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Videos promote reading
Teen filmmakers help libraries, win prizes

02/23/12



To promote participation in summer reading programs this year, public libraries are asking teenagers to “Own the Night.”

The 2012 Teen Video Challenge is back in business this year and it is accepting video submissions. This year’s theme is “Own the Night,” and this year teams are encouraged to incorporate dreams, astronomy, supernatural stories and other nighttime motifs in their videos.

“It’s an effort to engage teens to help promote reading at public libraries during the summer reading program,” said Ann Hoey, youth services librarian at the New Hampshire State Library. Hoey coordinates the program.

Public libraries in New Hampshire belong to the Collaborative Summer Library Program, which is a national program involving every state. CSLP coordinated the Teen Video Challenge last year, in which students in grades 9 through 12 would create 30- to 90-second public service announcements promoting public libraries and summer reading programs. New Hampshire was one of 21 states to participate last year. This year, every state has signed on, Hoey said.

“We’re excited about having this program and we’re proud that New Hampshire was willing to jump in last year in the first year,” Hoey said.

“They are very creative,” Hoey said of last year’s videos. “They are kind of cute and creative. … Kids took very interesting takes on themes.”

The 2012 Teen Video Challenge is co-sponsored by the Young Adult Librarians of New Hampshire, which is a section of the New Hampshire Library Association.

Individual teenagers can enter a video, or groups of teens can create videos. Participants must be 13 to 18 years old and be legal residents in New Hampshire. Teens do need to follow guidelines for copyrighted materials. Participants have to fill out a waiver form, which essentially amounts to a permission slip.

Each state’s winning video will join with other state winners to be used to promote summer reading across the country.

Last year, a majority of videos included the same music, which was at the program’s suggestion. This time around, program officials decided they wanted things a little less uniform. The program will still provide music suggestions, but there would not necessarily be standard music, Hoey said.

“They have a lot of creative license,” Hoey said. “I think kids had a lot of fun last year putting these together....”

Last year, New Hampshire had nine submissions, which Hoey said was pretty good since bigger states didn’t get much more than that. She said New York, obviously a much larger state, had about 20 entries. Hoey said she had to disqualify two or three entries last year because of paperwork issues, and so judges looked at five videos last year. 

The winning team gets a $275 check and the winning team’s library gets $150.

Hoey hasn’t received any videos yet, but she said that’s not surprising. She said she expected submissions to come in a day or so before the deadline, which is March 12. She figured a number of students would work on their videos during February vacation.
“We’ve certainly had interest,” Hoey said, adding she’s hoping for quite a few submissions this year.

Judges are looking for creativity, how well students capture or interpret the theme and how well teams promote the idea of reading in public libraries, as well as the overall quality of the film production.

The finished products will be uploaded to YouTube and Vimeo.com. Hoey is hoping the State Library will sort of adopt the winning video as its own to play in libraries and to help promote the summer reading programs.

Each participating state sends representatives to an annual meeting to develop all the summer reading programs. The themes and slogans are decided two and three years in advance. At the annual meeting this year, representatives decided on themes for 2013 and 2014.

Visit nhlibrarians.org/yals/CSLP2012.htm.
 






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