National Library Legislative Day is right around the corner on May 1 and 2. YALSA needs you to get involved! You can make a difference just by taking a few minutes of your time and participating in Virtual Library Legislative Day . It’s easy and your involvement is needed to help ensure that Congress understands the positive impact that well-stocked, professionally staffed libraries have on teens.

Participate alone or gather a group of library supporters and contact your congressional representatives by phone or fax on May 1 and/or May 2. Share YALSA’s Legislative Day Talking Points as well as your personal stories, local newspaper articles, photos, etc. that illustrate the importance of library service for teens.

Along with the talking points, YALSA also has a free Legislative Advocacy Guide with tips to help you successfully connect with your Congresspersons. For information about online social networking, use YALSA’s Social Networking Toolkit or the 30 Positive Uses of Social Networking.

All of these free resources from YALSA are available on the Library Legislative Day page on the new YALSA wiki at

The ALA Washington Office, which sponsors National Library Legislative Day, also has resources on its web site for those participating virtually. Learn more about organizing your virtual lobbying group there.

After you’ve made your case to your legislators, share your experience with YALSA. Tell us what happened by posting a message on the Legislative Day page on the YALSA wiki.

Thank you for taking some of your valuable time to ensure that the teens in your state and community have access to excellent library services and resources!

Judy Nelson, YALSA President

(posted by Beth Yoke)

A letter is being circulated by Sens. Jack Reed (D-RI) and Susan Collins (R-ME) in support of funding for the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and the Improving Literacy Through School Libraries program. The deadline for signing this letter is tomorrow, April 24.

LSTA and Improving Literacy Through School Libraries are two of the most important federal programs for libraries today. The letter is addressed to the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriation Subcommittee and requests that the Senate include President Bush’s request of $226.18 million for LSTA and $100 million for the Improving Literary Through School Libraries program for fiscal year (FY) 2008.

For complete details on contacting your Senators, visit the ALA Washington Office blog.

Don’t forget that YALSA has a free online Legislative Advocacy Guide , compliments of YALSA’s Legislation Committee.
-Beth Yoke

Show your support of teens and literature by registering for YALSA’s 2007 Teen Read Week, “LOL @ your library,” online at Registration is quick and free. The event will officially be held Oct. 14-20. The humor theme is meant to encourage teens to read light and entertaining materials just for the fun of it.

The first 100 registrants to sign up for Teen Read Week (TRW) will receive a free unabridged audiobook from a Printz or Alex Award-winning author compliments of TRW Promotional Partner, Listening Library. One lucky winner, selected at random, will receive an audiobook library collection of twelve titles by Printz and Alex Award winning authors.

The first 500 registrants to sign up for TRW will receive a galley from Promotional Partner, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers and be entered into a drawing for a signed set of the Twilight Series, including Eclipse, the newest book (available Aug. 7) or a signed set of the Gossip Girls paperbacks, books 1-12, plus the hardcover prequel (available in Oct.).

The first 50 individuals to join YALSA as a new regular member through the TRW web site will receive the Chronicles for Young Readers gift set by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman (compliments of our national Corporate Sponsor Mirrorstone Books, and imprint of Wizards of the Coast).

When you register, please indicate if you would like to participate in YALSA’s WrestleMania Reading Challenge. It is a program designed to encourage teens in middle and high school to not only continue their reading beyond TRW, but to earn a reward for doing so by offering chance to win prizes donated by World Wrestling Entertainment. Details, including the titles that will be required reads, will be available June 1 via the TRW web site.

LOL themed products go on sale May 7th via the ALA online store and ALA Graphics catalog. You can get a sneak peek at them via the TRW web site. All proceeds from the products go to support the work of YALSA and ALA.

The summer issue of Young Adult Library Services is your guide to celebrating Teen Read Week. It mails in mid- July. Subscriptions are $50, or free with a membership in ALA/YALSA.

Are you a seasoned TRW participant or do you have some good ideas to share relating to the LOL theme? If so, please post them on YALSA’s wiki at

Thanks for all that you do to get more teens in your community reading! We hope you will join us this year in celebrating our 10th Teen Read Week! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

-Beth Yoke

P.S. Are the Oct. 14-20 dates not good for you & your teens? Then pick your own time to celebrate TRW, or why not expand it to Teen Read Month?

Show your support for teen reading tomorrow, for the first-ever Support Teen Literature Day, a YALSA-sponsored celebration to raise awareness about young adult literature among the general public. Support Teen Literature Day is also a great opportunity to showcase award-winning authors and books in the genre as well as highlight your expertise in connecting teens with books and other reading materials.

If you’re looking for ways to celebrate Support Teen Literature Day in your library check out the suggestions at YALSA’s Support Teen Lit Day homepage, or inside YALSA’s Wiki .

Support Teen Literature Day is also the kickoff for Teen Read Week, to be held October 14-20. The theme, “LOL @ your library” encourages teens to read and check out humorous or light materials, for the fun of it. Register at the Teen Read Week 2007 Web site at Early registration benefits include free materials from our Promotional Partners: Listening Library; Little, Brown Books for Younger Readers and Penguin as well as from our National Corporate Sponsor Mirrorstone, an imprint of Wizards of the Coast.
-Stephanie Kuenn, YALSA Communication Specialist
(posted by Beth Yoke)

Are you a new librarian or library school student with lots of unanswered questions about the profession? Are you a veteran, card-carrying librarian and YALSA member wanting to share the knowledge you have gained over the years? Well, then, you’ve come to the right place.

As an ALA Emerging Leader, I am one of just over one hundred new librarians selected to work on various projects for ALA. My group is designing a mentorship program for YALSA and AASL. We will design the program, present it at the ALA Annual Conference in Washington D.C. in June, and after that, it’s up to YALSA and AASL to decide whether or not to implement the program.
Since no librarian works in a vacuum, we are seeking some feedback. This will both strengthen our final paper and presentation and offer YALSA and AASL some real-life feedback on some possible responses to a mentorship program.
I ask that you simply answer the following questions (or at least the ones that apply to you) and send your answers to me at by Monday, April 8.
Here are the questions:
1) If you are new to young adult or school librarianship (in the field for less than five years or still in library school), how interested would you be in having a mentor to orient you to your profession and to your professional organization?
2) If you have been a librarian for longer than five years, did you have a mentor? Do you think you would have benefited from participating in a formal mentoring program?
3) If you have been a librarian for longer than five years and active in either YALSA or AASL for three years (active means any and all of the following: participation in association listservs, blogs, etc.; attendance at association conferences; participation on an association committee, board or official member group), how interested are you in sharing your knowledge with a new librarian?

4) What are your general thoughts on mentorship programs and their place in the field of libraries?
Thank you so much for your help with this! I will be sure to let you know if and when this program gets off the ground so that you can be involved! You can even track our progress on ALA’s Emerging Leaders Wiki.
Sarah Krygier
Emerging Leaders 2007

(posted by Beth Yoke)

YALSA is now accepting applications for the fifth round of the Excellence in Library Services to Young Adults Project. Complete information is available on the YALSA web site.

YALSA’s Excellence Award Task Force will select up to twenty-five exemplary teen programs/services in all types of libraries to include in a fifth edition of Excellence in Library Services to Young Adults. The top five programs will receive cash awards of $1000 each. Twenty “best of the rest” applications will receive cash awards of $250. All programs will be featured in the fifth edition of Excellence in Library Services to Young Adults, which will be edited by Amy Alessio and available in summer 2008.

The categories of programs/services for young adults ages 12 18 that will be considered are:
Enhancing Teen Spaces, Physical or Virtual: this includes teen space makeovers, web-based services or programs for teens and/or projects that make libraries in schools and public sectors more teen friendly and/or accessible

Teen Tech Week: educational or recreational programs or services relating to YALSA’s inaugural Teen Tech Week March 4-10, 2007.

Creative Teen Clubs: regularly-meeting teen groups based on a teen interest or that enhance library or literary experiences for teens.

Promotion of Award Winning Young Adult Literature: services or programs that feature any of YALSA’s awards: Alex Awards, Margaret Edwards Award and/or Michael Printz Award

Reading Raves: unique reading promotion initiatives, in the areas of readers advisory, book discussion groups, incorporation of youth participation in library reading programs, services to reluctant readers or special needs readers, etc.

Community Connections: programs or services that involve a close partnership with schools, public libraries, or agencies in the community

Living in a Diverse World: services or programs to teens that promote respect for differences and/or reach out to teens of diverse backgrounds, such as ethnicity, language, sexual orientation, learning and communication styles, gender, disability and/or economic status.

Services Under $100: high impact services or programs that are low in cost

Special Events: a program or service that runs no more than twice a year which has high interest or high impact on area teens

Applications will be judged on the degree to which the program/service meets the needs of its community, particularly the young adult audience it serves; originality; quality; the degree to which the program or service reflects the concepts identified in The New Directions for Library Service to Young Adults; and the degree to which it impacts and improves service to young adults.

All applications must be received by June 2nd. For questions about the application process, please contact Nichole Gilbert at 1.800.545.2433 x4387 or Send all completed applications to

The 4th edition of Excellence in Library Services to Young Adults is available from the ALA Online Store.

-Beth Yoke

Cogratulations to these Teen Tech Week Display Contest Winners:

1st place ($75.00 ALA Graphics certificate) – Mona Shores High School

2nd place ($50.00 ALA Graphics certificate)- Peru Public Library

3rd place ($25.00 ALA Graphics certificate) – Little Elm Public Library

Honorable Mention ($15.00 ALA Graphics certificate)- Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library

Photos of the winning libraries are posted on YALSA’s Flickr account. Mark your calendar for March 2-8, 2008 for the next Teen Tech Week. Thanks to ALA Graphics for sponsoring this contest.
-Beth Yoke

On Friday March 23rd, this segment about “The Return of Libraries” ran on CBS’s The Early Show with anchors Harry Smith and Susan McGuinnis. You can view the video clip online.

ALA President Leslie Burger is featured in this news piece about public libraries, which does a good job of showing the general public what modern libraries are like.

Librarians will probably not be pleased, however, with Harry Smith’s take on libraries, “…back in the 20th century a library card was your ticket to read everything that was ever published. Now you can do that on the Internet of course.” Librarians may want to alert Harry to the fact that “everything that was ever published” is not available on the Internet. The last time I saw a stat it was more like 10-15% of the world’s knowledge was on the Internet. Also lacking in this story was any discussion about how crucial libraries are in poorer communities. The reporter basically asked, why use the library when you can just go to Borders instead or access the Internet from your PDA? Reporters often overlook the fact that there are millions of Americans without Internet access at home or the income and proximity to mega bookstores.

If you want to share your thoughts about the article, just go to and click on “contact us” at the bottom of the page.
-Beth Yoke

American Libraries is preparing an article for its May 2007 issue focusing on school-librarian bloggers. We hope this followup feature will rectify the omission of media specialist voices from the March 2007 feature “Mattering in the Blogosphere,” which the editors regret.

We would appreciate your suggestions about what questions to ask the participants, and invite you to e-mail ideas to Senior Editor Beverly Goldberg ( by Monday, March 26, at noon Central time.

Looking forward to your help in making American Libraries’ coverage of librarian blogging more inclusive.

Beverly Goldberg
senior editor
(posted by Beth Yoke)

YALSA’s Student Interest Group has put together a survey just for student members of YALSA. The purpose of this survey is to solicit feedback about students’ membership experience so that YALSA can tailor resources and services to meet their unique needs. If you’re a student member and you haven’t filled out the brief survey yet, you can do so online (if you aren’t a student member, we ask that you please don’t take the survey).
-Beth Yoke