by Portia Latalladi

Near the State Street entrance of the Harold Washington Library Center, you’ll find a special space where high school teens can express themselves in unique ways, utilizing the latest technology and gadgets. This successful hub of inspiration and innovation has garnered national attention and serves as a model to the wave of teen tech spaces that have begun to emerge everywhere. This space is the Chicago Public Library’s groundbreaking’ YouMedia’ center, and a visit there should be an item on everyone’s 2013 ALA Annual “bucket list.”

The dedicated staff and mentors of’ YouMedia lead teens in a range of workshops, from digital music production and digital video production to graphic design and podcasting, to’ give them the skills and resources to produce fabulous works of self-expression and creativity.

On Sunday, June 30th from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m., a member of YouMedia’s staff will conduct an overview and tour of the space; registration will be limited to the first twenty-five people who register.




by Colleen Seisser

Chicago is famous for it’s rich history of Blues music. ‘ However, like many urban areas today, there is some fantastic music being made in Chicago. ‘ On the right night, walking into any local bar or restaurant can be a treat for your ears. ‘ I got in touch with a local Chicago musician, Tim Seisser, and asked him for some recommendations for great venues for live music in Chicago. ‘ Tim has been playing bass all over the Chicagoland area for about ten years, so he knows a thing or two about the Chicago music scene. Here are some of his picks and why:

1. Reggie’s Music Joint

Reggie’s is located in the South Loop and has two venues (Reggie’s Rock Club: the bigger stage and Reggie’s Music joint: the restaurant/bar with live music), while also housing Record Breakers, a huge record store onsite. ‘ Parking is ample around Reggies, and it is easy access via public transportation. ‘ You never know what you are going to hear at Reggie’s–Rock, Punk, Rockabilly, Blues, Jazz–it is an establishment that is made for a music fan.

Tim says: Reggies is a great south loop location with amazing food, consistent good music, and a large variety of good beer on tap. ‘ Cover is usually pretty cheap.
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by Heather Booth

If you saw our recent post on what your teens will gain when you bring them to the BFYA Teen Session at Annual 2013, you may have been wondering, “Sure, that’s great – but what’s in it for me?”*

Publicity. What’s that? Local teens are speaking on a national level? Call in the press! This is a great opportunity for you to snap cool photos of local teens with famous authors, pull pithy quotes from their speeches, and share your teen’s McCormick Place Adventure with your Facebook fans, local social media, and neighborhood newspapers. When people see your library’s teens highlighted in this way, it’s going to reflect so well on your teens, your institution, and you.

Respect. It takes some guts, a whole lot of energy, and tremendous leadership skills to shepherd a group of teens around the convention center, but just think about what a great leadership opportunity it’s going to be! Your supervisor will know, once each sweet teenaged head is dog tired and tucked into his parent’s passenger seat at the end of the day, that you are a librarian to be reckoned with. You really can pull off a tricky event with grace and efficiency.

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by Heather Booth

If you are a librarian or teacher in the Chicago area, you have an rare opportunity to give your teens these three awesome intangibles, all in one day, by bringing them to the Best Fiction for Young Adults Teen Session on Saturday, June 29th from 10:30-12:00.

Power. Their words have power. They will be up there, at the front of the room, holding the microphone. The microphone is power. The room will be full of adults, sitting at rapt attention, waiting for them to speak, hanging on their every word, relishing the opportunity to hear what they have to say. Their opinions on these books are powerful. They are seeds on the wind that will fly home with every librarian in the room and be planted in library collections nationwide. Your teens deserve this power. Read More →

by Heather Booth

Calling all Chicago area teen librarians! If you have teens with opinions on the Best Fiction for Young Adults (and who doesn’t?), we want to hear them in a very big way.

The YALSA Local Arrangements committee for ALA Annual in Chicago, June 28-July 1, 2013, is currently recruiting youth participants to give feedback on nominated books at the Best Fiction for Young Adults Teen Session. It will be on Saturday, June 29, 2013. A list of titles can be found here.
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by Heather Booth, Local Arrangements Committee

There’s a thick blanket of snow outside my window, my library’s spring newsletter hasn’t yet arrived in our patrons’ mailboxes, and some bubbling hot chili is on this week’s menu, but I’m dreaming about sunny Chicago in late June.’  Now is the perfect time for YALSA members to start making plans for ALA Annual in Chicago.



Here’s why:

10.’  It’s in the middle of Summer Reading! We all know how hectic those few brief weeks can be, so start planning to be away now so that your department is prepared for your brief absence… and knows why it’s so important that you get a chance to come to Chicago!’  Why so important?’  ALA has resources to help you make your case, but read on for more reasons.

9.’  ARCs!‘  Rub elbows with the publishers and grab sneak peaks at some hot new titles to share with your patrons and coworkers.’  The ARCs you collect can’t be added to your collection or cataloged, but after you’ve read them and shared them around the department, they make great prizes and rewards for eager teens who are clamoring for their favorite author’s forthcoming title, or need a new author to rally behind. Read More →

How far would you go to promote a book you really loved?’  Actor Matthew Lillard went to amazing lengths to share one of his favorite teen stories (which also happens to be a Printz Honor Book!):

“OK. So, I first stumbled across FAT KID RULES THE WORLD when I was hired to record the audio version of KL Going‘s award winning novel.’  The book blew me away. It was funny and true, and it told the story of a lost kid – Troy Billings, alienated and alone – who finds his purpose in life through the magic of punk rock music.’  The book rocked my world. ‘ It was crazy! ‘ It spoke to me, in a deep way because I had been my own version of Troy Billings in high school. I was lost and an outcast and didn’t really fit in anywhere… that is until I found acting, which pretty much changed my life forever. ‘ After I read the book I knew I had to tell THIS story. ‘ I made this movie for everyone who has ever felt like they just didn’t belong… the misfits, the outcasts. the kids that are lost… this movie is for you! ” Read More →

Do you consider yourself a foodie?’  Then you probably will want to skip the Cheesecake Factory and try out some of these unique Seattle spots for enjoyable conference eats:

  • Blue C Sushi – 1510 7th Ave – quick, yummy, close to convention center
  • Taylor Shellfish Farms– 1521 Melrose Ave – awesome oyster bar, get fresh local seafood and wine
  • Le Pichet – 1933 1st Ave – delightful French food – if you aren’t hungry, just get the chocolat chaud, it is to die for.
  • Ristorante Machiavelli – 1215 Pine St – great Italian place, a relatively short uphill walk from the convention center
  • Alibi Room – 85 Pike St (in Post Alley) – a lovely hide-away, perfect break from tourist crowds at the Pike Place Market.

For many more suggestions of places to eat in Seattle, the Local Arrangements Committee invites you to check out’ YALSA’s Midwinter wiki.

~ Sarah Evans & Dawn Rutherford,’ YALSA Local Arrangements Committee,’ Midwinter Seattle 2013

Looking for a Seattle souvenir?’  Check out these places to find fun and interesting gifts with Seattle flair for family, friends, and yourself.’  All shops are located within walking distance or a short bus ride from the Convention Center.

FriendShop at the Central Library (Downtown)

Ye Olde Curiosity Shop(Waterfront)

Simply Seattle (locations near Pike Place Market and the Waterfront)

Made in Washington (locations Downtown and in the Pike Place Market)