Who Knew? How Does That Work? A Lesson in Demystification!

A few weeks ago I blogged about getting ready to start the committee appointment process for YALSA. One of the things I get to do as Vice President/President-Elect is appoint people to committees. While I’ve been an active member of YALSA for over a decade, and, while I’ve served on a few committees, the appointment process is totally new to me.’  And in talking to a variety of people I’ve realized that the appointment process is probably pretty confusing to lots of people. This blog post is therefore my attempt at YALSA Appointments 101. Continue reading

Not Just for Teens Anymore?

Adults have been talking a lot about YA literature lately.

Author Margo Rabb (Cures for Heartbreak, 2007) was heartbroken herself to learn that her first novel would be published for young adults, though she soon resigned herself to the prospect.

Cory Doctorow, longtime adult science fiction writer and digital privacy advocate, learned from publishing his first novel for young adults (Little Brother, 2008) that writing for young people is really exciting.

When screenwriter and author Frank Cottrell Boyce compared the YA section of a bookstore to a literary “kids’ menu” in his review of The Knife of Never Letting Go (2008), he provoked a series of passionate responses from YA librarians and YA lit defenders. Continue reading

What Are We Scared Of?

The other day I had a conversation with library school students on the topic of fear.’  It came up when I realized that several of the students said they needed to be careful about what they put on their teen library shelves because of the community in which they worked. The concept was, people in my community don’t want that. I know my community and that won’t meet their needs.

As I kept hearing this comment I thought about how some librarians use “I know my community” as an excuse for not purchasing controversial materials for the collection. For example, if I say that my community doesn’t want these materials for teens on the shelves then it’s OK that I don’t buy them. Continue reading

The YALSA Update: Summer & Surveys

First off, thanks to our YALSA bloggers for doing such a great job blogging ALA Annual Conference. We were happy to see so many thought-provoking posts and reflections on our week in Anaheim.

…speaking of Annual Conference

If you attended Annual Conference, be sure to take our post-conference survey. Help us improve our offerings and operations for Annual 2009.

Listen to the 2008 Printz Speeches

Couldn’t make it to Annual or want to relive the most exciting evening in YA literature? Then visit the Printz Award webpage and listen to mp3 versions of our winners’ speeches! Continue reading

Books to Watch Out For: Kendra by Coe Booth

Tyrell might be one of my favorite YA novels of all time, so you can imagine my joy when I opened a box from Scholastic that contained Coe Booth‘s second novel, Kendra, coming in October.’  For those worried about a sophomore slump, I have one word for you:’  Don’t.’  Kendra is every bit as raw and thought-provoking as Tyrell was, even though the voices sound very different.

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Board Actions at Annual 2008

YALSA’s Board of Directors was hard at work at the 2008 ALA Annual Conference. Here are some of the key decisions the Board made that I thought members would be interested in:

  • Strategic Plan: The Board adopted a new strategic plan, with 5 goal areas: membership engagement & retention, research, advocacy, continuing education and marketing. You can read the full plan
  • Research: The Board voted to establish an online research journal and directed YALSA’s Research Committee to develop the mission and goals for the journal as well as the refereeing process.
  • Mentoring: The Board voted to establish a taskforce to develop guidelines for implementing a pilot round of a mentoring program that includes a reverse mentoring component and best practices from other mentoring projects, to be implementing in the 2010 fiscal year.
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Hear the 2008 Printz Speeches

The Michael L. Printz Awards program and reception is a big highlight for YALSA members who attend Annual, and the 2008 awards were no exception. Luckily for those who weren’t able to attend (or who wish to relive the fun), YALSA is providing mp3 versions of the speeches on the Printz website, courtesy Brilliance Audio.

You can hear speeches from Geraldine McCaughrean, the 2008 winner, and the four honor book winners: Judith Clarke, Elizabeth Knox, A. M. Jenkins and Stephanie Hemphill, or you can listen to the entire ceremony. We’ve embedded players for each speech and the full ceremony on the Printz website, or you can click the links to each players speech and save it to listen to another time.

Thanks again to Brilliance Audio for providing the mp3 versions of the speeches. Congratulations again to our Printz-winning authors!

Jim Dale thanks the Odyssey Award committee

Here’s an update to the’  YALSA podcast of the wonderful celebration of the first Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production during ALA Annual in Anaheim. At the end of the Booklist Books for Youth Forum, we all watched a video appearance by Jim Dale, narrator of the Harry Potter audiobooks. Dale shares some thoughts about recording Harry Potter, honors the Potter production team, and gives special thanks to the Odyssey Award committee: Jerene D. Battisti, Francisca Goldsmith, Natalie Hoyle, Sharon B. Grover, Teri S. Lesesne, Merri Lindgren, Connie C. Rockman, Sylvia Vardell, Sue-Ellen Beauregard.

Here’s the link to that video – enjoy your visit to Dale’s living room that looks straight out of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry!

Mary Burkey, Chair 2008 Odyssey Award committee

Register for Teen Read Week Woday and Win a Copy of Breaking Dawn

Have you registered for Teen Read Week yet? Here’s a good reason to log onto the Teen Read Week website at www.ala.org/teenread and register today: if you register by 11:59 p.m. today, you could win a free copy of Breaking Dawn, the finale in Stephenie Meyer’s ultra-popular Twilight saga, courtesy TRW Promotional Partner Little, Brown Books for Young Readers/Hachette Book Group USA.

Tomorrow, we’ll draw 200 registrants at random and notify them by 2 pm Central. Winners will receive their books between August 1– 31, 2008. So if you want a chance for a free copy of Breaking Dawn, be sure to visit the Teen Read Week website and register today! Continue reading

Tools of the Trade: Video Software

In my last post of the series,’ I detailed’ how to get the most bang for your buck with’ budget camcorders.’  However, while many of them offer basic software, you might want to expand what you can do with your footage.’  Thankfully, there are many free options–some of them right under your nose.

For the many of you using Windows at work, Microsoft has bundled its operating system with Windows Movie Maker.’  Windows Movie’ Maker is’ a competent free program that will serve a number of simple projects,’ such as book trailers or’ breaking up long Wizard’ Rock sets’ (run the Windows Update program for the latest update).’  Check out the getting started‘ page to see what you can do with the program.’  For more info, take a look at the tutorials on About.com‘ or Atomic Learning. Continue reading