Happy Teen Read Week!

Happy Teen Read Week! YALSA and libraries across the U.S. are celebrating teen reading in all its forms this week. How can you join the celebration?

  • Watch or download a special video message from author Nikki Grimes at the Teen Read Week website, courtesy of Zonderkidz
  • Watch or download the announcement of the Teens’ Top Ten, featuring World Wrestling Entertainment Diva Eve, at the Teens’ Top Ten website
  • Encourage your teens to visit www.ala.org/teenread and vote on next year’s theme (Picture It @ your library, Feast on Reads @ your library, or Cloak and Dagger@ your library)
  • Tell us what you have planned in the comments or at the YALSA wiki

Have a great week celebrating Books with Beat @ your library!

National STEM Video Game Challenge

5th-8th graders (if homeschooled, the equivalent) have the opportunity to design original video games or mobile games using free platforms. The contest is inspired by President Obama’s, Educate to Innovate campaign. Prizes go to the institution designated by the applicant. Sponsoring organizations include the Joan Ganz Cooney Center, ALA, and AASL among others. How might your library be involved? Continue reading

Tweets of the Week – October 15, 2010

A short list of tweets posted over the last week that librarians and the teens that they serve may find interesting:

  • Americans and their gadgets http://pewrsr.ch/PIPgadgets A new report by @Aaron_W_Smith – @Pew_Internet
  • The Importance of Teaching Digital Citizenship http://rww.to/93A4MG – @RWW
  • Thanks, Gale. And I want more of these. – NeverEndingSearch http://bit.ly/az4kvM – @sljournal
  • Just hand-sold Flash Burnout to one student & Acceleration to another. Talking books with teens is the best. – @wsstephens
  • Moi at @educause: “Streams of Content, Limited Attention: The Flow of Information through Social Media” http://bit.ly/bPXg9l – @zephoria Continue reading

YA Literature Symposium — Beyond Good Intentions and Chicken Soup

The YA Literature Symposium is quickly approaching! Have you registered yet? The list of programs with times is now available.

The featured program this week/today is:

Beyond Good Intentions and Chicken Soup: Young Adult Literature and Disability Diversity: How Far Have We Come?

Today’s teens are likely to have friends and classmates with disabilities. Young adult literature increasingly reflects the diverse identities found among today’s teens, and scaffolds the social beliefs they hold about people with disabilities, by including positive portrayals of characters with disabilities. Session participants will critically examine how changing social beliefs about disability are reflected in historical through contemporary fiction and nonfiction YA lit and explore methods to promote acceptance of diversity through the genre. Participants will be able to apply this knowledge when selecting and teaching YA lit. Speakers are Dr. Heather Garrison, Dr. Katherine Schneider, and author Terry Trueman.

The interview with Drs. Heather Garrison and Katherine Schneider is available at the YA Lit Symposium Online Community.

The YA Literature Symposium is November 5-7 in Albuquerque, NM. To give everyone a sneak peek into the presentations I be posting portions of interviews with program presenters weekly until the symposium. Full interviews will be available at the YA Lit Symposium Online Community.

Announcing YALSA’s 2011 Election Slate

YALSA has finalized its slate for the 2011 Election. Voting will open in March. The slate is as follows:

President Elect:
Mary Hastler
Jack Martin

Krista McKenzie
Sarajo Wentling

Fiscal Officer:
Jerene Battisti
Penny Johnson

Board of Directors:
Sandra Hughes-Hassell
Molly Krichten
Gail Tobin
Christian Zabriskie

Printz Award:
Naomi Bates
Louise Brueggemann
Meghan Cirrito
Sharon Grover
Heidi Hammond
Lexi Henshel
Sharon Rawlins
Sarah Bean Thompson

Edwards Award:
Shari Fesko
Angela Leeper
Barbara Moon
Charli Osborne
Ed Spicer
Jamie Watson

Excellence in Nonfiction:
Ruth Allen
Angela Frederick
Angie Manfredi
Judy Nelson
Maren Ostergard
Laura Pearle
Adela Peskorz
Jennifer Rothschild

Slate updated 12/15/10

YALSA’s November E-Chat: Back in ALA Connect!

The monthly member chat for YALSA triumphantly returns to ALA Connect this month! Join us at 8 p.m. Eastern on Nov. 3 for an hour-long chat on multicultural programming, facilitated by Linda Alexander, professor at the University of South Florida and co-editor of YALSA’s Multicultural Programs for Tweens and Teens.

YALSA members should use their login for the ALA website, www.ala.org. 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.”

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

YALSA’s Not So Silent Auction: Good Reads & Treats

On Friday night, January 7, 2011 at the San Diego Midwinter Meeting, you have the opportunity to bid on several baskets filled with good reads and treats for evenings at home on a cold winter’s night. Two of these are:

  • The 2011 Quick Picks Committee has chosen a delightful selection from their current list with delicious treats from twelve different states. Be prepared to discover new titles for your teen readers as well as new snacking favorites.
  • Spend time exploring the new Popular Paperback Books Lists with a selection of paperbacks from four new lists— “Thrillers and Killers”, “What’s Cooking”, “What If…”, and “Zombies, Werewolves and Things with Wings”. All books are selected by the 2011 Popular Paperback Committee members. Surprise treats are also included in this basket.

Don’t forget you can see all of the items that will be up for bid at YALSA’s Not So Silent Auction on the YALSA Midwinter Wiki Not So Silent Auction signup page.

App of the Week: Poem Flow

Name: Poem Flow
Platform: iPhone (OS 3 or later), iPad, iPod Touch
Cost: ranges from $0.99 to $2.99

POEM FLOW is an app available for the iPhone (requires OS 3 or later), iPod Touch, and iPad. It was one of the first apps I ever downloaded to my iPod Touch several years ago. After all, I am a former English teacher, one who recalls her own students’ distaste for all things poetic back in the 80s and 90s when I was teaching middle school (and I doubt that has changed much since then either).

app on iPod Touch

Continue reading

Serving on the Mentoring Program Task Force

Earlier this summer, Melissa Rabey reflected on her experience so far on the Printz Committee. While I think a number of us one day aspire to serve on a selection committee, we may not be ready to make that kind of commitment yet, or we might feel like we don’t have the experience within YALSA to do so–but there are other ways to begin your involvement within YALSA. For new members especially, a task force can be a good way to try out professional service, so I thought I’d talk about my experience on the YALSA Mentoring Program Task Force.

The call for task force members went out a few days before I graduated. I’d been looking for avenues for getting more involved in YALSA, and a task force seemed like a manageable way to start. I’d applied for the mentoring program itself, too, so I made sure to mention that in my task force application. When I was asked to join the task force, I was told I just needed to recuse myself when my own application came up, but that I could still evaluate the other applications and help match proteges and mentors (and it turned out that one of the other members of the task force was an applicant to be a mentor!). Soon after the mentoring program application deadline passed, the chair of the task force emailed all of the members asking us to introduce ourselves to one another, and we began our work.

One thing that makes a task force a good place to start for people who are looking for their first way to get involved with YALSA is that many of them conduct their business entirely virtually. We did all of our work by exchanging emails and chatting via Skype, which was a great way for a group of people across the country with varying schedules to be able to collaborate. Of course, there are pitfalls in communication done primarily by email, but it opens task force work to people who can’t afford to travel and lets members work asynchronously.

Since task forces have a specific project to carry out, task force work is also usually done over a shorter timeline than a selection or process committee. We began our Mentoring Program Task Force work in early July and submitted our final recommendations at the end of August. If you’re anxious about how to get started with your YALSA involvement, a few months is a great trial period to see how you like it.

Joining a task force–or serving in any capacity with YALSA–is also a fun way to get to know your fellow YALSA members. Especially if you’re a new member, I think that trying to jump into a huge crowd of people you don’t know to make connections and friends can be intimidating. A task force is a good way to narrow that crowd to a friendly few and to start to put personalities and faces to the names you may have seen on listservs. While I’m not going to be able to make it to Midwinter this year since I’m going to the YA Lit Symposium in November, I’m hoping I’ll be able to meet up with some of the other task force members at future conferences.

I was a little nervous heading into my first professional involvement experience, but I had fun and I’m proud of the work we did. If you’re thinking about getting involved with YALSA but you’re not sure where to start, keep your eye out for calls for task force members. You’ll likely be able to work virtually, it’ll be a relatively short and easy introduction to serving within your professional organization, and you’ll come away from the experience with new connections and maybe even friends. And once you’ve got one task force under your belt, you’ll be ready for another opportunity to get involved!

Teen Music Interest Group returns

Self-proclaimed music buff and Teen Librarian April Pavis has taken over as convener for YALSA’s Teen Music Interest Group (henceforth known as T-MIG).’ ‘  Music-related issues will be covered in ALA Connect and in listserv discussions ya-music@ala.org.

A few of the issues:

– Illegal downloading continues to be a big issue for the recording industry and library computers are likely used in those illegal efforts.’  T-MIG members and guests will discuss illegal music downloading in libraries, and the repercussions and ethics of allowing it to go on.

– Music programming for teens: what works, what doesn’t, ideas, suggestions, discussions.

– Teen use of music in the news.

– Emerging technologies for use in the libraries, or for our patrons.

I look forward to the discussions and positive influence this group will have on teens and librarians-serving-teens across the country.’  Please do not hesitate to post on the listerv, member or not.’  All contributions are welcome.