by Heather Booth
If you are a librarian or teacher in the Chicago area, you have an rare opportunity to give your teens these three awesome intangibles, all in one day, by bringing them to the Best Fiction for Young Adults Teen Session on Saturday, June 29th from 10:30-12:00.
Power. Their words have power. They will be up there, at the front of the room, holding the microphone. The microphone is power. The room will be full of adults, sitting at rapt attention, waiting for them to speak, hanging on their every word, relishing the opportunity to hear what they have to say. Their opinions on these books are powerful. They are seeds on the wind that will fly home with every librarian in the room and be planted in library collections nationwide. Your teens deserve this power. (more…)
The following piece is cross-posted on the ALSC Blog. For more cross-under resources, visit The Hub.
Whether we’re serving older teens whose tastes have matured or trying to appease faculty members who need to catch up on a book club, we’re all familiar with adult cross-overs–books originally published for adults that nonetheless have teen appeal. (YALSA even has an award for them!) But what about cross-unders?
With limited budgets, it can be tempting to limit young adult collections to titles actually written for young adults. And the question of where to shelve books has always been a touchy subject–if teens are reading adult books, should the library buy two copies? Are teens even allowed in the children’s area? In schools, we can’t expect teens to leave the building to find the books they want to read–and again, high school students may not even be able to check out books from the middle or elementary schools, and vice versa.
Double- or triple-purchasing books can be a hard pill to swallow. After all, every book purchased for multiple departments or areas means a unique title can’t be purchased. We all have to remember that our patrons–whether they’re teens, tweens or adults–may not feel comfortable seeking out their books in unfamiliar (and potentially unfriendly) departments. They may not even be able to check out books elsewhere, so why not have the books where our our readers want to be? After all, lots of our teen readers have reasons for choosing cross-under titles–or would gladly choose them if they found them on our shelves. So who are those readers?
How’s your team doing in March Madness? Mine just got to the Sweet Sixteen! While you’re waiting for the next time your alma mater plays, check out some of these interesting ideas and insights.
We all know that teens love to text. To respond to this, many schools and colleges now use text message alerts to notify students of school closures or safety issues. But what about health issues? It turns out, lots of doctors and researchers use text message interventions to tackle adolescent health concerns. In North Carolina, a free texting service offered teens the chance to anonymously ask questions about sexual health, and the teens involved in the study said that the service made them feel confident and encouraged them to follow up and learn more about their health. A similar study in 2011 offered teens weight management tips, and the weight and BMI of the study participants decreased after the intervention. College aged smokers participated in an intervention that left 40% of them staying away from smoking for a period of at least 7 days, while other participants reported less dependency on nicotine, which is also a good sign. Obviously as librarians, we cannot offer health advice. But what can you take from this study? Can school libraries use a texting service to alert students of new titles in the collection or upcoming book club meetings? Can public libraries partner with public health organizations to offer helpful services for teens concerned with a certain health or behavior issue? Can teen advisory groups pilot their own peer mentoring or counseling texting program? There are a lot of possibilities, and medical research shows that such programs can have really great results. (more…)
Each Midwinter, I listen to and watch the immediate responses as YALSA’s media awards are announced, fascinated by how many interpretations audience members make of what doesn’t “win” and what the winning titles “say” about those who selected them. Over the years, I’ve served on three YALSA awards committees (Margaret A. Edwards, Odyssey, and Printz), a couple of YALSA list selection committees (former versions of these are now swept into what we call Amazing Audiobooks), and both award and selection list committees for other organizations (the Eisners, the Audies, and the California Young Reader Medal among them). For way longer, I’ve been reviewing books and media for an array of professional journals (Library Journal, School Library Journal, Booklist, VOYA, Public Libraries, Busted) and a couple of “general reader” publications; my typical annual review production numbers somewhere between 100 to 150 titles, mostly assigned to me by editors.
As a fairly long-term readers’ advisory practitioner and instructor, I read widely beyond what I review and what I judge for lists and awards. What I hope to provide here is some focus on how all these different book and media considerations differ in both purpose and approach.
At the YALSA Board’s Midwinter Meetings, the Board discussed the YA Literature Symposium and voted to make some changes, on a trial basis. After the next Symposium (Fall 2014), it will become an annual event. Then, after three consecutive years, it will be re-evaluated. In addition to being held yearly, the Symposium will expand its offerings beyond a strict focus on literature to include programming and other teen-focused topics.
There were several considerations for changing the Symposium to an annual event. The Symposium tends to draw people who are not able to attend ALA Annual and Midwinter. Many YA professionals have the opportunity only to attend one conference per year, and in that case, they prefer to attend something that is specifically YA-focused. In addition, statistics have shown that by having the Symposium in smaller venues, and moving it around the country, different people have the opportunity to attend. In St. Louis, 50% of attendees drove to the Symposium. Many of these were first-time attendees who don’t normally go to major national conferences. Holding the Symposium annually is one way to meet a need expressed by members to have more regional face-to-face opportunities to meet and engage with other YA professionals. (more…)
One of the reasons I love working with teens and kids is that their books are so awesome. There are so many amazing authors in YA right now, from John Green to Holly Black to Stephanie Perkins. I could spend all day, every day reading amazing YA lit and still not even make a dent in my to-read pile. That’s not even mentioning the great kidslit out there, including Rebecca Stead and Catherynn Valente. Just thinking about all the books and authors I want to read makes me giddy.
So, in terms of reading, I’m a pretty busy lady. As you all know, librarians don’t really get to sit around reading every day, so I have to squeeze in what I can during lunches, after work, and on my commute (don’t worry, that’s an audiobook happening there). With all of the pressure to keep up with popular authors and series, I sometimes forget about all the books over in ol’ Dewey. I mean, I know they’re cool (probably. maybe? definitely.), but nonfiction just seems less appealing when I’m plucking my next book to read off my stack of library tomes. I know that connecting to all types of books – nonfiction included – is just as important as connecting to readers and community members when serving teens successfully.