Manga Aggregation, Copyright and your Library

A few weeks ago, Erin Daly mentioned Scanalations in her excellent article about the new manga apps from Viz and Yen Press. Below is the definition she linked to on “No Flying, No tights.”

Scanalation – In this age of internet file-sharing, one of the most important fan activities surrounding Japanese manga (or Korean manhwa or Chinese manhua) is a process called scanlation. Fans get physical copies of titles in their original language, scan in the pages, translate the text into the language they need (for us, English), and then post the results on the internet for fans to read. Scanlation is the term coined for this process, and it usually involves a number of fans working on different aspects. Officially, this is illegal under international copyright law. At this point, publishers have not attacked individuals fans or those downloading and reading the posted scanlations, but there have been some skirmishes from groups. Many groups have a kind of honor code — they will only publish scanlations of titles not yet available where they are (i.e. in the US), and once that titles becomes available, they will take their scanlations down. However, there are many sites that continue to publish series after they’ve been licensed for US distribution, and if you work with teenagers, you should know that many of them read their favorite series online, direct from Japan. For a similar process for anime, see fansubs.

Scanalations are important to teen librarians because they technically violate copyright, and there is a good chance that you are teens are viewing them on the library computers. I know they view them on ours. We are working on how to address the issue now, but it is a complicated problem.

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YALSA Blog Tweets of the Week – March 30, 2012

A weekly short list of tweets that librarians and the teens that they serve may find interesting.

Do you have a favorite Tweet from the past week? If so add it in the comments for this post. Or, if you read a Twitter post between March 30 and April 5 that you think is a must for the next Tweets of the week send a direct or @ message to lbraun2000 on Twitter.
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Pinterest & Copyright Concerns

You have probably noticed that Pinterest is getting a lot of attention from teen librarians lately. If you have not seen this site for yourself, Pinterest is a social network/curation site based on the concept of a pinboard. Users share images by “pinning” them. Followers can see each other’s boards and “repin” images they like. It’s a great way to share programming ideas, with a clean, pleasant look and an easy-to-use interface. YALSA recently used Pinterest to share ideas for Teen Tech Week.

There has been plenty of chatter on the ya-yaac listserv about Pinterest as well, mostly singing its praises, but a thread titled’ “Pinterest is awesome, but are we risking a lawsuit” gave me pause. In this thread, people linked to a couple of blog posts that expressed serious concerns with the copyright implications of “repinning” content and some conflicting messages between Pinterest’s terms of service and suggested use of the site.

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App of the Week: Angry Birds Space

Title: Angry Birds Space

Cost: $0.99

Platform: iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 (s), iPod touch, iPad, and Android. Requires i0S 4.0 or later.


The pigs are back to try to outsmart the birds, but this time they meet their fate in…space! Rovio Mobile, the same company that developed all of the previous Angry Birds games, has just unveiled the newest addition to the Angry Birds game family, Angry Birds Space. This game has all of the same excellent and addictive features as its predecessors, plus more. Since launching just last week, the app has already been downloaded over 10 million times! What makes it so cool? Well, the battles between the pigs and the birds take place in space where there are gravitational force fields and the game has new varieties of birds with special abilities, such as the bird who can freeze things by casting an ice shield when launched. This game is really fun and a must for teens who already enjoy the original Angry Birds games. Continue reading

YALSA’s March Advocate of the Month

The YALSA Legislative Committee is pleased to announce the March Advocate of the Month: Anna Hartmann

Anna Hartmann has been the teen services librarian at the Council Bluffs Public Library for the last three years. The position was newly created when she came on and she has made every effort to provide the best service to her teen patrons. This includes the designing and overseeing of the new Teen Central space at the library (with input from teen patrons), designing programs aimed directly at teen interests, revising both her practices and programs to better fit the needs of her patrons, and generally being the best librarian around. She advocates for the importance of the library in teens’ lives by making sure they have a space in the library where they will be respected and appreciated. Please see the Council Bluffs Library website at for more info.

If you know someone like Anna’ who deserves recognition for their advocacy work with teens and libraries, please consider nominating them for YALSA’s Advocate of the Month at:

Thank you on behalf of the YALSA Legislative Committee.

Supporting Healthy Habit Formation

For the past few years, the topic of establishing healthy habits at an early age has garnered much news, investigation, and governmental action across the nation.’  As centers for community life and lifelong education, libraries are uniquely positioned to contribute to the formation of these healthy habits in young people.’  Indeed, given the special role of social responsibility many libraries assume in their charters and mission statements, supporting healthy habit formation may be viewed as a necessity in your library.

The Indiana State Department of Health summarizes the need for and suggests a direction to library involvement in this issue:’  “Ideally, population-based, sustainable approaches for changing the weight status, diet, and physical activity of people should include creating environments, policies, and practices that support increases in physical activity and improvements in diet, especially among those disproportionately affected by poor health. Interventions should go beyond people acquiring new knowledge and allow people to build the skills and practice the behaviors leading to a healthy weight. Supportive environments are necessary to sustain healthy behaviors.” [emphasis mine] (Indiana State Department of Health 2011)

What follows is a list of activities young adult librarians can put into practice to stimulate interest in and action towards healthy habit formation with their teen patrons.

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Try, Try Again

We have tons of wonderful resources at our fingertips to create an awesome environment for our teens. Maybe you’re chatting with others about what they’re doing for the Hunger Games release, or you’re scanning Pinterest for new craft ideas. You hear people talking about how such-and-such program was a huge hit, and you think, “I’ve got to try that. My teens will love it.” So you spend time and money planning this sure-fire program, or maybe you’re creating your own Teen Space so they have a place in the library that’s theirs, and the time has come for the big program, the big reveal … and no one comes. Continue reading

ALA Annual: 5 Ways to Return Triumphant

With only three short’  months until the’ ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, we hope you’ve taken advantage of Early Bird Registration ($215 for YALSA members until May 13) and marked your calendars for June 21 – 26.

With all of the great programs and events offered by YALSA at the conference, you’re going to soak up a fantastic amount of new and exciting information.’ Coming back from ALA Annual, it is typical to be overloaded with two things: ‘ ARCs and ideas. ‘ 

Conference presentations are inspiring, and the exhibit hall always a place of dreams, but as with anything, the devil is in the details. Here are’ five tips’ for making the most of your ALA Annual’ experience once you return to your library.

1. ‘ Know Your Library System
A program that worked beautifully for a rural library that serves a population of 3,000 might need tweaking for your suburban, six-branch systems that serves 30,000. If possible, either during or right after the conference, think of ways to adapt the idea. Going to your supervisor or manager with a way to make the idea/program work for the community you serve, rather than “this worked at Library X!” ‘ will increase the likelihood of it happening.

2. ‘ Know Your Library’s Hierarchy
What is the management style of your library or library system? Good or bad, most places have a chain of command that should be followed. Jumping a person (or two, or three) makes it less likely that the new Summer Reading Program you’re dying to try will happen.’ Be respectful of the hierarchy. If your system requires you to inform your immediate supervisor, so that she or he can inform the next person up, and so on, follow every step– even if the Director of your system knows you personally. Continue reading

YALSA Blog Tweets of the Week – March 23, 2012

A weekly short list of tweets that librarians and the teens that they serve may find interesting.

Do you have a favorite Tweet from the past week? If so add it in the comments for this post. Or, if you read a Twitter post between March 23 – March 29 that you think is a must for the next Tweets of the week send a direct or @ message to lbraun2000 on Twitter.
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App of the Week: Shazam

Title: Shazam

Cost: Free

Platform:‘ iPhone, iPod touch, iPad (requires iOs 3.0 or later), Android, Blackberry, Nokia, Windows Phone 7

I like to listen to public radio on my way home from work because the DJs’ select from a diverse library of’ tunes. I cannot tell you how often I hear a new, exciting’ song but’ miss the artist’s name. Desperately clinging to a few lyrics, I hurry home and try to put my reference skills to use. Sometimes I find the song, but’ just as often,’ the song is lost forever, only a’ hazy’ melody in my head.’  For music lovers, this week’s app is truly magic: Shazam!

Press the button on Shazam, and the app will listen for a few seconds, matching tunes with a database. The screen pops up with the album cover, the artist’s name, and a list of other ways to interact with the song.’  Share it with a friend via Facebook or Twitter, read lyrics in time with the song, check reviews, browse related You Tube videos, and buy tracks from iTunes.’  If you pay to upgrade the app, you can also add the song to Spotify and receive recommendations for similar music. Continue reading