At the opening of a new school year, I’m enjoying the chance at a clean slate–new colleagues hired over the summer, new ninth graders and transfer students, all brand new faces to introduce to my library. As I prepare for orientations–whether it’s a full tour or a five minute spiel–I’m re-evaluating my library ground rules. What are the most important things for new students to know? What kind of a space do I want to create for classes and faculty groups alike? How do I convey my educational philosophy in a sentence or two?

When I think about the range of possible library infractions, it really boils down to one question: what’s going to make me the crankiest?

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I returned to school this fall to find that parts of my library had been, shall we say, artfully rearranged. At a time when I had been expecting to come up with brilliant displays, brainstorm for Teen Read Week at a leisurely pace, and craft eloquent emails inviting English teachers with new 9th graders to visit the library during opening week, I found myself instead unpacking books from cardboard boxes.

The spatial rearrangement was perhaps a blessing in disguise, since I hadn’t particularly liked the configuration of shelves last year and planned to get around to it at some point–you know, after I got those other twelve odd jobs off of my desk–but in the meantime it means a lot of confusion in my once orderly library. Where are the biographies? Oh, over there, on that unmarked shelf. What about fiction? Well, it starts over there, and ends over there, but if you’re looking for new series they might be hidden behind that big wheeled desk that the maintenance staff doesn’t know where to stash permanently.

And what about reference?
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Throughout the month of September, YALSA will be featuring a post every day on topics ranging from collaborating with teachers to truancy in the public library to keeping your library curriculum current–all topics impacted by the changing of the seasons when many of us start our year.

Whether you’re an aspiring librarian, working in a school or public library, or providing services to teens in some other setting, we all know that September means big changes for the young adults in our lives. Some of them are anxiously navigating their first few days of high school. Others are getting behind the wheel as upperclassmen and new drivers. Others are making the transition to college. Still more are entering the workforce, traveling around the world, and contemplating military service.

What does the first day of September mean to you? This month the YALSA blog will bring you success stories, tips, and resources for serving teens during this time of transformation–both for our teens, and for our libraries.

Now that the live session is over, you can replay the live blog by clicking on the viewer window below. We streamed live video for a portion of the teen feedback session, so be sure to check that out now that it’s archived.

Want to hear what teens have to say about the nominated titles for our very first Best Fiction for Young Adults list? Check out the live blog! As we did at Midwinter in Boston, we’ll be streaming live video of the teens, pulling tweets, and giving real-time coverage of all the action. The session will open at 1:30 EST and close shortly after the feedback session ends at 3:30. If you can’t join us in real time, you can also watch a replay of the live blog.

There are several ways you can participate. If you’d like to log in through Facebook or Twitter, your comments will be published using your profile photo. If you’d like us to publish your tweets without logging in, you can leave your Twitter username in the comments here (warning: all your tweets will be published while the live blog is running!) or just use the hashtags #yalsa and/or #bfya when you tweet. You can also join the live blog by clicking on the viewer window that will be posted here.

This fall, YALSA will launch a new blog focused on young adult literature. Beginning this month, YALSA is accepting nominations for the new blog’s name. Nominations will be taken online through June 30. From there, YALSA will choose five finalists and you can vote for your favorite title from July 6 to August 1.

The person who submits the winning title will win a box of books and other materials from YALSA!

This is a great opportunity for anyone with a flair for coming up with great titles. For instance, when deciding what to name this post, I had to choose between the headline YAttitudes used and my idea, “Come Up With A Name For A New Blog Focused On Videos About YA Books And Stuff.” Clearly this is a contest I won’t be entering. (Although if anyone wins with “Videos About YA Books And Stuff,” I’d love a mention in your acceptance speech.)

I find myself in an odd position.

Despite the prevailing wisdom that teens don’t tweet–a notion that gets thrown around on this blog, not to mention other online news sources and research groups like Pew–I seem to have found that rare enclave of teens who do tweet. By my count, right now I have 18 followers who are also students at the high school where I work.

My first reaction, of course, was sheer panic.

And then they brought me cupcakes.

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Posted on behalf of Team U.

Team U from the Emerging Leaders program is working on a project for YALSA to develop a job shadowing initiative for teens to promote teen librarianship (in school or public settings). Because of Skype and other wonderful technologies we can cheaply connect teens who cannot participate in in-person job shadowing to fabulous practicing librarians. We are working on a video that will be about a half hour long to show teens before they attend a Skype or video conference with a librarian. It would be a busting-myths-about-librarians-look at the activities of librarians who work with teens.

Are you willing to grab a video camera and get one of your kids/co-workers/significant other to film you showing us what your job is *really* like in a way that would appeal to teens and bust those bun-cat-shushing myths? Or do you already have something we could cull from (maybe on YouTube or something your TAB created)? Even 60 seconds worth of footage that shows teens what librarians really do on the job is appreciated and needed!

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Spring is ordinarily one of my favorite seasons. After a New England winter, nothing improves my mood like flowers in bloom, warm afternoon breezes, and the scent of barbecues wafting through the neighborhood.

In a school, on the other hand, spring can make a person awful cranky. Students and teachers are all impatient for summer. Seniors in particular, having committed to colleges and their other post-high school plans, run the risk of catching a nasty case of Senioritis. Then there are all the events–even before we can get to graduation, there are field trips, advanced placement exams, standardized tests, awards ceremonies and banquets all disrupting the regular schedule. And lately it seems like they’re all taking over my library.

At first, the constant displacement and disruption was making me grumpy. I wanted my library back. I had plans for the end of the year, work to be finished, kids who wanted to check out books or eat lunch rather than tiptoe around the locked doors.

Then I did something radical.

I left the library.

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