For immediate release | August 30, 2022

Connecting with teens in urban communities through media literacy

CHICAGO — Information and digital literacies are essential skills to survive and thrive in today’s media-saturated world. But minoritized and economically disadvantaged youth in urban communities often lack these critical media literacy competencies. Offering a multi-faceted perspective, Jimmeka Anderson and Kelly Czarnecki’s new book “Power Lines: Connecting with Teens in Urban Communities Through Media Literacy,” published by ALA Editions, guides those who serve teens in libraries towards implementing innovative and transformative learning experiences. It features a Foreword by Belinha S. De Abreu and a Preface by Chance Lewis. Librarians and YA specialists who serve urban youth in public, school, and academic libraries will:

  • gain insight on how factors such as lack of information and communication technology proficiency, inadequate technology and internet access, and instructional inequity place urban teens at high risk for media and informational illiteracy;
  • receive hands-on and strategic guidance for connecting successfully with and creating spaces for teens in urban communities, illustrated through teen reflections, narratives from librarians and educators across the US, and voices from scholars in the field;
  • learn about several successful media literacy programs that have been implemented in libraries and communities, from Hip Hop Studies at Virginia Tech to youth podcasting, a zine club, Black Girls Film Camp, and others; and
  • find a toolkit of additional resources such as handout templates, sample lesson plans, and information about books and websites.

Anderson is an author, media literacy educator, advisor, and consultant for several national organizations such as the American Library Association, Women’s Sports Foundation, New America, US Department of Education’s Office of Education Technology, and WestEd. Currently, she serves as a Project Manager for the Cyber Citizenship Initiative with the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE). She is the creator of the Black Girls Film Camp and the Founder and Executive Director of I AM not the MEdia, Inc. Jimmeka has been featured in WIRED Magazine, the Washington Post, on the NPR program "1A," and in “Trust Me,” a documentary released in Fall 2020. Czarnecki is the teen library manager at the ImaginOn branch of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. She also served as the 2021–2022 president of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). Czarnecki has developed, implemented, and managed new library programs serving the Charlotte Mecklenburg community in North Carolina. Some of her programs have earned national recognition from YALSA. She has also contributed extensively to the literature on teens and libraries, particularly with technology as a focus, and has worked for more than twenty years with people experiencing homelessness who are sheltered.

Many book retailers and distributors are experiencing service disruptions or delays, including Amazon. For speediest service, order direct from the ALA Store. ALA Store purchases fund advocacy, awareness and accreditation programs for library and information professionals worldwide. ALA Editions | ALA Neal-Schuman publishes resources used by library and information professionals, scholars, students, and educators to improve programs and services, build on best practices, enhance pedagogy, share research, develop leadership, and promote advocacy. ALA authors and developers are leaders in their fields, and their content is published in a variety of print and electronic formats. Contact ALA Editions | ALA Neal-Schuman at

Related Links

Power Lines: Connecting with Teens in Urban Communities Through Media Literacy

"Media Literacy for Justice: Lessons for Changing the World"

"Student-Created Media: Designing Research, Learning, and Skill-Building Experiences"


Robert L. Christopher

Marketing Coordinator

American Library Association

ALA Publishing & Media