YALSA’s Preconference in New Orleans is entitled Read with Your Ears, and is focusing on Audiobooks for Teens. Throughout the day, there will be panels of both reviewers and producers of Young adult audiobooks. There will also be a presentation about tying Audiobooks into the curriculum. Enjoy a relaxing lunch with guest speaker Tamora Pierce, and return for more, including a wrap-up discussing trends, marketing, and more.

Stay tuned to the YALSA blog for information on a VERY exciting contest for pre-conference attendees.
Register Now for the Preconference!

Posted by Jamie Watson

Posted by YALSA Member Michele Gorman:

Here is a question for the VP/President Candidates:

What’s your favorite emerging technology and how do you see that kind of technology impacting service to teens in the future? How should YALSA address the training issues related to teen services librarians and new technologies in a sustainable, ongoing way?

I think this is a very important topic because we are dealing with a new generation of learners who have been raised in a digital world. I want to know how the YALSA president is going to address this shift so that we, as an association, are leading our profession in terms of meeting the technological needs of our teen patrons.

Posted by Amy Alessio

Paula & Allen:

Here are a few more questions on member issues, then a fun one about your YA interests:

What services do you feel YALSA provides that are the most valuable for new members? Long-term members? Do you have further ideas on how to reach those groups of members?

How would you help a director find a way to support someone wanting to work with YALSA? (I thinking of all the members who cannot afford to come to conference, which is the case in most of Illinois, my home state.)

What are some of your favorite YA books/authors? Movies?

From Amy Alessio:

Allen & Paula:
Here are a few more questions:

What training or mentoring have you done to spread the YA word to other professionals? Who has mentored or made a difference with you?

You both know I’m especially interested in YALSA Finances. We need increased revenue to bring new services. Please suggest ways both of these things could be accomplished during your term.

Posted by Linda W. Braun

This week in the course we are talking about creation and participation technologies. Things like Wikis, Tagging, Blogs, RSS, and Podcasts. One thing I was just thinking about in relation to these technologies is how wonderful it would be if librarians in different communities used the technology to bring teens together. Perhaps a group of teens from distant communities could create a wiki together on a topic of interest. Or maybe teens could interview each other for a series of podcasts on teens and libraries. I’ve been thinking a lot about the implications of these technologies in teen lives in particular. But, it’s time to also think about how libraries can connect teens around the country through these technologies.

Posted by Amy Alessio:

Let’s let readers get to know both of you.

Why are you running for YALSA VP/President?

What is your current position? Please also list experiences relevant to young adult services. What was/is your favorite project working directly with teens?

Please tell readers about your family and interests outside of libraries.

Posted by Linda W. Braun

This is the first week of YALSA’s online course – New Literacies for Young Adults. We started on Monday and the full class – 28 students in all – has been discussing, creating, and participating. As I’ve been teaching the class and communicating with students, I’ve been thinking a lot about all the reading and writing required in order to participate in anything online. For example, this week one of the topics up for discussion is My Space. Students in the class have been discussing how to setup My Space accounts, troubleshooting My Space glitches, and considering how and why community environments like My Space appeal to teenagers. In order to do that we’ve all be reading and writing constantly.

At the same time I’ve been thinking about all of the new cool sites I keep finding out about. These include, Pandora which is a very interesting music streaming site and Newsvine which is a site that aggregates news and gives members the chance to write articles for the site.

No matter where I turn to look at technology that teens and adults use, I’m bombarded with text and I’m given the chance to write down my own ideas about the resource I’m checking out. Literacy is not a thing of the past, that’s for sure. The ways we read and write might change, but the actual act of reading and writing live on stronger than ever – I would say.

Posted by Amy Alessio

Let’s begin by asking both of our candidates for President-Elect, Paula Brehm-Heeger and Allen Nichols about their experience within YALSA and ALA. Please tell readers about what positions you have held in our organization and in the larger ALA structure.

Then follow that up by letting readers know which of those positions was your favorite and why, as well as which gave you the most important skills to use as YALSA President and why.

Posted by Amy Alessio

Welcome to the YALSA Elections blog! Only about 15% of members vote in our annual elections, yet decisions affect everyone. So please use this forum as a chance to learn about candidates and issues for the spring ballot.

As moderator of this section of the blog, I will be posting questions for the President Elect category, then other elected positions and finally about issues to go on the ballot. The candidates will post their responses to these questions. YALSA members are also welcome to follow up on their responses with further questions.

We encourage lively discussion and debate as appropriate to the topic, but of course no personal comments or attacks will be allowed.

Posted by Linda W. Braun

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been thinking a lot about Rupert Murdoch and what he said about searching when he bought the company that owns My Space. (You can check out Murdoch’s My Space space.) At that time Murdoch was quoted as saying that teens use their online social networks to find information instead of going to search engines – like Google.

Then yesterday I listened to the Diggnation podcast. The podcast hosts talked about Yahoo! While Yahoo! is not the number one search engine or search tool of choice for lots of people, Yahoo! has recently purchased several technologies (Flickr for example.) that help place them in the future as the social networking search tool of choice.

The Diggnation hosts talked about how in the not so distant future more and more people are going to want to find information that others have already vetted in some way. For example, perhaps a teen wants to find information on a topic of either personal or academic interest. The teen might do a search on Yahoo! or Google and get a results list that isn’t organized within a relevant framework for the teen looking for the information. In this case what I mean by relevant is that the results have been “reviewed” by others with like interests and needs – family, friends, and so on.

This reminded me of research cited in Mary K. Chelton and Colleen Cool’s book Youth Information Seeking Behavior. In the final chapter on drug related information seeking behaviors of adolescent girls, it is noted that friends are often the first information gathering source for these teenagers.

Within the online search framework that would then mean that teens would want to find resources from within their online social networks. Those are people who they choose to connect with via My Space, Live Journal, 43 Things, and so on. If this is the search wave of today and the near future can librarians jump onto the wave with their websites and library catalogs? What will it take to do that?