Welcome to the last day of Teens & Tech. I hope you enjoyed it. Sorry for the delay in getting this last post up. I was having, of all things, technology issues. Today's topic was suggested by the Tech Integrator at my school, Allison Lundquist.

Dear YALSA:

Thank you for all of the great suggestions. Here's my problem. I'm totally blocked. I want to share awesome YouTube videos with my teachers, but YouTube is blocked. I want to create a Facebook page for my library, but Facebook is banned, too. Skype-An-Author? I'd love to, but Skype is verboten. How do I get around these filtering issues?

All Blocked Up

Dear ABU:

I feel your pain, I really do. Nothing is worse than seeing that SonicWall come up to stop you in your tracks.

Really this is an issue of intellectual freedom, the same as a book challenge. If we feel that a site has merit, we need to fight for it. The ALA office of Intellectual Freedom has a very useful page about filters and filtering.

Read More →

I am currently reading David Levithan's new novel, The Lover's Dictionary. This is the first of his novels, at least that I've read, that hasn't been filed in the YA section. As I've been reading it I've sort of kept a check list of reasons for this in my head, but what I've found is that the major rationalization seems to be the age of the characters, who come across as just past young adulthood. My other thought while reading this novel is that it is probably one of the best solo novels I have read by David Levithan.

This got me thinking about cross shelving. My mother is a children's librarian, and she has told me before that some novels (like the Harry Potter and Percy Jackson books) are shelved in both the Children's and YA sections. It makes sense to me; some kids are still okay looking for books in the Children's section, but other kids who might not be ready for everything in YA would still like to start browsing there. Read More →

This month we've seen a lot of interesting talk about different technologies and how they affect teens here at the YALSA blog. Now that we're wrapping things up, I thought it might be interesting to pull back a little and look at the larger social effect of the Internet on society. There are two reports by the Pew Internet & American Life Project in particular that can tell us how the Internet has changed our social lives.
Read More →

Last December, ' my 12 year-old' niece' and not-12 year-old best friend both received Kindles for Christmas. By the time I saw them, both had uploaded a few books and a few games, and both were raving about the size and convenience. It was the first time I'd seen the new editions up close, and they certainly are sleek and clear.

My library currently owns two older edition Kindles (courtesy' of a donation), and by Christmas, we were still wrestling with to how' ' to acquire and advertise our Kindle eBook collection. In addition, my colleagues and I were debating the fit of a ' Kindle purchase model at our library, and so movement with the two we already owned was slow. I thought we had time on this.

But seeing eReaders in the hands of two of my favorite readers, I realized the eBook revolution had to become a priority. It was time for this concept to take center stage. ' So I've spent this new year trying to catch up on the eBook conversation, and figure out the best way to integrate eBooks into our school library.

I've asked myself a few questions: What are different libraries doing to incorporate eBooks and eReading? What are the road blocks? Is there a model out there that our library can follow? How do we' proceed?

So far, the answers to these questions are vast and varied--' Here is some of what I've discovered. Read More →

Applications due for JRLYA, YALS: YALSA is seeking a Member Editor for both the Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults and Young Adult Library Services. Applications are due March 1. Learn more about the JRLYA position and the YALS position. Questions about either can be sent to Stephanie Kuenn, YALSA's web services manager, at skuenn@ala.org.

Summer Reading Grant applications due: With funding from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, YALSA will distribute 20 $1,000 grants for summer reading programs to members who live in states that have Dollar General stores. Learn more about the summer reading grants and find out how to apply at the Summer Reading Grants webpage. Applications are due March 1.

Early Bird registration ends for ALA Annual: Early bird registration for ALA's Annual Conference ends March 4! Register by March 4 to receive the lowest pricing available. Arrive by Friday afternoon for one of YALSA's two preconferences, Give Them What They Want: Reaching Reluctant YA Readers and The Nuts & Bolts of Serving Teens: Practical Tips for the Library Generalist or New YA Librarian, and consider joining YALSA for any of our special events, including the Edwards Luncheon with Sir Terry Pratchett, the YA Authors Coffee Klatch, or the Printz Award Program and Reception. To learn more about these events, and other selected YALSA programs, visit YALSA's Annual Wiki.

Register for YALSA's March Webinar: Being a YA librarian is a multifaceted job! Today librarians are challenged in all areas of the library ranging from budgeting to collection development to working with social issues of teens. Join Mary Hastler, director of the Harford County Public Library in Maryland, to learn how to balance the many hats of a YA librarian in this March 17 webinar, 2 p.m. Eastern. Registration costs $39 for YALSA members, $49 for all other individuals or $195 for group registration (unlimited participants). Visit www.ala.org/yalsa/webinars to register and contact Eve Gaus, YALSA's program officer for continuing education, with'  questions at egaus@ala.org.

Over the past three years I've been in on the work of Hennepin County Library's Media Mashup project (an IMLS funded project) which focused on bringing technology to teens in public libraries around the United States. The project used the Scratch software program (Scratch project example below) as the entree point for librarians to integrate tech into their services. And, it looked at the ways in which Scratch was integrated in order to better understand challenges and successes when innovating in libraries.
Learn more about this Scratch project
Read More →

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

Creating fun mix and mash programs for your students during Teen Tech Week can be easy and cheap.

Skype with students in another state or country, or reach out to authors, experts, or people of interest. Use your connections to find Skype partners who your teens would love to chat with: athletes, musicians, or media professionals are great places to start. To stay even truer to Teen Tech Week, bring in a technology expert who can talk to teens about their job and how they got into it. To find authors to Skype with, visit the Skype an Author website.

Read More →

As the Outgoing chairperson of the YALSA Nominating Committee, I wanted to remind everyone that the 2011 ALA and YALSA election season is just around the corner. Online voting in the 2011 ALA election will begin at 9:00 a.m. Central Time on March 16, 2011. Ballots close at 11:59 p.m. on April 22. Election results will be announced on April 29, 2011.

You can find the official YALSA candidate slate, including YALSA President-Elect, Fiscal Officer, Secretary, YALSA Board of Directors and YALSA award committees, on the YALSA Blog. As you may have noticed, interview podcasts with candidates have begun to appear on the YALSA blog. Listening to these podcasts (so far, #89, #90, #91) is a great way to get to know the candidates and the issues most important to them.

It's critical to also vote in the ALA election this spring. This is your chance to make sure that the Divisions of which you are a member, along with the larger ALA organization, support the needs of your library and the teens that you serve. Check ALA's election information webpage for for information.

Interested in doing more than voting and thinking that you may want to stand for election to an office in the future? If so, you can review the how to run for office information on the YALSA wiki. You may also contact the current Chair of YALSA's Nominating Committee Chair Linda Braun Chair at lbraun@leonline.com for details about running for YALSA office in 2012.

John Sexton, Chair 2011 Nominating Committee

We play games on Friday afternoons. My library has a Wii and a Playstation 2, which we set up in our community room. ' Teens and tweens are welcome, and many come back week after week to play Rock Band, Super Smash Bros., Mario Kart, Wii Sports, Dance Dance Revolution and whatever other'  games that teens or I have brought in that week. They take turns based on whoever wants to play. ' Some enjoy just hanging out and watching. ' It's a relaxed environment that promotes socializing, conversation, and cooperation.

In the spirit of my relaxed gaming programs, I will share a few things that I love about connecting with teens over video games.
Read More →