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“Psst…It’s OK to LOL at the Library”

October 15, 2007

Reno, NV – There's nothing like a dose of humor to get teenagers to do something they might not otherwise try. This week, libraries across Nevada are inviting teens to "LOL" -– that's Internet shorthand for "Laugh out Loud" -- to encourage them to take a new look at what their local libraries have to offer. John Crockett, of the Incline Village Library, says teens will soon find today's library is anything but stuffy.

"Teens do read a lot. It's just the way that they're reading is changing. So, we're showing them that the library embraces new technology; that we're tech-savvy and Internet-savvy."

Crockett says reading not only improves a teen's schoolwork, but it also helps get them acquainted with issues to prepare them for voting in a few short years as adults. But this week, teens will be steered toward humorous titles, and even funny Web sites, so they can truly "laugh out loud" at the library.

Julie Ullman is the director of Youth Services and Programs at the Spanish Springs Library in Sparks. She says one good book often leads to the next, so the trick is getting teens into the library with topics they enjoy.

"It's not what we think they should be interested in, but what they actually are interested in, ‘Guitar Hero’ tournaments and Manga or Anime clubs, so they can learn that maybe that the library is not just a place with old, dusty books, but actually has something for them as well."

Ullman says more and more Nevada teens are reading what some would call nontraditional fare, from gaming manuals to Internet Web sites.

"Even when they're on 'My Space,' they're reading email and postings from their friends. But if you ask them if they're reading, they wouldn't think of that in terms of reading, because generally they think of books as 'reading.'"

"Teen Read Week" runs through Saturday at libraries across Nevada. Learn more about it on the Web site of the American Library Association,

Michael Clifford/Eric Mack, Public News Service - NV