mind!—Maddie Fernandez
5I 3R 4U
Goodreads is a useful site for keeping track of titles that you’ve read, are reading, and want to read, but it’s also a great resource for finding all sorts of information about various books. It’s easy to use; all you have to do is set up a free account and start adding books to your shelves. You can give books ratings and reviews to help fellow Goodreads users judge how great or not-so-great books are. Goodreads will make suggestions based on the books on your shelves, and you can follow your favorite authors to get updates from them. To-be-released books are sometimes visible on the site as well, so you can see what’s coming up in the literary world. Additionally, users can mark their progress in a book, but to get the page count right you have to select the correct format of the book you are reading, which is probably the only thing that’s hard to do on the website. For user convenience, there is a mobile application available for a variety of devices.
Ziff Davis, LLC
5I 5R U
M J S A
Do you find yourself craving the latest news in technology, gaming, and television? If so, IGN is definitely for you. The site has absolutely everything you need to know about your favorite games, movies, consoles, TV shows, and the hottest new gadgets on the market. It will constantly keep you updated so you will never miss important release dates or new game reviews. Instantly stream trailers and videos of gameplay and walk-throughs to enhance your experience. It has a vast amount of content that is constantly replenished on a daily basis, and offers endless hours of entertainment that will suit the different tastes of every gamer, movie fanatic, and television enthusiast. Since the website is also offered as an app for android and iPhone, its usability is effortless and convenient for users on the go. It’s also customizable and allows users to select their preferences and interests. IGN is a MUST for those who are dying for their entertainment fix!—Rachel Gonzalez
2I 4R 3U
Reddit is an online bulletin board system, consisting of news, entertainment, and social networking. The site is categorized into sub-reddits, which are different areas of interest (i.e. gaming, cooking, animals), and is vast, with endless amounts of content waiting to be explored. The endless sub-reddits could keep anyone entertained for hours, but it is not a credible source. Anyone with an account can add content, and some of the content on the website is explicit. The site is relatively easy to navigate with an easily found search bar and sub-reddit links in the header. However, the appearance of the website leaves much to be desired; it appears very cluttered, and the format slightly changes when you select different categories. A large ad takes up a majority of the bottom right corner and is practically the only graphic on the page. The site is incredibly interactive; it is made of account holder entries entirely, but some links take you to other sites, such as Imgur, without warning. Overall, Reddit is an excellent place to read forums on all things nerdy and to interact with other users who share the same interests. While the website design could use some work, this is a great place to exchange ideas and geek out over your favorite things.—Nalani Story
5I 5R 5U
This website offers all the latest news related to science; Health, Physical/Tech, Environment, Society/Education, and Quirky. Each tab has subsections so that it is much easier to find stuff of interest. This is a wonderful source, especially for young students who are required to stay up-to-date on their science readings. Until now I had trouble finding some good articles towards my interest in science, so this is great! It allows you to discover topics of interest and can help you make the grade. It is beneficial for people of all ages and very interesting to read and see what the newest discoveries are.—Hafsah Hussain
CBS Interactive, Inc.
5I 5R 5U
For someone with a busy schedule just wanting to make the most of their free time, this website offers guidance towards television information. It’s comprised of a list of the most popular TV shows so that you can stay up-to-date with what everyone else is interested in. They also post full episodes and videos from shows that you may have missed and make important clips available for you convenience, especially if you do not have time to watch an entire episode or TV show. They also have the latest news on TV shows, and it is interesting to read if you are interested in a particular show or want to know more about or a particular actor/actress. Overall, this is a great website for TV related information for everyone.—Hafsah Hussain
TVLine Media, LLC
1I 5R 4U
Where has this website been for all twelve seasons of Grey’s Anatomy or every time Pretty Little Liars has promised to tell us who A is? TVLine is a website where you can catch up on TV shows that you missed, read spoilers, and look at upcoming new shows. Instead of always going to each network’s website or trying to Google specific things about your favorite shows, TVLine has it all in one place. If you are bored or antsy for your favorite shows to come back, this is the solution to your problems. The site is easy to navigate and has different tabs to click on. For example, under hot shows you can find everything you need to know on all the popular shows from all of the TV networks. Looking for some new shows to sink your teeth into? Then the fall TV preview guide has got you covered, with summaries, cast lists, and trailers for you to watch on each show. It will also tell you what network the show will be aired on, the time, and the premiere date. Overall, this site is worthy of being bookmarked as your go to gossip and spoiler site, but if you are looking for something to help you do your homework this isn’t it.—Danielle Cornwell
Kudos for Library Teen Sites
Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library (KS)
While not specific only to the teens page, there are three clear options when you visit Topeka & Shawnee’s web site: “Check It Out,” “Download It,” and “Research It.” These headings are so clear that no further explanation is required; with a click, users find the information they need to complete those actions. Beneath that menu, the teen page content is clear, no hidden sub-menus here. The site’s primary focus is a series of blog articles on a variety of topics. Recent posts include a booklist of teen titles featuring babies, information on an upcoming event, Performer’s Place, where teens can showcase their talents, and an informative, carefully balanced article debating the merits of taking the ACT versus the SAT. One past post featured an interview of teen members of a local band that would be performing at their The Edge Teen Room. A menu of additional teen specific options appears on the right-hand side of the screen, including a page devoted to many of their teen specific programs, recommended Teen Safety and Health Resources, and Local High School Websites. While most libraries have a “Kids” and “Teens” subsection, Topeka & Shawnee are unique in that they also offer one for Tweens. Topeka & Shawnee’s Teens; Your Place offers much to explore and emulate.
Rebecca Purdy is the youth services coordinator for the Central Rappahannock Regional Library system in Virginia. The Web Surfers are a collection of teens willing to volunteer some of their time to help young adult librarians find good sites for their library blogs and Web pages.