Could you use additional funding to launch your upcoming YA programs? Tell us how you successfully advocated for a YA public or secondary school program at your library, and you’ll be eligible to win YALSA’s Thinking Big About Advocacy Contest. YALSA President Kim Patton is challenging all YALSA members to Think Big during her term in office, so we’re kicking off the new year with this challenge. ‘ We want to hear your stories! ‘ Have you had an event, spearheaded a campaign, or collaborated with community groups to raise awareness of the importance for teen services? ‘ Submit a summary of your winning strategy (300 words or less) by February , 2011, and you could be awarded the $500.00 grand prize, or one of four $100 honorable mention awards.

In the coming weeks, members of the contest task force will be reaching out to some of YALSA’s well known advocates about topics like gaming, graphic novels, and YA programs, and asking them to share their best tips for launching successful initiatives.’  We’ll post their responses here on the YALSA blog, and’  hope that their experiences inspire all of you to think big and submit your stories!
Visit the YALSA website at for complete contest rules .

Ed. note: This post from 2009 remains a perennial favorite for readers, but don’t forget to visit our extensive App of the Week archive for more suggestions on iOS and Android applications for teens.’ 

An article in a local newspaper recently touted the launch of a new iPhone application (iCommunicate) designed to help parents of autistic or developmentally delayed children. It sounded like such a wonderful tool, and it made me wonder if there were any apps out there (other than games) that might be useful for teens. I decided to do a little research and see what I could find. Read More →

At ALA’s Mid-Winter Conference in January a teen services librarian asked members of the Teen Tech Week committee if we could recommend any Internet sites that allow users to send text messages to cell phones. The teens at her library had asked if they could receive event reminders via text messages sent to their cell phones rather than by standard e-mail. She was trying to find a way to accommodate their request that would be inexpensive and not too labor intensive. Since this was not the first time this question had been posed to members of the committee, I volunteered to do some research and see what’s out there. Read More →

Many of you YA librarians probably know that the movie version of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight will be released on March 21, 2009. And lots of you are probably planning on hosting Teen Movie Night screenings of the film. If you’re responsible for organizing the event at your library, here’s a piece of information to consider. Twilight was produced by Summit Entertainment, a fledgling studio which is NOT covered by many (probably any) of the blanket public performance licenses most of us hold. Read More →