Why ALA is Going to be Awesome

My mother is a crazy, enthusiastic children’s librarian and I am her crazy, librarian-wannabe daughter which means that ALA is like Disney World for the two of us. I’m lucky that she’s my mom because otherwise I might not even know what ALA stands for.

But she is, and I do, and now we’re getting ready for our second trip to the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, DC. As a teenager and not technically a librarian yet (even though I like to pretend that I already am) ALA is all about fun for me. Of course, I’m such a librarian nerd that even sessions about RefWorks are pretty thrilling but the true magic happens in the Exhibits Hall.

So, with excitement and antici…pation running through my book nerdy veins, I thought that I would write a list of the top ten things I hope I can tell you about in my post-conference post:

  1. Meeting Lauren Oliver and telling her that Before I Fall was one of the most beautiful novels that I have ever read. When you start a novel wanting to punch the main character in the face and end a novel crying because you know she has to die, you know you’ve just experienced something that doesn’t happen very often.
  2. Congratulating Libba Bray on her Printz Award and tell her that I TOTALLY saw it coming, because honestly, how could I not? I think she might also like to know that I am now the proud owner of a growing lawn gnome collection, all thanks to her.
  3. Participating in Libraries Build Communities again.
  4. Attending the YA Author Coffee Klatch and trying to contain my giddiness, especially if John Green is anywhere in the vicinity.
  5. Waiting just outside the Exhibits Hall just before they open and making a mad dash for all of the major publishers before the really good ARCs are gone.
  6. Talking about books with the Best Fiction for Young Adults panel (including my fabulous VOYA partner, Alissa Lauzon)
  7. Planning to fan girl every YA author I can find but ending up just staring at them in awe while my mother tells them how much I talk about their books.
  8. Recreating another serendipitous moment where I turn the corner and there is STEPHEN CHBOSKY signing The Perks of Being a Wallflower .
  9. Wandering through the Exhibits Hall pulling the “I am an eager teen reader. Please give me books” card.
  10. Being around a bunch of librarians who are as excited about books as I am.

I have no doubt that no matter how many of these things I actually get to do, I will still manage to have a great time, learn a lot, and get a ton of awesome ARCs. See you there!

My Conversation with M. Jane Manthorne

Several years ago, when and Betty Carter and I were collecting information for a School Library Journal article about YALSA’s 50th year anniversary, an opportunity arose for me to talk with Jane Manthorne, 1971-1972 YALSA [YASD] President. Our conversation was delightful, so it was with sadness that I read a notice of her death of February 12, 2010, and learned more about the rich, active life she’d led. Below is a link to her obituary, but I wanted to share some of our phone conversation. Continue reading

The YALSA Update: Last Chance for YA Galley, TRW Mini Grants!

Your Teens Could Help Choose the Teens’ Top Ten! Applications for the 2010-2012 round of YALSA’s YA Galley project are due on Tuesday, June 1. These fifteen book groups will choose the nominations for the Teens’ Top Ten and much more. Learn more and apply at www.ala.org/teenstopten.

Apply for a Teen Read Week Mini Grant (and register, too!) Applications are due Tuesday, June 1, for the Teen Read Week Mini Grants ($450 in cash plus $50 in Teen Read Week products!). Teen Read Week will be celebrated Oct. 17-23, with a theme of Books with Beat @ your library, which encourages teens to read poetry, audiobooks, books about music and more, for the fun of it. Learn how to apply, and register, at www.ala.org/teenread.

After the jump, details on our next Wednesday e-chat, registering for our YA Classics webinar, and more!

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If You Tweet It, They Will Come

I find myself in an odd position.

Despite the prevailing wisdom that teens don’t tweet–a notion that gets thrown around on this blog, not to mention other online news sources and research groups like Pew–I seem to have found that rare enclave of teens who do tweet. By my count, right now I have 18 followers who are also students at the high school where I work.

My first reaction, of course, was sheer panic.

And then they brought me cupcakes.

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Care/Don’t Care

Yesterday Twitter (and the web in general) was abuzz with news and reports related to technology, and in particular young people and technology. Was all the news worth paying attention to? Was all the news care-worthy? Here are some thoughts:

Care: Reputation Management and Social Media
The Pew Internet in American Life Project released a report about reputation management and social media. The focus of the report is on how people, of all ages, manage what others know about them through social network environments. Continue reading

YALSA’s Upcoming Professional Development

YALSA is pleased to offer the following professional development opportunities in June. If you have questions about YALSA’s professional development, please contact Eve Gaus, YALSA’s program officer for continuing education, at egaus@ala.org or 1-800-545-2433, ext. 5293.

June 2, First Wednesdays with YALSA: YALSA’s First Wednesdays continue with an online chat this month at 8 p.m. Eastern, this time on managing your teen advisory board, hosted by Evie Wilson-Lingbloom. We will be using a private room in Meebo for the chat; the password to log in is available to YALSA members at this ALA Connect post. See you next Wednesday!

June 17, YA Classics Webinar: Join Sarah Debraski, YALSA past president, for a discussion of YA classics. Sarah will highlight YA novels from 1951 -2003, discussing their themes and issues and how YA librarians can connect teens with these classics. Participants will receive a list of 25 go-to titles that they can use for readers advisory or to add to their collection.’  This webinar will take place Thursday, June 17, at 2 p.m. Eastern. Register today! Registration costs $39 for individual YALSA members, $49 for all other individuals. A group rate of $195 is available. Learn more about YALSA webinars at www.ala.org/yalsa/webinars.

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Serving the “new” largest generation in history!

As a Baby Boomer, I have always been a bit smug about my generation’s effect on American society. Because of our sheer numbers, we have influenced opinions and procedures regarding public education, child-rearing, music, home ownership, and yes, even menopause. I’m confident my generation will continue to demand change as we move into retirement and old age.

My conceit at being part of this highly-influential demographic was humbled recently, however. I read a report stating when the 2010 census is complete, the Baby Boom generation will officially lose its number-one status. Due to rising immigration as much as to rising birth rates, the Millennial generation is now the largest demographic group in America.

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New to Me: Gentlehands

More than just a love story between a poor boy and a rich girl, Gentlehands is the coming of age of a young man in the late 1970s.’  M.E. Kerr was awarded the Edwards Award in 1993, noted as “one of the pioneers in realistic fiction for teenagers.”‘  So how has her work held up?

M.E. Kerr
Published 1978

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YALSA President’s Program 2010 is Going Virtual!

Not going to make it to DC this year for Annual? Have so many “can’t miss” meetings or specials events you wish you could be in two places at once? This year the President’s Program is going virtual! Like this year’s theme, Risky Business, we’re taking a risk by making the President’s Program virtual for the first time. Now you can attend YALSA’s President’s Program from the comfort of your home!

So as we count down the days to Annual, don’t miss your chance to be part of history and attend the YALSA’s President’s Program at http://www.yalsa.ala.org/yalsapresident2010!