Partnership Profile

The program’  below is one of many featured on ALA’s online clearinghouse for school/public library cooperation managed by the AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee on School/Public Library Cooperation.’  Visit the clearinghouse to learn more or share your own exemplary partnership!

Title of Program: Great Library Card Adventure/Get Carded
Type of Program: Library Card Campaigns
Age level: Elementary & secondary
Description of Program: The Great Library Card Adventure is a library card campaign for kindergarten classrooms in Multnomah County, presented by the Multnomah County Library School Corps. Continue reading

Banned Books Week: How can YALSA help you advocate for your teen readers?

Banned books.’  Are there two scarier words in our profession?’  Every September librarians celebrate the freedom to read and spread the word about “banned books.”’  This year, let YALSA help you support your teens and their freedom to read.’ 

The 2008 most frequently challenged author’s list reads like a who’s who of YA authors – six of the eleven authors listed are YA (Chris Crutcher, Lauren Myracle, and Phillip Pullman to name a few).’  What is it about YA literature that scares people, especially parents?’  As librarians, how can we continue to educate ourselves; and in turn our patrons and their parents about teens’ freedom to read?’  Continue reading

Great Stories about the Great Stories CLUB

You might have read about the Great Stories CLUB Grant here on the YALSA blog or maybe you received a flyer or e-mail about it.’  Now you may be wondering if this program is right for you, your library, and your community.’  What better way to find out more than to talk to some librarians who have used the Great Stories CLUB Grant in their communities?’ 

To give you a better idea of what a Great Stories CLUB Grant can mean for the teens in your community, some past participants in the program have volunteered to discuss their experiences.’  These first-hand stories give you a closer look at what the Great Stories CLUB Grant can do.’  We start with Deborah Motley, the Young Adult Services Librarian at the Orion Township Public Library in Lake Orion, Michigan.

For more information on the Great Stories CLUB, including guidelines, book descriptions, application instructions, and even more feedback from past participants, visit Online applications will be accepted through November 2.’ 

Keep an eye out for other participant stories here on the YALSA blog.’  Any past recipients reading are’ encouraged to discuss their experiences in the comments!

Now let’s’ hear Deb’s great story’ …

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Banned Books Week: All About Risky Business

Celebrating Banned Books Week is all about risk-taking. By celebrating titles that have been, or might be, banned in a library, those working with teens are saying to the world, “Look, we have controversial books in the library and we are proud of it.” That’s quite a risk and it’s a risk that many teen librarians accept and value.

In this video, Connie Urquhart and Lisa Lindsay (Fresno County Public Library) talk about the risks they’ve taken in collection development and in teen services – Including risks that went really well and risks that weren’t as successful as was hoped.

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The Book of Bunny Suicides

Intellectual freedom is hard sometimes.

As a student of the amazing Ann Curry, I learned a thing or two about dealing with censorship, and in my four years at a public library in a mid sized Canadian city, I have had my fair share of parents complaining about books that are too sexy, too druggy, too violent, too magical, too realistic, too Christian, not Christian enough – the list goes on. And for all of those parents I have brought out my typical line of “I’m sorry that this book offended you, but…”, they have gone their merry way, possibly a little mad and likely to come back and steal the book later just to spite me, but I don’t have a problem with that. Well I do have a problem with it, but it’s out of my sphere of influence, so I can’t do much about it. Also, I will just order the book again. Continue reading

The YALSA Update: Last chance for online courses, symposium proposals, bundled registration & more

Online Course Registration! You have just one week left to register for YALSA’s fall session of online courses! YALSA’s online courses include AIMing at Tweens: Advising, Involving, and 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. Courses start at $135 for YALSA members. Courses begin Oct. 5. Details and registration can be found at

Symposium Proposals Due Next Week! Want to present at YALSA’s 2010 Young Adult Literature Symposium? Proposals for a preconference, 90-minute program sessions, and paper presentations must be turned into YALSA by Oct. 1. Application forms can be found online at Contact Nichole Gilbert at with any questions.

Last Chance for Bundled Registration! Planning to attend both Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference in 2010? Be sure to sign up for ALA’s bundled registration, which ends Sept. 30. Bundled registration saves members 20% over advanced registration fees for each individual event. Starting Oct. 1, you can add registration for YALSA’s Midwinter Institute, “Libraries 3.0: Teen Edition” and YALSA’s Midwinter Social Event, “Games, Gadgets & Gurus.”

Edit YALSA’s Research Journal! Applications to edit YALSA’s upcoming quarterly online research journal are due by Sept. 30. Take a look at the duties and qualifications; applications must be sent to me at by Sept. 30.

That’s it for this week’s update! To stay up to date on the latest from the YALSA Office, sign up to follow YALSA on Twitter or become a fan of YALSA on Facebook!

YALSA’s 2010 Election Slate

YALSA has finalized its slate of candidates for the 2010 election. Thanks to Nominating Chair Paula Brehm-Heeger and her committee for her hard work. The full slate is posted after the jump or on the YALSA website. If you’re coming to ALA’s Midwinter Meeting in Boston, YALSA will host a candidates’ forum, where you can ask questions of those running for office. Voting will begin March 16 and end April 23, concurrent with ALA’s election.

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Young Adults Deserve the Best

At the request of YALSA’s Board, the Competencies Task Force is taking a look at YALSA’s Competencies for Librarians Serving Youth: Young Adults Deserve the Best to see where they need updating. The Task Force invites you to read (or re-read) the Competencies and share with us any ideas you have about making the Competencies more useful and up-to-date. Leave your comments here.

Gearing up for Banned Books Week

I am fortunate to serve as chair of the STANDING COMMITTEE AGAINST CENSORSHIP of the National Council of Teachers of English. That means I often receive information about incidents of censorship. This has been a busy week thus far. One of our own members had her web site blocked from a school district due to political content. Laurie Halse Anderson, author of SPEAK and TWISTED, wrote about threee separate incidents of censorship on her blog. And Ellen Hopkins was un-invited to a school presentation when a parent complained about her books.

The one word that keeps resonating for me through all of this (and more) is ACCESS. When censors challenge materials and want them removed, they are in essence denying someone access to the thoughts and ideas contained at the web site or in the book or movie. Denying access creates limits for our students. One more venue of ideas shut down because someone deems the ideas somehow “wrong.”

How can we ensure access for our patrons? What can we do to erase limits? How about some of these approaches?

1. read one or more of the books counted among the most challenged this year or this past decade. AND TANGO MAKES THREE, THE CHOCOLATE WAR, SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK are among those listed at the OIF web site.
2. create a Banned Books Week display for your library.
3. make certain that you are familiar with your reconsideration policy.
4. volunteer to speak about censorship at a community event.
5. blog, tweet, post information about dealing with censorship.

Take a stand against censorship not just during Banned Books Week but all year long.