The Power of Social Networking

I have a librarian friend new to social networking, but she gamely signed up for Facebook, just to see what it was all about. Last week she sent me this note: “Hey Beth– checking out your Facebook page (thanks for friending me 🙂 –btw) and noticed a message on your wall from KM. He was my son’s best friend in high school! I’m trying to guess your connection to him–perhaps comics? Neat guy!”

She was right on the money: comics, indeed. KM was a senior in high school when we met 5 years ago. When I was a YA librarian, he sent me an unsolicited email, asking me to be an advisor on his senior project on comic books — There was no MySpace or Facebook back then — he found me because I’d posted a webpage about my BWI/YALSA Collection Development Grant that I used to start a graphic novel collection. I learned as much about comics from him as he did from me. We’ve evolved from a mentor/mentee to peer relationship since, and usually go to a comic book spin-off movie once a year.

A couple of points:

  • It’s good to be accessible. I see a LOT of library homepages that don’t include the name or email address of the YA librarian.
  • Teens need adults that care about them to act as mentors and role models.
  • The YALSA/BWI Collection Development Grant is a great opportunity for materials growth and easy to apply for.
  • Applying for grants gets you more than just money.

Along the lines of this age thing, in my Pain in the Brain class, we’ve been having a really interesting discussion about RESPECT. It is assumed, or earned? Are people respected for their age, title, and status, or their experience, expertise, knowledge and skills? Someone mentioned the Internet as a great leveler — you don’t know someone’s age unless they volunteer it (or, you ask). It doesn’t feel strange to me to have friends that range from 24-54 — or to be friends with a mom, and someone who is the age of her child, as well. At ALA, in a session on millennials, I heard “They don’t want us in their space.” Do you agree, or disagree?

Disney Grants for Youth Service Projects

Disney Minnie Grants Available to Support Youth Service Projects

Deadline: August 30, 2007

From the web site:
“The Walt Disney Company and Youth Service America are pleased to announce grants of up to $500 to support youth-led service projects. These grants support youth (ages 5-14) in planning and implementing service projects in their community. Teachers, older youth (15-25), youth-leaders, and youth-serving organizations are also eligible to apply, provided that they that engage younger youth (5-14) in planning and implementing the service. Service can take place between October 1 and November 26, 2007. Projects can address themes such as the environment, disaster relief, public health and awareness, community education, hunger, literacy, or any issue that youth identify as a community need.”

Since literacy is listed as an area of support, perhaps libraries can apply for funds to support their Teen Read Week efforts. Learn about Teen Read Week online at
-Beth Yoke

Share Your Best Practices in YA Services

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) is looking for librarians and library workers to share their best practices in serving young adults. Submissions will be compiled and shared via the IFLA web site. If you’d like to participate, just download the online form, fill it out and return it to IFLA. To learn more about their best practices effort, visit their web page. Questions can be directed to Ms. Ivanka Stricevic, whose contact information is available on IFLA’s Libraries for Children & Young Adults Section’s web site.

-Beth Yoke

YALSA Annual 07 Podcast #11 – Memories Future, Present, and Past

At the YALSA 50th Anniversary Party Erin Downey Howerton talks with librarians from several different generations. Past presidents of YALSA talk about publishing and YALSA history, new librarians discuss why they are looking forward to being involved in YALSA, Spectrum Scholars discuss why YALSA, and Emerging Leaders provide their take on conference and ALA.


Deadline extended! Publish your best YALSA memories in YALS

What’s your favorite YALSA memory? You can get it published in YALS!

YALSA extended the deadline for submissions on YALSA’s oral history for the YALS anniversary issue — and we need you to tell us the stories that don’t always make it into the official history. You tell us:

  • What’s your best conference memory — or your worst?
  • How many books did you have to read when you were on a selection committee?
  • How did it feel to win a YALSA grant or one of our contests? What did you do when YALSA called to tell you that you won?
  • What other YALSA memories do you want to share?

Share your memories on the 50th Anniversary Wiki’s YALS page. We’ll take the funniest, most interesting, and thoughtful responses to reprint in YALS. Make sure to leave your name and email address with your entry, so we can get in touch with you and credit you properly.

Deadline for submissions is July 10, 2007.

Questions? Want to share your memories privately? Then contact Editor Valerie Ott ( or YALSA Communications Specialist Stephanie Kuenn (

after the party’s over

ALA and DC are almost a far away memory now. However, it is not too late for you to become more involved in YALSA. There is a committee volunteer form at the YALSA site:

I began my YALSA work as a member of the Publications Committee. Eventually, I became chair of the committee and, after recommending YALSA do a revision of their popular HIT LIST, found myself as co-author of that work. I served on TAGS, Professional Development, and now Preconference 2008.

All of the committee work has been informative and highly enjoyable. I have met so many folks who have gone on to become friends over the years. Fill out a form and get active in YALSA.

Posted by Teri Lesesne

PS: I was in a local bookstore yesterday and can report that YA is alive and well there. I was amazed at the variety of the selections. There were 3 teens there reading graphic novels and manga as well as teens browsing the shelves. Such a good feeling.