The YALSA Update: Win an author visit, join the YALSA Road Trip & more!

Had a Great Teen Read Week Program? Tell Us: We know you all had amazing plans for Teen Read Week. Make sure to enter your event in the Best Teen Read Week Celebration Contest, from YALSA, AdLit.Org, Mirrorstone, 2008 TRW corporate sponsor. You could win one of two author visits or a prize pack from YALSA and! The deadline to enter is Nov. 7.

YALSA’s Hitting the Road: We have set a goal to have a YALSA presence at a library conference in every state in 2009! If you’re planning on attending your state’s public or school library association conference in 2009 and are willing to volunteer some of your time to represent YALSA, we want to hear from you. The deadline to volunteer has been extended to Nov. 14th. You don’t need to be a teen services expert or a long-time member—you just need to have some enthusiasm and some time to volunteer. Please feel free to team up with friends or colleagues in your state, too. Based on your interest and availability, you can choose to apply for one of these options: host a social event, present a program or staff an exhibit booth. Learn more at the YALSA Road Trip wiki.

Find out more news from the YALSA Office after the jump.

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Closing the access gap

“Can I have more time on the computer?” “Just ten more minutes please?!” This question is frequently asked at my library in regards to using the virtual world of Teen Second Life. Teens themselves are the ones that marketed this technology to each other in the library. It started off with one teen using the program to teach peers around the world how to speak Spanish.

The point I want to make about telling this is not about TSL in particular. But, I want to makea point about introducing technology and supporting the access of it so that the teens who probably would not have picked up on it otherwise, because the places they come in contact with might not have it available, know that it exists.

What other technologies have we as libraries been able to support in ways that other places haven’t? What skills are teens learning by allowing teens to use various technologies? How can we as organizations support the power of viral marketing, from our patrons, to grow a program?

It’s great to watch interest unfold and discover the lessons of introducing skills and programs that originally might have seemed impossible to start.

In the News

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about writing a post on the world of newspaper and magazine publishing, and its impact on teens and libraries. Then, last night, I read that the daily newspaper, The Christian Science Monitor, will be entirely electronic starting in April.’  That put me over the edge and forced me to finally write this post.

What started my recent musing on this topic was the news that Cosmo Girl is going to cease publication.’  The final issue of the magazine is scheduled for December, after that subscribers will receive Seventeen in place of Cosmo Girl.’  I thought of two things as I read the news about Cosmo Girl. First I remembered that it’s not that long ago that Teen People ceased publication.’  Then I remembered how much fanfare there was when Teen People, Cosmo Girl, and other magazines of this type started to pop up. It was an exciting new market for the parent publications, People, Cosmo, etc.’  But, obviously, the demise of these publications demonstrates that the trend has changes and publishers are looking elsewhere for a hot market. Continue reading

Musings on the Teens Top Ten

Before I post about TTT, I just wanted to remind anyone who has not done so to register for midwinter and to secure housing. I plan to come early and stay over a day or so and get to see some of Denver since most of what I get to see are the insides of the meeting halls.

Now to the TTT:

Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling
Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Maximum Ride: Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports by James Patterson
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray
Extras by Scott Westerfeld
Before I Die by Jenny Downham
Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson Continue reading

National Gaming Day @ Your Library Video

Scott Nicholson, a faculty member at the Syracuse University school of Information Studies has developed this video for librarians to help celebrate National Gaming Day @ Your Library on November 15. Scott describes how to play Hasbro’s Pictureka! which (thanks to ALA and Hasbro) every public library in the U.S. will receive a copy. The goals of the event being:

  • Raise awareness about the use of games as a library program
  • Expose people to a new type of board game
  • Establish connections between local board game groups and the library

Scott also gives a handful of other ideas in the video for participating on this day. Feel free to share your thoughts as well.

Street Lit in the New York Times

This morning’s New York Times has a very positive article about street lit and libraries. The article mostly focuses on adult readers, but there is also a mention of the Widener Street branch of the Philadelphia Free Library, where librarians and teens began a teen street lit book club, and subsequently library circulation increased and the teens expanded their reading interests to science fiction and biography.

My favorite point is about the appeal of street lit: Continue reading

So Much Better Than the Movie

I’ve been thinking lately about books that make the jump to the big screen, spurred most recently by a discussion over at Feministing about Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist. The comments there have brought up issues of who makes certain decisions about a film (was Norah’s flannel left out by the screenwriter, the costume designers, or the director?), the sacrifices screenmakers make in order to make a book more “filmic,” and what it means when films deviate significantly from their source text.

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New From Pew – Networked Families

A majority of adults say technology allows their family life today to be as close, or closer, than their families were when they grew up…. Indeed, 25% of our survey respondents feel that their family today is now closer than their family when they were growing up thanks to the use of the internet and cell phones, while just 11% say their family today is not as close as families in the past.

That data is from a new report titled Networked Families published by the Pew Internet in American Life Project. Continue reading


I just had the chance to see the documentary Frontrunners.’  It’s the story of three students at Stuyvesant High School, in New York City, who run for president of the school’s Student Union.

Whenever I see a documentary with or about teens, I walk into the theater with a bit of trepidation.’  I worry that the filmmakers will have gone into the filmmaking with a hidden, or not so hidden, agenda. I worry the filmmakers want viewers to leave the movie with a very specific message about teens and the world that teens inhabit. Sometimes I leave a documentary about teens feeling like the teens in the film have been horribly used and manipulated. Continue reading

The 2008 Teens’ Top Ten

The votes are in … and Stephenie Meyer again rises to the top of the Teens’ Top Ten! More than 8,000 teens voiced their choice for their favorite books in the annual Teens’ Top Ten poll during Teen Read Week, Oct. 12-18, with “Eclipse,” the third book in Meyer’s vampire series easily taking first place. This is Meyer’s second time atop the Teens’ Top Ten list, as “New Moon” took the top slot last year.

Thanks to YALSA’s YA Galley committee and the fifteen teen book groups who made this year’s list possible! (Want to learn more? Check out the YA Galley Participants page on the YALSA site.)

Here’s the full list:

  1. Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer
  2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling
  3. Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
  4. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
  5. Maximum Ride: Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports by James Patterson
  6. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
  7. The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray
  8. Extras by Scott Westerfeld
  9. Before I Die by Jenny Downham
  10. Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson

Congratulations to the winners and thanks to everyone who voted!