Required Reading & Listening

Over the past several weeks I’ve read articles and books and listened to podcasts that I think are must reads (and listens) for any person working in libraries and specifically with teens. Here’s the list:

Sit In On YALSA Board Meetings @ Midwinter

In less than a week I’ll be in Boston, sort of hard for me to believe, but it’s true. I’m going a bit early in order to attend the ALISE Conference. At ALISE I’ll attend some sessions and meetings as well as host a YALSA Happy Hour for Conference attendees and staff the YALSA booth for a few hours during the week. (If you will be at ALISE be sure to stop by.)

Right after ALISE is Midwinter and there are quite a few things that I’m gearing up for at the Meeting. One of the activities that is very much on my mind are the meetings of the YALSA Board. As mentioned in my December President’s Report, anyone is welcome to attend YALSA’s Board meetings. (The full agenda and documentation is now available on the YALSA Members Only Web Site.)

If you are going to be in Boston, think about spending some time with the Board. These Board meetings are a very good way to learn about the work of the organization, find out what it’s like to serve as a Board member, and get updates on YALSA projects and activities. Even if a new YALSA member you might want to stop in at a Board meeting in order to find out what the Association is doing for you, and find out how YALSA governance works. Continue reading

Start Your New Year with YALSA

YALSA’s First Wednesdays continue in 2010! Join us tomorrow for an online chat in YALSA’s space in ALA Connect (you must be a member to participate). The chat will take place at 8 p.m. Eastern, with the topic of “Start Your New Year with YALSA.” Hosted by President Linda Braun and President-Elect Kim Patton, participants will chat about the many ways you can get involved with our association, whether it’s participating online by joining an interest group in ALA Connect, proposing a program for Annual 2011, volunteering for a committee, or something else.

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 or you can navigate there within Connect by choosing “YALSA” from under “My ALA Groups”) and then click “Chats.”

Can’t make it? The transcript will be posted on the YALSA Blog on Thursday.

YALSA Podcast #80: Looking Forward to Midwinter Institute

In this podcast, Kelly Czarnecki interviews Jamie Watson to talk about the Midwinter Institute. Jamie offers some insight on the development of the day’s programming and thoughts for librarians who fear they don’t have access to adequate technology to participate.

Libraries 3.0: Teen Edition will be held January 15th from 9:00 to 4:30. For more information and instructions for registering, visit the YALSA wiki.


You can also download this podcast, and others, at YALSA’s Podcasts site.

National Book Foundation’s Innovations in Reading Prize

Do you know a librarian or library with an innovative approach to fostering a love of reading? Fill out an application from the National Book Foundation for the Innovations in Reading Prize!

The Foundation lists “creativity, risk-taking, and a visionary quality” as the most important criteria for selecting winners, who could receive up to $2500 in prizes.’  Sound like anyone you know?

Last year’s winners included the Maricopa County Library District, recognized for its use of “Deweyless” libraries to promote more user-friendly browsing.

You can complete an application online or call the Foundation at
(212) 685-0261. All applications must be postmarked by February 17, 2010. Winners will be announced to the public on May 3.

Interview with L.K. Madigan

Welcome to the continuing series of interviews with the authors who are on’ the 2010 Morris Award Shortlist. Today we have L.K. Madigan, author of Flash Burnout.

From the Morris Award Committee description: “Blake’s life is way too complicated. He’s a sophomore in high school with a girlfriend and a friend who is a girl. One of them loves him. One of them needs him. Can he please them both?”

YALSA Blog:’ ‘ Congratulations on Flash Burnout being on the Morris Award shortlist! Where were you when you found out you’d been shortlisted for the Morris Award? And who was the first person you told?

L.K. Madigan: I’m going to let Blake answer this:

“My author was at work. Her editor called with the news, and she screamed. Actually, it wasn’t really a scream. It was more like an ejaculation. Heh.”flashburnout_web Continue reading

Nonfiction Award: Interview with Tanya Lee Stone

At Midwinter 2010 in Boston, the winner of the inaugural YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults will be announced.’  To celebrate this award, the YALSA blog will be publishing interviews with some of the shortlisted authors.’  Our next interview is with Tanya Lee Stone, author of Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream.

Almost Astronauts

Almost Astronauts

The Nonfiction Committee on Almost Astronauts:’  “In the early 1960s, the doctor in charge of testing NASA’s astronauts decided to find out if female pilots were capable of passing the grueling qualification tests required of male pilots. Feasible? Yes. Allowed? No. All testing of women’s potential for the Mercury program was done outside NASA’s purview and without their permission. The reasons why will stun readers.”

YALSA Blog: Congratulations on being included on the shortlist for the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults!’  What was your reaction to being included on the shortlist for this first-ever award?

Tanya Lee Stone:’  I was ecstatic! It’s such an honor to be included, and so exciting to be part of the first year’s celebration.
Continue reading

Worth a Thousand Words

Like many people digital photography has opened up a whole new hobby to me: photography.’  I love being able to take as many pictures as it takes to get just the right shot and when I learned how to use the macro setting on my camera, well, suddenly all my photos were extreme close ups.’  And, like many of you, I share my photos with friends, family, colleagues, and strangers via email, photo album sharing (i.e. Picasa, Flickr, Shutterfly, etc.), Facebook, and my personal blog.’  Just yesterday I noticed that WordPress had a new theme specifically for photoblogs (Duotone.)’  Hmm…a blog that is simply a new photo each day.’  I had thought about doing a “365” project for a while and this was the incentive I needed.’  I signed right up for yet another blog. Perhaps you’re wondering what this has to do with teens and libraries? Well, after I posted my first two pictures I started thinking about how much fun it would be to do something like this at the library. I like it that it wouldn’t take up extra space on your website.’  You could just have a link on your front page to your “Picture of the Day” that would take you to the photoblog.

You could photograph all kinds of things at your library: people doing different activities (reading, using the computer, etc.),’  beautiful or unusual parts of the building, staff and patrons interacting, children responding to programs, and whatever else might capture your eye. ‘  And why not get teens involved in this? What a great way to empower the teens who use your library and support their point of view and art.

Aside from just being a cool project, this is a great way to show the many facets of the library and your community.’  After all, a picture is worth a thousand words! Have a 365 project? Why not leave a link in the comments?

Sarah Debraski

YALSA Immediate Past President

YALSA President’s Report: December 2009

The mission of the Young Adult Library Services Association is to advocate, promote and strengthen service to young adults as part of the continuum of total library service, and to support those who provide service to this population.

Mission Moment
How Recent YALSA Activities Support the Association’s Mission and Strategic Plan

In December YALSA hired the first editor of the Association’s research journal. Jessica Moyer was selected by the search committee. The research journal is slated to launch in the fourth-quarter of 2010 and is both directly tied to YALSA’s mission and the Association’s strategic plan. As a demonstration of supporting YALSA’s mission, hiring Jessica is a key step in publishing a journal that will help members understand teens and how to serve them effectively. The YALSA strategic plan includes a goal area for research which states, “YALSA is a recognized source for access to targeted research benefiting members and the library community.” Hiring a journal editor is an important action in reaching this strategic goal.


In early December I facilitated two conversations for Committee Chairs on planning and getting ready for Midwinter Meeting in Boston. Information covered in the conversations included submission of pre-conference committee reports, building an agenda for committee meetings, what to expect at all-committee and leadership development meetings, and events (outside of committee meetings) to attend at Midwinter. Continue reading