Using Social Media and Mobile Technology to Engage Teens


Today’s teenagers and college students live, work, study, and communicate in a world where social media and mobile technology are ubiquitous. Emerging research even suggests that students’ brains are developing differently as a result of their connected, technology-driven world.  Even tech-savvy librarians can feel challenged reaching out to this age group using these tools. In this weeklong workshop Jennifer LaGarde will show you how to engage with teens by “speaking their language,” using technology to connect with young adults on their own level. You’ll also learn how you can harness social media and mobile technology to build innovative library programming and instruction. 
This workshop will take place during the week of November 12, with each of the four 60-minute sessions starting at 7:30pm Eastern. Attendees will be given brief readings and activities which can be completed either during or after the event.
Topics include:
  • Day 1: Connecting with Today’s Learners
    • How today’s learners are different
    • An overview of the tools you can use to connect with them
    • Self-assessment: Where do you and your library currently stand with this population and your outreach to them?
  • Day 2: Social Media Tools
    • Introducing social media tools
    • “Play time” with social media
    • How to engage and stay current
  • Day 3: Mobile Apps
    • Overview of mobile technology—Android, Apple, and others
    • How teens and college students use their mobile devices and apps
    • How libraries are using mobile apps to connect with teens
    • Staying current with apps
  • Day 4: Tying it All Together
    • Building programs and library instruction based around social media and mobile
    • Using social media and mobile technology as tools for assessment
    • Using social media and mobile technology as tools for library marketing and advocacy

Learning Outcomes

After participating in this workshop, you will have a better understanding of how to connect with teens through social media. This will give you the ability to enhance your outreach to teens through both programming and services.


Jennifer LaGarde is the lead librarian for New Hanover Schools and the teacher librarian at Myrtle Grove Middle School in Wilmington, North Carolina. She is also a National Board Certified School Librarian. The Advocacy and Governance Chair for the North Carolina School Library Media Association, she was a founding member of NCSLMA's Young Adult Book Award and co-manages the NCSLMA website. In 2011 she was awarded the "I Love My Librarian Award" by the ALA, Carnegie Corporation of New York and The New York Times, and was also named a Mover & Shaker by Library Journal. Author of the blog The Adventures of Library Girl, she proves you don’t have to be a superhero to teach Middle School, but having a cape sure helps.


How to Register

You can register at the ALA Store by going to for an individual registration or for group registration. 


Dan Freeman, Online Learning Manager, ALA Editions/ALA TechSource