Need a great project idea for your teen groups? Thinking of a no-cost craft for Teen Tech Week? How about a make-it-take-it demo to promote audiobooks on your teen’s phones, MP3 players or’  iPod Touch for Teen Read Week‘s “Books With Beat” theme? Check out this handy gadget recharging pouch featured on Make Online with step-by-step photo directions – made from an empty shampoo bottle! I’m raiding my recycle bin right now to make one (or a bunch) of my very own…

Get ready to promote the Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production with FREE audiobook downloads from SYNC! Sync’  is an initiative to encourage audiobook listening by teens, coordinated through the unbranded Audiobook Community, and supported by members of the audiobook publishing community. Each week, two totally FREE audiobooks – one classic paired with a themed YA favorite – are available without any need for personal information on the Sync website. Today is the last day to grab The Angel Experiment by James Patterson (read by Evan Rachel Wood) paired with Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (read by Simon Vance) in the kick-off “Man or Monster?” theme week. All that’s needed is the free OverDrive download software – a great way to encourage teens to start using your public library’s downloadable media. Plus, there’s an entire tool kit on the Sync website to help promote titles in YA departments and on library webpages. Although the promotion is targeted towards teens, there are no age restrictions – so feel free to encourage anyone to grab a great title for summertime listening. If you’ve never listened to an audiobook, take this opportunity to download marvelous productions for your own listening!

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Heading to ALA Annual in DC? Take time to celebrate the best in children’s & YA audiobooks at the Odyssey Award Celebration on Monday, June 28th from 4:00pm – 5:30pm, in the Washington Convention Center room 145B. This event is FREE with no ticket required. You’ll receive a goodie bag that contains a CD with clips of the winner & honor titles. Plus, there are wonderful FREE refreshments provided by the Audio Publishers Association so that you may mingle with the narrators after the presentation. And there’s plenty of time between the Odyssey Presentation and the Printz to grab dinner. So make Monday your day to celebrate with YALSA!’  *Please note that the date of the Odyssey Award Celebration had been incorrectly listed on a past ALA communication*

Here’s the official scoop:

Celebrate the spoken word at the 2010 Odyssey Award Presentation, featuring the 2010 Odyssey winner, Louise, the Adventures of a Chicken, written by Kate DiCamillo, narrated by Barbara Rosenblat, and produced by Live Oak Media.’  Three honor titles will also be recognized for their excellence in audiobook production for children and young adults.’ ‘  A reception sponsored by the Audio Publishers Association with light refreshments will follow the award presentations and program featuring narrators Dion Graham, Katherine Kellgren, and Barbara Rosenblat.

June is Audiobook Month – and a perfect time to plan how to get your teens psyched about Sync. Sync is an initiative to promote audiobook listening by young adults coordinated by the Audiobook Community, an open, uncensored, unbranded social network connecting audiobook narrators, producers, authors and fans. To entice new listeners, top audiobook producers have donated two FREE audiobooks ‘ a week – one YA book paired with one classic title – from July 1st to September 1st. And you don’t need to be a teen to download – ‘ teachers, book clubs, parents looking for family vacation listening, and adult YA lit fans will be psyched about Sync as well! Plus, there’s an entire toolkit to help you promote Sync in your public or school library: customizable printable posters, bookmarks & flyers, promo newsletter / website copy, logo, Sync image and website banner. Spread the word about this great FREE promo that can help you boost listeners of your audiobook collection by creating themed displays and listen-alike lists – or join the Audiobook Community and share ideas in the Sync discussion group! Here’s the nearly-complete list of titles:

Available July 1 – July 7
The Angel Experiment by James Patterson
by Mary Shelley

Available July 8 – July 14
Over the End Line
by Alfred C. Martino
The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay

Available July 15 – July 21
Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer
Treasure Island
by Robert Louis Stevenson

Available July 22 – July 28
The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Available July 29 – August 4
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Available August 5 – August 11
Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Available August 12 – August 18
Coming Soon…

Available August 19 – August 25
Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston
A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare

Available August 26 – September 1
Handbook for Boys by Walter Dean Myers
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

What great selections – Odyssey Award Honor titles, movie tie-ins, summer reading list stand-bys, and the first book in so many great series.’  Happy listening!

Looking for a great way to promote your library’s collection of YA audiobooks? Plan to promote FREE downloads of popular YA titles & classic audiobooks through Sync, an initiative of the newly-formed Audiobook Community. Sync will offer two free audiobook downloads a week all summer, from July 1st to September 1st, allowing you to create listen-alike lists to entice teens to try more great audiobooks once they’re hooked on literature-on-the-go. Public and school librarians will be able to download promotional materials & bookmarks from the Sync website, with plenty of space to add your logo & listen-alike lists on the printables. The Sync website will be live within a week, with the complete list of titles & Tool Kit. Perfect timing for adding terrific freebies to your summer reading materials 😉

You’ll get notification of Sync’s kick-off when you become a member of the Audiobook Community, a free, open, uncensored, unbranded social network for all audiobook listeners to discover audiobooks and connect with other fans as well as publishers, authors, and narrators. Just join the Sync: YA Listening group and get updates about the free downloads, as well as tips from other audiobook fans. Here’s a great response to a group member’s question, “How are you using audiobooks in your summer reading program?” ‘ Melissa replied, “At the beginning of summer, I also create a display of audiobooks based on listening length versus driving length. So one section of the display is “If you are going to Boston or Bar Harbor this summer, here are titles for the round-trip” with audios that are in the 4 – 6 hour range. “If you are going to New York City”, we display audios with an 8 – 10 hour range, and so forth. This display has been a big hit with parents in the past.” What a great idea!

Please help YALSA’s MAE Award committee help publicize our monetary award by spreading the word. If you know of someone who you feel would qualify, encourage them to apply AND become a YALSA member. Every bit helps in these tough economic times!

Win $500 and an additional $500 for your library with the MAE Award for Best Literature Program for Teens

Here’s your chance to win $500 for your pocket and another $500 for your library!’  YALSA members are eligible to apply for this award recognizing an outstanding reading or literature program for young adults.’  If you have created an exceptional reading or literature program in the 12 months before December 1st consider applying for the MAE Award for Best Literature Program for Teens.’  The MAE Award is sponsored by the Margaret A. Edwards Trust.’  The winner receives $500 and additional $500 for their library.

Application forms can be downloaded at and must be emailed to Nichole Gilbert at by December 1.

Not a member of YALSA?’  It’s not too late to join.’ ‘  Please note that it may take up to 2 months for new memberships to be fully processed.’  New members should send an electronic copy of their membership application with the grant application.

For questions, contact Alexandra Tyle-Annen at

Reward yourself for bringing young adults and books together and encouraging the development of life-long reading habits.’  Apply today!

Odyssey SealThe Odyssey Award Ceremony at ALA last July honored the marvelous producers of the year’s best audiobooks for children & young adults. Those in attendance were thrilled to hear narrators talk about their experiences recording the top titles of the year. You can listen to the speech narrator Katherine Kellgren’ gave after Listen & Live Audio was awarded their second Odyssey Honor’ for the production of Curse of the Blue’ Tattoo.

Here’s the link to find out more about Katy and the Odyssey.


Happy Listening!’  Mary Burkey.

Now here’s a fortuitous alignment of the stars! Teen Tech Week 2009 just happens to be the exact same week as Read an E-Book Week! What a great time to promote your library’s downloadable FREE e-books or do a demo for teachers in your local high school. Or even enlist your Teen Advisory Board to staff a learn-how-to-download-e-books station to help newbie users. Have you explored the amazing variety of e-Books avalible through your library lately?

Just one week until the Youth Media Awards press conference! I can’t wait to hear all the winning & honor titles, especially the audiobooks that receive the second-annual Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production distinction. I’ve been running a Mock Odyssey poll on my blog and here are the eligible titles mentioned so far:

Tied for first place:
The Graveyard Book
The Curse of the Blue Tattoo (Bloody Jack #2)

Possible Honor titles:
Once Upon a Time in the North
Fairest Read More →

Today’s Columbus (OH) Dispatch newspaper has a great feature story on video gaming in the library, mentioning the Columbus Metropolitan Library, Upper Arlington Library, Westerville Public Library. A big congratulations shout-out to Julie Scordato, Kate Hastings, and Gordon Gavin for being quoted in the article !

The story is available online.

~ Mary Burkey