June Eureka Moments

All set for Annual? For this month’s Eureka Moments, I tried to tie some research and news to some of the sessions you might want to attend at the conference. And if you’re not able to attend, I hope these items will allow you to participate from afar and to still feel up to date on what’s happening.

  • A 2010 case study in The Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy concluded that “educators cannot expect students to separate their identities from literacy practices” through interviews and observations with two gay teens. The researcher noted how a multigenre research project, rather than the more traditional paper, allowed the teens to explore themselves more fully and integrate their academic study of history and literature with their sexual orientation. The article ends with the researcher imploring schools and educators to become more sensitive to LGBTQ issues and to explore ways to allow students identifying in the spectrum to feel included in traditional classroom topics and texts and to respectfully invite all students to participate together.
    Vetter, A.M. (2010). “‘Cause I’m a G”: Identity Work of a Lesbian Teen in Language Arts. The Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 54(2), 98-108.
    Related session: Stonewall Awards Presentation, Monday 10:30am’  Continue reading

March Eureka Moments

How’s your team doing in March Madness? Mine just got to the Sweet Sixteen! While you’re waiting for the next time your alma mater plays, check out some of these interesting ideas and insights.

  • We all know that teens love to text. To respond to this, many schools and colleges now use text message alerts to notify students of school closures or safety issues. But what about health issues? It turns out, lots of doctors and researchers use text message interventions to tackle adolescent health concerns. In North Carolina, a free texting service offered teens the chance to anonymously ask questions about sexual health, and the teens involved in the study said that the service made them feel confident and encouraged them to follow up and learn more about their health. A similar study in 2011 offered teens weight management tips, and the weight and BMI of the study participants decreased after the intervention. College aged smokers participated in an intervention that left 40% of them staying away from smoking for a period of at least 7 days, while other participants reported less dependency on nicotine, which is also a good sign. Obviously as librarians, we cannot offer health advice. But what can you take from this study? Can school libraries use a texting service to alert students of new titles in the collection or upcoming book club meetings? Can public libraries partner with public health organizations to offer helpful services for teens concerned with a certain health or behavior issue? Can teen advisory groups pilot their own peer mentoring or counseling texting program? There are a lot of possibilities, and medical research shows that such programs can have really great results. Continue reading
  • Paper Presentations, or How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the YALSA Symposium

    I was quite the eager little first-year grad student last year when I submitted my paper proposal for the 2012 YALSA YA Literature Symposium. My subject–biracial identity in YA–was something I had been interested in for awhile, so I was happy to have an outside force encouraging me to turn my informal research into something real and accountable. But that was in February, and lots of school happened in between that acceptance and presentation, including a lot of procrastinating.

    But I still made it, and on the Saturday of the symposium, I presented my paper and did not melt, have a heart attack, or run out of the room screaming.

    I thought I would end up titling this post either “How NOT to Present a Paper at a Conference” or “How to Be the Best Paper Presenter EVER,” but I’m not sure I have the authority to write either. If there are rules other than “don’t rush and talk too quickly” (oops–failed that one), please let me know. Continue reading

    No Snowflakes Here, but Preparing for the Holiday Season

    Around this time of year, like many of you, I start thinking about the gift season fast approaching. As a librarian, my nieces and nephews have always had to contend with gifts of books. Often times I have signed books that I horde after meeting authors who write age appropriate material for my relatives.’  That is my favorite gift, a book personally signed by an author. Continue reading

    Celebramos Libros Booklist

    Here is the link for the Celebramos Libros list of books by and about Hispanics, Latinos, Chicanas.’  It is very much an early draft.’  Our hope is that folks will download it, add to it, and repost it somewhere.’  I know we have barely scratched the surface, but this is a place for us all to begin to build a more comprehensive list.’  The list contains only YA (and a few tween) titles.’  However, I know there are many more to be added.’  Of special interest, we believe, are the authors who may be publishing with small presses that you know but others might not.

    You can find the list here:

    www.slideshare.net/ProfessorNana

    Teri Lesesne and Rosemary Chance

    YALSA announces Nonfiction Award shortlist

    YALSA chose five books as finalists for its brand-new 2010 Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults, which honors the best nonfiction books written for young adults between Nov. 1, 2008 and Oct. 31, 2009. YALSA will name the 2010 winner at the Youth Media Awards on Jan. 18, during Midwinter Meeting.

    The 2010 finalists are:

    • “Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream” by Tanya Lee Stone, published by Candlewick
    • “Charles and Emma: The Darwins’ Leap of Faith” by Deborah Heiligman, published by Henry Holt Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group
    • “Claudette Colvin: Twice toward Justice” by Phillip Hoose, published by Melanie Kroupa Books/ Farrar Straus Giroux, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group
    • “The Great and Only Barnum: The Tremendous and Stupendous Life of the Showman P. T. Barnum” by Candace Fleming, published by Schwartz & Wade Books/Random House
    • “Written in Bone: Buried Lives of Jamestown and Colonial Maryland” by Sally M. Walker, published by Carolrhoda/Lerner

    More information on the finalists and the award can be found at www.ala.org/yalsa/nonfiction. YALSA plans to sell finalist seals to librarians and publishers to place on books at www.alastore.ala.org. YALSA will host a reception honoring the shortlist authors and the winner, as well as YALSA’s Morris Award winners, at a free reception from 8-10 p.m. on Jan. 18 at the Westin Copley Place Essex Center South.

    Members of the 2010 YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults award committee are: Chair Angela Carstensen, Convent of the Sacred Heart, New York; Sallie H. Barringer, Walnut Hills High School, Cincinnati; Betsy J. Fraser, Calgary (Alb.) Public Library, Canada; Joyce K. Giuliani, Hayfield Secondary School, Alexandria, Va.; Andy Howe, Albuquerque (N.M.) Academy Simms Library; Dr. Jami L. Jones, East Carolina University, Greenville, N.C.; Tena Litherland, Webb School of Knoxville, Tenn.; Stephen L. Matthews, Foxcroft School, Middleburg, Va.; Jody Sharp, Baltimore County Public Library, Towson, Md.; Judy Sasges, administrative assistant, Sno-Isle Libraries, Marysville, Wash.; and Daniel Kraus, Booklist consultant, Chicago.

    The Cure for Twilight

    With New Moon topping the box office, most of us are experiencing a resurgence of Twilight madness. Here, at a private K-9 school, we have about six copies of each book in the series and they are rarely in on our YA shelves. But, as with any trend, there are always dissenters.

    Some have hated the whole thing from the start, or some, like me, have just had enough. I read them, I saw the first movie, and I’m sure I’ll see New Moon eventually. I get it, it’s fun, it’s escapist, (though I agree with L. Lee Butler’s post from last week, it does normalize some pretty creepy behavior, but I digress). At this point, I’m over it and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one. I overheard some students the other day asking each other if they were going to see the movie, and one girl replied: “I never got into those,” as if it were a point of pride.

    There are plenty of reasons to be tired of Twilight, but that doesn’t mean we should give up on vampires, or even on supernatural romances, forever.
    So, for your perusal, I present cures for various Twilight related ills:

    Continue reading

    Dangerous Minds

    In the past week, there have been two cases of censorship that have left me scratching my head once again.’  The first concerned Laurie Halse Anderson’s Wintergirls.’  Someone took the book to task for encouraging anorexic behavior among teens, calling it a “how-to” manual (http://tinyurl.com/pcf3qf).’  Then, later, a group in Tennessee have removed a link from their summer reading list that directed folks to YALSA’s BBYA list of recommendations (http://tinyurl.com/or8vo6).

    I am bothered here because both of these’ instances seem to suggest to me that’ there are adults out there that think teens are not intelligent, that they are unable to separate fiction (what they are’ reading) from reality (what they are living).’  This’ attempt to somehow protect teens from reading about any difficult issues and topics seems not’ always to be a matter of’ being overly protective.’  Continue reading