I practically lived on coffee and doughnuts this past weekend at the YALSA Symposium in Portland. Not that I'm complaining; if you're going to drink lots of coffee, Portland is the place to do it. I began my symposium experience with the Friday afternoon preconference Hip Hop Dance and Scratch: Facilitating Connected Learning in Libraries with the hope of gaining some programming ideas. I walked out three hours later with a newfound comfort-level using the program and, yes, concrete ideas for how to use it at my library. Having three hours allotted for experimenting, asking questions, and watching what other people created helped immensely.
At Teen Services without Borders, a panel of school and public librarians and an independent bookseller that discussed challenges and successful partnerships that cross library, departmental, and district lines. Boundaries can feel like brick walls when they prevent teens from accessing the library, and the panel members ultimately decided they needed to serve teens and not the rules, viewing themselves as part of the same community, not competitors. Tips they shared include: Give up your ego. Put kids first. Promote each other's programs and services. Ask for help and keep trying until you find the right person. Finally, take a hard look at the rules - can any be broken?
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It's a holiday weekend, hooray! I hope everyone has had a most excellent Thanksgiving. I thought for a holiday weekend treat, we'd do something fun here today, so I asked a couple of authors to participate in an interview just for ALSC and YALSA blog readers!
The two authors I asked to participate have something in common: they write both middle grade and young adult books. As a librarian who works with all ages, and especially with the "tween" ages (where ALSC and YALSA's services overlap!), I find myself needing to be familiar with both types of books.
The exact definitions of Middle Grade and Young Adult are subjective and amorphous. For the purposes of this post, we'll just say that the intended audience for middle grade is slightly younger than the intended audience of YA, but both can be enjoyed by all ages.
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by Heather Love Beverley
Looking to get revved up for ALA Annual in Chicago? How about spending some time immersed in some deliciously good YA novels, all by extremely talented Chicago authors? Here's a sampling of some of the literary YA wonders of the Chicago-land area:
Lisa Jenn Bigelow: First-time YA author Bigelow's novel Starting From Here is captivating readers with its poignant, charming and compelling coming-of-age storyline, and has been named a 2013 Rainbow List Top Ten book.
Franny Billingsley: Billengsley has written a masterpiece of rich imagery and sensual language with her beguiling historical novel, Chime.
Fern Schumer Chapman: Chapman's novel Is It Night or Day? is a heartwrenchingly beautiful account of a young Jewish girl's journey from WWII Germany to America. This novel is a fictionalized account of Chapman's mother's own journey, which is also chronicled in her memoir Motherland.
Simone Elkeles: Elkeles's novels range from intense and steamy- the Perfect Chemistry series, Leaving Paradise series, and her newest Wild Cards series- to comical and sweet- the How to Ruin series. All are delightful and engaging. Read More →
I'm just back from YALSA's 2012 YA Lit Symposium in St. Louis. It's YALSA's third Symposium, butâ€”for a variety of reasonsâ€”my first. There will be much discussion over at The Hub about the actual programs and presentations, but I wanted to say a few words about something else that I observed over the course of three days.
I've been going to ALA Annual and Midwinter for over 15 years, and they are great. But a Symposium like this is something really special, and it's all about the connections. Let me just give you a few examples that I observed:
- I was chatting with someone at a break who works at the library in the area where I grew up. We knew people in common from the library, but then I found out where she had gone to high school, and immediately took her over to introduce her to another YALSA member who went to that same high schoolâ€”turned out they had overlapped by a year or two.
- A librarian told me that she was rooming at this Symposium with someone she had first met at the 2008 Lit Symposium.
- At the closing session, I was asked to take a picture of four librarians who had met and bonded at the symposium. They told me they were all â€œorphansâ€ who had come alone, but met and had a great time together.
- At the Morris Lunch, a librarian who wanted to know more about staff development models happened to be seated with another librarian who does staff development as a full-time job.
- At the same table, a person who is interested in library apps like Boopsie was put in touch with someone in her local area who was involved in getting the app for her library.
- The symposium Twitter hashtag (#yalit12) was trending on Saturday afternoon, as attendees live-tweeted their sessions and got into back-and-forth discussions about what was being presented.
- I found new people to follow on Twitter, and new people followed me.
- Attendees had opportunities to have real conversations with authors at the Book Blitz on Saturday night, and at the networking breaks. Read More →
The Inspire USA Foundation, the non-profit organization behind the youth mental health site ReachOut.com, is releasing a list of recommended young adult fiction titles dealing with a range of issues like depression and eating disorders. Inspire USA is also announcing a schedule of live YA author chats on Ustream throughout the month of May, which is Mental Health Awareness month. The chats and books are listed at http://reachout.com/reachoutreads.
The goal of this campaign is to promote positive mental health and build awareness of ReachOut.com a resource for teen and young adult readers of popular YA fiction.' The list of books was developed by YALSA, the Young Adult Library Services Association, and has been reviewed by Inspire USA staff for positive mental health content.
Last week, Hillel Italie of the Associated Press profiled Walter Dean Myers, one of a few authors to win both the Printz and Edwards awards from YALSA, on his enduring popularity with teen readers. Read on to see why YALSA chose Myers to be a featured speaker at Give Them What They Want: Reaching Reluctant Readers, YALSA's half-day Annual preconference in New Orleans on June 24, 12:30 - 4:30 p.m.
Among the kids at the Promise Academy and around the country, Walter Dean Myers is a must-read whose books have sold millions of copies and have a special appeal for the toughest of people to reach, boys. He is able, like few writers, to relate to his readers as they live today.
And he is old enough to be their grandfather.
Myers, 73, has written dozens of novels, plays and biographies. He has received three National Book Award nominations and won many prizes, including a lifetime achievement honor from the American Library Association and five Coretta Scott King awards for African-American fiction. He is also the most engaged of writers, spending hours with young people at schools, libraries and prisons, giving talks and advice on life and work, his own rise from high-school dropout to best-selling author, a story that translates across generations.
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The second YALSA YA Lit Symposium abounded in riches for the inclusive title hungry: where to mine for new GLBTQ books, how to evaluate requests from teens for street lit, when to stop and do a good readers advisory interview instead of just stocking the shelves and expecting the goods will be found by the readers who want them. Pam Spencer Holley called out the difference between a teen's reading interests and that of his or her (overprotective?) parent.' Robin Brenner showed off sequential art panels that speak louder than words.' Author, educator, and activist Sophia Quintero reminded all that discussion is a necessary adjunct to reading tough stuff. Read More →
As I filed out of the excellent' Images & Issues Beyond the Dominant: Including Diversity in Your Graphic Novel Collection (more on that later), I was surprised to see a milling mob of librarians waiting in the hallway. ' Then I remembered the Author's Happy Hour(s): two hours of YA author superstars, signing free copies of their books, plus snacks and alcohol. ' Ah.... The eager chatter and press suddenly made sense!
Each attendee was given a small tote bag and five tickets, good for five books. ' However, with over 30 authors in attendance, each one of us had to make some serious' decisions' about which authors we needed to gush to and whose books we must have. Read More →
The program below is one of many featured on ALA's online clearinghouse for school/public library cooperation managed by the AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee on School/Public Library Cooperation.' Visit the clearinghouse to learn more or share your own exemplary partnership!
Title of Program: Author Lecture
Type of Program: Special Events
Age level: Elementary & Secondary (middle school)
Description of Program: Author Lecture is a joint program organized and funded by the Multnomah County Library, The Library Foundation and Riverdale Grade School. This annual event, begun in 1998, explores the exciting and diverse world of books for children from the viewpoint of the books' creators. Past guests include Jack Gantos, Christopher Paul Curtis, Sharon Creech, and Katherine Paterson. As part of the program, needy schools can apply to participate in the school exchange program. Students in the exchange receive complimentary tickets to the lecture, transportation, an autographed book by the author, and will meet with a class from Riverdale Grade School to discuss the author's writing. URL: http://www.multcolib.org/kids/lecture/
Reading Promotions Coordinator
Multnomah County Library
205 NE Russell
Portland, OR 97212