Putting Portable STEAM into Action

Winning one of YALSA’s 2014 Teen Tech Week Grants was both professionally and personally rewarding. It was my second foray into grant-writing and I was surprised that my plan for Exploring Arduino and the creation of a portable STEAM lab at my library branch had won. I was also excited to learn something new, something that “my” kids would think was fun, cool, and wanted to learn too. Of course, with any new challenge, there are degrees of success.

The overall challenge was the timeframe – only five weeks between notification that my branch had won and Teen Tech Week. ‘ Purchasing the equipment – three SparkFun Inventor’s kits and three laptops – didn’t go as planned. All the equipment used in my proposal no longer existed and were replaced by more expensive items. The Inventor’s Kits now available were upgraded, simplified, and cost $10 more each; this was a blessing in disguise as I wouldn’t have to solder anything and preparing the kits involved nothing more than taping two pieces together with double-sided tape. The bargain laptops? I now knew the reason they were such a bargain – discontinued for newer, faster models with greater memory capacity, and nearly double the price. So back to the Best Buy website for a laptop that fit my technology and price needs. Success! And, with the financial and logistical help of the Treasurer of my branch’s Friends, three laptops were acquired in record time. The next challenge was having the laptops ready to go which meant a phone call and email to our library system’s IT department. In four days, IT staff loaded anti-virus and administrative software before downloading the open-source Arduino code. The equipment that formed the basis of a portable STEAM lab was ready!

Continue reading Putting Portable STEAM into Action

YALSA 2015 Election Slate

YALSA’s Awards Nominating and Governance Nominating Committees have assembled the slate for 2015.

Any individual interested in being added to the slate as a petition candidate can do so by submitting a completed Petition for YALSA Ballot form via the YALSA website found here. The closing date to submit a petition is November 2, 2014.

Please note that you must first log into your ALA account in order to access the form.

Elections open March 24, 2015 and close May 1, 2015.

The slate is as follows:

Continue reading YALSA 2015 Election Slate

YALSA NEEDS YOU for our Award & Selection Committees! Volunteer Form Deadline is October 1st!

Happy Summer! Hope you are all surviving and thriving as your summer reading programs come to an end this year. Don’t forget to look toward autumn, as YALSA’s Fall Appointments season approaches!

As President-Elect, I’ll be making appointments to the following YALSA committees and taskforces:

*Please note that the PPYA Committee is an all-virtual committee for the coming year. YALSA members with book selection and evaluation experience and who are comfortable working in an online environment with tools like ALA Connect, Google Docs, Skype, etc. should put their names forward for consideration.

Continue reading YALSA NEEDS YOU for our Award & Selection Committees! Volunteer Form Deadline is October 1st!

Yakama Nation Library: Great Books Giveaway

Yakama Native students could hardly wait to check out new books at the Yakama Nation Library, the latest recipient of YALSA’s Great Books Giveaway. YALSA donates thousands of dollars worth of books every year to qualifying libraries across the United States.

Yakama Native students reviewing new books.
Yakama Native students reviewing new books.

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The Yakama Nation Library serves 12 schools within a 5-mile radius, and students from all of those schools need access to books and information for reports, language studies, and recreational reading. Before YALSA’s donation, the books on YNL’s shelves were outdated. Now the collection has become richer with a more current range of fiction and nonfiction books and media to choose from.’  Continue reading Yakama Nation Library: Great Books Giveaway

YALSA Election: An Interview with Printz Award Committee Candidate Brooke Young

Get ready to vote! The YALSA election runs from March 19 through April 25, and to help you be an informed voter, we’re sharing interviews with each of the 2014 candidates for YALSA Award Committees.

This week we are focusing on the Michael L. Printz Award Committee, which honors the best book and up to four honor books written for teens, based entirely on literary merit, each year.

Candidates, who will be presented in alphabetical order, were asked to craft “Twitter-length” responses (i.e. around 140 characters). Full biographical information on all of the candidates can be found on the sample ballot.

Today we have an interview with Brooke Young.

Continue reading YALSA Election: An Interview with Printz Award Committee Candidate Brooke Young

YALSA Election: An Interview with Printz Award Committee Candidate Ann Pechacek

Get ready to vote! The YALSA election runs from March 19 through April 25, and to help you be an informed voter, we’re sharing interviews with each of the 2014 candidates for YALSA Award Committees.YALSA_173x79

This week we are focusing on the Michael L. Printz Award Committee, which honors the best book and up to four honor books written for teens, based entirely on literary merit, each year.

Candidates, who will be presented in alphabetical order, were asked to craft “Twitter-length” responses (i.e. around 140 characters). Full biographical information on all of the candidates can be found on the sample ballot.

Today we have an interview with Ann Laurie Pechacek.

Continue reading YALSA Election: An Interview with Printz Award Committee Candidate Ann Pechacek

YALSA Election: An Interview with Printz Award Committee Candidate Lalitha Nataraj

Get ready to vote! The YALSA election runs from March 19 through April 25, and to help you be an informed voter, we’re sharing interviews with each of the 2014 candidates for YALSA Award Committees.YALSA_173x79

This week we are focusing on the Michael L. Printz Award Committee, which honors the best book and up to four honor books written for teens, based entirely on literary merit, each year.

Candidates, who will be presented in alphabetical order, were asked to craft “Twitter-length” responses (i.e. around 140 characters). Full biographical information on all of the candidates can be found on the sample ballot.

Today we have an interview with Lalitha Nataraj.

Continue reading YALSA Election: An Interview with Printz Award Committee Candidate Lalitha Nataraj

YALSA Election: An Interview with Printz Award Committee Candidate Kelly Jensen

Get ready to vote! The YALSA election runs from March 19 through April 25, and to help you be an informed voter, we’re sharing interviews with each of the 2014 candidates for YALSA Award Committees.

This week we are focusing on the Michael L. Printz Award Committee, which honors the best book and up to four honor books written for teens, based entirely on literary merit, each year.YALSA_173x79

Candidates, who will be presented in alphabetical order, were asked to craft “Twitter-length” responses (i.e. around 140 characters). Full biographical information on all of the candidates can be found on the sample ballot.

Today we have an interview with Kelly Jensen.

Continue reading YALSA Election: An Interview with Printz Award Committee Candidate Kelly Jensen

YALSA Election: An Interview with Printz Award Committee Candidate Rob Bittner

Get ready to vote! The YALSA election runs from March 19 through April 25, and to help you be an informed voter, we’re sharing interviews with each of the 2014 candidates for YALSA Award Committees.YALSA_173x79

This week we are focusing on the Michael L. Printz Award Committee, which honors the best book and up to four honor books written for teens, based entirely on literary merit, each year.

Candidates, who will be presented in alphabetical order, were asked to craft “Twitter-length” responses (i.e. around 140 characters). Full biographical information on all of the candidates can be found on the sample ballot.

Today we have an interview with Rob Bittner.

Continue reading YALSA Election: An Interview with Printz Award Committee Candidate Rob Bittner

YALSA Election: An Interview with Printz Award Committee Candidate Franklin Escobedo

Get ready to vote! The YALSA election runs from March 19 through April 25, and to help you be an informed voter, we’re sharing interviews with each of the 2014 candidates for YALSA Award Committees.YALSA_173x79

This week we are focusing on the Michael L. Printz Award Committee, which honors the best book and up to four honor books written for teens, based entirely on literary merit, each year.

Candidates, who will be presented in alphabetical order, were asked to craft “Twitter-length” responses (i.e. around 140 characters). Full biographical information on all of the candidates can be found on the sample ballot.

Today we have an interview with Franklin Escobedo.

Continue reading YALSA Election: An Interview with Printz Award Committee Candidate Franklin Escobedo