On the August Library page: Educating teens to be web-savvy; Book Review
7/30/2014 8:23:43 AM
CyberSmarts encourages kids to make wise choices online
By Sarah Robertson
The Liberty Lake Municipal Library now offers a program to help tweens and teens safely navigate the online world and earn a gift card at the same time.
CyberSmarts is an online program for middle and high school students comprised of five interactive eBooks that teaches teens how to safely use text messaging, email and online chat features. CyberSmarts uses guided simulations to provide hands-on experience for young users in a safe, controlled environment.
Pamela Mogen, director of library services, said the library is aware of how the Internet has become a big part of residents' lives, especially students.
"But familiarity with technology does not equal safe or careful use of it," she said. "Internet etiquette and safe practices are so very important today. Helping teens and their parents understand how to use the Internet safely is a vital part of our mission."
With CyberSmarts, tweens and teens learn to manage their online identities wisely. Topics include creating a safe online profile, dealing with cyberbullying, online privacy, using social networks, choosing appropriate usernames and passwords and maintaining a positive online presence.
The purpose of CyberSmarts is to give tweens and teens the tools they need to use the Internet responsibly, as well as prepare them to handle the surprises or dangers they may encounter. Not only do tweens and teens gain the tools they need to safely utilize the Internet, but the program also gives parents and caregivers peace of mind and confidence in their children using all forms of the Internet. Since adults cannot constantly hover over children using a computer, tablet or smart phone, CyberSmarts works to alleviate fears by preparing tweens and teens for the realities of Internet use.
Perhaps the best part of CyberSmarts is its convenience. The program is entirely online via an interactive eBook collection and can be completed at home by parents and their children. Each part of the program will issue a printable certificate upon completion. Students who receive all five certificates can take them to Liberty Lake Municipal Library to be redeemed for another certificate and a gift card.
Mogen sees CyberSmarts as a way to fulfill the library's mission to offer educational enrichment.
"We believe that cyber safety is too important not to address," Mogen said. "Safety online and proper usage of this powerful resource by children is a concern of parents and caregivers."
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How to use CyberSmarts
Click on "Teen CyberSmarts: Staying Safe Online" at the bottom of the text.
When prompted, enter "llml" as both the username and password.
Once you have entered the site, you can create a profile and keep track of your progress.
After you have completed each program and printed certificates, bring them into the library to redeem for a gift card.
For more information about CyberSmarts, contact the library at 232-2510.
Looking to the future
In addition to CyberSmarts, Liberty Lake Library Director Pamela Mogen would like to add a similar online program for teens that would address financial literacy. She is currently seeking funding to support this type of program.
If any patron or business is interested in helping to fund this endeavor, please contact Mogen at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Book Review: Novel explores relationships between people, books
By Daniel Pringle
Liberty Lake Municipal Library
"The Storied Life of A.J Fikry" is a mash note to books and reading culture. Author Gabrielle Zevin defines her characters through their taste-the police chief who reads crime novels, the novice publishing rep in love with a sentimental memoir. A.J., though, a bookstore owner on small Alice Island, doesn't like anything: postmodernism, post-apocalyptic settings, literary fantasy, children's books, novels by reality TV stars, too long books, too short books. His sole admitted weakness is for short-story collections. A cantankerous widower and moderate alcoholic, his only consolation is eventually retiring on the proceeds from a rare edition of Poe's "Tamerlane."
Then "Tamerlane" is stolen, and A.J. loses even that fantasy. Until one day he returns to the shop to find a two-year-old girl, Maya, with a note pinned to her shirt from her mother. She wants Maya to be raised among books, by book lovers. Against his better judgment, A.J. adopts Maya.
Seeing the world of books open up to a child opens A.J. up to the world, reluctantly. He has a chance to rewrite his second act and create a new family around Maya and fellow book lovers that will withstand life's challenges. A.J. and his friends understand life through the books they read, and when they must make sense of abandonment, death, dishonesty, love and disillusionment, books give them the language and the tools they need. Zevin's funny, warm-hearted novel is a book about books and those of us who believe that what we read tells you who we are.
Daniel Pringle is adult services and reference librarian at the Liberty Lake Municipal Library.