Spring is a great time to highlight the Best of the Best, and ALA Midwinter brought forth the lists of award-winning titles and authors for 2012. If you haven’t already seen the winners for this year, visit the YALSA Booklists or check your copy of Young Adult Library Services‘ for a complete listing. Of course, knowing which titles win doesn’t always mean you know what to do with the information. The following are some ways you can do more with these highlighted titles:

  • Watch for yourself! Visit the streaming video feeds for the Youth Media Award Announcements or check out the Best Fiction for Young Adults Feedback Session that was covered live during ALA’s 2012 Midwinter conference. It’s like reliving the YA Oscars for yourself.
  • Visit YALSA’s blog The Hub to learn of current YA literature trends and what libraries are doing to highlight authors and titles.
  • Make special reusable bookmarks for award winning titles, like the ones I show here on the YALSA blog. It’s a fun and easy way to highlight titles that win various awards throughout the year. The template and instructions can also be easily changed and altered to incorporate other images.
  • Consider having a virtual author visit through Skype. Authors love to connect with their readers, and technology has made this even easier. ‘ Sarah Thompson shares her Skype success on the YALSA blog. One useful list of authors is found at this Skype an Author website.

And don’t forget that it’s members like YOU that help determine what is chosen and how people know about it. It’s a great way to get involved, so

  • Get your teens involved in choosing the YALSA “Teens’ Choice” award with the Teens’ Top Ten where teens from across the country nominate and then decide which books are tops for young adult readers for the year!
  • Apply to be on a YALSA Task Force like the Awards and Booklist Marketing Task Force whose mission is to help YALSA raise awareness of its lists and awards, and to coordinate the implementation of a sustained, year-round effort by proting the lists to the library communtiy, create and disseminate resources for librarians and educators, and encourage teen interes in the lists through contests, promotions and collaborations. ‘ For more information on this and other Task Forces visit’ http://www.ala.org/yalsa/workingwithyalsa/tf
  • Consider joining an Awards Selection Committee! As the YALSA website states, “Selection committee appointments are made in October each year by the YALSA president-elect … Selection committees are the most work-intensive type of committee in YALSA. ‘ Before you agree to volunteer, please be sure you know what will be required of you if you are appointed. ‘ Visit http://tinyurl.com/YALSAgetinvolved for more information.”

For more details on award winners and how to use YALSA resources to support your library’s work with these titles, visit current and past Spring issues of YALS. We love to talk about books in the spring!

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