Time is running out . . . Vote!

So, remember when you got that email from ALA that gave you the link so you could vote? Yeah, you’re right; that was a month ago. But you still have three days left to vote: voting closes on Friday, April 25. Now is the time to dig through your email, find that link, and go ahead and vote.vote

As of yesterday, 16.6% of ALA members had cast a ballot in this election. That’s a pretty low voter turnout. We don’t have numbers for YALSA members specifically, but in the past, voter turnout for YALSA has been around 20%. Still, that means fewer than 1000 people are making the decisions about things that might matter to you: who serves on YALSA’s Award committees (Printz, Edwards, and Nonfiction), and who serves on YALSA’s Board of Directors.

In March, this blog had a whole series of posts to give you information about the candidates. Every weekday, starting February 26 and running through March 19, there was at least one (and usually two) interviews each day with the candidates. You can find them easily by going to the drop-down menu labeled “Categories” on the side of this page and selecting “Election.”

For even more details, including complete biographical information on all of the candidates, check out the sample ballot.

YALSA is a member-driven organization. That means it’s up to YOU to vote for the people who will be representing you over the next few years.

Don’t let any more time go by. Vote.

Sarah Flowers, Chair, 2014 Governance Nominating Committee

 

YALSAblog Tweets of the Week – April 18, 2014

A short list of tweets from the past week of interest to teens and the library staff that work with them.

Do you have a favorite Tweet from the past week? If so add it in the comments for this post. Or, if you read a Twitter post between April 18 and April 24 that you think is a must for the next Tweets of the Week send a direct or @ message to lbraun2000 on Twitter.
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2014 Teen Read Week Site Launch

As part of Celebrate Teen Literature Day, the 2014 Teen Read Week website officially went live today!

Online community members now have full access to a variety of resources to help them plan their Teen Read Week. Individuals who are not online community members yet are encouraged to join for free to gain full access to resources, perks, and monthly updates.

Resources and incentives include:

  • Downloadable low-resolution theme logo
  • Forums: Discuss and share TRW related resources and experiences
  • Grants: Teen Read Week Activity Grant and Teens’ Top Ten Book Giveaway
  • Ready to use planning and publicity tools
  • Products: Posters, bookmarks, manuals, and more
  • Showcase: Share your planned events
  • Webinars : Free access to a live webinar to help you prepare for TRW, as well as archived webinars
  • And more resources and perks to come

The theme this year for Teen Read Week is Turn Dreams into Reality @ your library and will be celebrated October 12-18, 2014. The national spokesperson for this year’s celebration is Australian actor Brenton Thwaites, who stars in the highly anticipated movie adaptation of the book, The Giver, set for release on August 15, 2014.

As libraries shift into full gear to plan for Teen Read Week, authors and publishers are reminded that they can also be involved in Teen Read Week as well. Publishers and other corporate groups can become sponsors to help YALSA build the capacity of libraries to meet the literacy needs of teens. Current sponsors include Blink and the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. For more information on how to become a sponsor, please contact YALSA’s Executive Director, Beth Yoke at byoke@ala.org.  Authors can visit the Teen Read Week site for a list of ideas on how they can participate.

For more information about Teen Read Week, visit the Teen Read Week website.

App of the Week: FridgePoems by Color Monkey

Title: FridgePoems by Color Monkey
Platform: iOS
Cost: Free (for basic vocabulary set)

It’s National Poetry Month, and there’s no easier way to promote the creation of verse poetry than setting up a public access tablet with this fun app.

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When you launch the app, you get a “working” space with a handful of words, but you can zoom out to see more. Dragging the word boxes with your fingertips allows you to reorder things to create your verse.

Writers are not strictly limited to the words on screen. You can draw for new words or invest in themed WordPacks ($1 each for hipster tragic, redneck, hip hop, etc. or $3 for all of them). The provision of verb endings and plurals can add some variety as well.
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YALSA Staff Appreciation Week

YALSA is a member driven organization and accomplishes amazing things through the dedication and hard work of volunteers. We celebrate this through National Volunteer Week, Volunteer(s) of the Year Awards, a Writing Award, grants, weekly shout-outs, and more.

In the background, staff ensure that all of these things happen and support members in a 1,000 different ways. From securing corporate sponsorships to planning logistics for the YA Literature Symposium, organizing a webinar series to crafting the perfect press release, managing hundreds of member appointments to supporting annual initiatives, the list of the hard (and great) work that they do goes on and on and on. Even if you’ve never met one of these dynamos, there’s no question that each of them has positively impacted your YALSA experience, so let’s celebrate them. The YALSA Board and I have unofficially resolved that this week shall be declared YALSA Staff Appreciation Week! Join us this week to write, tweet, or email your thanks and appreciation for all that they do on behalf of the organization each and every day.  Beth Yoke, Nicole Munguia, Nichole O’Connor, Letitia Smith, Jaclyn Finneke, and Anna Lam, we salute you!

YALSAblog Tweets of the Week – April 11, 2014

A short list of tweets from the past week of interest to teens and the library staff that work with them.

Do you have a favorite Tweet from the past week? If so add it in the comments for this post. Or, if you read a Twitter post between April 11 and April 17 that you think is a must for the next Tweets of the Week send a direct or @ message to lbraun2000 on Twitter.
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Librarians in Literature

I love reading about librarians in books. Sometimes they are annoyingly stereotypical-the bun-wearning shushing types. But other times they are more true to the librarians I know-creative, energetic, and maybe with some secret powers!

I got excited when I saw an upcoming release, The Ninja Librarians by Jennifer Swan Downey. (Sourcebooks, April 2014) The book is  “Just a little story about your average sword-swinging, karate-chopping, crime-fighting ninja librarians.” (from Goodreads) It got me thinking about a few of my other favorite librarians in literature.

Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson

-Alcatraz must save the world from the most evil villain there is-librarians! They’re plotting to take over the world and Alcatraz must stop them.

Miss Brooks Loves Books! (And I Don’t) by Barbara Bottner, illusrated by Michael Emberly

-Miss Brooks is a great librarian who won’t give up on reader’s advisory-even when she’s faced with the toughest critic.

Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein

-Mr. Lemoncello isn’t a librarian, but he builds an amazing library and employs some great librarians-who happen to be inspired by real life librarians.

Who are your favorite fictional librarians?

Are you interested in reading more tween-related posts?  The YALSA Blog and the ALSC Blog both offer information of interest to librarians who work with tweens. 

 

 

 

Volunteer for Edwards, Nonfiction and Printz Award Committees

Now through June 1st YALSA is collecting volunteer forms for the Edwards, Nonfiction and Printz Award Committees that will begin work Feb. 1st, 2015.  These committees are partially filled by elected spots and partially filled by appointed spots.  The election going on now will determine who will fill the elected spots on the committees.  After the election results are announced on May 2nd, Chris Shoemaker will then need to fill the remaining appointed positions.  If you are interested in one of these committees, the first thing to do is learn all about what the expectations are for committee members.  These resources can help:

YALSA is seeking individuals with the highest ethical standards, a passion for YALSA’s mission and expertise in evaluating YA literature to serve on these committees.  If you feel you have meet the criteria and have the time available to serve on one of these YALSA award committees, you are encouraged to fill out the Committee Volunteer Form between now and June 1st at http://www.ala.org/yalsa/aboutyalsa/yalsahandbook#form.  In order to be eligible to serve on a YALSA committee, you must be a current personal member.  To learn more about membership, or to join, go to http://www.ala.org/yalsa/join.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Chris at cinf0master@gmail.com

App of the Week: Storehouse

storehouse logoTitle: Storehouse
Cost: Free
Platform: iOS

Storify is one of my favorite tools on the web – the app is a little glitchy – for taking content (images, videos, Tweets, etc.) and putting them together into a story. Storehouse takes a similar approach and gives users the chance to combine text with images and video in order to create a tale about a topic of interest.

For teens the Storehouse app is a great way for them to take those images and videos that they take on a device that’s in their pocket or under their arm, and turn them into something that helps to tell about their lives, places they’ve been, events they’ve participated in, and so on. It’s a great tool for giving teens the chance to go beyond the image to the story behind the image.

The app is pretty simple to use. The first step is to tap on the + icon on the top right. That opens up the screen for adding images and videos that are either stored in your iPad photo library or in Dropbox or on Instagram. (Teens will have to connect your Dropbox and Instagram accounts to Storehouse if they are going to import photos from those services.)
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Connected Learning: Connecting with Coaches

energyOver the past two weeks, the YALSA President’s Program task force has been meeting with connected learning coaches who will facilitate discussions in Las Vegas to discuss their experience with and use of connected learning ideas. The diversity of these discussions cemented the feeling that connected learning comes in all shapes and sizes and we can’t wait to hear from you at our program at ALA Annual.

As we dove into discussion with the coaches a few themes kept recurring and we wanted to share them with you. Connected learning is already happening in many libraries, some just don’t have that term in their vocabulary to label what they are already doing. Libraries are poised to be the place where passion-directed learning happens. Already a community hub, we can help connect teens with the resources, mentors and spaces that will help them follow their passions. Now that we know what connected learning is and can see it already happening in our libraries, we can begin to foster it with intention.

As we begin to plan programs, services and classes with connected learning in mind, we have to stay flexible. Self-directed and passion-based learning is difficult to direct without derailing the learners enthusiasm. This is an easier goal for public libraries, who likely do not have to prove the learning happening at their programs, and can let the process take as long as it needs to. Schools face the challenge of identified outcomes to every class or program, but there are some great examples of librarians using the concepts of connected learning to add additional value to their testable outcomes.

Connected learning is happening in all types of libraries, as evidenced by the diversity of our coaches. At A Burning Need to Know: How Passion Connects to Learning they will help participants identify connected learning already happening in their environments, and as a group we will discuss ways to level up what we are already doing. There are small things we can do to bring big rewards to our teens.

If you want to find out more about connected learning please start with the wonderful posts on the YALSA Blog, starting with this one. Don’t forget to mark your calendars to attend the YALSA President’s Program, A Burning Need to Know: How Passion Connects to Learning, Monday, June 30,  1-3 pm.