The votes are in, and our winner is clear–September will be filled with 30 Days of How-To! The winning theme was submitted by Kate C.. Kate, you’ll be getting an email shortly about your prize.

This means that next month the blog will be featuring a wide variety of posts with tips on how to accomplish all kinds of teen library stuff, from programming to crafts and everything in between.

Thanks to Kate for a great theme, and thanks to the rest of you who submitted a theme and voted in our poll.

Voting is now open for the theme of our next month-long project! The winning theme will be our theme for 30 days in September, and the commenter who originally suggested that theme will also win some fun YALSA prizes.

(Note: because the poll is opening later than I’d originally promised, the poll will be open until Saturday, August 20th at 9 PM EST. Vote away!)

[poll id=”2″]

If you want to name the theme of our next month-long project, you have to act now! Nominations will close at 9 PM EST on Wednesday, August 10th.

You could name the theme of the next month-long YALSA Blog project! In September the blog will dedicate a post a day to a single topic. Unlike our previous month-long projects, where the themes have been determined in advance, this time you could decide our theme.

Any reader can suggest a theme by commenting on this post. On August 10th I’ll compile those suggestions into a poll, and readers will have one week to vote for the theme they like the most. The winning theme will be the topic for our 30 Days project in September. (The winner will also receive some other nifty prizes, so make sure you use a real email address when you comment!)

Previous topics have included Advocacy and Back to School, so suggestions that are too familiar may not receive as many votes. Be creative!

Did you know that YALSA recognizes the best in writing for all of its publications, including the YALSA Blog? It’s true! Along with articles in YALS and the JRLYA, the YALSA Blog and The Hub will nominate five articles to the YALSA Writing Award Jury. Any article written between Dec. 1 and Nov. 30 of the award year is eligible.

Winning pieces, which will demonstrate qualities such as originality, timeliness and relevancy will receive a plaque and a cash award.

You can find out more about the YALSA Writing Award on the YALSA website.

For the longest time, it seemed like I couldn’t turn around without reading another Librarians: Not Just For Books Anymore article or blog post. You know the kind–profiles of hip, edgy librarians by journalists who are shocked, just Shocked! to find a librarian running a gaming event, or teaching web 2.0 skills, or maintaining the library’s virtual presence with social networking tools. (Bonus points if the accompanying picture features a tattooed librarian!)

At the time, it was easy enough to just roll my eyes, or play Librarian Stereotype Bingo by looking for mentions of shushing or buns. (Seriously, did there used to be some weird hybrid of library and finishing school that churned out librarians with a uniform hairstyle? Is this a Thing? What is with all the emphasis on buns?!)

But now, it seems, we’ve reached new era when it comes to libraries in the news and blogosphere: the era of Libraries: Ur Doin It Rong.

Read More →

Teens are a key audience for libraries, but their unique needs can make designing services and programs for this audience a challenge. At this session, presenters will crack open their tool box and share simple strategies for providing basic but effective programs and services for teens. Expect to leave with new ideas and a practical plan for improving teen services at your library.

Arrive early to network with fellow librarians to discuss your thoughts on exemplary teen services and get to work on an interactive display featuring your successes in teen services.

The preconference will begin when Angela Fredrick (Nashville Public Library) breaks ground with an icebreaker and introduces the day’s expert presenters. Get inspired by Angelina Manfredi (Los Alamos County Libraries) and her presentation on mutually beneficial relationships that can develop between teens and librarians. Then, Mari Hardacre (Allen County (IN) Public Library) will discuss the YALSA’s core competencies for teen librarians, including tips on managing teen behavior in libraries. Hardacre will also share practical collection management ideas. Erin Helmrich (Ann Arbor District Library), author of Create, Relate, and Pop @ the Library: Services and Programs for Teens & Tweens, will delve into easy but effective teen program plans that you can take home to your library. Finally, Jesse Vieau (Madison Public Library) will demonstrate the technology tools you can use to manage your time effectively, and will present his favorite tools and gadgets to share with teens.

Fill your toolbox with tips from our presenters, and then get ready to get to work at your library during small group discussions led by Penny Johnson (Baraboo (WI) Public Library). With support from a group, develop an action plan with steps you can take to pour a strong foundation for teen services at your library. Armed with the blueprints you created during the preconference, the framework for exemplary teen collections and programming will be up in no time at your library.

To add The Nuts & Bolts of Serving Teens to your 2011 ALA Annual Conference Registration, visit or call 1-800-974-3084. Registration for 2011 ALA Annual Conference is not necessary to participate in the preconference. Tickets for the event cost $129 and include light refreshments.

Posted on behalf of Rebecca Malinowski.

Do you read the YALSA Blog regularly and wish you could contribute? Now is your chance! We’re looking for new bloggers to join our award-winning team.

The YALSA Blog is the place to turn for opinion and commentary on young adult librarianship, advocacy, trends in YA services and more. We tackle controversial topics and review the best apps for teens, as well as providing information on YALSA services, member groups, and events. The blog also takes on special month-long projects and offers
live coverage of YALSA events, including teen feedback on the Best Fiction for Young Adults and the presentation of the Youth Media Awards.

If you are a YALSA member and interested in writing for the blog, please contact me, mk Eagle, at

I cringe whenever anyone tells me how nice and quiet the library is. It’s never quiet unless it’s empty–and why is that “nice”? It’s almost as annoying as when teachers say something like “Shhh, you’re in a library!” to their students.

Personally, I like an active library. Sure, if teens are getting so rowdy that others around them can’t concentrate, I might ask them to keep their voices down a bit, but if everyone seems comfortable with the volume level, why would I shush anyone just for the sake of a quiet library?

My prejudice against a quiet library has some selfish roots, of course, because I spend all day in the library, and if it’s quiet, I spend all day bored in the library. My school recently had three days of standardized testing, and I suffered along with our sophomores. No students checking out books, no copier malfunctions to puzzle out, no one asking if there’s enough literary criticism about Jodi Picoult to fill out an essay–no life in the library.

So what do you do when confronted by a not-so-nice and quiet library? And what are some of your “favorite” library stereotypes?

Are you a new to working with teens? Are you struggling to find easy but effective programs? Do you feel that you are not meeting the need of teens in your library? Would you like to meet others who work with teens? If so, come to the YALSA preconference “The Nuts & Bolts of Serving Teens: Practical Tips for the Library Generalist or New YA Librarian” on Friday, June 24, from 12:30 to 4:30 P.M. in New Orleans.

Simple strategies for providing programs and services for teens will be discussed as well as collection development, YALSA competencies, incorporating technology into library services and teen programming, and why teens and libraries need each other. Tips for dealing with teen behavior (good and bad) during programs and in the general library setting will also be covered. Featured speakers include Angelina Manfredi (Los Alamos County Library System), Erin Helmrich (Ann Arbor District Library), Mari Hardacre (Allen County Public Library) and Jesse Vieau (Madison Public Library).

This program has all the tools that you need to fill your library toolbox and more! The half-day preconference covers the all the essentials for exemplary teen services. Tickets for the event cost $129 and include light refreshments. Registration for 2011 ALA Annual Conference is not necessary to participate in the preconference.

If you wish to register for this event without registering for Annual, you can download the form to mail or fax in (go to page 12 and ignore part I). If you haven’t registered for Annual, you can do so at and add this special event onto your registration.

If you have already registered and would like to add this special event to your registration, you have two options: (1) By phone: Call ALA Registration at 1 (800) 974-3084 and ask to add a workshop to your existing registration; (2) Online: To add an event to your existing registration use your log in and password to access your existing Annual registration and add events in the “Your Events” section (screen 6). Then simply check out and pay for the events you have added.

We hope to see you there!

Posted on behalf of Carrie Wuensch-Harden.

As the Outgoing chairperson of the YALSA Nominating Committee, I wanted to remind everyone that the 2011 ALA and YALSA election season is just around the corner. Online voting in the 2011 ALA election will begin at 9:00 a.m. Central Time on March 16, 2011. Ballots close at 11:59 p.m. on April 22. Election results will be announced on April 29, 2011.

You can find the official YALSA candidate slate, including YALSA President-Elect, Fiscal Officer, Secretary, YALSA Board of Directors and YALSA award committees, on the YALSA Blog. As you may have noticed, interview podcasts with candidates have begun to appear on the YALSA blog. Listening to these podcasts (so far, #89, #90, #91) is a great way to get to know the candidates and the issues most important to them.

It’s critical to also vote in the ALA election this spring. This is your chance to make sure that the Divisions of which you are a member, along with the larger ALA organization, support the needs of your library and the teens that you serve. Check ALA’s election information webpage for for information.

Interested in doing more than voting and thinking that you may want to stand for election to an office in the future? If so, you can review the how to run for office information on the YALSA wiki. You may also contact the current Chair of YALSA’s Nominating Committee Chair Linda Braun Chair at for details about running for YALSA office in 2012.

John Sexton, Chair 2011 Nominating Committee