YALSA's Division and Membership Promtion Committee is excited to change things up'  this year with our Annual YALSA 101 program!

We're hosting a' casual session' in which you can go head to head with fellow YALSA members, chairs, and leaders to ask questions, gather information, and network. We'll have information on discussion and interest groups, professional development, publishing, events, happenings at Annual, and the perks of YALSA membership.

Whether you're' a long-term member looking for new ways to contribute or a newbie looking for ways to become engaged, this'll be the program for you.

Conveniently located in the same hotel as the fabulous YALSA Happy Hour and Fashion Show, YALSA 101 will take place from 4-5 p.m. at the Westin River North, Promenade BR A.

See you in Chicago!

Amy Alessio interviewed Genre Galaxy preconference speaker Patrick Jones about his take on edgy fiction. Enjoy their conversation below! (for more information about the preconference, visit the Genre Galaxy wiki!)

Why do you think so many teens want edgy or 'urban' fiction now?

The urban part reflects the literature catching up with the music. The influence of rap and hip-hop culture washes over every part of teen life, so that it would finally find its way into book isn't a surprise. I just wonder why it took so long. It also mirrors what is going on in the adult market with rise of street fiction for similar reasons. As far as edgy, that is certainly a case of "meet the new boss, same as the old boss" ("Won't Get Fooled Again" by the Who). I wrote an article over a decade ago celebrating that new edge in YA fiction, so it never surprises me. As I'm writing this, there was a big article in the Wall Street Journal about teen fiction; it was the usual decrying of the books being too dark. You get that article every ten years it seems.
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Awww, you can smell it in the air...the smell of books...Inboxes and mailboxes are becoming crowded with invitations and offers, and the things most librarians live for- information and connections. You can hear the whispers of librarians' on the breeze, as many make plans of their impending journey to Chicago, which for a week will be the temporary home to thousands of librarians, teachers, administrators, and support staff members. All of us brought together by the embracing umbrella of ALA, the American Libraries Association.

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The many teen novels we have in our collections are often about characters coming of age; reaching that point in life when they must face their insecurities, learn who they are, and take on the responsibilities of adulthood.'  This can happen in many ways, and for many different reasons.

Like, for instance, if the enemy butchers everyone around you and you pretty much don't have a choice.

Such is the path of Orisian Lannis-Haig, one of the many vibrant characters populating our latest ATB:'  Brian Ruckley's most excellent fantasy trilogy, The Godless World, which recently concluded with The Fall of Thanes (preceded by Winterbirth and Bloodheir).

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Over the past week I've been reading about teens and technology and about the media's handling of major news events. A theme running through the reading I've been doing is that critical thinking is an important part of what adults and teens need to do in order to make good technology decisions. For example:

  • I'm not sure why I didn't start following @larrymagid (Larry Magid) on Twitter until a couple of weeks ago, but now that I am following him, I've discovered three recent articles by Magid that serve to highlight the important role critical thinking plays when it comes to teens and technology.

    On June 22 Magid wrote on his blog about the need to give students a chance to use technology as a critical thinking tool and not simply outlaw devices because students might use them to cheat. Read More →

If you are going to be around on Monday afternoon, June 13, the ALA Committee on Literacy is sponsoring an off-site visit to the real and working school library at the Claremont Academy on Chicago's Southside from 2:30 to 4:30 PM. This is a fabulous opportunity for YALSA members and other youth serving librarians to see what's happening in Chicago.

Through a federal Improving Literacy through School Libraries grant, Claremont Academy and 11 other Chicago Public Schools are taking an A-B-Cs approach to addressing primary students' literacy needs. During the visit, participants will:

  • Learn more about the federal grant program from the U.S. Department of Education and Chicago Public School representatives.
  • Learn more about Claremont and the community from school administrators, library media specialists, parents, and students.
  • Observe Claremont's library activities.
  • Talk with school media specialists and literacy teachers about changes, challenges, and progress.
  • Share your experiences with everyone!

Claremont Academy is located at 2300 West 64th Street, Chicago, IL 60636. Transportation is available from McCormick Place departing at 1:30 pm and returning at 5:30 pm. Space is limited and MUST be reserved in advance.'  Please contact Dale Lipschultz, OLOS Literacy Officer dlipschultz At ala DOT org with questions or to reserve space.

Event Flyer for ABCs of Library Literacy

YALSA's Next Online Chat! Join YALSA on July 1 for our second online chat! President Sarah Debraski will lead a chat on summer reading programs in ALA Connect, starting at 8 p.m. on July 1. Details in this blog post. Can't make it? Check the YALSA blog on July 2 to see a transcript.

YALSA Needs Usability Testers at ALA Annual Coming to ALA Annual Conference? Help YALSA and ALA improve website usability by signing up to be one of our usability testers! YALSA needs four usability testers to participate in a session on Sunday, July 12, 1:30 - 3:30 p.m. in McCormick Place West W-472. Participants will receive a $50 gift card for the ALA Store. Interested? Contact Stevie Kuenn at skuenn@ala.org by Wednesday, July 1.

After the jump, read more about YALSA's Ultimate Teen Bookshelf, the United We Serve Initiative, Quick and Popular Reads for Teens, and symposium deadlines!

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Join YALSA for its second online chat in ALA Connect! President Sarah Debraski will lead a discussion on July 1 at 8 p.m. Eastern on summer reading programs. Share your best ideas, talk about your success stories, and offer up your challenges to hear solutions from others.

How can you participate? Log into ALA Connect at http://connect.ala.org. YALSA members should use their login for the ALA website. If you've lost your password, you can recover it through the ALA website. Once logged in, head to the YALSA area (it's http://connect.ala.org/yalsa or you can navigate there within Connect by choosing “YALSA” from under “My ALA Groups”) and then click “Chats.” Starting at 8 p.m. Eastern on July 1, we'll be there.

Can't make it? We'll post the transcript onto the YALSA Blog on July 2.

From American Libraries: Milwaukee-area citizen Robert C. Braun of the Christian Civil Liberties Union (CCLU) distributed at the meeting copies of a claim for damages he and three other plaintiffs filed April 28 with the city; the complainants seek the right to publicly burn or destroy by another means the library's copy of Baby Be-Bop. The claim also demands $120,000 in compensatory damages ($30,000 per plaintiff) for being exposed to the book in a library display, and the resignation of West Bend Mayor Kristine Deiss for “allow[ing] this book to be viewed by the public.”

While we watch the story unfold in Wisconsin, what can we do?

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