Coming to AASL in Charlotte? Network at YALSA’s Happy Hour!

AASL’s National Conference in Charlotte is Nov. 5-8 in Charlotte, N.C., and YALSA will be there! You can visit the ALA booth in the exhibits hall and see Nichole Gilbert, YALSA’s program office for events, and you can network with your colleagues at the official YALSA Happy Hour.

Join YALSA upstairs at Cosmo’s Cafe Uptown, 300 N. College St., Charlotte, on Friday, Nov. 6, from 5-7 p.m. YALSA’s reserved a space upstairs. Connect with your colleagues over a full food menu and half-price wine in a relaxed atmosphere.

YALSA Podcast #75: Jill Whitson on the WrestleMania Reading Challenge

Jill Whitson, a YALSA member, speaks to Thiruchelvan Selvanayagam about what it’s like to have your library sponsor a WrestleMania Reading Challenge finalist and encourage a reluctant teen to start reading. Jill’s student designed a bookmark that earned him a spot in the WrestleMania Challenge finals. He didn’t win, but he did get to attend WrestleMania XXV and Jill won $2,000 for her library’s teen and tween collection.

The WrestleMania Reading Challenge, sponsored by YALSA and World Wrestling Entertainment, is a program designed to encourage teens’ and tweens’ to continue their reading beyond Teen Read Week; by doing so, they can win prizes donated by WWE.

Want to register for the 2009-2010 WrestleMania Reading Challenge? Sign up through Teen Read Week registration by this Friday and you could relive the experience Jill describes in this podcast.


You can also subscribe to YALSA’s podcasts.

The YALSA Update: E-chats, Usability Testing at Annual and More!

YALSA’s Next Online Chat! Join YALSA on July 1 for our second online chat! President Sarah Debraski will lead a chat on summer reading programs in ALA Connect, starting at 8 p.m. on July 1. Details in this blog post. Can’t make it? Check the YALSA blog on July 2 to see a transcript.

YALSA Needs Usability Testers at ALA Annual Coming to ALA Annual Conference? Help YALSA and ALA improve website usability by signing up to be one of our usability testers! YALSA needs four usability testers to participate in a session on Sunday, July 12, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. in McCormick Place West W-472. Participants will receive a $50 gift card for the ALA Store. Interested? Contact Stevie Kuenn at by Wednesday, July 1.

After the jump, read more about YALSA’s Ultimate Teen Bookshelf, the United We Serve Initiative, Quick and Popular Reads for Teens, and symposium deadlines!

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The YALSA Update: Help Wanted, TTW Mini Grants & More!

Blog Manager Needed! YALSA is looking for a member to become manager of the YALSA Blog. The Member Manager will be responsible for the content and look of the blog, and will work closely to recruit and oversee designated bloggers. Check out the job requirements, and be sure to apply to Beth Yoke, YALSA Executive Director, by Dec. 31.

$$ for Teen Tech Week Through funding from Verizon Communications, YALSA is granting up to 20 mini grants worth $500 each for innovative Teen Tech Week celebrations.’  Read the rules and apply using this form by Jan. 19, 2009. Winners will be notified the week of Feb. 9.

Winter Online Courses Start the new year with continuing education from YALSA! We’re offering three online courses starting in February: Booktalks Quick and Simple, taught by Nancy Keane; Boys and Books, taught by Jenine Lillian; and Power Programming for Teens, taught by Amy Alessio. See course descriptions and register on the YALSA online courses web page.

See more YALSA News — including Midwinter news and early details on our member drive — after the jump!

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Promoting Teen Read Week through Video

One of the highlights of working in the YALSA office is I get to see all of the amazing ways people celebrate and promote Teen Read Week. One popular promotional tool I’ve seen this year is the Teen Read Week trailer. Here are two great examples: one featuring teens at the Kendall Young Library in Webster City, Iowa (thanks to librarian Bonnie Korslund for sharing!), and the other from the Readergirlz, for their Night Bites chat series, in which they’re sponsoring live chats with YA authors each night of Teen Read Week.

If you’re interested in creating your own trailer, go for it! Just make sure to tag it “yalsa” and “trw08” when you put it up on YouTube.

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The YALSA Update: Registration News, TRW Promotional Tools & More

This Is Your Last Chance to Save. After tomorrow, registration for the Young Adult Literature Symposium rises to onsite pricing. If you’re on the fence about going, visit the Symposium website and register before the pricing expires! Unfortunately, tickets are no longer available to the preconference or the genre luncheon. We are not opening up any more spots on the waiting list.

Midwinter Advanced Registration Open! Advanced registration is now available for the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Denver, Jan. 23-28! Register for Midwinter by Dec. 5 and save over onsite registration prices. Housing is open as well. In addition, if you purchased 2009 bundled registration, you were not able to register for special events like YALSA’s Serving Today’s Diverse Teens Institute or the YALSA Mixer and Tech Playground on Jan. 23.’  If you’re interested in attending either the institute or the mixer, be sure to visit the Midwinter website and sign up today. Want to see what YALSA’s doing in Denver? Check out the YALSA wiki.

Find out more news from the YALSA Office after the jump.

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The Teens’ Top Ten: Marketing, Reading, and Voting

Teen Read Week is getting closer every day and with it the vote to decide which of the 26 nominees will be named the Teens’ Top Ten 2008.

The Teens’ Top Ten is a booklist which is a teen choice list. Fifteen groups, known as YA Galley groups, read young adult literature all year long to narrow down the best of the best in teen books. Teens from the groups have to nominate books that will be on the final list. This year 26 titles made the final cut. Out of these 26 titles, teens all over the country get to choose the Teens’ Top Ten.

Why is this project important? Hey, this is teens’ turn to tell the young adult book industry what they are looking for in their books. Continue reading

Computers in Libraries, Part 1 — Mobile Trends, Marketing Using 2.0 Tools

I went to my first Computers in Libraries conference this week. It’s going to take more than one post to mention all the cool things I learned.

But first, let me say that CiL is a really fun conference. It felt a lot more low-key than ALA mid-winter to me; maybe that was because everyone who was there was pretty like-minded about technology and just excited to be talking about what’s new and innovative. Or maybe it was because I’m starting to feel less left out of things: I got to meet many friendly library professionals from all over the place. I’m definitely starting to feel like a genuine member of the greater library community (and I made some new Twitter friends).

CiL basically consists of three days of presentations, and each day is broken into five tracks. You can stick with the presentations in your track for the whole day, or you can bounce around, which is what I did. I tried to balance my schedule between sessions that I knew would apply specifically to my job and sessions that were about information that I thought I should know about as a new public librarian. For example, I attended “From WoePAC to WowPAC,” a double session on OPACs, since I know nothing about them beyond the very basics. I also tried to check out anything I could find about marketing, since that’s a major component of what I’ll be doing in building a new teen program from the ground up.

So here’s some information I got from some of the most useful and fascinating sessions.

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‘Safe’ marketing at the library?

In a recent article, the Disney channel announces that they will market High School Musical 2 in libraries and YMCA’s; in other words, ‘old school’ (according to the article) “We have to make sure our content is showing up in safe and appropriate places,” states the Disney Channel. “In other words, any official “High School Musical 2″ material can’t risk being seen within a thousand clicks of, say, a Brazilian supermodel having sex on a public beach,” the article goes on to say.

How is the marketing taking place at libraries? “Some 3,000 libraries across the country are slipping “HSM2″ bookmarks into every children’s book.”

Sounds great for a corporation to take interest in a library and market the products that we not only make available for check out but participate in as programs-that’s nothing new.

Do we want to think of our libraries as being safe places? Of course. Though they are also places that frequently use the very marketing tools that the Disney Channel has decided not to including YouTube and MySpace-and not just for marketing but allowing access to these sites as well. So in other words, an HSM2 bookmark could be very near a click of a site that might be deemed as inappropriate. So. . .what?

My argument is not that every library should use YouTube or MySpace or that the Disney Channel should either. But when we talk about libraries as ‘safe’ places, I think they’re safe because they allow people to access information-whether it be deemed by some to be inappropriate or not-from books as well as computers. They’re safe because people can talk about topics that might be considered inappropriate by some. They’re safe because people can question things they might not understand and find information to their answers. They’re safe because they are a place where kids and teens can learn to make responsible decisions-if they come across a video on YouTube that might be considered inappropriate by their parents (and not by the Disney Channel), they’ll know to click off of it, and choose another video instead, and maybe discuss it with their parents later on.

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki

The Future of Marketing and Media

This coming up weekend, the conference,“Virtual Worlds 2007: The Future of Marketing and Media” will be in NY. According to their site, this conference “is the leading event for Fortune 500 businesses seeking to understand and maximize marketing and business strategies within virtual worlds.”

Librarian and YALSA Board member Erin Helmrich wrote an article in the Spring 2004 issue of YALS titled, What Teens Want: What Libraries Can Learn From MTV which talked about marketing to teens using pop culture.

I think libraries can learn to market to youth and teens within virtual worlds as well. The CDC partnered with Whyville for example to give flu shots to over 10,000 virtual children. Wouldn’t it be useful to understand behavior patters of users in virtual worlds and how to tie a virtual presence to the real world of libraries through summer reading for example?

How are libraries using the virtual experience already to market to tweens and teens?

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki