Still working in San Antonio

Posted by Teri Lesesne

Though the exhibit halls look like ghost towns, and many participants are now home and busily unpacking their ARCS from their overstuffed luggage, some work still remains for the folks on various YALSA Committees. My roomie and I head off shortly for the final meeting of the Quick Picks List for 2006. Today we cast our final votes for the books, write annotations to go along with the titles, and settle on our Top Ten Books.

Other committees are meeting as well so that soon members can access BBYA and Notable and other important collection development lists. Of course, YALSA officers and Board Members are still meeting to plan for New Orleans and beyond. Get involved and see how it all works behind the scenes at ALA and YALSA.

May I have the envelope, please?

Posted by Teri Lesesne

There was a palpable thrill in the air of Hall C as Pam Spencer Holley opened the first ever live web cast of the awards ceremony known as the Oscars of the juvenile literature world. Librarians and publishers mingled before being called to order with lots of us getting in our last picks for winning titles before the actual announcements.

After viewing footage from the forthcoming Pura Belpre video that celebrates the 10th anniversary of this award, President Michael Gorman opened the ceremonies by announcing the winners of the Schneider Family Award. (for a full list of awards: http://news.ala.org/releases/announce.html). ALEX Awards were announced and then it was time for what all the YALSA folks had been anticipating since the beginning of conference: the winners of the Margaret A. Edwards Award and the Printz winners.

Pam Spencer Holley’s announcement of Jacqueline Woodson as the recipient of the 2006 MAE Award we met with much enthusiasm. Printz winners came next, again to thunderous applause. (List of Winners.)

After announcements for all the awards were made, we scurried off to call friends and colleagues. Immediately, the listservs lit up with the post announcement discussion also known as Monday morning quarterbacking. It was an incredibly exciting way to start a day here in San Antonio.

Popular Paperbacks Committee

Today we finalized our four lists, so you can look forward to seeing them on the YALSA Web site soon, accompanied by annotations that we hope will give clues about the right readership.

Next year’s committee will be creating four new lists with the following themes–the titles still need some work, but you’ll get the idea:
* Religion in Your Life

* Art, Artists, and Creativity
* Humor
* Truth: More Fun/Stranger than Fiction

Caryn Sipos presented esteemed outgoing Chair, Walter Mayes, with a pack decorated with symbols of each of this year’s lists.

Diane Emge, outgoing Administrative Assistant and Incoming Chair, continued her success with keeping everything and everyone in line. Well, maybe not in line, but at least on task.

Sally Leahey

ALA Web Advisory Committee

Posted by Linda W. Braun

Today I attended my first meeting of the “big” ALA Web Advisory Committee. (I am the YALSA rep. to the Committee.) One of the things that was discussed was that YALSA is the first ALA Division to be using blog software hosted on the ALA server. Other Divisions have blogs but we are the first to have the blog integrated into the ALA structure. ALA staff members did mention that other Divisions could do the same thing.

We also talked about ALA’s Online Communities. ALA staff is waiting to announce the Communities to the larger ALA world until the larger divisions are integrated fully into the Community environment.

There was a presentation from ALA publications about the different electronic publications that exist or are in the works. There is a new enewsletter for subscribers to American Libraries (if you don’t want to get the enewsletter you need to opt-out.) Booklist is going to be available online via subscription and there are several books that are being revised that will have online versions. I hadn’t realized that text chapters are available for download from some third party vendors. I’ll have to check that out.

American Libraries, ACRL, and HRDR are working on an online career center. It will allow employers to post job ads and employees to post resumes. (That’s just some of what will be available.) It sounds like the resource will be ALA’s version of Monster.com. Not a bad thing to have access to.

Sitting through the meeting it seemed to me that past mistakes have been taken to heart. It sounds like there is a good process in place for ALA to use to determine website needs and how to handle those needs. It also seems like they are very aware of the amount of testing that is needed in order to achieve success.

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