D.C. Tips – The Smithsonian Institution

The Smithsonian Institution is affectionately called “Our Nation’s Attic” and it certainly earns that title.’  The Smithsonian is made up of several different museums, each holding unique treasures.

Want to see Kermit the Frog, Jerry Seinfeld’s puffy shirt, the Star Spangled Banner, or an Inauguration gown worn by a First Lady?’  Drop by the National Museum of American History.’  This museum has undergone a big face lift, so even if you have been here before, it is worth seeing again.
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D.C. Tips – The International Spy Museum

Do you have a fondness for James Bond or Jason Bourne?’  If so, you do not want to miss exploring the International Spy Museum while you are in Washington D.C. for Annual this year!

The International Spy Museum is designed to appeal to both older children and adults.’  As you wander through the museum, you’ll’  learn about the history of spying and the many ways it’s been accomplished over the years.’  Could Moses have been a spy?’  The museum covers spying as far back as the Greeks, and moves up to modern day spying and the technology used.’  The gadgets are a lot of fun to look at, and includes such innovations as a lipstick gun, invisible ink, and buttonhole cameras.’  Using film, audio, and other methods, first hand accounts are included throughout so visitors can learn about real events, and maybe even get a glimpse at what might motivate a person to become a spy.’  Interactive exhibits let the visitors get an idea of whether they might make a good spy…or not!

My personal favorite part of the museum was a room devoted to animals who have worked for spies.’  Pictures taken using cameras attached to trained pigeons were amazing.’  If you cannot visit the museum but want to learn more about animal spies, check out the book The Cold War Pigeon Patrols and Other Animal Spies by Danielle Denega.

The International Spy Museum is privately owned and operated, so adult admission is $18.00.’  The museum also has a few special attractions for an extra fee.’  More information can be found at the museum’s website.

D.C. Tips – The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

Washington D.C. is a wealth of museums that are not to be missed. I think the museums are my favorite part of the city: most are free, they are open almost all year round, they are great no matter what the weather, and they cover a huge range of topics and interests.’  ‘ April is museum month for the Local Arrangements Committee on the YALSA blog, and we will cover just a smattering of the many museums found in’ D.C.

First up is the The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, which is truly worth your time.’  Located near the National Mall and within walking distance from the Smithsonian metro stop, the museum is dedicated to abolishing hatred and genocide.’  The museum holds both traveling and permanent exhibits.’  One permanent exhibit’ is the Hall of Remembrance, a place of quiet and reflection.’  Visitors can light memorial candles or meditate on the eternal flame.’  Another permanent exhibit tells the chronological story of the Holocaust, using artifacts, visuals, and first person accounts.’  One can tell that much thought and effort was put into creating the exhibit, and it can be a very moving experience.

I’ve visited the museum twice and both times had unique experiences.’  On the first visit, I stopped in the room containing oven doors from a concentration camp.’  Another visiter, and older woman, turned to me said, “I almost ended up in one of those.” She pulled up her sleeve to reveal her number tattoo.’  We stood there while she told me her experience living through the Holocaust.’  Eventually, she moved on with her family and I broke out into tears.

The second time, I was involved in a college production of Joshua Sobol’s play, Ghetto.’  We visited the museum to help the actors and designers conduct research.’  One of the characters in the play is a Jewish police officer named Dessler, and we found a document on display bearing the real Dessler’s signature.’  Seeing a physical reminder that the play was based on real people sent shivers through all of us.

There are other exhibits available in the museum.’  Some rotate the subject matter, other exhibits display propaganda and tell the story of the Holocaust through a child’s eyes.

The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum is free, although timed passes are required.’  A limited number can be obtained online in advance for a fee ($1.00), otherwise passes are given out on a first-come, first-served basis on the day of entry.

The Museum’s website provides a lot of information to help plan your visit.’  It is also a great resource for research on the Holocaust and genocide.

Preconference: Promoting Teen Reading with Web 2.0 Tools

What a line up for the preconference event on Friday, June 25 from 12:30-4:30p! Promoting Teen Reading with Web 2.0 Tools will feature the following speakers and topics:

Eliza Dresang , author of Radical Change: Books for Youth in a Digital Age will talk about evolving literacies and teen readers

Authors John Green and David Levithan will talk about the future of reading and writing young adult literature

Kristen Purcell with Pew Internet & American Life will give an overview of teen online behavior

Authors Malinda Lo (Ash, 2009), Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (Beautiful Creatures, 2010), and Melissa Walker with readergirlz will give a panel presentation on putting teen reading and web 2.0 tools into practice

This is a ticketed event for $99. This is a great opportunity to learn how to connect with teens beyond the collection in your library!

It’s Perfectly Normal

Do you ever find your conversations with teens veering more toward the personal than the professional?

Are books on sex, drugs, abuse or depression constantly going missing from your shelves?

Have you ever found yourself thinking, “I’m a librarian, not a therapist!” (…or a social worker, or a nurse, or a police officer?)

Would you like to hear how some of the hottest YA authors incorporate tough subject matter into their books–and their interactions with teens?

If you answered yes to any of the above, YALSA’s full-day preconference on June 25 is for you!

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The YALSA Update: YALSA Webinar, Volunteering, Precons and More

YALSA’s First Webinar: Join YALSA on March 31 at 2 p.m. Eastern for a FREE webinar! Linda Braun, YALSA president, will lead the hour-long session on the topic of Getting Involved with YALSA. Topics include the various ways to participate in YALSA, and how doing so can help your daily work and career development. Registration is limited, so please contact Eve Gaus at 1-800-545-2433, ext. 5293 or egaus@ala.org to reserve your space.

Process Volunteer Forms Due Today YALSA will begin appointing process committee, jury, task force, and advisory board members this spring! Be sure to fill out your Committee Volunteer Form by March 12 so that Kim Patton, YALSA’s president-elect, will know you’re interested. (Read Kim Patton’s post on the process to find out more about serving on YALSA’s committees).

After the jump, learn more about YALSA’s preconferences (including which authors will appear!), how to access YALSA’s newly revised competencies, details on YALSA’s upcoming mentoring program, how to enter the 2010 Great Ideas contest, and information on the 2010 Young Adult Literature Symposium.

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The YALSA Update: TTW 2010, Annual in DC, and More

Ready for Teen Tech Week? Teen Tech Week starts this Sunday! Tell us what you have planned at your library at the YALSA Wiki. Looking for last-minute inspiration or publicity tools? Visit the Teen Tech Week website. Have your teens help chose next year’s theme by taking the Teen Tech Week Survey.

Early Bird Ends Today! Today is the last day to get the Early Bird rate for Annual 2010 in Washington, D.C. Registration is also open for YALSA’s preconferences (and remember, you don’t need to register for Annual to attend either preconference). Learn more about our preconferences (there’s info after the jump, too) and see what YALSA has planned for DC at http://tinyurl.com/yalsaac10.’  Remember, you don’t need to register for Annual to attend either of YALSA’s preconferences.

Process Volunteer Forms Due March 12 YALSA will begin appointing process committee, jury, task force, and advisory board members this spring! Be sure to fill out your Committee Volunteer Form by March 12 so that Kim Patton, YALSA’s president-elect, will know you’re interested. (Read Kim Patton’s post on the process to find out more about serving on YALSA’s committees).

After the jump, find out more about YALSA’s preconferences before ALA Annual, how to register for YALSA’s first webinar (it’s free!), and what’s on tap for the 2010 YA Literature Symposium

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D.C. Tips – Celebrating Lincoln

It is hard to believe that Annual is less than four months away!’  Have you registered?’  If you are interested in sharing housing, the YALSA wiki has a page specifically for roommate requests.

Since’ Abraham Lincoln’s birthday was in February, the Local Arrangements committee thought we would highlight things to do in Washington D.C. that are related to President Lincoln.’  One thing you cannot miss is the Lincoln Memorial.’  It is’ free and open 24 hours a day, although it is only staffed with park rangers 9:30 AM to 11:30 PM.’  The memorial is a beautiful structure that honors the memory of a beloved president and all he stood for.’  It also played an important part in our nation’s history: Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous’  “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the memorial.’  Lincoln and his memorial even stepped on to the pop culture stage when the statue came to life in the recent movie’ Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian.’  One can learn more about the memorial by exploring the National Park Service site dedicated to the memorial.

If you wish to get even closer to Lincoln, Ford’s Theatre is where he spent his last night out.’  In addition to still being a working theatre with many scheduled performances, it also houses a museum devoted to Abraham Lincoln.’  A visit to the theatre’s museum also includes the Peterson House across the street, where Lincoln died after being shot. ‘ Daytime admission to the museum is’ free, although tickets are timed and must be acquired in advance, either the morning of your visit or on-line for a small fee.’  You can also learn about Ford’s Theatre performances on the website.

The YALSA Update: TTW registration, Annual preconferences and more!

Teen Tech Week Registration Ends 2/16: Getting ready for Teen Tech Week? Be sure to register by Tuesday! Registration gets you access to this year’s theme logo. This year’s theme, Learn Create Share @ your library, fosters teen creativity and positions the library as a place to explore technology. Know what you’re doing? Tell us on our wiki. Teen Tech Week is March 3-7.

Last Day to Order TTW Products: Tuesday is also the last day to order Teen Tech Week products and have them arrive in time for your celebration, using standard shipping. Check out posters, graphics and more at the ALA Store. Purchases from ALA Graphics support the work of YALSA and ALA.

After the jump, find out how to register for YALSA’s preconferences at ALA Annual Conference in D.C.,’  information on applying to be a Spectrum Scholar, deadlines to volunteer for a YALSA Committee, and more!

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