Everything I Needed to Know about Twitter I Learned at Midwinter

After a whirlwind weekend of meetings, awards and live blogging, it’s a wonder my thumbs are intact. Like many ALA members, I spent Friday through Monday largely on Twitter, hashtagging with the best of them.

Whether or not teens tweet, it’s clear that librarians do. And from last year’s ALA “secrets” to this year’s Newbery leak, it seems that library conferences are the impetus for both the best and worst in crowdsourcing.

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Youth Media Awards Live Blog

Join us for the 2010 Youth Media Awards! Because ALA is already streaming the Awards we won’t be providing video, but we will follow all the announcements and pull discussion from Twitter. Tweets including the hashtags #Printz, #Alex, #MAE and #yma10 will be included in the live session.

As with the BBYA Teen Session live blog, you can join the live session from the blog. You have the option of signing in with your Twitter, Facebook or MySpace ID, which will also display your avatar. Comments and discussion are always welcome! After the Awards are over the live blog replay will continue to be available on the blog.

Join YALSA in Boston–or Your Living Room

Those of you who aren’t with us in Boston or find yourself double (or triple!) booked can participate in several YALSA events via live coverage at the YALSA blog. Once again we’ll be using CoverItLive, with some exciting changes: live streaming video and social networking logins.

When you join the live blog session by clicking in the viewer window (see last year’s BBYA live blog to see the interface) you’ll have the option to log in using your Facebook, Twitter or MySpace login. Your comments will then appear with your avatar from that account. You’ll also be able to view our streaming video from the session thanks to integration with Qik.

The schedule of YALSA live blogs:

Best Books for Young Adults Teen Session: Sunday, January 17 1:30-3:30 PM

Youth Media Awards: Monday, January 18 7:30-9:00 AM

Morris and Nonfiction Awards: Monday, January 18 8:00-10:00 PM

Technology Breeds Positive Multitasking

This morning at the ALA Midwinter Meeting there were several things I wanted to keep track of all at the same time. I, like many others, was curious about the youth media award winners. But, I also wanted to attend an OCLC program about the recently released report on social networking. A year ago it wouldn’t have been possible for me to participate in both sessions at the same time. This year I could. How? Through the wonders of text messaging and blogging.

For the first time ALA provided an award text messaging service. It was very easy to sign-up for the service and while I sat in the OCLC program I could read on my cell phone who won each youth award. At the same time other librarians that I follow on Twitter posted the winners along with the honors. And, YALSA blogger Teri Lesesne live blogged the awards so I could visit this very blog and read the complete list. My informational needs were met very quickly and nicely.

The multitasking that technology breeds and supports is often questioned and worried about in the mainstream press and library literature. However, this is a perfect example of the positive impact multitasking can have on information gathering. It’s still not possible to be physically in two places at once, however with text messaging and other new technologies, it is possible to be virtually in more than one place at a time. Very exciting indeed.

The YALSA Update: Here We Go, Here We Go Again

Midwinter Is Here (almost)
Plenty of YALSA members are en route to Philly as I type (if they’re not there already, as Ms. Lesesne just posted). Check back here for blog updates and podcasts throughout the week and beyond (and keep up to date using Twitter!). We’ve got great stuff planned: the Happy Hour at McGillin’s and Gaming Night on Friday, All Committee and the Holly Black booth signing on Saturday, the @ your library kickoff event and the BBYA Teens session on Sunday, and (of course!) the Youth Media Awards bright and early Monday morning.

For the locations, times, and the latest updates, visit the YALSA Midwinter Wiki!

Youth Media Awards Text Messages!

Can’t make it to Philly? Get the award winners texted to your phone right after the announcement. You can have five or thirteen winners sent directly to your cell phone—just check out the instructions, details, and disclaimers at the YALSA Midwinter Wiki.

WrestleMania Reading Challenge Nearing Conclusion
All reading for the WrestleMania Reading Challenge should be completed by Monday, January 14. Everyone who registered for the WrestleMania Reading Challenge received a packet of posters last fall—the small posters make perfect prizes for teens who turn in reading logs (Out of small posters? Download a PDF version and print more!). Librarians should send the winning essays from each grade category (7-8 and 9-12) to yalsa@ala.org by January 31, 2008. From all the local winners YALSA will choose ten finalists, two each from 5 regions of the country (one from each grade category).

For complete details, visit the WrestleMania Reading Challenge page or the WrestleMania Reading Challenge Ideas & Resources wiki.

Teen Tech Week Registration Continues!
Teen Tech Week is less than a month away! Register today and visit the Teen Tech Week wiki for ideas and resources or to share your own.

Early Registration & Housing for Annual

It’s never too early to think about Anaheim! Registration and housing for ALA Annual Conference 2008 is now open.

Additional Thoughts on Midwinter Meeting

Hello YALSA members:

The recent Dec. 29th post about the upcoming Midwinter meeting is a great example of how many people are gearing up for the upcoming meeting in Philadelphia. I hope to see many of you at the meeting and know that those not able to attend will find plenty of excellent information about the meeting right here on YALSA’s blog!

The latest edition of American Libraries also features Midwinter-related information, including a Midwinter Preview section. Page 62 of this preview discusses the Youth Media Awards Press Conference (Monday, Jan 14th from 8-9 a.m.) While it is always great to see the Youth Awards receive the attention they deserve, this preview mentions several awards by name (including the new ALSC/YALSA Odyssey Award) but does not specifically mention YALSA’s prestigious Michael L Printz, Margaret A. Edwards or Alex Awards.

I encourage all YALSA members to continue to advocate for the importance of the Printz Award, Young Adult literature — the fastest growing segment in publishing – and YALSA’s awards in general. There are more than 30 million teens in the country–the second largest generation after the Boomers. Drawing attention to YALSA’s excellent award-winning books for this large teen audience is an important task for those of us working to serve teens in libraries every day.

I also encourage all YALSA members to read through the list of candidates for ALA’s Executive Board (also on page 62 of the American Libraries Midwinter Preview) and begin thinking about which candidates fit your priorities for our Association. ALA Council will consider this slate of Executive Board Candidates at the Midwinter meeting. The candidates are Frances R Roscello, Diane R. Chen, Thomas L. Wilding, Dora T Ho, Pamela C. Sieving, Em Claire Knowles. There will be a Candidates Forum featuring these candidates at the Midwinter meeting on Jan. 14th from 11:30 to 12:30 in Ballroom B of the convention center.

General information about ALA’s Executive Board

Roster of current Executive Board members

Paula Brehm-Heeger
YALSA President, 2007-2008