Have you wanted to serve on a selection committee, but couldn’t manage to attend both Midwinter and Annual conferences? You’re not alone! In the 2014 Member Survey, several members stated they were looking for ways to get involved with YALSA virtually. For the past two years, YALSA has piloted the Margaret A. Edwards Award committee and the Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults committee as virtual committees. Virtual committees allow members who are not able to attend conferences to participate in selection committees, thereby making the organization stronger as more members are engaged in YALSA’s mission and work. Members of both committees were surveyed in April 2014 and their comments were mostly positive. Some members mentioned that communication on their virtual committees was more frequent than was their experience on traditional face-to-face committees. Board document #15 recommends that going forward, Margaret A. Edwards and PPYA should be virtual committees. The document also explores what other committees might be candidates for a future pilot and what additional support or training members of virtual committees might need. Remember, we’ll be live tweeting from board meetings, so please follow @yalsa for more details.

Questions, concerns or suggestions? Please send them to the following members of the YALSA Board Standing Committee on Membership:

Krista McKenzie (Chair)

Carla Land

Nicola McDonald

Rachel McDonald

http://www.ala.org/yalsa/board-directors

True Legends LogoName: True Legends
Price: Free
Platform: iOS

True Legends is a very interesting and, fortunately, free app that I can best describe as a combination of a short story and an animated short. The app first asks users whether they would like to use the app in Hebrew or English. Once you have made a language selection, you are presented with an opening screen that looks very much like the front cover of a book with credits for the writer (Alex Epstein) and the illustrator (Tsach Weinberg).

At this point, the app also demonstrates the swiping motion that is required to advance through the story. Rather than turning pages, users swipe as if zooming in to trigger motion and animations throughout the story. Sometimes these animations are, in fact, zooming in to see details, but they also include movement and scenery changes. While there is only one path through the story, this does add an interactive quality to the app and makes for an impressive user experience. The soft and meditative music that plays throughout also adds an immersive quality to the app.

True Legends Screenshot

The story, and therefore the app, are quite brief, but the beauty of the artwork and the haunting and fable-like nature of the story makes up for that, at least for me. In the end, I think this app is an interesting example of how the app format can allow artists to change the way that they present stories and artwork and it is an example of the types of innovations that we will hopefully see more of in the future. Especially given the fact that it is free, I think this is a great app to load on library iPads for demonstration purposes or to show to those who are disappointed that ebooks are so frequently simply text presented on an electronic device.

Have a suggestion for App of the Week? Let us know. And find more great Apps in the YALSA Blog's App of the Week Archive.

A brief look at 'grams of interest to engage teens and librarians navigating this social media platform.

It's Martin Luther King Jr. Day and many libraries that serve teens are closed. Whether public, school or other, it is often not possible for librarians to connect with teens on MLK day. Libraries in communities directly impacted by Dr. King, such as Birmingham, not only provide great resources ALL teens can access, they also model good programming ideas. Instagram photo hunts, round table readings of landmark primary sources, or simply sharing relevant artifacts and other materials housed in their libraries can inspire our own outreach to teens. Although Black History month quickly follows, how can libraries find an opportunity to have conversations with teens about Dr. King, his legacy, and how it is relevant to their own lives? Diplays? Movie nights? Round table discussions? Could the #weneeddiversebooks campaign be used in your library to connect wider issues of diversity to MLK day? How does your library use MLK day to kick-start ongoing interactions about race, civil rights, and diversity? Read More →

By Nicola McDonald

My role as YALSA Board Fellow has been such a rewarding learning and sharing experience! This Midwinter will be my first official full meeting as a board member and I’m looking forward to it.

Over the past six months, in addition to some wonderful things I’ve been able to do like work with specific chairs to help their committee work run smoothly and participating in various board and topic discussions, I was also able to write a board proposal around diversity on the YALSA board. All recent board documents will be presented during the YALSA Board meeting in Chicago at ALA Midwinter.

Originating as a Mega Issue that was discussed during ALA's 2014 conference, I decided to continue with the topic as a part of my YALSA board project. I'm proposing that YALSA focuses on taking steps to increase and maintain diversity on the board.

If you're heading to Chicago, be sure to stop in and check out this and other topics that will be discussed and decided on. Check out YALSA events in Chicago during Midwinter. Even if you won't be joining us in Chicago, you can follow @YALSA for updates on board actions as there will be live Tweets from the meetings.

By Adrienne Strock

For a complete list of YALSA happenings at ALA’s 2015 Midwinter meeting, see the YALSA Midwinter wiki page.

Midwinter YALSA YOUmedia Partnership Session: Partnering Strategically to Reach beyond Library Walls

Join representatives from YOUmedia and the Chicago Public Library (CPL) as they discuss the history and evolution of their partnerships throughout their short and robust history on Saturday, January 31, 8:30am-10am, at McCormick Place West in room W183c. In this panel, CPL Teen Services and YOUmedia staff will share their partnership experiences and essential elements for building and sustaining successful partnerships, present best practices, discuss the successes and challenges of program implementation, and how to best leverage resources to enhance learning experiences and increase access through showcase and special opportunities. Participants will also engage in a "Build Your Sustainable Partnership Program" game! Take on the role of a partner in a mock partnership program and navigate challenges and leverage resources to create an engaging experience that demonstrates how teens can be supported and guided along learning pathways.

YOUmedia on Partnerships and Partnering Strategically to Reach beyond Library Walls

The African proverb “It takes a village to raise a child” seems ever present in today’s educational mission of rethinking how to create engaging learning experiences for young people. This proverb manifests itself when entities who have chosen to actively invest in the lives of young people come together to support their growth and development. Collaborations and partnerships can yield unique approaches to sparking and engaging interests of young people, acting as a critical component to expand a young person’s learning journey.

Read More →

Space Station Research Explorer App LogoName: Space Station Research Explorer
Cost: Free
Platform: iOS and Android

Space enthusiasts rejoice! At the beginning of last month NASA released a new (and free!) app that brings users aboard the International Space Station (ISS) with a particular focus on all of the research that is conducted aboard it. The app is divided into five sections: Experiments, Facilities, Benefits, Media, and Links. Read More →

High school is a game of priorities. With sports, music, studying, and social commitments, older teens have to be really interested or otherwise invested in a program if it's going to find a spot on their already crowded calendars. One of the most meaningful ways to get high school students involved at the library is through offering a teen volunteer program. With the approach of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and the National Day of Service, January is the perfect time to consider engaging older teens at the library through community service opportunities.

Why Volunteer?

Many high schools require community service as a condition of graduation. Of the schools that don't assign service projects, many still require student council representatives or honor society members to commit to volunteering a certain number of hours. Community engagement is also an important component of many scholarship and college applications, and some teens have court assigned community service or an interest in developing resume worthy work skills. All this combined means that teens want to hear more about volunteer opportunities.

Better yet, volunteering teaches teens about giving back to the community and participating in something larger than themselves. The Corporation for National and Community Service and the President's United We Serve campaign encourage students to give back to their neighbors on MLK day. In addition to providing a true benefit to the community, service projects can help teens reflect on what it means to provide a positive contribution to the community and the world. It also helps build several of the 40 Developmental Assets. By giving teens the opportunity to provide service to others and to fulfill a useful role in the community, library volunteer programs help teens learn positive values such as caring, responsibility, and a sense of purpose.

There are many different ways that you can incorporate volunteering into your regular program schedule, and with a bit of planning, you can insure the experience is mutually beneficial. Here are a few ideas to try at your library. Read More →