Got reluctant readers?

Posted by Teri Lesesne

The Quick Picks Committee has been busy here at midwinter. With hundreds of nominated titles to consider, our fearless leader, Jamie Watson, has kept us on task as we talk about the reaction of our readers to the books. Of course, we also insert our own thoughts and feelings into the proceedings as each member of the committee has also read each nominated title. The meetings are open to the conference participants who are encouraged to talk about any of the titles they have seen reluctant readers gravitate toward or reject. Tomorrow we will cast our votes for each book, write annotations for the titles, and begin thinking of which books we will nominate for the 2007 list.

Teaching YA Literature Discussion Group

Well, the sun sets (at least I think it did behind the clouds) on the ALA conference. The day began with rain but the weather did not dampen the spirits of the thousands in attendance. More than 30 people joined in the conversation this morning for the Teaching YA Literature Discussion Group chaired by Shannon Sword. The discussion centered around several issues such as how to manage classes that are online versus ones that are hybrid and/or FTF. Following the meeting, I hurtled myself through exhibits quickly to scoop up some ARCs and then headed off to the second Quick Picks Committee meeting.

Tomorrow dawns early with the Press Conference set for 7:55. Stay tuned to see if your favorites win any awards.

Teri Lesesne

Popular Paperbacks Committee

We’ll definitely be posting the final lists, and you’ll see them here pretty quickly. The four lists this year, at least their working titles, are:
*Books That Don’t Make You Blush
*Criminal Elements
*What Ails You(Disease & Disorders)

*GLBTQ
Each list will have as many as 25 titles, and judging by our work today there will be good balance of diversity–ethnic, gender, genre, format, and age-level.
Tomorrow’s the day we finalize our votes and fine tune the annotations.

And then the nominations can begin for next year’s lists! More about that later.

Sally

Building an Online Course

Posted by Linda W. Braun

Monique LeConge and I got to meet yesterday to finish planning out the online course we are going to teach for YALSA – starts February 6 but is already sold out.

It was great to complete the process and finalize our plans. One great thing we decided to do was include Monique’s 15-year-old in the class via an audio recording and a discussion board.

We’ll also have participants create their own My Space space as a way to introduce themselves to each other. There’s lots of other great things in the works including thinking about how programs, services, and space change for libraries when they really start to integrate technology as more than an add-on and as a true tool for helping teens enhance their literacy skills.

Can’t wait.

Teens and Technology Institute Powerpoints

Posted by Linda W. Braun

In my post on the Institute I said I would upload the PowerPoint files from the presenters. I have some of them, and will post the rest when they arrive in my email box.

Frances Jacobson Harris – ethics
Robin Brenner – graphic novels
Beth Gallaway – gaming

At the end of their presentation, Robin Brenner and Beth Gallaway asked participants to come up with a new program based on what they heard during the day. The program ideas included:

  • Skokie pod people (a library podcast)
  • Forget the books srp (counting audio, podcasting, blogging, etc for
    “reading” credit)
  • podcasting
  • br;semtp[aom[paomb (just talked – didn’t formulate an idea)
  • 24 hours of gaming (marathon gaming session)
  • big screen game night
  • circulating games (collection development)
  • game tournament
  • share a media wiki (teens use wiki to make recommendations for
    purchase or to recommend podcasts, blogs, etc.

  • xbox and beyond – (teens sign a contract to waive liability and bring
    in games, consoles)
  • imix soundtrack to a book (using iTunes, create a playlist to set tone
    of a book)

To read more about the day and to get to the link to my presentation you can read the first post.

Leadership Development

Posted by Linda W. Braun

This morning bright and early YALSA committee chairs and board members met at leadership development. This meeting happens at each conference and gives chairs and Board the chance to talk about what’s up and what’s new. Two things were different this time around. First, there was breakfast (with giveaways) sponsored by Listening Library – thanks to YALSA staff for organizing that. And, the meeting included time for small groups to talk about how to manage difficult committee situations.

The small groups happened at the end of the meeting and it was great for two reasons. First, because it meant that we got to talk and not be talked at for the full meeting. And, we got to talk about something that was useful – how to better manage committees. Time ran short so we didn’t really get lots of opportunity to reflect on the discussions but Pam is going to collate the info. and send it out on the committee chair list and I’ll post it on the blog.

Actually, as I think about it the meeting was different in another way too. The agenda included lots of people talking about specific things. But, no person talked for more than 3 minutes I would say. That was great. Each person said what they needed to say and then we moved out. There wasn’t anything that needed lots of discussion but we still got to find out about lots of stuff.

Amy Alessio, YALSA’s fiscal officer, discussed how important it is for YALSA to be aware of our finances. Since YALSA is just striking out on its own as a non-subsidized division of ALA we have to be sure to spend money very wisely. Two things to remember within this context. First, Amy says she’s going to be always asking – do we have the money for that? And second, YALSA can only keep up with the needs of its members if the dues increase which will be on the ballot this spring is approved.

The dues increase is important so that we can continue to provide great programs and conferences, regional institutes, publications, staff, and lots more. It’s a small increase we are going to be asked to approve – $10 – but that money will go quite a long way.

Another topic addressed during the meeting was YALSA publications. I thought it was great that this conversation didn’t focus just on writing books but also on other types of publications YALSA can and does produce – this blog, booklists, journal articles, web content, and more. YALSA publications is interested in working with people on their ideas and will try to help match the idea with the best publications format. So, anyone with ideas should contact the publications committee.

YALSA Executive Director, Beth Yoke, told us about ALA’s Online Communities which is a place that committees will be able to use to conduct business. Committees can have real-time chats, upload documents, archive documents, and more using the Online Communities. Not all of YALSA’s Committees are included on the site yet but members can check it out.

Beth also gave a good rundown/overview of who does what in the YALSA Office. A good thing to remember is that if not sure who to contact the first point person is Esther Murphy.

Before we broke into small groups Pam Spencer Holley gave us her list of the top 10 responsibilities of committee chairs. The list is:

  1. communicate with committee members
  2. delegate committee members

  3. start and end on time
  4. always have an agenda – circulate in advance
  5. circulate an attendance sheet
  6. have someone else take notes
  7. read your charge – make sure know what are supposed to do
  8. be sure to submit pre and post conference reports – board pays attention to them – can email liaison with sensitive info. – it’s OK to resign from a committee
  9. contact board lisiason with questions, concerns, etc.
  10. have a good time and accept the Board’s thanks

All Cheer for All Committee

Living la vida ALA last night was fun. Now, it is time to get down to work. Welcome to the YALSA All Committee Meeting. It is Saturday morning about 10 am. YALSA President Pam Spencer Holley brought the meeting to order thanking Listening Library for sponsoring the breakfast and providing the cool lunch boxes with audiobooks inside. A brief moment of silence for Gerald Hodges and James Cook brought a few of us to tears and then we were underway.

All Committee is the heart and soul of YALSA’s operations at conference. Dozens of committees meet here to conduct their business. Groups as disparate as Research, Teen Read Week, Publisher’s Liaison, Teens and Technology, and Publications have the chance to meet in person at annual and midwinter during this All Committee time. It is a great way for new folks to see the various committee opportunities available, to introduce themselves as volunteers, to get involved. Old hands like me can hug friends we see twice a year at ALA and catch up on the latest gossip.

Terry Young brought greetings from New Orleans as the local arrangements chair and assured us that all would be ready for us in June. A few god tips for those planning to come to annual included: book your rooms as early as possible and please remember to register soon as well.

Pam gave a report on YALSA’s activities this past year including Teen Read Week, increased membership in YALSA (we are nearing 5000 members), responses to the hurricane affected areas, a new Graphic Novel Committee, an Advisory Board for publications (YALS and YAttitudes), task forces, and many other projects. GET ACTIVE AT YOUR LIBRARY is the theme for next year’s Teen Read Week.

The members of the YALSA Board and Executive Committee were introduced. Karlan Sick asked for help in conducting the work of the Nominating Committee. Judy Nelson, President Elect talked about her appointments to the selection committees and other positions. She urged anyone interested to go to the web site and complete the committee volunteer form and return it to HQ as soon as possible.

The 50th anniversary celebration committee members presented some of their ideas for our 50th anniversary in 2007. Think 50!

ALA President Keith Michael Fiels talked about the proposed dues increase and the plan for ALA’s continued growth, “Ahead to 2010.”

Beth Yoke, YALSA’S Executive Director, mentioned some of the handout materials available for committee members and chairs.

After the various reports, Pam dismissed us to begin meeting with our committees.

Teri Lesesne

All Committee Meeting

Posted by Meg Canada

The All Committee Meeting was aflutter with activity. Among the many important announcements and introductions, Terry Young, a member of the Local Arrangements Committee for the Annual Meeting in New Orleans gave us an update on conventions in the city. He is sending his comments to be posted here- so stay tuned! Terry encoraged everyone to register and book hotels as soon as possible.

Pam Holley shared highlights of the year including the fact that YALSA is the fastest growing division in ALA. with over 5,000 members! Want to get involved or stay involved? Don’t forget to fill out the Committee Volunteer Form.

Popular Paperbacks

So the Popular Paperbacks Committe was in rare form–but then it usually is!–during our first Midwinter session.

Here are some of the reasons why this is such a fun committee:
*the discussion is always EXTREMELY lively–there is absolutely NO danger of nodding off, no matter how late you were up carousing last night
*committee members seem to truly like and respect one another, no matter how much opinions might differ (see below) and how much name-calling there might be. In a good way, of course!
*everyone respects the groundrules–like no throwing things at each other, at least inside
*the snacks are excellent
*everyone cares passionately about coming up with the best possible lists to reflect our charge of popular books promoting pleasure reading for teens

After introductions and overviews, there were two hot issues today. First does Uglies belong on the Criminal Elements list or the Books That Don’t Make You Blush list? After hearfelt debate, the Blush list got to keep Uglies (Hurray!) and the decision was made to avoid setting a precedent of having a book on two lists simultaneously.
And secondly, one of the lists next year will be books about Religion in Our Lives.

And a meeting highpoint was when a certain Blush Sub-Chair burst out with a certain F word prompting deafening applause.

Stay tuned for more PPYA news!

Sally Leahey

welcome to San Antonio

I drove in from Houston yesterday afternoon witht the sun shining and the temps hovering near 80. Last night my roommate and I made the rounds of some of the publisher receptions. It was a relaxing way to meet and greet colleagues from across the country. The Riverwalk was ablaze with lights and alive with ALA members strolling, asking for directions, laughing, and flat out enjoying our balmy weather.

YALSA meetings begin in a few hours, so I thought I would take a couple of minutes to go online before heading out the door. Next stop is YALSA All Committee meeting.