I am stingy with my hard-earned money. So when I decide to donate to worthy organizations and causes you can be sure I feel confident my money will be used in a responsible manner, supporting causes that match my values and passions.

That is why I donate to Friends of YALSA every year. Like you, I am passionate about teens and teen library services. I actively seek out the ideas, inspiration, and motivation YALSA provides through blogs, listservs, publications, conferences, etc., etc. I also want to support my colleagues in their efforts to provide excellence for our young people. The grants, scholarships, and awards offered to members by YALSA enhance our entire profession.

I invite you to donate to Friends of YALSA along with me. Your support will be a positive influence for teens and those who serve them. Your money will indeed be used in a responsible manner as YALSA continues to give us the capacity to engage, serve and empower teens.

Please donate today. If we can raise $2000 by the end of August we will receive an additional $1000 from a generous donor. So each of your dollars will actually be worth $1.50!! What a great deal!!

Any amount is welcome, and it will only take a moment of your time to donate. The URL is: www.ala.org/yalsa/givetoyalsa/give

Thank you so much for your support.

Grants, scholarships and awards – what a glorious thought!’  Who doesn’t love the idea of receiving monetary grants and awards to further the work of providing top-notch library services for teens.’  As a member of YALSA, you are eligible to apply for several different awards that could cover the cost of attending a conference or legislative day, fund a program you’ve been longing to implement in your library, provide resources for a research project, and so much more.’  As a membership perk, YALSA offers more than $90,000 annually in grants and awards to members who work with or on behalf of teens.

Surprisingly, YALSA does not receive many applications for these opportunities.’  If you apply you have a decent chance of receiving an award.’  And with the wide variety of opportunities available you are certain to find a program that will meet your needs.

Does your book collection need a boost?’  Books for Teens, the Great Books Giveaway Competition, and the BWI/YALSA Collection Development Grant award books or money for libraries in need.

Do you wish you had the funds to attend ALA Annual, the YA Lit Symposium or Library Legislative Days?’  Travel stipends are available for all three of these events.

Do you want to further your education or build leadership skills? You might be eligible for a Spectrum Scholarship or a YALSA Board Fellowship or the Emerging Leader program.

Could your writing or research efforts use some financial support and recognition? Would you like to become more involved in YALSA governance? Do you have a great idea? There are grants and awards for each of these endeavors and more.

Take full advantage of your YALSA membership!’  Consider applying for these member-only opportunities.’  Many, but not all, application deadlines are December 1st of each year.’  You can find more information, including applications and deadline details, at http://www.ala.org/yalsa/awardsandgrants/yalsaawardsgrants

Now, don’t let the word “money” cause you to avert your eyes!! This post isn’t going to cause any anxiety! At least, I hope not….

Last year you elected me as YALSA Fiscal Officer. Since then I have been working hard to learn about YALSA’s financial dealings. Before I took this position I had several misunderstandings about money issues and YALSA. I suspect many of you do as well. One of my goals during my tenure is to make YALSA’s financial picture more transparent so we all can be better informed. Watch for upcoming blogposts on such topics as what the Division does with your dues, why ALA conference registration is not the same as state conference registration, and how your donations to Friends of YALSA fit into the bigger financial picture.

We will begin with some myth-busting! Here are four common myths about YALSA finances:

MONEY MYTH #1 — YALSA gets money from ALA

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You lead a busy life, yet you are taking time to follow this YALSA blog. That demonstrates you share YALSA’s mission to expand and strengthen library services to teens everywhere. You are dedicated to providing the best library services for teens. You want to give teens the opportunity to access quality books. You also support your colleagues in their efforts to do the same. Would you be reading this if you weren’t?

Because of your dedication you would like to extend your influence beyond your own community. You would like to bolster the entire teen library profession. You can do that right now, and you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your home or office!

Donate to Friends of YALSA today. Your contribution of any size supports initiatives and projects that benefit teens and the library professionals who serve them. Your generosity can help sponsor emerging leaders, fund attendance at National Library Advocacy Days, or put books in the hands of disadvantaged young people. Did you receive one of the awesome Teen Read Week resource kits in October? That was made possible by contributors just like you.
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Gagdets, and gizmos, and apps! Oh, my! ‘ Keeping up with technology trends and incorporating new tools into library programming and promotion can be daunting—but it doesn’t have to be.

Join us at the 2011 YALSA Preconference:’ The Nuts & Bolts of Serving Teens, where Jesse Vieau will share his experiences using technology in teen programming and library promotion.’  Jesse is the Teen Services Librarian at the Madison (WI) Public Library.’  Formerly a Teen Services Librarian in the Loft @ ImaginOn, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library, Jesse’s work with teens includes collaborating with teen interns using Google Docs, facilitating digital projects in teen detention centers, and hosting a digital petting zoo in which teens mentor senior citizens as they explore new technology.

At’ The Nuts & Bolts of Serving Teens, Jesse will deliver ideas for practical, inexpensive ways you can use technology as you work with teens.’  You will discover new tools, gadgets, hardware, and software that are easy to use and appealing to teens.’  Jesse will also share his tips for using technology to manage your heavy workload and to promote library services to teens.’  You will leave the event with a list of user-friendly tools, and will be ready to implement new programs or services at your library.

The preconference will also include presentations on core competencies for teen librarians, collection management, teen behavior, and developing relationships between your library and teens, and is scheduled for 12:30-4:30 PM on June 24 in New Orleans.

To add’ The Nuts & Bolts of Serving Teens to your 2011 ALA Annual Conference Registration, visit’ http://www.alaannual.org/ 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.


Do you have trouble finding the right books for your teens? Are you meeting the needs of the teens in your library? Would you like to meet others who work with teens? Have no fear, Mari Hardacre, is here! Mari is the Manager of Young Adult Services at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and she will be the second presenter at the 2011 YALSA Half Day Preconference, “The Nuts & Bolts of Serving Teens: Practical Tips for the Library Generalist or New YA Librarian.”

Mari will present an outstanding program on essential services for teens that will have you glued to your seat. She will discuss reference, reader?s advisory, information services, practical collection management ideas and strategies for serving teens. Mari will also introduce YALSA?s core competencies for teen librarians, including tips on managing teen behavior in libraries and proactive measures that can be taken to ensure staff has positive interactions with teens.

This preconference is not to be missed! The program is scheduled for 12:30-4:30 PM on June 24 in New Orleans. To add The Nuts & Bolts of Serving Teens to your 2011 ALA Annual Conference Registration, visit http://www.alaannual.org/ 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.

As a teen library specialist you have insight on the needs of the teen patrons who walk into your library. But what happens outside the teen space? Do the circulation desk staff, the pages, the security personnel, and your administrator know how to provide a quality library experience for the teens in your community?

What can you do to enhance the whole library experience for your teen patrons?

Attend the all-day YALSA Midwinter Institute on Friday, January 7, 2011, in San Diego and receive tips and tools and talking points for working with the rest of the library staff in providing outstanding teen services. Speakers include Paige Battle, Linda Braun, Christie Gibrich, Penny Johnson, Jennifer Lawson, Teri Lesesne, Sara Ryan, and Ray Stark.

As a Baby Boomer, I have always been a bit smug about my generation’s effect on American society. Because of our sheer numbers, we have influenced opinions and procedures regarding public education, child-rearing, music, home ownership, and yes, even menopause. I’m confident my generation will continue to demand change as we move into retirement and old age.

My conceit at being part of this highly-influential demographic was humbled recently, however. I read a report stating when the 2010 census is complete, the Baby Boom generation will officially lose its number-one status. Due to rising immigration as much as to rising birth rates, the Millennial generation is now the largest demographic group in America.

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We have spent the last generation building up strong teen programs in our libraries.’  Many, if not most, public libraries now have a dedicated teen space.’  With YALSA taking the lead, we can be proud of the progress we have made in serving middle- and high-school students.

But what happens when our library teens graduate?’  They are unceremoniously dumped, cut off from library programs and relationships that we have worked so hard to provide for them.’  Or perhaps they lose interest in our programs as they become older teens, wearied by the presence of young middle-schoolers at teen events.

Either way, older teens and graduates lose an important connection to the library.’  Many do not return until they have children of their own.’  Others leave forever, seeking elsewhere for social and educational events they once found at the library.

Last summer YALSA approved the formation of a new interest group to address the needs of these older teens and twenty-somethings.’  The “Serving New Adults Interest Group” focuses on the issues of programming, collection management, and advocacy for this decidedly underserved age group.

Several of us gathered for the YALSA First Wednesday Chat this week to discuss ideas on how to best serve 16- to 26-year-old patrons.’  We generated a long list of programming ideas, including manga/anime, cake decorating, car repair, game nights, cooking for two, The Office Olympics, Minute-to-win-it, and many others.’  We acknowledged the challenge of finding the time, money, and staff to expand our focus to these older teens and young adults.’  We identified collaboration opportunities with community colleges and other groups.’  ‘ We also brainstormed for a few fun minutes on what to call this demographic.’  What would it take to change the definition of “young adults” to college-age, and use “teens” exclusively to mean 12-18 year olds?’  And if we did that, what would we call YALSA???

If this conversation interests you, I invite you to join the “Serving New Adults Interest Group”.’  I also urge you to subscribe to the “serving-OTYA” email listserv.’  Help us expand the YALSA focus to include the “new adults” in our communities.