What’s Your Fandom?

Are you a Slytherin or a Gryffindor?’  Would you rather hang out with B or S or J?’  Which would you rather be, a vampire or a werewolf?

Fandom, according to Wikipedia, is “a term used to refer to a subculture composed of fans characterized by a feeling of sympathy and camaraderie with others who share a common interest.” You’d think wikipedia would be a little less dry…

Fandom happens when you love a book so much you cannot stop thinking about it. You want to discuss minute details with other fans.’  You want to immerse yourself in its world, maybe even dress like the characters dress and live like the characters live.’  Fandom happens when you’re so intrigued by a world that you start thinking of other stories that could take place in it.

It’s all of these things, and more. Continue reading

Fair Division

It seems like a little thing, but little things can still make a big difference.

Today, at my library’s weekly Game On!, an open video gaming event, we figured out how to divide the snacks so no one feels shortchanged.

Game On! started with a PlayStation 2 and a small, dedicated group of teens. It has since morphed into a multi-console gaming extravaganza. Every Thursday, we have an Xbox 360, a PlayStation 3, and a Wii, running respectively on two tvs and a projector. Not to mention the Rock Band drum kit, batteries for Wii-motes, a notebook full of cheat codes, Game Cube controllers that one of our regulars is kind enough to bring from home, and 20-30 teens attending each week. Continue reading

The YALSA Update: Symposium Housing, Teen Read Week PSAs & More

Symposium News: Early bird registration ends on Sept. 1, so make sure to register at the Young Adult Literature Symposium site to save up to 25 percent over advanced and onsite registration.’  Plus, we’ve got housing news! In addition to the Springhill Suites, we now have a housing block reserved at the Courtyard Nashville Downtown. To find out how to reserve your housing, or to look for roommates, check out the Housing page on the YALSA YA Lit Symposium Wiki.

Teen Read Week PSAs featuring Nancy Cartwright: Nancy Cartwright, voice of Bart Simpson, graciously produced three public service announcements for Teen Read Week this year. Download all three at the I Love Libraries Teen Read Week page — they’re perfect for playing during school announcements or you can give a copy to your local radio station. Continue reading

Books & Boot Camp: a YALSA Feel-Good Story

As librarians, one of our most basic goals is to get people reading. Here in Fresno County we have statistics thrown at us daily reminding us of what a challenge this basic goal can be. High school graduation rates? Some of the lowest in the state. Poverty levels? Some of the lowest in the country. And yes, we have more than your average number of teens incarcerated.

One place where incarcerated young men are sent is the Elkhorn Correctional Facility Boot Camp. The cadets there must embrace a traditional military lifestyle, including physical training, discipline and drill; but it also acts as a school, featuring stress education, leadership building courses, positive decision making and self-accountability. We also have a library there. Continue reading

YALSA Opens More Housing for Young Adult Literature Symposium

YALSA has opened additional housing for the 2008 Young Adult Literature Symposium in Nashville, Tenn., Nov. 7-9. Additional housing is now available at the Springhill Suites Metro Center. To reserve a room, you must call 1-800-971-4761 and let them know you are part of the American Library Association Group Block.’  The Springhill Suites rate is $109 for a single and $119 for a double. The Springhill Suites hotel is easy walking distance to the Millennium Maxwell House Hotel, where symposium programs and events will be held.

Questions?’  Contact YALSA Program Officer Nichole Gilbert by email at ngilbert@ala.org’  or by calling 1-800-545-2433, ext. 4387.

Road Trip ’09

Dear YALSA Members,

I’m excited to tell you about a new goal for YALSA, developed for my theme, Engaging the YALSA Community, and in response to feedback from the new member survey.’  The goal is to have a YALSA event (social event, program, or exhibit hall booth) at every state conference in 2009.

YALSA members always have a great time at our national conference, wouldn’t it be nice to mingle with your fellow local YALSA members? I hope you’ll consider sponsoring a YALSA social event at your local conference next year, or look into one of the other options.

For more information about this initiative, Road Trip ’09, check out the wiki entry

Here you’ll find out exactly what is involved in this initiative and how you can be a part of it!

Sarah Debraski
President, Young Adult Library Services Association

It’s Not Too Late to Take the Member Survey!

Hello YALSA Members,

There is still one week left to take the 2008 YALSA Membership Survey.’  As of now about 16% of the membership has completed survey–thank you!’  We’d still love to hear from the rest of you.’  This survey will help the YALSA Board and YALSA staff determine the wants and needs of our members.’  YALSA prides itself on being a responsive organization, but we can only do that if we hear directly from members.’  The survey should only take a few minutes to complete and can be found here.

Thank you,

Sarah Cornish Debraski

YALSA President

Don’t Forget to Tune in LIVE for the Inter-library Brawl Tournament!

Don’t forget to tune in today @ 3:00 PM for the Brawl BATTLE TO THE DEATH between the 412 Brawl Team (comprised of teens from the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh) and teens from the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County.

The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh will be broadcasting a live stream, chat, and teen play-by-play commentary on its Teen Media Page, while PLCMC will be broadcasting live from the Library Loft on its own page. Tune in early to get a load of the set-up as well as a lot of our backend, back & forth conversation as we try to get things underway.

Joseph Wilk
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Teen

You Can’t Judge a Teen by Its (Album) Cover

Music’s been blamed for all sorts of things, from infecting teens with devilish sexual urges to causing them to commit murder. Yet, rarely has anyone suggested that what a teen listens to is indicative of any deep-seated disorder–until now.

According to’ a recent study by the Australasian Psychiatry journal, a teen’s music tastes can be a useful diagnostic indicator for mental health and behavioral issues, from sexuality (pop) to violent tendencies (rap) and suicide & depression (heavy metal). Doctors are being urged to ask teens what their tastes are, to determine if they’re at risk. Continue reading