Media literacy

Connecting with teens in urban communities through media literacy


CHICAGO — Information and digital literacy are essential skills for surviving and thriving in today’s media-saturated world. But minority and economically disadvantaged youth in urban communities often lack these critical media literacy skills. Offering a multi-faceted perspective, Jimmeka Anderson and Kelly Czarnecki’s new book Power Lines: Connecting with Teens in Urban Communities Through Media Literacy, published by ALA Editions, guides those who serve teens in libraries towards implementing innovative and transformative learning experiences. It features a preface by Belinha S. De Abreu and a preface by Chance Lewis. Librarians and YA specialists who serve urban youth in public, school and university libraries:

  • better understand how factors such as lack of information and communication technology literacy, insufficient internet technology and access, and inequity in education expose urban adolescents to a high risk of media and information illiteracy;
  • receive practical and strategic advice for successfully connecting and creating spaces for adolescents in urban communities, exemplified by reflections from adolescents, stories from librarians and educators across the United States, and voices from scholars in the field;
  • learn about several successful media literacy programs that have been implemented in libraries and communities, from Hip Hop Studies at Virginia Tech to podcasting for young people, a zine club, the Black Girls Film Camp, and more. and
  • find a toolkit of additional resources such as sample documents, sample lesson plans, and information on books and websites.

Anderson is an author, media literacy educator, advisor and consultant for several national organizations such as the American Library Association, Women’s Sports Foundation, New America, US Department of Education’s Office of Education Technology and WestEd. Currently, she is a project manager for the Cyber ​​Citizenship Initiative with the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE). She is the creator of Black Girls Film Camp and the founder and executive director of I AM not the MEdia, Inc. Jimmeka has been featured in WIRED Magazinethe Washington Post, on the NPR “1A” program, and in “Trust Me,” a documentary released in the fall of 2020. Czarnecki is the director of the teen library at the ImaginOn branch of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. She was also the 2021-2022 President of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). Czarnecki developed, implemented, and managed new library programs serving the Charlotte Mecklenburg community in North Carolina. Some of its programs have achieved national recognition from YALSA. She has also contributed extensively to adolescent and library literature, particularly with a focus on technology, and has worked for over twenty years with homeless people who are housed.

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