YALSA’s Not So Silent Auction: Skype Visit from Author David Patneaude

Friday night, January 7, 2011 at the Midwinter meeting in San Diego, YALSA’s Not So Silent Auction is the place to be. Along with great gift baskets and other goodies, a variety of Skype visits will be up for bid.

David Patneaude has published ten books, his most recent being Epitaph Road, a post-apocalyptic thriller published this past March.’ David, who has been making “real” visits to schools for years, is donating a virtual school visit via Skype. ‘ He’s willing to consider almost any topic or format for the visit, so it will be up to the winning bidder (and David) to work out the specifics of the event prior to the date it happens.’  You’ll choose, but here are some possibilities:’  discussion and/or questions and answers about a specific title, his writing process, his writing life, research, future projects, or a less focused dialogue covering a range of subjects.

Tennessee school and public librarians should take note.’  David’s 2007 novel, A Piece of the Sky, is part of the 2010-2011 Tennessee Volunteer State Reading List.’  What a wonderful experience for students to interact with the author of a featured book during the year.

For more details on what’s up for bid at the auction, see the YALSA wiki at: tinyurl.com/26eccw3

YALSA’s Not So Silent Auction: Your Name in a Forthcoming Novel

Kick-off your Midwinter meetings with YALSA’s Not So Silent Auction‘ on Friday night, January 7, 2011 for the chance to get your name immortalized as a character in an upcoming YA novel. There are great opportunities at the auction’ to bid on signed books and Skype visits from authors, but really, who wouldn’t love to live forever in the pages of a popular YA author’s latest work?

Deborah Heiligman had a rewarding year to say the least. Her nonfiction book Charles and Emma was recognized as a National Book Award finalist and ‘ Michael L. Printz Honor book, in addition to winning the first ever YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award.’  As everyone knows who watched her Printz acceptance speech, Deborah has a wicked sense of humor.’  She describes the value of her donation as dependent upon whether your name is used for a “nice character or a mean character.” Whichever way it turns out, your bragging rights will be priceless.

Nancy Werlin’s novels never fail to enthrall readers.’  Award-winning titles such as The Rules of Survival (National Book Award finalist) and The Killer’s Cousin (Edgar Award winner) are perpetually popular.’  Whether mystery, suspense or fantasy, her fans eagerly await the next book, and now you can be a part of it.’  Just place the winning bid at the auction, and her next novel, Unbreakable, will include a character named after you!

Think of how much fun you’ll have recommending new books by either of these authors and saying on the sly, “By the way, one of the characters in this book was named after me!”

See all the exciting items up for bid on the YALSA Midwinter Wiki Not So Silent Auction sign-up page at http://tinyurl.com/26eccw3

30 Days of Back to School: YALSA’s Professional Development Center

One of the great perks of working in a school is the opportunity each fall to feel refreshed, take stock, and focus on improving for the upcoming year.’  Even year round schools have a natural cycle as students move to the next grade.’  YALSA provides a variety of helpful resources to prepare for the new year.

The Professional Development Center on the YALSA website is a one-stop shop for information on career development, learning opportunities and teen services resources including white papers, toolkits, bibliographies and more. Although YALSA’s Competencies for Librarians Serving Youths focuses on teen services in public libraries, many of the benchmarks apply to school settings as well. (Look for a rubric to be published in the future to help evaluate your services.) ‘ It’s an excellent reminder that we are about more than instruction, and can never forget our role as teen advocates and the need to provide an inviting and pleasant space.’  Reading through them, it struck me how I need to think more about creating opportunities to serve niche groups among my students.’  How cool would it be to invite the humane society or anime club to meet in the library and introduce the books and online sources we have available?’  I’ll ask them if they want to create a display and give them a set amount of money to research and select materials for the collection.’  Showing an interest in their special interests sends a genuinely inclusive message.

Speaking of purchasing, get a hand with your overall collection development by using YALSA’s book award and booklist resources. Helpful too is the forthcoming book, Annotated Booklists for Every Teen Reader: The Best from the Experts at YALSA-BK ‘ by Julie Bartel and Pamela Spencer Holley included in the YALSA Books link along with other timely titles for school librarians. Don’t forget to print out the 2010 YALSA Book Award Bookmarks.’  Do you have a technology goal for this year? The Teen Tech Guides are an excellent place to start, and look to the Advocacy Toolkit for comprehensive tips on dealing with budget and other legislative concerns.

This is just a taste of what’s available. Exploring’ the Professional Development Center had an immediate pay-off for me–I’m printing out the brochure, Teen Reading Guide for Parents and Caregivers, to give out at our upcoming Back to School Night open house for parents.