I'm the librarian at Holliston High School, a bit west of Boston. In my spare time I advise my school's yearbook and Gay Straight Alliance, write about food, and root for the Red Sox.

MAE Award-Winning Literature Program Boosts Teen Reading

Teen librarianship isn’t always the most glamourous of positions in the library world. Fortunately, the back-up we have available to us through YALSA and the many awards they offer feel priceless to the winners. As Katie George, winner of the 2011 MAE Award for Best Literature Program for Teens, puts it, “Receiving recognition like this from teen-serving peers… at this level… is a shot in the arm. It reminds you, ‘Yes! You are making a difference! Keep going!’”

Continue reading

Winning the MAE Award for Best Literature for Teens

Allison Cabaj was a first-year school librarian, splitting her time between the school library and the English classroom, when she created her MAE-Award-winning program that helped to build “an interactive community of readers” at Riverside Brookfield (Ill.) High School. Whether you are a brand new or an experienced librarian, if you ran an outstanding reading or literature program for young adults in the past year you should consider applying for the MAE Award.

Cabaj replied by email about her experience with the MAE Award.

Q: What would you tell librarians who are considering applying for the MAE Award this year?
Continue reading

YALSA Volunteer of the Year Award

YALSA is sponsoring a new award for 2013. The Volunteer of the Year Award acknowledges the contributions of YALSA members who have demonstrated outstanding service to the mission, goals and work of YALSA during a given service year. Awards are given out for:

  • Chair: leadership of an advisory board, jury, committee or task force
  • Appointed Member: contributions within an advisory board, jury, committee or task force
  • Group: work conducted as a whole by an advisory board, jury, committee or task force

Nominations will be accepted through December 1, 2012. The recognition includes a one year membership to YALSA.

Do you know of someone who goes above and beyond the call of duty? Nominate a colleague or yourself by accessing the form available at http://www.ala.org/yalsa/awardsandgrants/yalsaawardsgrants

Win $1000 with the MAE Award for Best Literature Program for Teens

Do you run a spectacular teen book club? What about a great speakers series that gets teens engaged in reading? Did your summer reading program bring teens through the doors in droves? Have you come up with a great way to help teens connect with literature by using social media? You could win $500 for your pocket and another $500 for your library by applying for the Margaret A. Edwards Award for Best Literature Program for Teens!

YALSA members who have run an exceptional reading or literature program in the 12 months leading up to December 1st are eligible to apply for this award recognizing an outstanding reading or literature program for young adults. The MAE Award for Best Literature Program for Teens is sponsored by the Margaret A. Edwards Trust.

Applications and additional information about the award are available at http://www.ala.org/yalsa/awardsandgrants/mae. Applications must be emailed to Nichole Gilbert (ngilbert@ala.org) by December 1st. For questions about the award, please contact jury chair Mary Haas at mhaas@aacps.org.

Not a YALSA member? It’s not too late to join so you can be eligible for this award. You can do so by contacting YALSA’s Membership Marketing Specialist, Letitia Smith, at lsmith@ala.org or 800.545.2433 x4390. Reward yourself for bringing young adults and books together and encouraging the development of life-long reading habits. Apply today!

Bullying: Not Just An Issue for One Month

This week, 15-year-old Felicia Garcia killed herself, just days after tweeting that she could no longer’ handle the way she was being teased and tormented in the school halls. She was being bullied for’ making a choice at a party with and shamed mercilessly for it.

Earlier this month, Amanda Todd’s story made the rounds. She, too, made a choice that impacted how’ other teens treated her. She made a YouTube video discussing in detail the sorts of torture she endured’ in the school halls – even after switching schools. She ultimately ended her life.

These two teens aren’t part of a “trend,” nor are they exceptions to stories of bullying. According to the’ recently-released results of an online study conducted by Love is Louder and Harlequin Teen, of’ the over 1,500 16-21 year old females who responded, 70% had been bullied. Of those surveyed, 78%’ also believed that adults don’t take their claims of bullying seriously enough. The full results of the survey are eye-opening.
Continue reading

Get Your Teens to Vote for the Teens’ Top Ten!

There’s still time for your teens to vote for their favorite YA titles! Voting for the Teens’ Top Ten is open through September 15th, and the winning titles will be announced during Teen Read Week.

Too old to vote but hoping to get the word out about these great nominated titles? Tweet with the #TTT12 hashtag, send your teens to ala.org/teenstopten and find out more about the YA galley groups who participated in this year’s Teens’ Top Ten.

Putting the M in STEM

I’ve had STEM on the brain a lot lately. (For those of you who haven’t yet become familiar with this acronym, it stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.) The library in which I work has fully embraced STEM programming, providing informal hands on science classes for students in Kindergarten through High School. I’m also privileged to be working on the YALSA STEM Task Force. At our library, we’ve done lots of traditional science experiments, held building clubs, and offered teens the chance to learn new technology. But in all this, I find myself asking, “Where’s the math?” I came up with an unexpected answer.

The single place I use math the most, other than basic household bills, is when I craft. Continue reading

Tell Your Teens to Vote for the Teens Top Ten!

It’s time for the Teens Top Ten again!

Teens Top Ten is all about teen choice! Get your teen readers to vote for their favorite books from this year’s list of nominated titles. The resulting Teens Top Ten will be announced during Teen Read Week. The nominated books are posted at ala.org/teenstopten. There is an annotated nominations list as well as tips for promoting the Teens Top Ten to teen readers. Please encourage the use of #TTT12 on Twitter when promoting Teens Top Ten and please help us get the word out!

The Teens Top Ten is part of an ongoing project that connects teen book groups with publishers of young adult books. The publishers provide advance reader copies to selected teen book groups and the teens evaluate the books and provide feedback to the publishers. These same teen book groups create the voting list for Teens Top Ten by nominating their favorite titles published in the previous year.

More information, including a list of the rockstar Teens Top Ten book groups, may be found at ala.org/teenstopten. Voting is open from August 15th through September 15th, so encourage your teens to vote before it’s too late!

Posted on behalf of Kristen Thorp, TTT Committee member 2012-2014

Hunger Games Party

With the Hunger Games DVD release this Saturday, your teens may have Panem fever all over again. This guest post offers just one way to celebrate the games before Catching Fire hits theaters.

On July 18, 2012, Stamford teens became tributes as they participated in a library summer event celebrating all things Hunger Games. We offered four teen summer programs this year (the others were a chocolate program, mendhi and ballroom dancing) and all were popular, but the Hunger Games event seemed to generate some special buzz among our teen volunteers and to attract some teens who aren’t regular program attendees. In the run up to the event, a number of the volunteers asked what the party would entail. When I gave them a summary of the planned events (and told them jokingly that no one was going to be killed), they said it sounded like fun, and a number of them registered to attend. An anxious Mom called the day before the program asking if it was too late for her daughter to participate. When she was told that we were happy to have her daughter join in, the mom was grateful and relieved, saying how much her daughter loved The Hunger Games and how much she was hoping to be able to come.

Continue reading

Join the Tweet Up Today!

Don’t forget that Sarah Couri (@scouri) and YALSA President Jack Martin (@JacksonDevious, @YALSAPresident) will be hosting a tweet up this afternoon on using Twitter in the library, starting at 1 PM EDT. Just use hashtag #yalsaprez when you tweet, or watch the conversation unfold by searching for the #yalsaprez hashtag.

Looking for another way to search the hashtag? Try Twitterfall or Tweetdeck, which not only automatically refresh as new hashtagged tweets come in but also allow you run multiple searches so you can watch other conversations live.