Libraries and adolescents meet on the net

The Kaveri website

The name of Kokkola City Library’s website for adolescents is Kaveri. The content was planned and implemented by librarian Hanna Saarimaa and library clerk Ulrika Dahlbäck.

Juha Peräneva designed the appearance of the website as part of his master’s thesis. The website was published in 2004, in both Finnish and Swedish. Kaveri was primarily designed for boys and girls in secondary school. The site’s address is http://lib.kokkola.fi/kaveri /index.html

The idea behind the website’s design was for it to be clearly distinguishable from the children’s pages and attractive to teens by dealing with topics interesting to them. The teens themselves were also involved in designing the website.

“The library’s section for children and adolescents organised a contest and a drawing to gather suggestions for a name for the website and for topics that would be dealt with on the site. These suggestions were used on the site and a name was also found among the suggestions.”

The Kaveri website is clear-cut and contains many different types of materials pertaining to the lives of teens. The site contains information and links to information regarding studies, hobbies and, of course, teens can make information searches. There is a list of the library’s material, as well as presentations of movies, books and music available at the library. There is also a trivia contest and many regional links included.

The ‘information search guide’ presents the three phases of information search and looking for information in the library: looking for information, looking for information on the Internet and, in particular, searches concerning authors. The teens themselves are also actively involved in making the website. Under a title dedicated to their own articles and critiques, they have their own book, movie and music critiques, as well as prose and poetry.

“The articles and critiques written for the website come via email to the maintainers of the website, so the content of the articles can easily be monitored. Censorship has not really been necessary; we have been able to post everything we have received.”

Maintaining and updating the website is not difficult, there are many people who are involved in updating it. Ulrika and Hanna tell us, “The website is updated when it looks like the pages need something new and when the links begin to get old.”

Other websites for young people

Hämeenlinna City Library’s Nuorten Pakki website is a clear guide to students preparing a presentation or a more in-depth research project. In fact, the website also includes other material, for example writings and critiques by teens. The website address is http:// www.htk.fi/kirjasto/pakki/pakki.htm.

Pirkkala’s municipal library has book presentations for teens on their website. There are many book presentations on the website and they are divided into the headings ‘young adult book presentations’, ‘teen book presentations’ and ‘non-fiction and foreign language book presentations’. Pirkkala’s municipal library’s website address is http://www.pirkkala.fi/sivistys_ja_vapa a-aika/kirjasto/nuorten_kirjaesittelyt/

Helsinki City Library’s Vimma website is graphically stylish and clearly directed towards teens. Readers can send in book critiques and their own fictional writings and they eagerly take advantage of these opportunities. The website also has, for example, the quiz Triviaa, a serial story and instructions for writers. The website address is http://pandora.lib.hel.fi/vimma/

Mervi Heikkilä
Library Director
Nurmo municipal library
mervi.heikkila AT nurmo.fi

Translated by Turun Täyskäännös

Director of libraries, Seinäjoki