The YALSA Update: Support Teen Lit!

Happy Support Teen Literature Day! Did you rock the drop as part of Operation TBD? Be sure to check in at the readergirlz blog today for the post-op party at 6 p.m. today! Thanks to readergirlz and Guys Lit Wire for helping YALSA distribute 8,000 teen books to pediatric hospitals and a HUGE thank you to the 18 publishers that supported Operation TBD this year by donating books.

Teen Read Week Kicks Off Today Teen Read Week 2009 registration is officially open! Register online at — the first 100 registrants will receive a free graphic translation of Fahrenheit 451 from TRW Promotional Partner Farrar, Straus & Giroux. Check out the updated Teen Read Week website for tips on planning your event and publicizing Teen Read Week in your community. Teen Read Week is Oct. 18-24, 2009, with a theme of Read Beyond Reality @ your library, encouraging teens to read something out of this world for the fun of it.

After the jump, the Teens’ Top Ten (see Teri’s post too!), this week’s Road Trip information, info on tributes to Judith Krug, and the Great Ideas Contest.

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Teens Top Ten 2009

The list of books nominated for the 2009 Teens Top Ten List are now available (’ ‘  Teens (from select teen groups) nominate the books. Then, teens across the country have the chance to read the books and vote for their favorites. This year’s list of nominees include the Newbery winning THE GRAVEYARD BOOK by Neil Gaiman, one of the Morris shortlist books, GRACELING by Kristin Cashore,’  and National Book Award Finalist THE DISREPUTABLE HISTORY OF FRANKIE LANDAU BANKS by E. Lockhart.’  Of course, there are the requisite vampires, dystopians, and’  teen road trip books as well.

Get the list out to your teens now.’  Encourage them to read.’  Voting will take place in October.’  What better way to celebrate TEEN LITERATURE DAY than to locate the ones you have not read and give them a test drive?

Prom Stories + Alternative Prom Hosting

Every year, around this time, many of America’s high school students start turning their thoughts to one thing: prom.

Prom is a legendary night of gowns, tuxedos, photographs, limousines, coursages, spiked punch, romance, late-night hotel parties, and figuring out where in the world you are when you wake up the next morning. (If you don’t believe me, read Brian Sloan’s A Really Nice Prom Mess.)

At least, that’s what I’ve heard. I never went to prom, but I sure did hear lots of stories about it. Some may have been real, some may have been imagined, but it was all fascinating. Continue reading

New to Me: Johnny Tremain

I’m in the minority, I suspect, to be reading Johnny Tremain as an adult.’  Many people were assigned to read this novel, set during the early days of the American revolt against the British, in school as part of units on the American Revolution.’  It’s a pleasure to find out that reading it as an adult is an exciting, enjoyable process.’  But how might a modern teen react?

Johnny Tremain
Esther Forbes
Published 1943
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Social Networks

I’ve been talking to my teens today and found that most of them are using to connect with peers because their parents found their MySpace and Facebook page.

I asked them what they thought about adults being on their social networks and they responded that the library would be cool to be friends with, but they do not want their parents or teachers on the network they use with their friends. Another popular network is Gaia.

What are your teens using?

National Library Workers Day


Happy National Library Workers’ Day! We know you do a great job working with and for teens, and hopefully you know it too!

Five Reasons Why YA Librarians are Better than Google:

5. Google locates only web sites, while YA librarians find all types of resources in any format.
4. Google requires you to design your own searches, but YA librarians help you plan an effective search strategy.
3. Google leaves it up to you to sort through the mountain of results, while YA librarians assist you in selecting information to meet your specific needs.
2. Google provides no quality control, but YA librarians always have a Plan B if your search yields no results.
1. Google is an inanimate web site with no ability to offer moral support, but YA librarians are real people who can dispense things like encouragement, high fives and even hugs.

Thanks for all the hard work you do to ensure that teens get the best library service!

Sarah Cornish Debarski
YALSA President

Sad news from ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom

Judith Fingeret Krug, longtime director of ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom and the founder of Banned Books Week, died Saturday after a long illness.’  Advisor, author and public servant, she was a remarkable leader in the struggle to educate the public concerning the right to the free expression of ideas. Judy was an inspiration to all who knew her.

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Twitter FTW

By now, many of you have probably already heard the story the Twitterverse has dubbed #amazonfail – the revelation that has stripped sales rankings and searchability from titles it deems “adult.” Consider it the safesearch of the online shopping world. This might be a mere annoyance–most of us prefer to determine for ourselves the parameters of our searches–but many authors and bloggers contend that the stripped titles are overwhelmingly those that cover sexuality, feminism, and LGBTQ themes, with or without content that could be considered “explicit.”

[You can read more about the stripped titles, and why we should even care about rankings and searchability, all over the internets–but you might want to start with Mark R. Probst, Meta Writer, and Jezebel. Oh, and you can watch #amazonfail unfold by following that hashtag in action–if you hop on over to Twitter Search, you’ll see that #amazonfail and #amazon are among the top trends at the moment.]

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Make a Difference and Share It

I’ve been doing some thinking about the recent blog post made by YALSA’s Fiscal Officer Mary Hastler and the comment posted. I’m thankful she broached the topic on the blog of what to do in these difficult economic times. It’s not necessarily a comfortable nor easy subject to talk about but it also can’t be ignored.

The post got me thinking about how we as YALSA members are helping each other on a daily basis in the context of the economy and how we can perhaps use the many tools of communication that YALSA already has in place. We can share with others how we made a difference and maybe that difference would apply to other libraries as well or at least nudge someone to speak up and ask for some advice particular to their own situation. Continue reading