Best iPhone/ iTouch Apps for Teens

Ed. note: This post from 2009 remains a perennial favorite for readers, but don’t forget to visit our extensive App of the Week archive for more suggestions on iOS and Android applications for teens.’ 

An article in a local newspaper recently touted the launch of a new iPhone application (iCommunicate) designed to help parents of autistic or developmentally delayed children. It sounded like such a wonderful tool, and it made me wonder if there were any apps out there (other than games) that might be useful for teens. I decided to do a little research and see what I could find. Continue reading

CPSC Issues Rule Regarding Lead Standards; More Guidance To Come for Libraries

This is being reposted, courtesy of the ALA Washington Office

As the American Library Association (ALA) has emphasized since first enactment of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), concern for children’s safety is our first priority in providing materials to young patrons.’  On August 26, 2009, the CPSC’s final rule on children’s products containing lead was released.’  In the rule, CPSC confirmed that libraries have no independent obligation to test library books for lead under the law. CPSC also announced its intention to release a Statement of Policy specifically providing guidance for libraries with regard to the treatment of older children’s books that could potentially contain lead.’  According to our conversations with CPSC officials, that Statement of Policy should be released within the next several weeks.

While we await the Statement of Policy, ALA recommends that libraries take the following actions.’  If a library is aware that any children’s book does indeed contain lead above the legal limits or otherwise presents a danger to children, it should remove it from public access, for instance by moving it to the non-circulating collection.’  We would also ask that if libraries do learn of any books containing lead to please let the ALA – Washington Office know so that we might’  share that information with other libraries.’  When the Statement of Policy is released, we will promptly notify our members.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Jessica McGilvray, Assistant Director of the ALA Office of Government Relations at or 1-800-941-8478.

YALSA’s Monthly Online Chats

YALSA is now hosting online chats every month in our space in ALA Connect! It’s an easy, inexpensive way to be more engaged in YALSA and talk with other librarians about topics that matter in teen services. Chats take place the first Wednesday of each month from 8-9 p.m. Eastern and each one has a specific theme. Our next chat will be on Sept. 2, with Carla Land, chair of the Teen Read Week committee, moderating a discussion on Teen Read Week.

In our last membership survey, members indicated overwhelmingly that they sought more opportunities for virtual participation. The monthly online chats are one way that we are providing our members with what they want from us.

After the jump, find out topics for future chats – we’ve chosen themes through January – and how to log in and participate. Have a suggestion? Leave it in the comments.

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Back to School

Although the national networks do not seem to be aware of this, school is back in session in Texas. Students returned to classes in the last week or so in many states. As a matter of fact, school librarians are already busy with book talks. One posted a tweet that she made certain every student had a book before he or she left the library. Wow! Of course, public librarians are switching from SRP to back to school mode as well, packing bags of books and applications for library cards to take to schools in their area.

But what about you? Are you ready for school? Have you looked at the courses YALSA is offering online for the fall?’  Check out the offerings here:

YALSA continues to offer courses to meet the needs of its members. So, if there is a burning issue or topic you think needs to be covered in YALSA’s continuing education, let us know by taking our Future Topics survey. In the meantime, think of taking some time to add to your knowledge base.

YALSA Board – Hard At Work

Yesterday, YALSA’s hard-working Board of Directors met, via conference call, to go over committee post-conference reports and follow-up on a few other items that they’ve been working on. The full agenda and documents for the meeting are available on the YALSA web site in the For Members Only section. (A member login is required to access the documents.)

In this post I want to highlight a few of the items from the meeting:

  • The YALSA Board agreed to update the charge for the Division’s Strategic Planning Committee. This is a standing committee for YALSA (which means it always exists) but at times when the Division is not actually working on a strategic plan it can be difficult for the group to continue their work. Continue reading

Help! I Need Somebody

Those of us who have ever had the luxury of working as part of a team–particularly that rare, unicorn-like beast that is the school library team–know how easy it is to take good co-workers for granted. Not sure how to approach a reference question? Consult the team. Need someone to grab the other end of that table so you can rearrange furniture for a DDR tournament? Ask a co-worker. Forgot to pack a lunch and need to pop out for a bite? You can probably get desk coverage if you ask real nice.

But what do you do when suddenly you’re the only librarian in the building?

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Teens’ Top Ten Voting Now Open!

Teens can voice their choice for their favorite books by voting in YALSA’s annual Teens’ Top Ten poll! Voting is open now through Sept. 18. YALSA extended the voting period this year to four weeks, with more time for teens to fit voting into their busy schedules, particularly at the start of the school year. We’ll announce the winners in a webcast during Teen Read Week, Oct. 18-24.

How can you encourage teens to vote? There are plenty of ways. Read on to find out more…

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Be It Resolved

Recently I saw the documentary Resolved which is about high school public policy debating and specifically two teams of debaters, one from an Illinois suburb and one from inner-city Los Angeles. During the movie I learned that public policy debate between high school students is not at all what I thought it was. For the past several decades it’s been about fast talking – and I mean really fast talking – and rapid information processing more than focusing on gaining a strong understanding of a particular issue. (Part of the movie focuses on the two teens from L.A. trying to change debate from the fast-talking fast-processing style to something more traditional. But, that aspect of the documentary is not the focus of this post.)

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YALSA Podcast #76: BBYA Teen Session at Annual 2009

In this podcast, Best Books for Young Adults Chair Summer Hayes talks about the importance of the BBYA Teen Session, held at Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference. Afterwards, listen to teens talk about their favorite nominees for the 2010 list at the 2009 ALA Annual Conference BBYA Teen Session.

See the full nomination list online at the BBYA webpage. Thanks to YALSA intern Thiru Selvanagayam for creating this podcast.


You can also subscribe to YALSA’s podcasts.

The YALSA Update: Teens’ Top Ten voting starts and more!

Teens’ Top Ten Voting Begins Monday! The Teens’ Top Ten opens for voting on Monday! Teens can vote for their favorite books from the past year at the Teens’ Top Ten website through Sept. 18. We’re giving teens four weeks to vote this year, to make sure that every teen’s vote counts. Winners will be announced in a webcast featuring World Wrestling Entertainment Superstars and Divas (plus a few special guests!) during Teen Read Week, Oct. 18-24.

Canada: The New Frontier for the WrestleMania Reading Challenge For the first time, YALSA and World Wrestling Entertainment will open registration for the WrestleMania Reading Challenge to Canadian residents, excluding Quebec. Registration at this time is open only to residents of Canada (excluding Quebec). Canadian librarians can sign up using an online form through Aug. 31.

Go Back to School with YALSA Relive your school days and sign up for YALSA’s top-notch professional development! We’re offering three classes for the fall session (including two brand-new courses). Join us for AIMing at Tweens: Advising, Involving, Motivating (taught by Teri Lesesne); Graphic Novels and Teen Readers: The Basics and Beyond (taught by Francisca Goldsmith) and Reaching Teens with Gaming (taught by Beth Gallaway). Read descriptions and register at’ YALSA’s Online Courses page. Registration ends Oct. 2.

After the jump, find out about how to propose a session or win a travel stipend for the YA Lit Symposium in 2010, encourage your patrons to nominate you for the 2009 I Love My Librarian Award, sign up for Teen Read Week, and more.

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