In my first few weeks as a full-time high school librarian, I was very conscious of the atmosphere I created (or encouraged) in the library. I was convinced that the success of my program–a brand new program in a school used to a very different library ideal–depended in no small part on whether or not my students felt comfortable with me, both as a person and as a teacher.

How do I make my library a welcoming environment? How do I gain students’ trust? What do students and teachers want from their library? These were the questions that I asked myself over and over again.

But now, at the start of the second semester, all I want is a custom t-shirt that reads “I AM NOT A DOORMAT.”
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A few weeks ago, after yet another #1styrlibs tweet chronicling my first year as a full-time librarian, a colleague who follows me on Twitter marveled, “I don’t know how you do it all without an assistant!”

And here’s my secret: a lot of it doesn’t get done.
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After a whirlwind weekend of meetings, awards and live blogging, it’s a wonder my thumbs are intact. Like many ALA members, I spent Friday through Monday largely on Twitter, hashtagging with the best of them.

Whether or not teens tweet, it’s clear that librarians do. And from last year’s ALA “secrets” to this year’s Newbery leak, it seems that library conferences are the impetus for both the best and worst in crowdsourcing.

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If you can’t be at the Westin Copley Plaza for the Morris and Nonfiction Awards, you can join the live blog by clicking in the viewer window below. We’ll have live streaming video, commentary from those of us in the room, and selected tweets about the awards.

You have the option to sign in using your Twitter, Facebook or MySpace ID, which will include your avatar. We’ll be automatically publishing tweets that use hashtags #MorrisAward, #yalsanf and #yalsa. A replay of the live event will be available as soon as we close the session.

Join us for the 2010 Youth Media Awards! Because ALA is already streaming the Awards we won’t be providing video, but we will follow all the announcements and pull discussion from Twitter. Tweets including the hashtags #Printz, #Alex, #MAE and #yma10 will be included in the live session.

As with the BBYA Teen Session live blog, you can join the live session from the blog. You have the option of signing in with your Twitter, Facebook or MySpace ID, which will also display your avatar. Comments and discussion are always welcome! After the Awards are over the live blog replay will continue to be available on the blog.

Join us for the BBYA Teen Feedback Session! Boston teens will weigh in on their favorites from this year’s nominations. Click on the viewer window to join. You’ll have the option to sign in using your Facebook, Twitter or MySpace ID. If you choose to log in that way, your avatar will also be displayed during the session.

All Twitter updates with the hashtag #BBYA will be published in the live session.

Those of you who aren’t with us in Boston or find yourself double (or triple!) booked can participate in several YALSA events via live coverage at the YALSA blog. Once again we’ll be using CoverItLive, with some exciting changes: live streaming video and social networking logins.

When you join the live blog session by clicking in the viewer window (see last year’s BBYA live blog to see the interface) you’ll have the option to log in using your Facebook, Twitter or MySpace login. Your comments will then appear with your avatar from that account. You’ll also be able to view our streaming video from the session thanks to integration with Qik.

The schedule of YALSA live blogs:

Best Books for Young Adults Teen Session: Sunday, January 17 1:30-3:30 PM

Youth Media Awards: Monday, January 18 7:30-9:00 AM

Morris and Nonfiction Awards: Monday, January 18 8:00-10:00 PM

Once again the YALSA Board has a proposal about BBYA before it, and once again controversy seems to have erupted. Discussion–sometimes heated–on various blogs and Twitter streams has left many librarians wondering if we’re in for a repeat performance of the overcrowded, emotional Board meeting in Chicago last July.

Before anyone goes hunting for extra folding chairs, however, YALSA would like to clarify some information about the proposal.

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In this podcast, Kelly Czarnecki interviews Jamie Watson to talk about the Midwinter Institute. Jamie offers some insight on the development of the day’s programming and thoughts for librarians who fear they don’t have access to adequate technology to participate.

Libraries 3.0: Teen Edition will be held January 15th from 9:00 to 4:30. For more information and instructions for registering, visit the YALSA wiki.


You can also download this podcast, and others, at YALSA’s Podcasts site.

Do you know a librarian or library with an innovative approach to fostering a love of reading? Fill out an application from the National Book Foundation for the Innovations in Reading Prize!

The Foundation lists “creativity, risk-taking, and a visionary quality” as the most important criteria for selecting winners, who could receive up to $2500 in prizes.’  Sound like anyone you know?

Last year’s winners included the Maricopa County Library District, recognized for its use of “Deweyless” libraries to promote more user-friendly browsing.

You can complete an application online or call the Foundation at
(212) 685-0261. All applications must be postmarked by February 17, 2010. Winners will be announced to the public on May 3.