The Deadline is Here! Complete the YALSA Survey Today!!!

As many of you have been hearing about this last month, YALSA is conducting a survey to see how to better serve teen advocates and teens. But, they cannot do it alone-They need your input!

Many services and projects have come out of the past surveys, and YALSA is hoping to accomplish even more after the completion of this survey.

You may be saying, “Well, my one voice doesn’t make a difference.” But, you need to realize many of the existing programs and services came from just one person who raised his or her voice with a good idea. All it takes is one person, one person to start to initiate change and action within the organization.

But, unfortunately, today is the deadline-the last day you have to complete the survey-to let your voices and ideas be heard! It only takes 10-15 minutes of your time. And, just think, your one idea or suggestion could lead to helping hundreds of young adult advocates from all over.

And, if that isn’t enough of an’  incentive to complete the survey, YALSA is offering one lucky winner, who submits their email address at the end of the survey, the opportunity to win a free group registration (Valued at $195) for an upcoming educational webinar.

You can access the survey in the following ways:

Current members:
Former members:

Your voice does count! Your voice does matter! Speak out and let it be heard today!!!!

Teen Read Week: An Opportunity for Outreach

This has been a rough week in my school. In our county, four teenagers have committed suicide in the space of a week, apparently unrelated in any way to one another. Yesterday, our school, which has thankfully been untouched aside from having students who were friends with some of the victims, had an assembly where we delivered the message of the resources the school had available, a brief religious message (we are a private independent school), and then sent our students into small advisor groups for discussion. Coincidentally, the entire U.S. Army engaged in suicide prevention education as well, having experienced in 2012 some of the highest suicide rates in its history.

When I heard of the army’s situation, the first thought which occurred to me was that the military is full of adolescents, the age group to whom I provide library services. Many members of the military are new recruits 18 or 19 years of age, placing them firmly in the age range of adolescent development. For Americans between the ages of 10 and 24, suicide is the third leading cause of death. Since the YALSA mission statement clearly states that its “mission is to expand and strengthen library services for teens, aged 12-18,” this at risk age group is our target demographic.

I guess the fact that I was thinking about suicide while also pondering the upcoming programming for Banned Books Week and Teen Read Week made me wonder how these two disparate ideas could be linked. But while intellectual freedom programming or celebrating recreational reading don’t seem to have much impact on preventing suicide, in a small way they do. In fact it relates to my personal mission as a librarian, which includes the statement.

There is no such thing as too many caring adults in a student’s life.

Hopefully our programming, no matter how fluffy or serious it may be, includes a plan to reach out to a variety of interests and personality types in our target group. My “It Came from the Library” brainstorming will include my Library Advisory Board (LAB), a group of students specifically chosen for their friendly personalities and variety of activities and interests. By constructing a board which possesses multiple layers of diversity, their guidance and ideas automatically assists me in reaching different groups of students. Add to that their goal of developing themed programming which includes as many students as possible, and I’m putting their brainpower to work making the library as inclusive as it can be.

So I’m turning to my TRW Manual and my LAB for ideas that will make my library a fun sanctuary for everyone in the hope that my efforts will be not only informative and enjoyable, but help every student who enters this space realize that he or she is deeply cared about. Caring can come from the library, too.

Courtney L. Lewis, Director of Libraries, Wyoming Seminary College Preparatory School, Kingston, PA.

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YALSAblog Tweets of the Week – September 28, 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 September 28 and October 4 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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Connect, Create, Collaborate: Think Locally, Act Locally!

Now that fall has arrived and school has started again, life is returning to normal after a hectic summer. I just reached my two-year anniversary at my library (the longest I’ve ever worked for one organization!), so I’m finding myself in a contemplative mood, reflecting on what I’ve accomplished and where I’d like to go from here. With everyone back in town after summer vacations, it seems like it’s time to connect or reconnect with other youth-serving organizations in my community.

While building these connections can take time, I know that they’re going to help me reach teens who aren’t already using the library — and that’s how I make my program grow! When I’m feeling overwhelmed, I just think about it in small steps: I have time for one extra email today. I can make time for a meeting this month. I can work on this project for these fifteen minutes I have before lunch, and if I do that each day this week, I’ll have made significant progress.

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YALSA Survey: speak up!

Have you heard about the YALSA survey? We are on the final homestretch; it ends September 30th, so you’ve got a few more days to make your opinion known.

YALSA is ALA’s fastest growing division, and wants to hear more about your experiences. YALSA uses your responses to make sure we continue to be an enthusiastic and productive group. Previous surveys have led to big changes; we have mentioned some of them before. Other benefits from past surveys include:

  • Expanding our portfolio of CEU offerings by adding monthly webinars and launching the YALSA
  • Encouraging and supporting research in Young Adult Librarianship by launching JRLYA.
  • Those monthly Tweet-ups? You asked for more social media communication, so YALSA added social media as an option for member engagement and communication, while maintaining existing methods for those who wanted/needed them to remain.
  • The Hub came out of your feedback!
  • YALSA increased advocacy efforts by creating District Days and writing Issue Briefs
  • Created guidelines for Teen Spaces, updating competencies, and creating a teen program evaluation tool’ 

These changes have been so important — but there are more to make and we can only do it with your help! It doesn’t matter if you are a current member, a former member, or a non-member. If you care about teens and libraries, your voice is important. The survey should only take about fifteen minutes. And, as an incentive to complete the survey, YALSA is offering one lucky winner, who submits their email address at the end of the survey, the opportunity to win a free group registration (Valued at $195) for an upcoming educational webinar.

Current members:
Former members:

Please take some time to speak up. Be a part of positive change. Your voice is crucial!


App of the Week: Smash Your Food

‘ Title: Smash Your Food HD

‘ Platform: iPad

‘ Cost: $2.99

It’s back to school time and this month the YALSA App of the Week bloggers are’  focusing each week on apps that are good for students and teachers. We’ll cover research, science, math, and staying organized. If you have a favorite school related app feel free to post information about it in the comments on our App of the Week posts. And, don’t forget, the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) is taking nominations for Best Apps for Teaching and Learning. You can make a nomination on the AASL website.

I must admit, I love science. It started in 7th grade when I had to make a 3D’ model of a cell and include real world things to represent’ each part of the cell. I don’t remember all the objects’ my lab partner and I used, but I remember we had a lot of fun and I still’ understand the function of mitochondria. Since then, I have always’ had an interest in the biological sciences. To me, it seems that the biological sciences have an ugly step-sister in health class. Nobody wants to take health. You might have to talk about changes in your body (Uncomfortable.) or listen to a teacher drone on about how calories are energy and are misunderstood (Boring.). Lately, I have been on’ a mission to find interesting health apps to help people understand that your health affects your biology in a’ very direct way.

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ALA Midwinter: Don’t Be Sleepless In Seattle – Read This!

So you’ve registered for Midwinter Meeting 2013, and you’re looking forward to attending the meetings, walking the exhibit hall, and sightseeing in Seattle. Now it’s time to find a place to stay. Unless you live in the area or have friends or family in Seattle with a spare bedroom, you’re going to need to start thinking about accommodations.

Luckily ALA has already worked out special rates for 14 different hotels which are all fairly close to the Convention Center. You can peruse those hotels here‘  and’ learn about booking here.
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YALSA Badges: Lots Learned So Far

Last week members of the YALSA Badges for Lifelong Learning team participated in meetings all about badges and badging systems. The meetings brought together those awarded funding as a part of the Digital Media and Learning Badges project and included presentations by badge programs such as Who Built America and LevelUp and opportunities to talk with others about the projects under development.

All meeting participants were asked to be prepared to talk with others about the challenges of developing a badging project and the lessons learned during development.

In putting together the list of challenges and learnings, the YALSA team realized: Continue reading

Teen Read Week is coming!

Teen Read Week is less than a month away! It isn’t too late to plan a great week of fun activities for the teens at your library. This year the TRW theme is It Came From the Library…Dare to Read for the Fun of It!‘  YALSA has created a Teen Read Week Ning that is full of information, ideas and events you can use in your library. You can also share your own ideas and let others know what you are planning through the Ning.’  YALSA has also created a TRW Pinterest board that includes hundreds of examples of activities to do with your teens throughout the week. ‘ 

The Teens’ Top Ten is a teen choice list and the top 10 titles will be announced during Teen Read Week 2012. Create a display for the 24 nominated titles and encourage your teens to read and select their own top ten. Here at my library, QR codes linking to book trailers are the “in” thing. More and more books have trailers created by the author or publishing house you can access via YouTube. The trailers that create the most excitement and traffic in my library are the student and teacher created ones using Animoto and iMovie. ‘ Create a QR code that will play the book trailer when scanned using a QR generator like i-Nigma and attach the QR code to the cover of the book.’  ‘ Hold a book trailer contest and let teens vote on their favorite trailers then announce the winners during Teen Read Week when the Teens’ Top Ten is revealed. Our winning book trailers will be placed via QR code onto bookmarks featuring the Teens’ Top Ten title to keep the excitement going all year long.

Amanda Kordeliski

YALSA Seeks Leaders for Summit on Teens & Libraries

As part of its year-long National Forum on Libraries and Teens project, YALSA will host a Teens & Libraries Summit Jan. 23-24, 2013, in Seattle.’  The Summit will feature speakers, panels and small group discussion to examine the current state of library services for and with young adults, and to explore how library services may need to evolve to meet the needs of 21st century adolescents.’  Funds provided by IMLS will be used to cover the cost of travel and related expenses for 15 applicants who wish to participate in the Summit.’  Key stakeholders from the areas of libraries, education, technology, adolescent development and the for-profit and nonprofit sectors are encouraged to apply (.doc) by Nov. 1, 2012.’  The 15 accepted applicants will join with approximately 35 other stakeholders at the face-to-face Summit.’  At the conclusion of the year-long Forum, YALSA will produce a white paper which will provide direction on how library services for and with teens needs to adapt and potentially change to better meet the needs of 21st century teens.’  To learn more about the National Forum, read the initial press release.