Magazines are becoming a thing of the past as many article focused publications move online. However this leaves out the teens who want to come into the library to browse, it becomes time to submit our requests for next years magazines. At my library no one before me focused a lot of energy on the Teen magazine collection, which has made my job this year to diversify the topics and weed out the under used magazines.'  My deadline for turning in requests is August 1st, and while I'm putting the finishing touches on my order I thought I'd share the resources I used to help me select my magazines this coming year: Read More →

On Tuesday, August 5, at approximately 11am EST, Marc Aronson is going to participate in a live stream to talk about his book Race: A History Beyond Black and White and about how and why he is bringing it into a virtual world. Participants can watch, hear, and interact, via text chat, with Marc and Kevin Jarrett, faculty in the Graduate School of Education at Walden University. You do not need an account to watch and listen but you will need to sign up for a free one if you want your teens to be able to participate in the chat. The session will also be recorded so that it can be accessed at a later date.

Everyone has moments in life they wish they could rewind, erase, and do over.'  For movie buff Kyle, that moment is the one where he killed his best friend Jason.'  No matter how many times Kyle replays that moment, no matter how many different ways he can think of to film it, it always ends up the same.'  Jason is dead and Kyle has to live with the consequences, and that is the setup for Freeze Frame by Heidi Ayarbe, coming in October.

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As everyone knows, Breaking Dawn will be released August 2nd. And libraries across the country will be partying until dawn. On the ya-yaac list, Dawn McMillan and the teens at the Boone County Public Library had the great idea to create Twilight Saga fortunes, based on quotes from the three books so far.

When I was a teen, I loved coding. Though it's been over 10 years since learning Javascript and coding much of anything, I was able to use a combination of W3 Schools, Tizag Tutorials, and a hint Google searching to whip up a rudimentary widget that translates their great work into an online fortune teller. Read More →

Yesterday the New York Times published the first article, in a series, on the current state of reading. The focus of the first article is on the topic of electronic reading and whether or not reading text messages, blogs, web sites, etc. counts as reading. This is not a new question of course, and it's a topic that I've posted on this blog about before, however, it's important to pay attention to the New York Times story, and follow-up articles, for a few reasons, including: Read More →

A man waits patiently for his daughter to finish finding books at the Braille Book Fair

I read with great interest the articles posted here on the YALSA blog by Liz Burns and Joseph Wilk about accessibility to the blind and physically handicapped. I recently had an opportunity of a lifetime. I attended the National Federation for the Blind (NFB) Convention in July: an annual convention that is the largest gathering of the blind and visually impaired people all over the world. This year's convention was in Dallas, Texas. I was there to assist a blind couple that set up a table in the exhibit hall to promote their organization, the International Christian Braille mission (ICBM). ICBM is an organization that distributes free Christian reading materials in Braille and other accessible formats through the mail to the blind.

It was an amazing experience being around this group of passionate folks. I wasn't prepared for how committed they would be, how passionate they were, about learning and education. A couple of things I observed proved this. Read More →

According to Newsarama, Stan Lee made a surprise guest appearance at the San Diego Comic-Con's "LGBT Portrayals in Comics" panel to announce a budding partnership with Perry Moore, the author of Hero. What that partnership actually entails is still up for spectulation (do I smell a movie?).

Hero gained a great following for its epic portrayal of superheroics through the eyes of gay teenager Thom Creed. Thom must navigate both his budding sexuality and superpowers while under the watchful eye of his disapproving, ex-hero father--all while an unseen assailent is murdering the world's superheroes. While plots and mysteries abounded, Perry Moore managed to keep the book grounded in the characters. It was an altogether exceptional debut. Read More →

In Pittsburgh, getting teens to rally for a common cause can be tough. Our city's teens are often affected by intense neighborhood loyalties and splintered social groups. However, if I have learned anything from the last several years of Steelers playoff runs or the Penguins' most recent trip to the Stanley Cup, it's that a city-affiliated team can still band teens together like it did when I was a teen, when my dad was a teen, and so on.

Your library can connect with this energy by gaming online, giving teens a chance to face off against other libraries throughout the world. That's why, for the last few months, Kelly Czarnecki and I have been planning a YALSA first: an online Super Smash Bros. Brawl tournament between the teens from the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County (which will be livecast online). Now that things are finally picking up, we're going to each blog about the process, highlighting our unique challenges. Read More →