Banned Books Week: Practical Applications

It’s not too late to celebrate Banned Books Week with teens at your library!’ ‘ ‘ Here are some ideas to get teens thinking and talking about banned books:

  1. Create your own banned books booklist, or’ order the ALA Banned Books List 07-08.’  Display these booklists near your reference desk and encourage discussion.’  One classic exchange I had with a teen went like this:’ a teen approached the desk and’ casually glanced over’ at’ our Banned Books Week list.’  She asked, “What’s a banned book?”‘  I explained.’  The teen’s face crinkled up and she asked, incredulously, “If people don’t like the books, why don’t they just not read them?”‘  Great question!’  Off-the-cuff discussions at our reference desk, with both teens and their parents, have’ been the most rewarding way for me to inform patrons about banned books. ‘ You might also tuck these booklists into the challenged books that are sitting on your shelves, to create awareness among those teens who are hesitant to approach staff.
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Spore in the Library

I bought Spore last week. And it’s safe to say that it’s the coolest game I’ve ever played. I’m not a big gamer, but I do like simulation games–Sim City, Civilization, The Sims, MySims–because you can’t die and there’s no clear mission to the game; you just create things and try to control the world you’re in. (MySims is a little different: you do have goals that you have to meet to advance, but you still can’t die.)

You might know about Spore, because it’s been pretty hyped, but for the uninformed, here’s the basic breakdown. Continue reading

Seen, Heard, Read

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve collected a variety of bits and pieces of information that I thought would be of interest to YALSA blog readers.’ Here’s what I’ve collected:

  • In mid-September IMLS (The Institute of Museum and Library Services)’ announced the National Leadership Grant awardees. The list of 44 institutions and projects includes several that are youth (and teen) oriented. ‘ These include:’ 
    Hennepin County Library’s project titled, ‘ Media MashUp: Public Libraries, Youth and 21st Century Literacy. This project focuses on developing best practices for innovative technology implementation.
    San Jose State University’s School of Library and Information Studies project titled,’ Making Space for Young Adults in Public Libraries. This project aims to collect and analyze data on teen library spaces. The findings will be disseminated in order to help those serving teens create successful spaces for the age group.
    New York Public Library’s project titled,’ Homework NYC Widgets: A Decentralized Approach To Homework Help By Public Libraries.‘ This project focuses on the development of a suite of digital tools for students to use as a part of the homework process. It also includes working with teachers to help them understand the role these tools play in supporting student homework needs.
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Free Anime/TV Online & It’s Legal now has a channel where anime fans can watch Naruto, Death Note, and Mushi-shi free, legally online.’ ‘ If you see someone on the internet terminals watching these shows on YouTube or other websites you can share this legal way of watching the shows.

I’m a fan of Linda Braun mentioned it previously when it was still in Beta. Over the past year Hulu has grown, as have the minds of many studio executives. Hulu has worked with studios to allow anyone to watch TV episodes and movies online for free. Some of the studios limit the license to the three most recent episodes, meaning older episodes are not always available, but over all, I’m fond of this service and what it means for the future of entertainment. Continue reading

The YALSA Update: You’ve Got Deadlines Next Week

It’s Deadline Week for YALSA! Committee volunteer forms are due to the YALSA office on Tuesday; bundled registration for 2009 Midwinter and Annual end on Tuesday; applications for the YALSA Road Trip are due Tuesday; questions for our podcast with ALA President Jim Rettig are due Wednesday; and online course registration and advanced registration for the YA Lit Symposium end Friday.

Find out how to complete all your tasks for next week after the jump…

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YALSA Resources for SLIS Instructors and Students

As you begin the new academic year, think about tools available from YALSA to help you reach the future librarians in your classrooms! With more than 30 million teens in the U.S. today, no matter what type of librarianship your students choose, they’ll be interacting with teen library users in some way.

Supplement Your Syllabus with Free Stuff from YALSA

YALSA is happy to provide handouts about its grants and awards, special events, initiatives, membership, and more, as well as swag including pens, posters and pins. Interested? Fill out the Materials Request Form on our website. If you’d like free copies of our journal, Young Adult Library Services, for your classroom (limited quantities), please contact us at

We can also help you with guest speakers! If you’re looking for someone to discuss YALSA or any aspect of young adult literature or YA librarianship, YALSA can connect you with an expert speaker. Contact Beth Yoke at for more information.

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Congratulations YALSA’s Emerging Leaders

Two YALSA members, Carla Land and Katherine Voss, have been named YALSA Emerging Leaders in the class of 2009.’  Carla and Katherine were two of many who applied to be an ALA Emerging Leader under the sponsorship of YALSA. As the congratulatory letter sent from ALA to the winners says, being sponsored by YALSA:

…means that the sponsoring organization has agreed to provide you with financial support for expenses for attendance at both conferences, up to $1000 total. Continue reading

Milking the YA lit Symposium For All It’s Worth

I’m excited to go to YALSA’s first-ever YA Literature Symposium for a number of reasons (including getting to see my friends, and sneaking a trip to the country music hall of fame), but one of the most important is that this is the first conference I’ll attend as an official representative of my library. In the past, I’ve been a bit of a follower at conferences. I went to my first ALA midwinter this past January, and I wasn’t yet in my current position as a teen librarian, so I got to tag along a lot and learn the ropes. I went to Computers in Libraries (CiL) this spring, but talk about a conference where everyone knows each other and knows the drill–I was a definite newbie. (I don’t mean to say that I felt left out; the people I met were super nice and I even made some new friends.)

This time, it will be different…and I have the business cards to prove it.

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Life in the Cloud

Last week the Pew Internet in American Life Project released a report on the use of cloud computing by adults 18 and up. The Pew study describes cloud computing this way:

For everyday users of the internet and computers, cloud computing is any online activity, such as accessing data or using a software program, which can be done from different devices regardless of the on-ramp to the internet.

While 13 to 17 year olds were not surveyed for the study, the researchers did discover that younger adults, 18 to 29 year olds, were more likely to use cloud computing than older adults.’  The Pew report states: Continue reading