D.C. Tips – Things That Go Bump In D.C.

With Halloween just a day away, one cannot help but think of ghosts and spirits.’  Washington D.C. has plenty of opportunity for frights, even when you don’t count the politicians!’  When you come to ALA Annual next June, you just might see a spirit or two!

D.C.’s most famous haunted house is, of course, the White House.’  Abraham Lincoln has been seen in the East Room (where his body lay in state), the Oval Office, hallways, and in the Lincoln bedroom.’  Abigail Adams has also been see in and around the East Room, carrying and hanging laundry.’  The White House was still under construction when she was living there, and the East Room was the only non-drafty space – perfect for hanging laundry! ‘ During Woodrow Wilson’s presidency, First Lady Wilson requested that the Rose Garden be dug up, but these plans were canceled after the workmen reported seeing the ghost of Dolley Madison there, preventing them from removing the plants.’  Dolley had planted the original garden, and it still grows today. ‘ People have also reported hearing a voice say, “I’m Mr. Burns.” ‘  The land the House was built on once belonged to a David Burns; maybe he doesn’t want to be forgotten!

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Post Fall Exec – Now What?

In a previous post I wrote about ALA/YALSA Fall Exec, the time when the Executive Committees from ALA Divisions meet (individually) to plan for the upcoming months and year. Last weekend was the 2009 Fall Exec weekend and I wanted to follow-up the previous blog post with some information about discussions and plans. (As a reminder, all of the documents for Fall Exec are available to YALSA members in the Members Only section of the Association web site.) Continue reading

Listening with Odyssey Ears, Part 1

Earlier this month I asked for your suggestions of titles the 2010 Odyssey Committee should be sure to consider. Thanks to those of you who emailed me with your favorite titles produced between November 1, 2008 and October 31, 2009. Please keep those suggestions coming – just email me at sharon.grover@yahoo.com and I’ll pass them along to the committee.

The Odyssey Award is the only media award committee I know of that’s administered by two divisions of ALA and that’s part of the great fun of serving on it. Each year, the committee switches administration between ALSC and YALSA. There are nine of us on the committee, so in a YALSA year there are 5 YALSA members (the chair’s appointed by the division administering that year’s award) and 4 ALSC members. This year, ALSC is administering the award. But here’s an interesting fact – by about midway through our year of service (and this is my second time around on Odyssey with my first appointment being from YALSA) no one remembers who was appointed by which division. We’re all just listening for the best audiobooks for children and/or young adults.

So what are we listening for? What, exactly, makes a great audiobook?
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The YALSA Update: Emerging Leaders, Midwinter Events & More

Congratulations! YALSA named its two 2010 Emerging Leaders! Anna Koval, teacher-librarian at Casa Grande High School in Petaluma, California, and Amy Barr, youth services librarian and assistant director at Kilgore Memorial Library in York, Nebraska. Both will attend the 2010 Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference. The Emerging Leaders are funded through the Friends of YALSA.

E-Chat Next Week! Mark your calendars! YALSA’s monthly online chats return next week in ALA Connect. On Nov. 4, we’ll be discussing inexpensive programming and ways to stretch your programming dollars with Jenine Lillian, editor of the new YALSA book, Cool Teen Programs for under $100. To join us, visit YALSA’s area in ALA Connect. 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.”

Lit Blog Applications and CE Proposals Due 10/30! Interested in editing YALSA’s new blog, focused exclusively on teen literature? Read the announcement to see the qualifications and find out how to apply. The deadline to propose new continuing education (online courses and face-to-face institutes) is tomorrow as well; see our announcement for topic ideas and the proposal form. Applications for the new blog manager and the CE proposals are both due to Beth Yoke at byoke@ala.org tomorrow.

After the jump, find out how you can sign up for special events at ALA’s Midwinter Meeting, apply for $40K in grants and awards, promote the Teens’ Top Ten at your library, or receive a stipend to attend the 2010 Young Adult Literature Symposium.

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Dewey Shelvem & Howe

I once worked in a library where, despite a gigantic REFERENCE sign prominently located by the front entrance, patrons were constantly coming to circulation to ask where the reference desk was. Actually, patrons asked us about everything–often without looking at the prominently located floor plan or just about any sign in the building. (“We’re librarians,” my boss once said, with more than a little snark–“We like to put everything on little signs and then complain when no one reads them.”)

I’ve been thinking about signage and organization a lot lately, because my students seem to have a really hard time finding anything in my library. And I don’t just mean the Stephen King novels, which until recently were inexplicably shelved in the periodicals room.
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More Great Stories about the Great Stories CLUB!

There’s still time for you to apply for a Great Stories CLUB Grant!’  The Great Stories CLUB is a unique opportunity for you to reach out to underserved teens in your community and connect them with stories that can matter in their lives and open up their eyes to new horizons.’ 

The theme for the Great Stories CLUB is “New Horizons.”’  When we challenge ourselves to go beyond our familiar surroundings, we can often discover new horizons and strengths within ourselves.’  New horizons also present themselves when we are willing to explore a larger universe.’  These stories (One of Those Hideous Books Where The Mother Dies, The Afterlife, and Rules of Survival) are about teens who discovered new horizons in their lives and in the world.

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.’  Kathleen Browning, the Adult Services Coordinator with Farmington Public Library in Farmington, New Mexico is sharing her library’s story with us today.

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

Now, for Kathleen’s story … wherein a teenager actually chooses a book over free food!’  Can it be?! Continue reading

A Graphic Novel By Any Other Name

My colleagues, my editor, my friends, my students and (especially) their parents have all bemoaned on one occasion or another the term “graphic novel”.’  Problem 1: They’re not always novels.’  Problem 2 (mostly from parents of students): the word “graphic” suggests adult and/or extreme content.’  Well, I’ve made my peace with the fact that the name refers to the physical form of the object (it has a similar appearance to that of a standard novel) rather than the contents, and at this point we maybe too far gone to replace it anyway.’  However, this has not come up on the Great Graphic Novels for Teens Committee and I’m interested in a rough general consensus.’  Should there be a change?’  And to what?’  I’ve heard graphics novel, graphics, graphic book, graphic format, sequential book and GN (which sort of avoids the issue and faces it both at the same time), plus plenty of others I won’t labor through here.’  Please, tell me: where do you stand and what’s your suggestion for a name change, if you’ve got one?

Coming to AASL in Charlotte? Network at YALSA’s Happy Hour!

AASL’s National Conference in Charlotte is Nov. 5-8 in Charlotte, N.C., and YALSA will be there! You can visit the ALA booth in the exhibits hall and see Nichole Gilbert, YALSA’s program office for events, and you can network with your colleagues at the official YALSA Happy Hour.

Join YALSA upstairs at Cosmo’s Cafe Uptown, 300 N. College St., Charlotte, on Friday, Nov. 6, from 5-7 p.m. YALSA’s reserved a space upstairs. Connect with your colleagues over a full food menu and half-price wine in a relaxed atmosphere.

Call for Programs for 2011 ALA Annual Conference

Tell YALSA your great ideas! It’s time to think about programs for ALA’s 2011 Annual Conference in New Orleans June 23 – 28, 2011. If you think you would like to present a program for YALSA at Annual 2011 you need to complete an online form at:

You can turn in a form for any program idea you have, but YALSA’s Program Clearinghouse Committee is specifically looking for programs that address the following topics: 1) Engaging the after school crowd, 2) Promoting reading with web 2.0 tools, 3) Innovative teen programming, 4) Programming for older teens and 5) Managing your teen advisory group.

Other desirable traits in programs are: 1) those that include speakers or presenters from outside the library community, 2) those that offer practical information attendees can take back home and implement ASAP and 3) programs that are interactive.

Anyone can submit a proposal. You don’t have to be affiliated with a YALSA Committee/jury/taskforce. Only one proposal per person and/or group is permitted. Proposals that advertise or promote only one particular product or author will not be considered. If your proposal is accepted, you will be expected to fund your own travel and related expenses at the conference. All proposals must be turned in by January 19th 2010.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at cleman@hcplonline.info. Thank you!