Why Should We Still Purchase Nonfiction?

In an era where every library dollar needs to be justified, should teen services departments continue purchasing nonfiction?

YA librarians are in the perfect matrix to consider this question: patrons aren’t bringing their reference questions to library staff, teachers aren’t asking students to cite print sources, information discovery on the web is incredibly easy, and personal web access is growing ubiquitous. Continue reading

The Blog Is Back!

Thanks for your patience during the ALA blog and wiki outage! If you were following #YALSABlogInExile and #TheHubInExile you know that The Hub bloggers did another fantastic live blog of the Best Fiction for Young Adults Teen Feedback session (with video from Kate Pickett on Qik).

Don’t forget that the YALSA Twitter feed and YALSA and Books for Teens Facebook pages are always sources of up to date information about YALSA, and places where members like you can make your voices heard.

But for more apps and tweets, YALSA coverage from ALA Annual 2012, summer programming ideas and much much more, look no further than the YALSA Blog!

App of the Week: Temple Run: Brave

Title: Temple Run: Brave
Platform: iOS and Android
Cost: .99

I’m excited to see Pixar’s new movie Brave. I have plans to go on Friday. ‘ One of the things that makes Pixar’s movies great, is that they have such broad appeal. Kids, teens, adults, everybody wants to see the new Pixar movie. And everybody will have an opinion about it so we can use it as a conversation starter for the rest of the summer. ‘ If you are not already excited about Brave, go watch this trailer, and then come back here and have a look at this game.

While I was being excited about Brave, I was chatting with one of the teen pages who work at my library. She recommended the new Brave inspired version of the immensely popular Temple Run. ‘ “The graphics are like ten times better,” she said.

If you’re not familiar with Temple Run, it is a fast paced game that’ demands quick reflexes as you guide your Indiana Jones-esque jungle adventurer in his escape from ravenous monkeys. You control his movements by swiping your touch screen left or right to turn, up to jump, or down to slide. You must also tilt your device to collect coins that may balance precariously on the edges of your path. ‘ You need to be quick or you will meet a brutal end by falling in water, crashing into an obstacle, or getting eaten by monkeys.

In Temple Run: Brave, you’ are transported to the Scottish Highlands in lush detail, guiding Merida and her wild red hair through the twists and turns of the game. ‘ Your pursuer is the giant bear from the movie, adorned with the spears of its fallen enemies, and eager to catch you and eat you. Epic music sets the tone for your run. The controls are the same for the most part, but an added archery feature adds flavor and challenge. ‘  The graphics are indeed stunning, almost as detailed as what you’d expect from the big screen, and the gameplay is just as exciting and frustrating as the original. ‘ Check out a trailer for the game here.

A great summer game for waiting in line to see, what I hope will be, a great summer movie.

Welcome back to the YALSA blog. ‘ For more app recommendations, visit the App of the Week Archive.

Teen Read Week 2012: Library Catchphrase Fun

School has just ended this week, but plans are already afoot for next year – particularly working with my student library assistants on monthly programming ideas. After reading Teen Read Week posts from Courtney and Kate, I thought of ways I could collaborate with staff and students on projects that will have people in our school community saying “It Came from the Library.”

Students are planning a series of DIY projects for Lunchtime Learning Lessons (L3). They found a lot of great ideas on the TRW Pinterest board: personalizing bland book ends, découpaging picture frames, and creating paint chip bookmarks to name a few.

One of the big events we are collaborating with district high school librarians on is the Second Annual All School Read-In that I shared for last year’s TRW celebration. This day-long event combines a cozy spot to read with great books and fun treats. Considering how well zombies lend themselves to this year’s theme, I will make sure to have VooDoo doll doughnuts on hand – perhaps with some extra icing so students can customize these culinary creations.

To promote the Read-In, we are planning a silk screening session that will incorporate student artwork. One of my students, along with teachers from the art department, will be volunteering in the library to help make this program a success. Our main inspiration for this DIY-craft came from an event at the end of this school year. In preparation for a protest march decrying budget cuts, students designed a logo and spent time during lunch and after-school helping the school community print posters and t-shirts with this design. Having a central image helped create a shared message that united all the public schools in our city. We are looking to forward to creating the same buzz for recreational reading.

Our hope for all the L3 projects next year (whether we are sporting our rad silk-screened t-shirts or slipping an awesome bookmark into library books) is that people will stop us and ask “Where did you get that fabulous creation? ” to which we will exclaim “It came from the library!”

Paige Battle, NBCT Librarian, Grant High School, Portland, OR and Teen Read Week Committee Member

YALSA Blog Tweets of the Week – June 15, 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 June 15 and June 22 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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YALSA Podcast #108: ALA Annual 2012 Preview

This episode features three interviews, each covering a different aspect of this year’s ALA Annual Convention in Anaheim, California. First up is Allison Tran from YALSA’s Local Arrangements Committee, who shares some important and fun details about Anaheim and the surrounding area of Orange County. We then hear from Gretchen Kolderup about the always popular Speed Networking Event and close with Linda Braun filling us in on her special program, Being a Social Teen Advocate.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

If you’d like to continue the conversation, just reply to this post and let us know what you’re looking forward to at this year’s convention.

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App of the Week: SketchBook Ink for iPad

Title: SketchbookInk for iPad
Platform: iPad
Cost: $1.99 (limited time promotional pricing)

The SketchbookInk app offers a range of pen and ink emulating seven pens, all with varyiable thickness, as well as two erasers, with dozens of colors of ink. Using either your fingertips or a capacitive stylus, the software provides a visceral drawing experience in an electronic format. You can import an image to annotate or embellish, or choose a blank canvas. You can also have multiple projects working simultaneously.

Undo and redo features are handy for removing the last brushstroke, as is a clear canvas option for removing your work wholesale. Dragging and resizing features allow tremendous control over the range of tools. Continue reading

Rape, a problem that existed before the internet

Skouts flirt screen facilitates, social and local gaming

Skout Flirt Screen

Social Media has been a positive force for youth. It lets them express themselves, helps them overcome social isolation and it gives them the ability to influence the world without the freedom granted by adulthood. There is a darker side to social media as well. The most evident in recent years has been cyber bullying, but it’s not the only issue.

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