The first annual YALSA Past Presidents’ Lecture was scheduled for Saturday, January 8, at the 2011 Midwinter Meeting. Unfortunately, the speaker, Mary K. Chelton, was unable to attend the Meeting and could therefore not present her lecture. However, Chelton was able to record her speech and it is provided here in its entirety.

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The deadline for YALSA’s Thinking Big About Advocacy Contest is February 1.  The goal of the contest it to create and share a collection of advocacy best practices.  During the past two months the Contest Task Force members have highlighted the efforts of dedicated librarians who have successfully worked to improve YA services at their libraries.  If you haven’t submitted your entry  yet, there is still time to get involved.  We’ll be awarding prizes to five YALSA members in recognition of truly outstanding efforts, so if you could use $500 for you next program, check out the application at YALSA’s Thinking Big About Advocacy Contest.

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

  • “Mom, I think it’s time you learned where tweets and blogs come from.” via @mcsweeneys http://bit.ly/fSJDMM – @jennydeluxe
  • My article for Educause on Attention, other 21C literacies http://bit.ly/gwz0SJ – @hrheingold
  • Why Skins Isn’t Cool Enough To Influence Real Teens http://t.co/OZtZIjJ via @jezebel – @sarah_ludwig
  • New website offers manifestos for the future of media education by Buckingham, Gauntlet, Bazalgate, Jenkins, others. http://bit.ly/eazbdd – @henryjenkins Read More →

Some libraries have a hard time enticing teens to attend programs within the library’s walls. There are some Librarians who face this challenge and look at it as a way out of teen programming.  But most of us know that if you can’t draw them in, then you have to join them where they are!  In the library or not, we should always be reaching out and scouring the community to find ways we can better serve our target population.

If you fear a dismal turnout for Teen Tech Week events at your library, you are not alone!  But consider taking your show on the road to a place where you know teens congregate.  Whether that place be at the usual outreach spots: local community center, parks & rec, after-school programming, the classroom, the school media center;  or perhaps a new partner in the nearest pizza joint, book store, electronics store, or the mall.  Attempting to make new contacts is not always easy, but if you go into it knowing that your confidence can not be cut down too much when all the prospective partner can say is “no”, then its really no sweat.  Read More →

Remember the old Batman television series of the late 1960s. Now remember the Bat phone, a direct line to Commissioner Gordon? Well, as registered voters we have a direct line to our congress men and women. Well, sorta. The US Capitol Switchboard number, 202-224-3121 is the starting point for legislative advocates on the go.

I have this number programmed into my cell phone so at anytime I may call, ask to be connected to my representative’s office and leave a message touting my views and wishes. I recommend individual librarians do the same in order to expedite their advocacy efforts for our teens, fellow librarians, and our libraries. Read More →

Title: Muybridgizer by Tate Gallery

Platform: iPhone, iPod Touch with Camera

Cost: Free

Nineteenth century English photographer Eadweard Muybridge was challenged by California Governor Leland Stanford to take a picture of one of his prize racehorse with all four legs off the ground. Muybridge managed to use sequential exposures from a series of cameras to capture that elusive moment, barely perceptible to the naked eye.

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What do you do with middle school students acting like…well, middle school students? Give them a Room of Their Own! Teen spaces are becoming an increasingly common means to keep teens coming into the library once they reach that awkward age of too old for the kids section, but needing their own space. The path to teen-centered spaces in libraries has been paved by advocacy.

“When I wrote the first edition of Teen Spaces in 2002, no one was even really thinking about teen spaces with the exception of a few like Phoenix and Los Angeles,” says author and consultant Kim Cullin. “In the mid to late 90’s I had worked to create teen spaces in a several rural libraries and ended up doing a ton of public speaking on the topic to motivate others to do the same. It became a mission!”  Cullin goes on to say that by the time she started working on the second edition, teen spaces had become increasingly commonplace.  “I had so many wonderful examples to show people as compared to the few and far between that were out there while writing the first edition.”
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Our guest for episode 88 is Terri Snethen, Chair for  the 2011 Best Fiction for Young Adults selection committee. Hear how it all came together for the committee in it’s inaugural year.

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If you prefer, you may download the podcast at the YALSA Podcast site and transfer the file to the mp3 player of your choice.

After listening to the podcast, you can check out the committee’s work by seeing what made this year’s list.

I’m about four months in to my first professional position out of grad school. I was very lucky to land a YA position just a few months after graduating, and I really like my library, my coworkers, and the community that supports the library. But as a new librarian, I’m finding that even though I have my MLS, I still have a lot of learning to do in providing a strong teen services program.

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Many of our teen patrons come in to the library for one reason and one reason only – to use the public computers. They shouldn’t be faulted for taking advantage of a technology that is almost absolutely necessary for everyday life. Teens need computers and technology for research, homework, and communication. Oh, and probably for games too. What many people forget is that while teens are using this technology, they are in fact reading. They are reading their friends’ status update on Facebook; they are reading the lyrics to their favorite songs; they are reading the detailed instructions for that online game that seems entirely too complicated. The young adults that we see every day are using this technology and they are making connections online…shouldn’t we bring our services to them? Read More →