"Press play @ your library" during Teen Tech Week March 8-14

Contact: Macey Morales

Media Relations Manager




For Immediate Release

March 3, 2009

Libraries offer access to gaming, music, movies and more in hard times

CHICAGO - At a time when disposable income is shrinking dramatically, teens from coast to coast are thinking twice before shopping in malls, buying movie tickets or spending money on video games. Why buy when you can borrow? During Teen Tech Week, March 8-14, teens will take advantage of the many free tech resources available at their school and public libraries.

Teen Tech Week, sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association, is an opportunity for libraries to showcase the many free tech resources available to teens, including gaming, audiobooks, online homework help and more. This year's theme is Press Play @ your library, which encourages teens to literally "press play" on digital devices @ their libraries, such as mp3 players, DVD players, gaming controllers, or by sharing their own videos, music and digital artwork with others library users.

"The library has proven to be an invaluable resource when it comes to the free programs and resources offered to teens throughout the United States," said YALSA President Sarah Cornish Debraski. "With the questionable future of the economy, it is more important than ever for teens to recognize that the library is a trusted resource for information and that librarians can help them develop the skills they need to get ahead. It also provides teens and their parents a cost-effective way to experience gaming, movies, music and much more."

Studies indicate that young people are adept at downloading their favorite songs from the Internet or instant messaging with their friends, but the majority lacks the critical thinking and information literacy skills needed to use online resources successfully for school and informational purposes. To gain the skills necessary to compete in today's world, teens need access to digital and online information and trained professionals who can help them use these resources effectively, efficiently and ethically.

According to the 2007 Public Library Data Service (PLDS) Statistical Report, published by the Public Library Association (PLA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), nearly 90 percent of the public libraries surveyed offer young adult programs, with more than half (51.9 percent) employing at least one full-time equivalent dedicated to fostering young adult programs and services, up dramatically from 11 percent in 1995.

Teen Tech Week is a national initiative sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association, the fastest-growing division of the ALA, and is aimed at teens, their parents, educators and other concerned adults. Promotional Partners include ALA Graphics, Evanced Solutions, Galaxy Press, Rosen Publishing, Simon & Schuster, Tutor.com and the Verizon Foundation.

DoSomething.Org is a Nonprofit Supporter. Teen Tech Week began in 2007 and has a general theme of Get Connected @ your library.

For more than 50 years, YALSA has been the world leader in selecting books, videos and audio books for teens. For more information about Teen Tech Week, visit
www.ala.org/teentechweek YALSA or for lists of recommended reading, viewing and listening, go to
www.ala.org/yalsa/booklists, or contact the YALSA office by phone, (800) 545-2433, ext. 4390; or e-mail: