Help YALSA Celebrate Teen Read Week!

Happy Teen Read Week, everyone!

If you do not receive emails from a YALSA listserv, you might have missed all the excellent information that Stephanie Kuenn, YALSA Communications Specialist, emailed us earlier this week on Teen Read Week. But don’t sweat if you missed it, I have posted here again for you:

Help YALSA celebrate Teen Read Week! We need your help:

Thanks to all of you for your help in making this the best Teen Read Week yet!

Twisted up

Happy Teen Read Week! My library is hosting Laurie Halse Anderson next week for our fifth [?] Teen Author Lecture, and for the first time, we appear to be close to selling out! In her honor, I listened to her latest, Twisted, which was a very powerful book (although why its moniker is Speak for boys I just don’t know … they are so different). The audio version was good; and therein lies this posting.

I’m worried. Well, not worried worried. But there are just 18 days left before Selected Audiobooks closes the door on 2007 — any audiobooks that arrive after this date won’t be considered for inclusion on the 2008 list. The list of titles we’re considering stands at 267, and we’re probably down to one or two more small deliveries.

But quite frankly, out of that list of 267, the standouts have been few and far between. Our nominations number just 32, not quite 12% of the total, and I’m worried that we’re not going to have much to discuss come January. (See, on the scale of things, that’s not a lot to worry about, but still …)

And Twisted kind of represents most of the 235 titles that haven’t been nominated (although someone on the committee has until December 10 to do so, should she wish to): It’s a well-written, interesting novel, a professionally produced audiobook, good narrator who tells the story with emotion and character. A workmanlike job. A slightly entertaining way to spend six-and-a-half hours, but nothing that makes you want to pull out the earbuds, grab a teenager, pop the earbuds in their ears and say .. “you gotta listen to this!”

And I want to feel that way about more than 32 audiobooks! It also makes me intensely curious about the Odyssey Committee — are they feeling the same way? Have they found some really great audiobooks? Which one are they going to pick?

Celebrate Teen Read Week with the Readergirlz

With Teen Read Week just around the corner, why not begin your celebration of Teen Reading with YALSA, the Readergirlz and “31 Flavorites!” The Readergirlz divas and YALSA will be hosting 31 of your favorite authors for 31 days in October — all in honor of Teen Read Week.

Chat nightly at 5 PM PST/8 PM EST with an amazing lineup of today’s most popular teen authors. And don’t miss the grand finale on October 31st with a special chat that will be held at 9 PM PST/MIDNIGHT EST) featuring Stephenie Meyer. More details are available at http://www.readergirlz.com/issue.html.

Authors participating in the Readergirlz celebration include Ann Brashares, Andre Norton, Holly Black, Deb Caletti, Dia Calhoun, Janet Lee Carey, Cecil Castellucci, Rachel Cohn, Chris Crutcher and many more!

Special thanks to author and Readergirl Justina Chen Headley for lending her talent, energy and enthusiasm to the idea of this Readergirlz/YALSA collaboration. This great project offers teens another option to keep reading for the fun of it this October by providing a fun, relevant way for connecting with reading, authors and books!

Positive Use of Social Networking #11-Building a Community around Gaming

During October a small group of YALSA bloggers are posting ideas and information about positive uses of social networking tools in schools and libraries. Here’s positive use #11.

Many libraries are offering gaming programs for teens on a regular basis and have been for awhile. This year’s ‘Get Active @ Your Library’ theme for Teen Read Week provides a perfect fit for DDR, which many libraries are participating in during this week.

Librarians have also worked to build community around gaming programs through social networking tools.

  • The sheer number of comments from teens on the Ann Arbor District Library gaming blog is amazing.
  • Another site to check out is the Gamefest site from the Bloomington Public Library in Illinois which again builds community around gaming by using social networking tools such as Flickr and linking to local gaming conventions which use discussion boards and blogs to communicate their events.
  • Last year, during a DDR event at the Thomas Ford Memorial Library in Illinois, Aaron Schmidt wrote about ‘harvesting content while they were there.’ By making Audacity available, teens recorded materials reviews during the gaming event, including books, to later be posted to the library web site.
  • Many libraries are using MySpace pages or blogs to host videos, photos, and announcements for their gaming events. One teen created his own MySpace page, boasting how he would be the winner of my library’s summer gaming tournament.

Consider connecting with the social networking resources that are already in your community to let them know about your gaming events. Local gaming conventions, Teen Clubs that offer video gaming nights, DDR Freak allows people to post about their gaming events-and teens do check this board, and websites for specific games often have a place to post about upcoming tournaments and events through a discussion board.

If DOPA passes, opportunities to connect with millennials who are gamers with the library, will be very difficult.

Join the MacArthur Foundation discussion on gaming from October 16-November 3; Everywhere Now: Three Dialogues on Kids, Games, and Learning.

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki

National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Next month, many community organizations will have educational programs, ceremonies, and other outreach efforts to observe domestic violence (dv). While Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention week isn’t until February, there will be many awareness programs for teens next month experiencing dv. Finding out what a local dv organization is doing is a good fit for the ‘Get Active at Your Library’ theme for Teen Read Week.

At my library, a production of ‘Twist and Shout’ is performed by teen actors who tour the local schools to put on a gritty play on dating violence and then have a conversation with the student viewers along with representatives from a dv organization.

There is a great article and bibliography written this month by Tom Reynolds of Sno-Isle Regional Library in Washington available on NoveList, entitled, “Inexcusable: Rape and Dating Violence in Teen Fiction”

I had a program last year for teens where we watched the movie Speak, and then participated in a teen led discussion in partnership with a local sexual assault organization. Males and females alike, benefitted and the teens were phenomenal in guiding the talk afterward.

Wired for Youth has a bibliography and webliography for ‘Teens, Dating, and Emotional and Physical Abuse.’ They also participated in the Choose Respect Campaign launched by the CDC and National Center for Injury Prevention and Control for teens to create a music video on healthy relationships.

Check out NY’s State Office for the Prevention of DV Teen Dating Violence Media Project last year.

Share your stories of working with organizations to bring awareness to domestic violence.

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki

Lonelygirl15 – telling a story

Lonelygirl15 calls herself ‘Bree’ and has been leaving posts on YouTube since May to share different things about her life with viewers such as complaining about her parents or talking about her relationship with Daniel. Recently, tracking software set up by fans of lonelygirl15 found that the posts might have been part of a marketing campaign and ‘Bree’ wasn’t really who she pretended to be.

Turns out the marketing campaign was really a group of friends that wanted to tell a story-“A story that could only be told using the medium of video blogs and the distribution power of the Internet. A story that is interactive and constantly evolving with the audience.”

What about promoting programs through YouTube in a way that is a lead-in to something that might not be expected at your library? Keep them guessing and intrigued. Have teens create short videos to post on YouTube and create an interest in story telling and encourage interaction. What might that look like? Music in lonelygirl15’s videos alerted viewers of a local band that happened to be in town or ‘Bree’ would respond to viewers posts by making cookies they suggested. Great potential for promoting Teen Read Week or Teen Tech Week this way. Or even promoting storytelling and interactivity.

These ideas remind me of the article written by Erin Helmrich of Ann Arbor Public Library-
“What Teens Want: What Libraries Can Learn From MTV”, Young Adult Library Services (Spring 2004): 11-13 which is about learning how to integrate pop culture into publicity and promotions to teens.

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki