Keep Up on Conference Happenings

Posted by Linda W. Braun

The YALSA blog has a category specifically for posts on topics related to Annual and Midwinter conferences.

To keep up on what’s happening before, during, and after the upcoming annual conference you can go directly to the Conference Category page.

There’s also a direct link in right sidebar (near the top) and in the category section of the right sidebar. We’ve got lots of ways for you to find out what’s up at conference.

Blogger Reception at ALA Conference

I just found out that there’s a Blogger Reception at Annual. It will take place in Leslie Burger’s Suite after the Scholarship Bash (Sat. from 10:30 pm to midnight). In order to be able to attend, you need to send an RSVP by June 14th here: . Leslie said that it is an informal thing that started at Midwinter and is primarily for conference attendees who have their own blog.

Posted by Beth Yoke

Sad Facts of Librarianship

All technologies evolve and die. Every technology you learned about in library school will be dead someday.

You fear loss of control, but that has already happened. Ride the wave.

You are the middle-man to filter information to the users.

You are not a format. You are a service.

The OPAC is not the sun. The OPAC is at best a distant planet, every year moving farther from the orbit of its solar system.

The user is the sun.

The user is the magic element that transforms librarianship from a gate keeping trade to a services profession.

The user is not broken.

Your system is broken until proven otherwise.

That vendor who just sold you the million-dollar system because “librarians need to help people” doesn’t have a clue what he’s talking about, and his system is broken, too.

You spend money on things that are free.

Most of your most passionate users will never meet you face to face.

Most of your most alienated users will never meet you face to face.

The most significant help you can provide your users is to add value and meaning to the information experience, wherever it happens; defend their right to read; and then get out of the way.

Your website is your ambassador to tomorrow’s taxpayers. They will meet the website long before they see your building, your physical resources, or your people.

It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than to find a library website that is usable and friendly and provides services rather than talking about them in weird library jargon.

Information flows down the path of least resistance. If you block a tool the users want, users will go elsewhere to find it.

You cannot change the user, but you can transform the user experience to meet the user.

Meet people where they are–not where you want them to be.

Help users learn the library is not just about books.

The user is not “remote.” You, the librarian, are remote, and it is your job to close that gap.

If you don’t continue to challenge yourself to meet new goals, you will fall behind.

The average library decision about implementing new technologies takes longer than the average life cycle for new technologies.

Revolutionary for libraries is old news to most teens.

If you are reading about it in Time and Newsweek and your library isn’t adapted for it or offering it, you’re behind.

If we continue the format and ignoring the user, we will be tomorrow’s cobblers.

We have wonderful third spaces that offer our users a place where they can think and dream and experience information. Is your library a place where people can dream?

Your ignorance will not protect you.

There is hope.

Start today by forming a TAG group, and listen to their ideas.
Listen to your patrons and connect them with your technology staff.
Pick something you have the resources for and make it digital. Focus on this one thing and do your best to make it what the patrons and the library wants. Then write an article about it, or do a presentation, and start something else, while maintaining the old one.

Student Librarians:
Pick one something besides reading that teens you know like: blogging, machinima, manga, gaming, web design… and start enjoying it, and then create something related to your interest. Figure out how to use the different technology and use them.
I know there is a lot of reading in library school but find the time to listen to audio books instead of reading a book, read at least one blog regularly that relates to an interest of yours, and one librarian blog.
Watch a few Teen movies, and machinima. Try listening to a podcast about anything you are interested in.

Start a Flickr account
Start a Blog
If you ever see or read about technology you don’t know about try it out.

and most importantly be original and Have Fun.

origially posted on Free Range Librarian
modified and added to by Jami Schwarzwalder

Favorite Feeds

Posted by Linda W. Braun

Did you know that four people say they saw Olivia Newton John’s missing boyfriend in Mexico? That’s one of the interesting tidbits I just picked up by perusing the RSS feeds to which I subscribe. (It’s from the E! RSS feed – which is one of my favorites.)

As I read my feeds I realized I’ve never written about these on the blog. Some people might think that I have way too many feeds (54) in my feed reader. But, I’ve discovered, that actually having the information in which I’m interested in one place, and by having information collected for me automatically by a piece of software, I spend less time, rather than more, keeping up to date.

I’m going to backtrack for a minute. If you aren’t sure what RSS or a feedreader is you can find out by checking out a previous blog. In a nutshell, RSS feeds give you the chance to subscribe to information resources and have articles and updates from those resources delivered to you automatically.

I’ve been using RSS for about 2 years now and really do think it’s a great way to keep track of news and information of interest. In my RSS reader I’ve created different folders/categories for my feeds. I have a YALSA folder where this blog lives. Whenever there’s a new post on the blog my feed reader lets me know so I don’t have to keep going back to the blog page to see if someone’s posted a new blog or a comment.

Another folder in my RSS reader is called Tech. That’s the place where I collect information on technology topics. I have feeds coming from a variety of sources on everything from new products, to smartphones, to trends in technology, and more.

Then I have a folder for NY Times feeds. I love that many of the sections of the Times are available via RSS feed. This means that whenever there’s a new news story posted on a topic in which I’m interested, and that I’ve subscribed to, I see it listed in my feed reader. I subscribe to New York Times feeds for national and international news, movies, opinion columns, education, and, of course, technology.

The other folder I have in my feed reader is called Else. That’s for everything else that doesn’t fit easily into one of the other feed categories. This is where I have E! Online and A Painting A Day (an artist posts a painting every day and readers/visitors can purchase the painting on his site.)

So, why is all of this information easier for me to read and keep track of then if I didn’t collect it all in one place? Well, that’s really the answer. With my feed reader I am able to organize and select the information that is of most interest to me. I no longer have to go hunting from site to site to find out what’s happening in the various areas in which I have an interst. I don’t have to keep wondering if a new blog or news story was posted. I simply know it will show up in my reader.

Libraries are starting to integrate RSS into their services. Some libraries have feeds of upcoming events. Others provide library catalog feeds – updates of new books, overdues, reserves, etc. Wouldn’t it be great if the teens in your library could get information delivered to their desktop whenever an article on a topic of interest on was added to your databases or a book was added to your catalog?

The post I linked to above includes a link to a great resource from Will Richardson about using RSS feeds. If you haven’t tried RSS you should definitely check it out. It might seem time consuming to setup and figure out. But, in the long run I bet you’ll find you end up saving time by using RSS instead of losing time. Give it a try.


Ok. Everyone is preparing for ALA, but I have something I also want to share with you, the fine readers of YALSA Blog: Comics.

I recently created a pathfinder for Comics for one of my classes, which helped motivate me to write this post.

Webcomics started in the late 90’s with Sluggy Freelance, PVP, Penny Arcade, Its Walky, Mac Hall, and Megatokyo. These comics and many others made this style popular. Now there are over 6,000 comics online. These aren’t the regular newspapers cartoons either. Many had taken the infinite space available on the web and used it for stunning effect. One example is Once Upon a Table’s 500th Strip. The comics generally deal with topics relevant to gamers, and college students. Many use a more Manga art style. Since it is easy to read a comic you miss, many of these comics are serial. For more webcomic history read T. Campbell’s History of Webcomics.

It’s important to know about webcomics, because many are now being translated to graphic novels. For the more serialized comics, it is easier to read in a book format, because turning a page is faster than loading a webpage. Just like video games, these are culturally significant. Many deal with modern issues in a fantasy setting, and most of the artists keep a blog on the main page, where they can communicate with the readers. Two of the biggest holidays in webcomics is April Fools and Halloween. These two days artist do anything and everything they can think of to confuse the readers, from dressing the characters in others clothing/drawing different styles to posting fake legal papers on the blog.

Dominic Deegan

One of the more popular comics is Dominic Deegan. The creator, Mookie, now updates everyday with color Sundays. A year ago he left his day time job, to focus primarily on the comic, and increased from a M-F schedule. He rarely misses an update without posting notice on the main page. Sometimes when he’s at a conference he will post filler art or have a fellow artist fill in.

Dominic Deegan has a very active fan community, but that’s true for most webcomics. For two years the comic was hosted on Keenspot, with free forums. The comic is hosted on a different server now, but the forums are still active. Every day fans will stay up until the wee hours of the morning to catch the comic, and be the first one to start the thread about it. Also the forums are used to have contests related to the comic. I hosted a trivia contest once, and There is a very popular caption contest(one entry). For complete oddness there is a word continuation thread that is active off and on. The forums are also used for general chatter. When Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was released people posted their progress in the book, and held discussions about the ending.

On Mookie’s site he has a link to a new comic that is just staring, and an entire page dedicated to the fan art. The fan art ranges from re-drawn characters, to colored strips, to new comics featuring the characters or the creator.

Dominic Deegan is a special webcomic, because in addition to using many puns, Mookie focuses on telling a story. Each year he hosts a panel at Anime Boston titled Writing Unique Heroes & Memorable Villains. His first storylines deal with a lonely Seer, who lives with his talking cat in the town Lynn’s Brook. He works as the towns seer answering those important questions of “Where are my house keys?”, “Why does it hurt every time I touch my face, arm, and leg?” by the townspeople, and the most important question “When will I be feed?” by the cat.
Soon Dominic has his door ripped off (literally) by a knight, and cursed with “Fish Falls on your head every time you smoke” curse. From there his adventures progressed, as the creator dealt with more controversial topics including rape.

posted by Jami Schwarzwalder

Speakers at Printz Program

At each Annual Conference YALSA hosts the Printz Program and Reception, which honors the authors recognized by this prestigious award and celebrates young adult literature. This year, two of the honorees will not be able to attend in person due to extenuating circumstances. Instead of giving their speech live, they will be airing a videotaped message at the Printz Program. Markus Zusak and Marilyn Nelson are the two authors who are unable to attend this event. John Green, winner of the ’06 award for his book, Looking for Alaska, will be present to give his speech, as will Margo Lanagan. Tickets for this program may still be purchased online. They will also be available on site. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact the YALSA office at -Beth Yoke

Committee Meetings at Annual

Posted by Linda W. Braun

Last week Pam Spencer Holley sent out information and agendas for Leadership Development and All Committee meetings coming up at Annual. Both take place on Saturday morning June 24. Leadership Development is from 8 to 10 AM and All Committee is from 10:30 to noon. Both take place at the Hilton in Grand Ballroom B.

I’ve been to quite a few of these meetings over the years, and am very pleased that recently the format and content of each has been revised in order to provide more opportunities to learn about what’s going on in the Division. This includes the distribution of agendas before the meetings take place, and the inclusion of presentation of information at All Committee. It’s been a great way to keep more people in the loop and in the know.

Another thing that YALSA staff, Board members, and Committee members have been working hard at over the past couple of years, is making sure that those who attend these meetings, perhaps for the first time, are welcomed. If you are familiar with Leadership Development and All-Committee it would be great if you made sure to welcome any newbies you encounter. If you are new to the “scene” feel free to walk up to a table, sit down, and introduce yourself. We might seem like a big scary bunch to some. We might seem like a cliqueish group. But, actually I think everyone is pretty open to welcoming new members in the Division and on Committees. So, take the plunge.

All Committee is a great way to find out what’s going on in YALSA Committees. Even if you aren’t on a committee you can walk around, sit in on discussions, and ask questions. There’s no better way perhaps for getting involved.

Below are the agendas for Leadership Development and All Committee.

Leadership Development
1. 8:30: Meeting Begins. Welcome – Pam Spencer Holley, President

2. Strategic Plan Update – Audra Caplan, Chair

3. Organization and Bylaws: How this Committee Serves You — Stacey Creel-Chavez, Chair

4. Program Planning: What You Need to Know – Erin Downey Howerton, Chair

5. Youth Participation Coordinators: Including Teens at Programs – Jerene Battisti & Lynn Evarts

6. YALSA Publications: Get Your Committee in on the Action—Julie Bartel, Chair

7. YALSA Business Plan: Where Does Your Committee Fit In? – Amy Alessio, Fiscal Officer

8. Board Liaisons: An Important Resource for You – Judy Nelson, President-Elect

9. Working with the Board – Pam Spencer Holley

10. Working with YALSA Staff – Beth Yoke

11. YALSA Nominating Committee Message – Jennifer Hubert, Chair

12. ALA Nominating Committee Message – Allen Nichols

13. Responsibilities of YALSA Committee Chairs – Pam Spencer Holley

14. Questions You’ve Been Dying to Ask – David Mowery, Immediate Past President

15. Passing the Baton—incoming chairs meet with outgoing chairs

Chairs and Incoming Chairs: before you leave, be sure you have:

  • Roster of your committee members
  • Observer Forms
  • Program Planning Forms
  • YALSA Mission & Facts
  • Leadership Tips & Tools
  • Benefits of Speaking at YALSA Programs
  • Committees: Get Your News & Info Online
  • PR & Marketing Basics for YALSA Committees

Go on line and complete:

All Committee Meeting
Agenda – All Committee Saturday, June 24. Hilton Grand Ballroom B

1. 10:30: Meeting Begins. Welcome, Pam Spencer Holley, President

2. Board Liaison Introductions – Judy Nelson, President-Elect

3. Building YALSA’s Assets – Amy Alessio, Fiscal Officer

4. Questions and Answers – David Mowery, Immediate Past President

5. Breakout into Committee Work Sessions

a. Circulating During Work Sessions:

i. Valerie Ott, YALS editor
ii. Amy Alessio, YAttitudes editor
iii. 50th Anniversary Taskforce members
iv. Publications Committee members

v. Board Liaisons

Also of note: All Committee is an open meeting. Please welcome any YALSA members to your table who are not currently on the committee, but who may wish to sit in and learn about the committee before deciding whether or not to fill out a Committee Volunteer Form.

Events at Conference for Students & New Librarians

Interviewing 101, Fri. June 23, 9:30a – 11:00a
This workshop will help you appreciate the opportunity that interviews create… and hopefully alleviate some of the stress! This workshop is held in connection with the ALA Placement Center. Speaker: Vicki Burger
Why Should I Hire You?, Sat. June 24, 1:30p – 3:30p

Managers and jobseekers, learn how to interact with each other before, during, and after the interview process. Hear best practices and tips about job interviews and hiring from a panel including a human resources manager, career consultant, public library director, recent library school graduate, and an organizational psychologist. Speakers: Sheila Anderson, Charlene Holly, Erica Klein, Jill Ratzan, Elisa Topper
Professional Portfolio Development, Sun. June 25 10:30a – 12n
ALA-APA Placement Center Workshop. For more details visit
Getting What You’re Worth, Sun. June 25, 1:30 – 3:30p
This interactive session will give you the opportunity to learn the principles of salary negotiation during your interview and your promotions, and to engage in mock negotiations. Co-sponsored by ALA-APA and the ALA Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment. Speaker: Mary Pergander.
Marketing Yourself, Sun. June 25, 1:30p – 3:30p

This session will include the basic methods to create, update, and maintain all current information that is vital and invaluable for annual performance evaluations, career changes or salary review. Speaker: Vicki Burger
Conference Orientation, New Members Round Table (NMRT), Sat. 8:30 – 10:30a
Get a fun and informative introduction to the Conference. Learn to navigate the exhibits, decipher the conference program, how ALA really works, and ways to get involved.
YALSA 101, Friday, 4:00 – 5:00 pm
Learn about YALSA in a basic orientation which will include an overview of the division and its activities. New members and those considering membership will learn more about the benefits, and established members are welcome to attend this great networking opportunity. Light refreshments will be served courtesy of School Library Journal.
Library Education Discussion Group Topics
Saturday, June 24, 3-4pm: Jobs, led by Heidi Dolamore
Sunday, June 25, 12-1pm: Adjunct Faculty, led by Rita Premo and Maggie Novario

-Posted by Beth Yoke

Broadband and Content Creation

Posted by Linda W. Braun

Age, however, remains a distinguishing feature among those who put things online and have high-speed at home. For broadband users under the age of 30, 51% have placed content on the internet, 25% have their own blogs, and 41% have posted online a bit of content they created themselves. For those over 30 with high-speed at home, 36% have been a source of online content, 6% have their own blogs, and 28% have posted any sort of creative work to the internet.

That is one of the findings in a very interesting report released on May 30th by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. The report on broadband access in the home looks at the levels of high-speed access in the United States and briefly how people are using that access to create content for and on the web. (A full .pdf version of the report is available.)

High-speed access continues to grow and the report also shows that wireless networking at home is also starting to take off. While rural high speed access is still behind urban, the report also points out that rural access is growing at a steady, and fairly rapid, pace. As teens in a variety of locations gain access to broadband, libraries of course have to be able to provide services that meet their style of access.

A chart in the report shows that 43% of survey respondents in the 18 to 30 age group had posted content online. This was the highest percentage within the age brackets listed and I would bet that if 13 to 18 year olds were surveyed the percentage might be even greater.

Wifi at ALA’s Annual Conference

From ALA’s Conference Services Department:
ALA Conference Services has contracted with the Morial Convention Center to provide free wifi access at the Annual Conference. This access will be available to all registered attendees for the duration of the event. Wifi coverage is available throughout the building with the exception of the exhibit halls.

In order to use the in-house wifi you must have a wifi-enabled device.
Simply open your browser and you will be logged on to the center’s server, and you will then be free to browse just as you would in other public wifi situations.

This service is provided for basic internet use like browsing and checking email. This is not meant for use with VPN or other point-to-point communications.

Wifi internet access is offered “as is” – neither Conference Services nor Datasis can provide technical support for this service.
-posted by Beth Yoke