Hello YALSA, it’s Thursday!

We’re getting closer to Teen Read Week 2012, and after the fantastic tweetup yesterday, I thought I’d start celebrating early!
Are you ready for a contest that is made of awesome?

I had the honor of meeting our Teen Read Week spokesperson, John Green at the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C. last month. He was kind enough to sign a couple of John Green – Reading is Awesome Posters for me (in green sharpie, for those of you who are interested in that kind of information).

The awesome part: I am going to pass these on to two lucky Teen Read Week 2012 participants.

Here’s how you can enter to win:

Follow this link to the Teen Read Week Ning. If you haven’t registered  and signed up for the Ning yet- it’s not too late! Once you signup and login, look for the Teen Read Week – Made of Awesome Contest and just comment on the post!

  • Tell me why you think Teen Read Week is awesome (one entry)
  • Double entries if your comment has a TRW related picture attached to it.
  • Triple entries if your comment has a TRW related youtube video attached to it.

Feel free to comment on the Ning post as much as you like, but only your first comment will count towards the drawing (so make it count). If you have more questions about this contest please comment on my post here.  I will pick the lucky winners during Teen Read Week, at noon on October 18th. Good luck everyone!

Best wishes,

Sarah Russo, Howard County Library System, Teen Read Week 2012 Committee

We have each experienced a time professionally during which we didn’t feel educated enough, engaged enough, cool enough for our duties as professionals who serve young adults.  For some of us, our training in YA services has only be on-the-job training (and “training” might be an overstatement!)  YALSA is committed, as demonstrated in its Strategic Plan, to continuous learning and professional development.  But to successfully engage its members, we need your input — your Great Ideas – as to how YALSA can connect members with current information, deliver continuing education, provide more training at local and regional levels with regard to YA services and issues, and increase overall the number of library workers competent in teen and YA services.

Here’s how to help YALSA members and potentially win $250:

1. Review Goal #3 of YALSA’s strategic plan.

2. Review guidelines of YALSA’s Great Ideas Contest.

3. Submit your Great Idea by March 16, 2012

 

You know you’ve found yourself, at one time or another, thinking, “I wish YALSA would…”  Well, here’s your chance to propose your wish to YALSA, by giving the organization a practical how-to on the topic of continuing education and professional development.

If you have any questions about the application or the process, please feel free to direct them to Priscille Dando, Strategic Planning Committee Chair, at pdando@gmail.com.

The votes are in, and our winner is clear–September will be filled with 30 Days of How-To! The winning theme was submitted by Kate C.. Kate, you’ll be getting an email shortly about your prize.

This means that next month the blog will be featuring a wide variety of posts with tips on how to accomplish all kinds of teen library stuff, from programming to crafts and everything in between.

Thanks to Kate for a great theme, and thanks to the rest of you who submitted a theme and voted in our poll.

Voting is now open for the theme of our next month-long project! The winning theme will be our theme for 30 days in September, and the commenter who originally suggested that theme will also win some fun YALSA prizes.

(Note: because the poll is opening later than I’d originally promised, the poll will be open until Saturday, August 20th at 9 PM EST. Vote away!)

What should the theme of the next 30 Days project be?

  • How-to (21%, 18 Votes)
  • Promoting books to teens (16%, 14 Votes)
  • Avoiding burnout (16%, 14 Votes)
  • Programming inspiration (8%, 7 Votes)
  • Creating community connections (6%, 5 Votes)
  • Technology programming for teens (6%, 5 Votes)
  • Engagement (5%, 4 Votes)
  • Social media (5%, 4 Votes)
  • Outreach and community partnership (5%, 4 Votes)
  • Helping teens distinguish between reel life and real life (5%, 4 Votes)
  • Photography for teaching/promotion/communication (4%, 3 Votes)
  • The future (3%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 85

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Guess which YA title this is? YALSA is holding a photo contest for Teen Read Week! If you follow us on Facebook (and if you don’t, by all means become a fan today!), you saw YALSA staff make a few attempts at the contest themselves. Use our two entries as inspiration and encourage your teens to join the contest — we’re accepting entries now through Oct. 31 from teens ages 13-18 on Flickr (you must be at least 13 to establish a Flickr account, per its terms of service). Entries will be judged by Jay Asher, 2011 Teen Read Week spokesperson. Any teen, or group of teens up to three, can enter the contest now through Oct. 31:

  •  Select a YA book
  • Come up with a creative image expressing the book’s title and ensure it meets the contest guidelines (PDF)
  • Upload the photo or illustration to Flickr and tag it TRWcontest11
  • Enter as many times as you’d like!

Five finalists will have their photos featured on the YALSA website and win a prize pack from Penguin Books for Young Readers that include signed copies of Jay Asher’s 13 Reasons Why as well as Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler’s The Future of Us. A winner will receive an e-reader preloaded with teen titles and will be featured on YALSA’s blog and in a press release.

Start entering at Flickr today!

If you want to name the theme of our next month-long project, you have to act now! Nominations will close at 9 PM EST on Wednesday, August 10th.

You could name the theme of the next month-long YALSA Blog project! In September the blog will dedicate a post a day to a single topic. Unlike our previous month-long projects, where the themes have been determined in advance, this time you could decide our theme.

Any reader can suggest a theme by commenting on this post. On August 10th I’ll compile those suggestions into a poll, and readers will have one week to vote for the theme they like the most. The winning theme will be the topic for our 30 Days project in September. (The winner will also receive some other nifty prizes, so make sure you use a real email address when you comment!)

Previous topics have included Advocacy and Back to School, so suggestions that are too familiar may not receive as many votes. Be creative!

ALA President Roberta Stevens launched the Why I Need My Library video contest for teens earlier this year, in which teens can win up to $3,000 for their school or public library. In an interview at I Love Libraries, Stevens talks about why she chose to reach out to this age group:

Q:  Tell us why you why you elected to focus on a contest for young people as part of your ALA Presidential Initiative efforts?

A:  Building support for libraries is the focus of all three of my Presidential initiatives: “Our Authors, Our Advocates,” “Frontline Fundraising” and the “Why I Need My Library Contest.” Millions of young people use school and local public libraries every day. The contest is an opportunity to hear their powerful voices on the critical role libraries are playing in their communities.

Q:  How and why do you feel social media, like YouTube, can be a powerful tool for library advocacy?

A:  The reach of social media, and YouTube in particular, is immediate, inexpensive and effective.  I thought it would be a way to unleash the creativity of teens and share their messages. Libraries can also take the videos and include them on their websites! I’d love to have the contest’s videos go viral and build nationwide support for libraries.

Read the entire interview, and find out how teens at your library can enter the contest, at www.ILoveLibraries.org/whyineedmylibrary.

You’ve made all your plans for Teen Tech Week and are just about ready to celebrate Mix & Mash @ your library, March 6-12. But as you finalize those details, be sure to include two contests from YALSA and TTW Promotional Partner Figment.com in your plans! One contest, starting next Monday, gives teens an opportunity to win a Nook e-reader and a $50 gift card at Amazon.com. Beginning March 9, you could win an e-reader too! Read on for details

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The deadline for YALSA’s Thinking Big About Advocacy Contest is February 1.  The goal of the contest it to create and share a collection of advocacy best practices.  During the past two months the Contest Task Force members have highlighted the efforts of dedicated librarians who have successfully worked to improve YA services at their libraries.  If you haven’t submitted your entry  yet, there is still time to get involved.  We’ll be awarding prizes to five YALSA members in recognition of truly outstanding efforts, so if you could use $500 for you next program, check out the application at YALSA’s Thinking Big About Advocacy Contest.

What do you do with middle school students acting like…well, middle school students? Give them a Room of Their Own! Teen spaces are becoming an increasingly common means to keep teens coming into the library once they reach that awkward age of too old for the kids section, but needing their own space. The path to teen-centered spaces in libraries has been paved by advocacy.

“When I wrote the first edition of Teen Spaces in 2002, no one was even really thinking about teen spaces with the exception of a few like Phoenix and Los Angeles,” says author and consultant Kim Cullin. “In the mid to late 90’s I had worked to create teen spaces in a several rural libraries and ended up doing a ton of public speaking on the topic to motivate others to do the same. It became a mission!”  Cullin goes on to say that by the time she started working on the second edition, teen spaces had become increasingly commonplace.  “I had so many wonderful examples to show people as compared to the few and far between that were out there while writing the first edition.”
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