I’m just back from YALSA’s 2012 YA Lit Symposium in St. Louis. It’s YALSA’s third Symposium, but—for a variety of reasons—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 school—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 “orphans” 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. (more…)
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.
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