As the members of the Planning and Marketing Taskforce, we are excited about the variety of programs and formats for the 2021 YALSA Symposium in Reno. This year’s theme of Biggest Little Safe Spaces: Serving Teens during Times of Adversityreflects where many librarians find themselves in current times. The presenters will discuss strategies for serving teens during difficult moments and will help us develop programs that ensure our biggest little safe spaces thrive for years to come.Meanwhile, the three author panels will enlighten and entertain attendees with lively and relevant discussions. We hope you can join us in Reno either virtually or in person on November 5-7. Remember that there is still plenty of time to register for the event.
Given the present state of pandemic, YALSA’s Symposium will offer both a virtual-only event as well as a live and in-person conference. For the first time, some of the sessions will be presented in a hybrid format, meaning that the session will be prerecorded for virtual attendees but will also be presented live in Reno. Virtual participants will have the opportunity to interact with the presenters of the hybrid programs during live online Q & A sessions. A few of the hybrid sessions include The Power of Empathy, Journey to Justice, and The Development of Bridges & Books.
Some of the sessions will be prerecorded for all participants. These programs will be available during and after the symposium and include sessions like the always popular Book Buzz, All are Welcome (a program about homeschoolers), Advocate for Youth Experiencing Homelessness, and Do You See Me?, a session facilitated by Julia Torres and featuring authors Paula Chase, Tiffany D. Jackson and Kim Johnson.
For participants who are present in Reno, make sure you attend the exciting author panels. First up is Friday’s opening session where Steve Sheinkin, Bethany C. Morrow, Gretchen McNeil, Kimberly Jones, and Gilly Segal will explore the theme of Spaces Past and Present: Adversity Now and Then. On Saturday, don’t miss the chance to listen great new YA authors at the Morris Program. Angeline Boulley, Chloe Gong, Cory Anderson, and Rachel Griffin will discuss their works and everything that comes with being a debut author. This panel will be moderated by Jeff Zentner, who won the Morris Award in 2017 for The Serpent King. Finally, there is the closing author panel with the theme of Finding One’s Space: Fantasy Meets Realism on Sunday. Who wouldn’t want to attend a panel where authors Ellen Hopkins, Romina Garber, and Jennifer Mathieudiscuss fantasy and realistic fiction?
Also for those attendees in Reno, YALSA will be offering numerous live programs on Saturday and Sunday. The titles of just of few of the informative sessions include Safe Spaces for Aros and Aces, Safe Haven (a program about mental health and teens), Poverty and Privilege, and Through the Plexi Glass, a timely program about how to serve teens during the pandemic.
And there is still time to register for three of the symposium’s live events. On Friday morning, Adriana White and Ashleigh Torres will offer a preconference session on neurodiversity and mental health. In the afternoon, Beth Crist and Dr. Jessica Dennison will present the second preconference session on how best to serve teens in poverty with empathy. One of Saturday’s big events is Margaret A. Edwards Award Luncheon. That program will feature the 2021 winner of that prestigious award, author Kekla Magoon. Please remember that these programs require extra fees and are not included in the general registration.
Whether we attend the symposium in person in Reno or virtually from home, we hope you enjoy this event and come away with the understanding and inspiration to serve teens during adverse times in your safest little places.
Blog post by Scot Smith, Angela Steele, Sharon Deeds, Asuncion Cora, and Katie Patterson, the 2021 Planning and Marketing Taskforce