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YALSA Webinar: From 140 Characters to 10 Pages: Teens, Social Media and Information Literacy

Social media has altered the information landscape by expanding the flow of information from books, newspapers and journals to instant reports from Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. From live video feeds of protests around the world, to regular updates from favorite YA authors via Twitter and Facebook, teens are regularly engaging with a broad spectrum of information. How can librarians help teens navigate through these information streams and learn to separate the wheat from the chaff?

Join Laura Pearle for a discussion on how school and public librarians can help their teens use social media for research projects. Laura will explore ways in which you can help your teens locate appropriate material in social media streams as well as determine the validity of the source material. Participants will learn how to create research focused Twitter hash tag lists for their students and how to assist their students in citing information from social media sources. Laura will also discuss how librarians can help teens become good digital citizens when contributing to social media streams. Join us for this important discussion!

This is the first in a two part series that explores social media in the library. Join us for part two of this series on September 15 at 2pm EST for a webinar on social media policy presented by Linda Braun.

YA Forum: Making the case through statistics
Librarians are frequently under pressure to demonstrate the value of the library and measure the library's effectiveness, whether to their principal, school board, mayor or community. Read More →

This fall, YALSA will be making appointments to the following selection committees and taskforces! Put your passion for young adult literature to work! If you have experience in evaluating and selecting young adult materials, as well as time to volunteer your skills, please consider serving on a YALSA selection committee. The committees and taskforces are:

  • Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults
  • Best Fiction for Young Adults
  • Fabulous Films for Young Adults
  • Great Graphic Novels for Teens
  • Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults
  • Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
  • Great Graphic Novels for Teens
  • Alex Award
  • Morris Award
  • Odyssey Award
  • 2013 Midwinter Marketing & Local Arrangements Taskforce
  • 2013 Midwinter Paper Presentation Planning Taskforce
  • Readers' Choice List Taskforce Read More →

Here's a short list of tweets posted over the last week that librarians and the teens that they serve may find interesting:

  • Overdue fines got you down? Read Down Your Fines at The New York Public Library this summer! http://ow.ly/5MF8q - @nyplkids
  • One of our most popular posts looks at how educators are using #Google+ hangouts, via @MindShiftKQED http://ow.ly/5P0SU - @KQEDNews
  • The case for raunchy teen lit - Salon.com http://ow.ly/5QhDP"These novels... reflect their actual reality, as good books tend to do." @kishizuka
  • Social media finds place in classroom http://usat.ly/q15CSY via @USATODAY (happy to see all these voices sharing!) - @librarybeth
  • New Post: I Am Not A Great Teacher - by Shelly Blake-PlockI am not a great teacher. http://ow.ly/1dWeeE - @teachpaperless
  • A long & in-depth story on the history of the @ symbol & how it became a staple of the Web: http://bit.ly/p5RE4I @nickbilton Read More →

When I read this article about the New York Public Library waiving outstanding fines for children and teens in return for reading, it put a big smile on my face. NYPL has found a great way to promote literacy, build goodwill in the community, and encourage kids who may have felt disconnected from the library to come back.

The basic plan is this: if anyone 17 or under is barred from checking out materials due to fines over $15, they can work off their fines by reading. Read 15 minutes, get a dollar off your fines. So simple, yet so effective.

If you need further proof that this is a great way to get your community excited by the library, read the comment by “portals” after the article. Here is part of the comment: “Maybe there is some hope left in this world … the act depicted in this article is such a wonderful breath of fresh air.” I think this is a win-win situation for libraries—we get to bring our kids and teens back into the library, the community gets excited that we're using this to promote literacy, and we get to reiterate what libraries do and why they're so important for children and teens. Yes, it means forfeiting some fine revenue, but as the article points out it's far from guaranteed that the library will actually see that money anyway.

Here's a final thought from the article that really made me dance a happy dance at my desk: “'We trust our kids,' Martin said, noting that many city children consider reading a pleasure to be enjoyed rather than a chore to be avoided.” It seems like that's exactly what we want to promote among our teens at our libraries: A sense of trust and the idea that reading is fun.

I have a new addiction, it's The Secret Life of the American Teen. Yes, I'll admit it, it's not a very good show. The characters are somewhat one-dimensional (at least some of the time) and the plots are often quite unbelievable, if not plain old stupid. But yet, once I realized it was on NetFlix streaming, I started watching and got hooked.

If you aren't familiar with the plot line of this ABC Family series, the series began with the focus on Amy Jurgens, a 15 year-old who discovers, at the very beginning of the first episode, that she is pregnant. The first year follows Amy as she decides what to do with the baby - keep or adopt - and also as she deals with the father of the baby, her new boyfriend, her best girlfriends, the Christian good girl at her school, the school slut, teachers, parents, her sister, and so on.

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Did you know that YALSA recognizes the best in writing for all of its publications, including the YALSA Blog? It's true! Along with articles in YALS and the JRLYA, the YALSA Blog and The Hub will nominate five articles to the YALSA Writing Award Jury. Any article written between Dec. 1 and Nov. 30 of the award year is eligible.

Winning pieces, which will demonstrate qualities such as originality, timeliness and relevancy will receive a plaque and a cash award.

You can find out more about the YALSA Writing Award on the YALSA website.

As Chair of the Research Journal Editorial Advisory Board, I'm very pleased to share this call for papers for the Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults. JRLYA is YALSA's spanking new online research journal. Check out the guidelines and give it a go!

Call for Papers: The Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults

The Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults, the official research journal of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), is an online open-access, peer-reviewed journal.'  The purpose of Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults is to enhance the development of theory, research, and practices to support young adult library services. Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults presents high quality original research concerning the informational and developmental needs of young adults; the management, implementation, and evaluation of library services for young adults; and other critical issues relevant to librarians who work with young adults. The journal also includes literary and cultural analyses of classic and contemporary writing for young adults. Manuscripts are currently being accepted for the Fall issue. Please submit your manuscript by September 1, 2011.

Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults invites manuscripts based on original qualitative, quantitative, synthetic, or mixed method research; an innovative conceptual framework; or a substantial literature review that opens new areas of inquiry and investigation.'  Case studies and works of literary analysis are also welcome. The journal's editorial board recognizes the contributions that other disciplines make to expanding and enriching theory, research, and practice in young adult library services and encourages submissions from researchers, students, and practitioners in all fields.

The Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults uses the Chicago Manual of Style endnotes.'  For complete author guidelines including examples of citations, please visit the author guidelines.'  While submissions average 4,000 to 7,000 words, manuscripts of all lengths will be considered.'  Full color images, photos, and other media are all accepted.

Please contact Editor Sandra Hughes-Hassell at yalsaresearch@gmail.com'  to discuss submissions and author guidelines.'  All completed manuscripts should be submitted as email attachments to yalsaresearch@gmail.com.'  Please attach each figure or graphic as a separate file.

The Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults is available online at http://www.yalsa.ala.org/jrlya.

Title: Kindle
Platform: Apple iOS 3.0 or later, Android OS 2.1 or later
Cost: Free

When the July 25th update for the Kindle iOS app diabled in-app purchasing (to circumvent profit-sharing rules instituted by Apple), Amazon has added a feature many teen readers will love: support for magazine subscriptions.

While Kindle App users have had color covers and graphics for a while, subscriptions were limited to dedicated Kindle devices. Those ereaders have fans because of their excellent battery life and readable e-ink screens, but can be plain-Jane for many teen users, many of whom really appreciate the appeal of a color cover and are using their mobile devices for reading on-the-go.
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With all of the talk about the banning of Angry Management by Chris Crutcher and the removal of the ban on The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie, it seems like it's a good time to talk about policies. I hope that everyone has a Policy for the Reconsideration of Library Materials, or some other similarly titled policy. If not, the time to form one is yesterday.

Check out ALA's resources at http://www.ala.org/ala/issuesadvocacy/banned/challengeslibrarymaterials/index.cfm. There you'll find a sample form to give to patrons challenging materials, and tips for how to talk to the patron with the challenge. Everyone, not just those who would ultimately handle a challenge, needs to know what to do when a patron wants to ban a book. At my library, circulation staff are instructed to immediately refer the person to a manager or a reference librarian and to not say anything in defense of the material or the library. Because our circulation desk is right by the front door, circulation staff are most likely to have first contact with the patron, and they need to know what to do.

When a patron has a challenge, you should be ready with the form for them to fill out, as well as copies of your materials selection policy and selection procedures. If they still want to proceed, make sure your library has a process for reviewing the material and making a recommendation to administration, and if the patron is still not satisfied with the decision, make sure that the appeal hearing is made public. ALA also has tips for talking to the media during the challenge process.

Depending on your library's procedures, you may be involved a lot or very little in the challenge process, but considering that YA novels make up most of the top ten of the most frequently challenged books each year, we as YA librarians need to be aware of how to handle these challenges effectively.

Here's a short list of tweets posted over the last week that librarians and the teens that they serve may find interesting:

  • “@nytimes: E-Book Revolution Upends a Publishing Course http://t.co/N8Qo8M6” - @kefornier
  • A caution on restricting access to edu content RT @audreywatters: G+ and the Future of Sharing Educational Resources http://bit.ly/q0bkdC - @kishizuka
  • Cool: article in HuffPo on NYC Haunts by @yalsa President-Elect Jack Martin. http://t.co/cUbOZZg. @yalsapresident
  • love that Barnes & Noble receipt lists "other books I might like" based on my purchase-Libraries should adopt this idea - @technolibrary
  • Part 2 of a 3 parter in Boston Globe on reading and e-books: http://t.co/DZ7adSc - @candyschwartz
  • Amazon launches Kindle textbook rentals http://t.co/zXdvYGD - @alixinbeverly
  • http://t.co/t51ilp0 -social collaboration is a core skill that every person needs -need to teach at school - @karenarnold3 Read More →