Libraries Welcome All Families: Makerspace Mondays!

The AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee on School and Public Library Cooperation is now focusing its work on equity, diversity, and inclusion projects that include library partnerships. This blog post is the first in this new series.

The YALSA Call to Action Futures Report challenges libraries to “leverage new technologies and become kitchens for ‘mixing resources’ in order to empower teens to build skills, develop understanding, create and share, and overcome adversity.” In Hampstead, MD, a small town in Carroll County, the media center at Shiloh Middle School assumed that “kitchen” motif on Monday afternoons once a month, as Media Specialist, Holly Furhman, and Amanda Krumrine, Library Associate II, Carroll County Public Library (CCPL), partnered to provide a variety of STEM experiences to middle schoolers on Makerspace Mondays.  

Makerspace Mondays was born out of the realization that tweens attending this middle school did not have transportation to the CCPL during the week or on weekends when Maker programs were offered — due to lack of public transportation in the community, dual working parents’ schedules, and the distance of the nearest library branch to many neighborhoods.  The goal was to expose students to a variety of Maker opportunities in a relaxed environment.    

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The Boys in the Boat and Stuff Just Got Real at Midwinter

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics

By Daniel Brown

Penguin Books, 2014

ISBN: 9780143125471

Looking for some holiday reading that features protagonists overcoming adversity and challenge? The Boys in the Boat is a go-to title for my teens who are required to read narrative nonfiction in the thematic categories of community or sports. Written by a Seattle author, it is the true story of how nine young men from the Pacific Northwest went from obscurity to the Olympics. Set during the Great Depression it is a testament to grit and determination, and–best of all for my readers–it reads like fiction. It’s also a title that was featured on the YALSA Outstanding Books for the College Bound and Lifelong Learners 2014 list.

Achieving good results is rarely accomplished in a vacuum. Coaches Al Ulbrickson and Tom Bolles were key figures in the success of the UW rowing crew that took a different kind of battle all the way to Hitler. Like Joe Rantz and the other boys in that boat, I have been fortunate to have good mentors. One of the best pieces of advice I got when I attended my first conference came from Patti Tjomsland, retired librarian and book jury committee member extraordinaire: make sure you go to an awards session. Awards sessions represent hundreds of hours of reading and discussion on the part of committee members, and culminate with the Morris and Nonfiction Award Program and Presentation from 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. on Monday, January 28.  

For those who have never attended an awards session, they are pretty special. The mood is celebratory, filled with discussion of the titles that have won and acceptance speeches by the recipient and their publisher. (One of my most memorable awards sessions was at the Odyssey Awards in Las Vegas when Kirby Heyborne–amazing narrator of audiobooks–busted out a rap in homage to librarians–look it up on YouTube, it’s priceless!) The Morris and Nonfiction Award Program and Presentation will include some light refreshments and a copy of one of the finalist titles. Tickets are $25, and are well worth the opportunity to share good memories with fellow librarians, authors, and publishers, and come home with a great book.

Jodi Kruse is a Teacher Librarian at R.A. Long High School.

2018 YA Services Symposium – Wrap Up

This year YALSA had a very successful YA Services Symposium in Salt Lake City. It was well attended with 500 attendees from across the US and Canada. The Symposium had a great variety of talks and 33 authors attended across the conference, with 26 authors being part of the Book Blitz. YALSA raised over $3000 to benefit Friends of YALSA. Friends of YALSA supports $14, 095 in grants, awards, and scholarships. For a great description of the content of the Symposium check out this blog post by Rebecca Weber. The call for proposals is now open for the 2019 YA Services Symposiums. Submit a proposal by February 1st! Come join YALSA in Memphis next November!

YALSA President’s Report – October and November 2018

Hello Colleagues,

As you may know, the YALSA Board works year round. Since September we have been creating, discussing & voting on Board documents virtually. The Board made recommendations to change the Quarterly Report form for committees to a Committee Impact Report.

The Board approved revisions to the Mission and Vision and developing an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Plan, as recommended by the Advancing Diversity Taskforce. This document is posted in the Midwinter 2019 Meeting Agenda and the EDI Plan is published on Issues and Current Projects.

The Board is making progress with Strategic Planning and is in the final phase of hiring a strategic planning consultant.

The Board also created a taskforce for YALSA’s participation in the 22×20 Campaign.

The final document that the Board has worked on has been to appoint Dora Ho has YALSA’s new Fiscal Officer.

Thank You!

  • Thank you to Sharon Deeds, Joella Bagshaw, and Christina Walsh for their work as the Symposium Local Arrangement Committee in Salt Lake!
  • Thank you to Tess Wilson for guest editing the fall issue of YALS on Year Round Teen Services. It will be available to read very soon.

Relevant Stats & Data

  • October Membership: 4,638 (-3,23% from October 2017)
  • Funds raised for September and October: $5,335

 Don’t Forget!

Best,
Crystle Martin
YALSA President 2018-2019

22×20 National Campaign Taskforce

22×20 is a national campaign established by The Learning and Multimedia Project (LAMP) and CIRCLE, the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning & Engagement. Targeting the 22 million teens who will be eligible to vote in their first presidential election in 2020, this initiative seeks to build media literacy and civic engagement.

Since the project supports concepts central to YALSA’s vision and desired impact, the Board wanted to partner and support the initiative. Additionally, 22×20’s goals of equipping teens with the skills needed and connecting them with the resources and space to understand, evaluate, and respond to political messages support content areas of YALSA’s Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff.

In early-November, the YALSA Board discussed and voted on an in-kind contribution to support 22×20. Early this year, a taskforce will be appointed to create resources supporting the initiative. To learn more, read Item #11 on the Board’s 2019 Midwinter Meeting agenda.

Interested in serving on the taskforce? Watch the weekly YALSA e-News for taskforce volunteer opportunities.

Five Flavors of Dumb and the Best Fiction for Young Adults Teen Session at Midwinter

Five Flavors of Dumb

By Antony John

Dial Books, 2010

ISBN: 9780803734333

It’s hard for me to believe this book is almost a decade old because it’s still a personal favorite.

Piper is deaf, but she can still tell that the band named “Dumb” stinks despite its local popularity. Ever the determined teen, Piper suggests that she become their manager so she can lead them to success in a Battle of the Bands. Set in Seattle, author Antony John incorporated a path of musical history (including the home of the iconic Jimi Hendrix–though that has now been demolished) that readers can follow along with Piper. Aside from the obvious “feedback” pun connected to music, Dumb and Piper are gathering feedback from an audience in order to win a recording contract.

Content Area 2 of the YALSA Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff focuses on youth services librarians’ Interactions with Teens and emphasizes the need for librarians to listen to and value teen feedback. Midwinter Conference provides one of the best opportunities to hear what teens think about the Best Fiction for Young Adults (BFYA) nominees. I had the opportunity to chaperone a group of teens from a Washington high school the last time Midwinter was in Seattle, and it was a memorable experience. Students are given just a couple of minutes to advocate for their favorite titles, and their feedback has historically been integrated into the selection of the award winners. Students lined up–some of them conquering fears of public speaking–to eloquently argue for their top picks. It was truly a sight to behold. This year the Best Fiction for Young Adults Teen Session will be held on Saturday, January 26 from 1-2:30pm in the Metropolitan Ballroom of the Sheraton. Don’t miss this unique opportunity! Questions? Mike Fleming (mfleming@lwsd.org) is a great resource for this event.

Jodi Kruse is a Teacher Librarian at R.A. Long High School

Future Ready with the Library: Shake it Out

As a part of the YALSA and Association for Small and Rural Libraries (ARSL), Institute of Museum and Library Services funded Future Ready with the Library project, cohort members meet monthly to talk about working with middle schoolers and community in support of social emotional learning (SEL) leading to college and career awareness. In December, the third cohort of the project spoke with LaKesha Kimbrough, the Student Success Coordinator at Washington Middle School in Seattle. LaKesha spoke about SEL, how to help library staff work successfully with middle schoolers, and how to build partnerships that build opportunities for success for middle school students.

The 38 minute video below is a compilation of clips from LaKesha’s conversation with cohort members.

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2019 YA Services Symposium Program Proposals Open!

YALSA has opened the program proposals for its 2019 Young Adult Services Symposium. The theme of the symposium is “Show Up and Advocate: Supporting Teens in the Face of Adversity,” and is to be held Nov. 1-3, 2019, in Memphis, TN. Submit a program proposal by February 1.

As advocates for teens, school and public libraries must support and push for social change and provide access to library resources, services, and activities to help teens overcome adversity in their lives. Libraries are challenged to create more inclusive and welcoming teen spaces where adolescents are free to express themselves, learn, and grow, as well as to promote literature and offer programming that engages teens and encourages them to take leadership roles in their communities. At this symposium, school and public library staff, educators, researchers, young adult authors and other teen advocates will explore how libraries can best support teens to help them effectively navigate a challenging world.

YALSA is seeking program proposals that address the following questions:

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Reimagining Teen Read Week™ and Teen Tech Week™

As you may be aware, in March 2017, a discussion between YALSA’s board members resulted in a proposal (board document #32) at Annual 2017 to re-envision TTW and TRW to create a larger advocacy/awareness campaign to promote the importance of year-round teen services. A follow-up conversation also took place and resulted in the most recent board document, which put forth the task to create a taskforce to come up with possible recommendations for the advocacy/awareness campaign.

As a result, TRW and TTW will be going through some changes and there will be no theme for TRW or TTW starting next year. Library staff are encouraged and welcome to continue to celebrate TRW in October and TTW in March or during a time that is convenient for their teens & library, under the general themes of “Read for the Fun of It” and “Get Connected,” respectively. In November, the TTW ning site was deactivated and all resources were relocated to the YALSA website and wiki. Eventually, the TRW ning site resources will also be relocated to the wiki. Please look out for the announcement in early 2019.

To learn more, please read the latest re-envisioning TTW and TRW board document, along with board document #32 from last year. If you would like to be kept in the loop about the re-envisioning process, please sign up here.

2020 Award committees have been seated

Hello YALSA members and interested parties,

I appreciate your patience as we have pivoted to the new model for seating award committees. Thank you to everyone who applied!

The following members have volunteered, have been selected and have accepted their positions on the six 2020 Award Committees:

Michael L. Printz Award:

Chair, Kim Farnsworth

Members: Tegan Beese, Elisa Garcia, Connie Hollin, KE Ellen Hones, Connie Lin, Cameron Riesenberger, Stacey Shapiro, Jenny Zbrizher

YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award:

Chair, Rachel Adams

Members: Alicia Blowers, Jennifer Cooper, Heather Dickerson, Elizabeth Nelson, Joe Prince, Erica Ruscio, Carolyn Vidmar, Stephen Zampino

Alex Awards:

Chair, Paula Gallagher

Members: Pat Couts, Marianne Follis, Jennie Law, Candace Reeder, Carrie Shaurette, Lauri Vaughan, Courtney Waters, Rachel Webb

William C. Morris Award:

Chair, Terrence Young

Members: Diane Fuller, Carrie Kausch, Kristen Kwisnek, Jessica Lundin, Katrina Ortega, Anjelica Rufus-Barnes, Beth Saxton, Rachel Zuffa

Margaret A. Edwards Award:

Chair, Dawn McMillan

Members: Therese Bigelow, Lisa Brennan, April Dawkins, Rachel Wadham

Odyssey Award: (co-administered by ALSC and YALSA)

(ALSC selects the chair for even-numbered award years)

YALSA Members: Robin Brenner, Martha Karavatis, Beth Anne Klein, Drue Wagner-Mees

 

Thanks again to everyone who volunteered and to those who have been selected!

Don’t forget that strategic committee volunteer opportunities are available now and will remain open until February 1.

All the best to you in 2019!

Todd Krueger, YALSA President-Elect