When mk proposed the idea of 30 Days of Back To School, I was heading into uncharted territory as a solo librarian covering two libraries in my large public high school (we have about 2200 students in grades 9-12, with one library serving grades 9-10 and another serving grades 11-12), and leaped at the chance to write a greatest hits post on collaboration with classroom teachers.

If nothing else, I needed a set of reminders to myself about how to work effectively with faculty for the benefit of all students, and after the last couple of years of working in the Senior High library, I have a few ideas to share, largely based on the advice of my personal school library guru, Alice Yucht (and which I hope you lovely readers will add to in the comments). As I write this, though, I am preparing to leave my school for a job at Infolink, NJ’s Statewide Library Cooperative, as a Program Coordinator in charge of continuing education for libraries in South Jersey. While I’m very sad to leave my school, I’m also very happy to share with you all some of what I’ve learned along the way. Here goes!

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What follows is a word-for-word transcript of a chat between Michael L. Printz Award Committee 2011 Chair Erin Downey Howerton and her Administrative Assistant, Sophie Brookover.
Erin: Oh Sophie, good thing I caught you today.’  I just read a marvelous book, and I am dying to nominate it for the Printz Award! It’s called The Most Amazing Book…EVER, by Fantastic Author.’  We surely must discuss this book amongst ourselves!
Sophie: Oh, I love Fantastic Author! I read that book too, and it is indeed amazing, but I’m pretty sure it was published for the adult market, so sadly, it would not be eligible for the Michael L. Printz Award.
Erin: <wails, gnashes teeth>’  You have to be kidding me… I am so disappointed!’  But I feel so strongly about this book.’  Surely, there has to be something we can do to make sure it gets considered for a YALSA award (even if it’s not eligible for ours).’  Can’t we find the right award or selection list?
Sophie: I bet we can — YALSA has a wide variety of distinguished awards and selection lists.’  Let me look at the eligibility requirements and see what your options are.’  [. . . ] Hey, looks like The Most Amazing Book…EVER is a suitable nomination for the Alex Awards, which, as you know, honor “ten books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12 through 18.” You can nominate it for Alex!
Erin: Great idea, Sophie! I’m so glad I asked you. You know, I’m looking at the nomination forms online and it looks like YALSA has totally revamped these.’  The updates make the forms even easier to use.
Sophie: No, I hadn’t! Wow, what a great improvement! It’s so handy to have all of the nomination forms available in one spot! This is going to make it so easy for readers to nominate their favorite books for the appropriate award or selection list!
Erin: Right you are! It’s a good thing we talked today – I feel like spreading the word so everyone knows about this.
Sophie: Me, too! I’m going to go nominate a bunch of great books right now! Which I can do, because I am not an author, editor or publisher!
The Most Amazing Book…EVER, by Fantastic Author, published by Awesomeness Press, an imprint of Rampant Excellence, is available at major imaginary bookstores nationwide.

[UPDATED 1/24/09: I added information about the 8 candidates we’re seeking for the Excellence in Nonfiction Award Committee, and the Nomination form has been edited!]

On this Inauguration Day, a YALSA Nominating Committee member’s thoughts turn to the next election cycle. No, I’m not talking about the 2010 midterm elections to the US House & Senate, I’m talking about YALSA’s 2010 Election Cycle, for which your friendly Nominating Committee members are taking nominations right now!

Q: Who are my friendly Nominating Committee members, and how can I reach them?

A: So glad you asked! If you or someone you know is interested in running for YALSA office (or if you’re just curious about what it entails), please feel free to drop any of us a line. E-mail addresses are listed below. Read More →