Students: Win Tickets on Twitter to YALSA’s Games, Gadgets & Gurus in Boston

YALSA is coming to Boston for ALA’s Midwinter Meeting, and we’re giving away seven tickets to SLIS students for ‘ our Friday night social event, Games, Gadgets & Gurus, on Jan. 15 from 8-10 p.m. Network with your YALSA friends and colleagues over refreshments, play with board games and video games; see demos of social networking, cloud computing, and more, try out library-friendly technology like e-readers, digital audio recorders, Flip Video cameras; get one-on-one advice from tech experts, and more. Other participants include Galaxy Press, PBS’s Digital Nation, and

It should be a great time. So how do you win tickets? Easy. If you’re a library school student who can attend the event in Boston and you have a Twitter account (if you don’t, you can sign up for one —’ it’s free), ‘ post something by 5 p.m. Central Standard Time on Friday, Dec. 4 with the hashtag #gamesgadgetsgurus. That’s it! We’ll choose seven people who used the hashtag at random and will send you a direct message letting you know you’ve won on Dec. 7 (so make sure you’re following us at so we can get in touch with you!). Continue reading

The Cure for Twilight

With New Moon topping the box office, most of us are experiencing a resurgence of Twilight madness. Here, at a private K-9 school, we have about six copies of each book in the series and they are rarely in on our YA shelves. But, as with any trend, there are always dissenters.

Some have hated the whole thing from the start, or some, like me, have just had enough. I read them, I saw the first movie, and I’m sure I’ll see New Moon eventually. I get it, it’s fun, it’s escapist, (though I agree with L. Lee Butler’s post from last week, it does normalize some pretty creepy behavior, but I digress). At this point, I’m over it and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one. I overheard some students the other day asking each other if they were going to see the movie, and one girl replied: “I never got into those,” as if it were a point of pride.

There are plenty of reasons to be tired of Twilight, but that doesn’t mean we should give up on vampires, or even on supernatural romances, forever.
So, for your perusal, I present cures for various Twilight related ills:

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Teens & Adults & Digital Content Creation

Last week the MacArthur Foundation posted the video of their recent panel discussion titled, What Kids Learn When They Create With Digital Media.

It’s a video worth viewing with some recurring themes and ideas that should resonate with librarians that work with teens in both school and public settings. Highlights from the discussion, at least from my perspective, include:
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D.C. Tips – Visiting the White House

If you are coming to Washington D.C. for ALA Annual this summer, you might be interested in touring the White House. ‘ Requests for tours must be made through a’ member of Congress, and you can submit your request up to six months in advance, but no less than 30 days before. ‘ If you are not sure who your member of Congress is, you can locate your Senators here and your Representative here. ‘ (You will need the four digit extension of your zip code, which can be found here.) ‘ Citizens of foreign countries should submit requests through their embassy. ‘ All members of your group will need to be cleared by’ Secret Service first, so it is recommended that you include the name, date of birth, and’ Social Security number of each person in your request. ‘ You should also provide several different day options for your tour. ‘ Tours are self-guided and available Tuesday through Saturday. ‘ You will not be able to bring most items into the House, and there are no storage facilities available. ‘ More information can be found at the White House site, the National Park Service, your Congress member’s website, and Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out.

If you are unable to visit the White House, you might want to consider the White House Visitor Center’ (also recommended if you are touring the House). ‘ It is free and open to the public every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. ‘ The Center provides information on the furnishings and architecture, families and events that have been in the White House throughout its history; a 30 minute video is also featured. ‘ More information can be found at the above mentioned web sites.

Suggested books to educate or enhance a visit include the children’s book’ Our White House: Looking in, Looking Out, A White House Cookbook from 1867, available through Google’ Books, and The White House: an Illustrated History. ‘ Further suggestions can be found at the White House Historical Association or your local libraries and bookstores.

Percy Jackson

I, like many others, saw Twilight over the weekend.’  Actually, I will admit that I was at the midnight showing with my fellow co-workers.’  But I wasn’t there for Edward and Bella.’  I was there with my hopes high that there would be a new Percy Jackson and the Olympians trailer.’  Luckily for me, that was the first trailer they showed.’  I squealed loudly and my co-worker called out “read the book first” when the trailer finished.’ 

From what I’ve seen in the previews’ so far, I’m really looking forward to this movie.’  I’ve read the books, and waited eagerly for the casting announcements.’  The excitement from my teens on the other hand isn’t as apparent.’  Many of them don’t even know that a movie based on the books is being released.’  They all get excited when I tell them the movie will be out in February.’  The Lightning Thief and Sea of Monsters won our state book award two years in a row, so I’m sure they’ll be racing to the theater to see it on the big screen.’ 

Maybe the movie just needs some more marketing to go with it.’  It’s been relatively quite so far.’  Do your teens know about the upcoming Percy Jackson movie and are they looking forward to it?

Apply by Nov. 30 to manage YALSA’s new blog

Earlier this month, YALSA extended the deadline to apply to manage its new blog. The new blog (name TBD) will launch in 2010 and will focus young adult literature. We’re seeking candidates to manage the blog and help YALSA develop it further. The goal is to create a website that provides teens a resource – with blog posts and multimedia – for finding reading recommendations.

After the jump, read the original announcement, which includes job requirements, qualifications and information on how to apply. Questions? Contact Beth Yoke at

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YALSA Awards & Grants Applications due Dec. 1

YALSA gives more than $40,000 in grants and awards to its members each year. Applications are due on Dec. 1. YALSA’s member grants and awards fund travel to conferences, small-scale research projects, collection development, and more. After the jump, learn more about the available grants and how you can apply at

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“Do you have a Lost and Found?” she asked.
“No, that’s in the office,” I said.
“NO! the book,” she had said, exasperated by my lack of understanding.
Duh! I was tired and it was last period on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving holiday.
We looked in the online catalog. Zero copies available.
“Where is the drama?” she asked next.
I started to point out the plays in the 800’s.
“NO! Ms. P!” she frowned.
I asked what kind of drama.
“Whatever,” she said dismissively and turned to go.
She looked back near the door and said “Bye, Mrs. P.”

Well, so I had not totally lost her trust (she did say Bye) because she knows I read all the books but I had really gotten lost in my library terminology and failed to help her find the type of book she was willing to read. The term “drama” has somehow become what teen girls mean when they are asking for realistic fiction. The closest the online catalog terms come is High Schools – Fiction.

This calls for a display – don’t you think?

Twilight and Abusive Relationships

I never thought I was going to have such a serious problem with a popular book that I almost didn’t put it on the shelves. I’m a cool, gay, sex-positive, pro-teen agency guy, I thought to myself when I was getting my MLIS, the parents may have problems with my selections, but too bad! I’m here to advocate for the students. And then I read Twilight.

I almost didn’t buy the Twilight books for my 7-8 school library. I don’t hate them because I’m a guy, or because of the excruciatingly bad prose, or the corruption of vampire mythology without acknowledging or commenting on the original, or even because Bella is such a waste of space. I hate them because of the sexual messaging they impart to teens, especially teen girls, robbing them of agency and normalizing stalking and abusive behavior.

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Adam Lambert and You

Much of the pop culture world is all a-twitter about Adam Lambert’s sexually charged performance at last night’s American Music Awards. Every morning radio show seemed to be covering it during my commute, every blog seems to have a post on it, and “Adam Lambert” is a top trending topic on Twitter.

And among the teens at my high school… not a peep.

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