I recently attended my first ever Public Library Association conference.  I consider myself a seasoned veteran when it comes to attending ALA’s annual conference, but I had never had the chance to go to PLA before.  I was excited to see the differences!

One major difference was in the exhibit hall.  Most of the young adult divisions of the major publication houses chose not to have a conference booth.  But I still found some great ARC titles from Little & Brown, Macmillian, Simon and Schuster, and Zondervan.  I really appreciated them being there.  I also had some great chats and made some good connections with representatives from Tor Teen and Harlequin Teen, who made exciting cases for the relevancy of their specialty lines.

I also had a chance to find some new librarian tweeps and even meet one in person.  It was also, of course, great to see YALSA staff at the booth.  Conferences are most fun, I think, when you have the chance to make some human connections with your librarian colleagues and friends.

Were any of you there?  What were some highlights for you?

I attended some great programs and encourage you to check out the available online handouts from the sessions.    I’d like to talk briefly here about one session that was especially inspiring to me and that I think will have a lot of appeal to YALSA members, Maryann Mori’s Pregnant/Parenting Teens: Promoting Library Services Among the Underserved.

Maryann inspired ME to ask “What does my library have to offer pregnant/parenting teens?” and maybe she can do the same for you.  Behind the cut, you’ll find a session description and links!

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There’s still time for you to apply for a Great Stories CLUB Grant!  The Great Stories CLUB is a unique opportunity for you to reach out to underserved teens in your community and connect them with stories that can matter in their lives and open up their eyes to new horizons. 

The theme for the Great Stories CLUB is “New Horizons.”  When we challenge ourselves to go beyond our familiar surroundings, we can often discover new horizons and strengths within ourselves.  New horizons also present themselves when we are willing to explore a larger universe.  These stories (One of Those Hideous Books Where The Mother Dies, The Afterlife, and Rules of Survival) are about teens who discovered new horizons in their lives and in the world.

To give you a better idea of what a Great Stories CLUB Grant can mean for the teens in your community, some past participants in the program have volunteered to discuss their experiences.  These first-hand stories give you a closer look at what the Great Stories CLUB Grant can do.  Kathleen Browning, the Adult Services Coordinator with Farmington Public Library in Farmington, New Mexico is sharing her library’s story with us today.

For more information on the Great Stories CLUB, including guidelines, book descriptions, application instructions, and even more feedback from past participants, visit www.ala.org/greatstories. Online applications will be accepted through November 2. 

Now, for Kathleen’s story … wherein a teenager actually chooses a book over free food!  Can it be?! Read More →

You might have read about the Great Stories CLUB Grant here on the YALSA blog or maybe you received a flyer or e-mail about it.  Now you may be wondering if this program is right for you, your library, and your community.  What better way to find out more than to talk to some librarians who have used the Great Stories CLUB Grant in their communities? 

To give you a better idea of what a Great Stories CLUB Grant can mean for the teens in your community, some past participants in the program have volunteered to discuss their experiences.  These first-hand stories give you a closer look at what the Great Stories CLUB Grant can do.  We start with Deborah Motley, the Young Adult Services Librarian at the Orion Township Public Library in Lake Orion, Michigan.

For more information on the Great Stories CLUB, including guidelines, book descriptions, application instructions, and even more feedback from past participants, visit www.ala.org/greatstories. Online applications will be accepted through November 2. 

Keep an eye out for other participant stories here on the YALSA blog.  Any past recipients reading are encouraged to discuss their experiences in the comments!

Now let’s hear Deb’s great story …

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