Mark your calendars:
In just 4 weeks YALSA will announce the winners of its 2007 Alex, Edwards and Printz awards as well as the final choices for our six 2007 selected lists. The awards announcement takes place at ALA’s Youth Media Awards Press Conference at 8 AM (Pacific time) on Jan. 22nd in Seattle at ALA’s Midwinter Meeting. To learn more about our six lists and three awards go to If you can’t make it to the Midwinter Meeting to hear the announcements, log on to for a live webcast of the press conference. YALSA will also post the winners and new selected lists on the YALSA web site on Jan. 22nd.

Get Your Teens Excited:

Use your Teen Advisory Group (TAG) to help you with any of the following:
1. Create a display of prior Printz, Edwards or Alex winners.
2. Join the discussion with other librarians and educators on yalsa-bk about what titles are likely winners. To subscribe to yalsa-bk (it’s free), go to here.
3. Hold a mock Printz election and let your teens vote for which book they think will win in ’07.
4. Begin planning a poster or bookmark contest. Once the winners are announced, have your teens design a poster or bookmark for the Alex, Edwards or Printz winners.
5. Use your library’s blog or MySpace to discuss titles you think may win an award. Encourage your teens to share their opinions.

Make a shopping list:
1. Stock up on awards seals for your Edwards & Printz books. They’re available for purchase from the ALA online store (ALA members get a 10% discount).
2. Keep your eye on the ALA Store’s web site. Posters and bookmarks featuring the 2007 award winning titles will be sold there. Preorders will be available in February and the goal is to have products ready for purchase by March.

Read up:
1. In the fall issue of YALSA’s journal, Young Adult Library Services, you can read the awards speeches from the 2006 Printz winner and honorees and from the 2006 Edwards winner.
2. YALSA’s web site lists the titles that have been nominated for the different selected lists at

Thanks for all you do to get teens reading!
-Beth Yoke

The Board of the Maplewood, NJ Public Library recently decided to close the library’s doors from 2:45 to 5:00 PM every weekday. Why? Because parents were sending their middle school children to the library after school and the teens were not behaving in a way the library feels is appropriate. (Socializing instead of working on homework, etc.)

The letter from the library Board of Trustees on the library web site states that this has been a problem for about ten years. Other than reading the letter I don’t really know anything about the situation but I have been thinking about:

  • The message sent to teens with the library being closed when they are most available to be there.
  • The message parents send to teens about the library as a child care service.
  • The messages the library sends to teens if socializing isn’t as well accepted as research.
  • What the teens will think of the library once this is over.
  • The messages sent to teens by adults all around them on a regular basis. Messages about how teens are and are not accepted by those within their community.

As I said, my only knowledge of this is what I read on the web site. But, are the teens ultimately being punished for a situation the adults around them created?

Just wondering….

This was a question asked by curious listeners to Henry Jenkins discussion in Second Life on the pedagogical potential of video games and other digital media. The full audio (38 minutes) is definitely worth listening to here, or watching the short YouTube video here, especially to hear the music interspersed on the dance floor by teen DJ Alpha Z. Also, check out his new book: Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide.


How do we expand the educational process by using video games? We need to value what goes in in game spaces

He sites an example of students that were playing Doom and Quake and learning a great deal of how to manage people, teamwork, collaboration and leadership-similar traits that sports teams practice and learn-yet this kind of online participation is not valued as much.

Youth are learning how to be part of a community through technology, how to care about issues, express their opinions, and find out what is taking place in the world around them.

Video games and especially platforms such as Second Life, provide roles and goals for learning and information to act upon. Using virtual worlds or games to think through the experience of being a city planner, historian, environmental scientist helps one to use the information in a new way and helps to structure knowledge.

Second Life, is emerging as an important space for people doing a lot of important things. It is as diverse as the real world itself and people are able to try things they could never do in the real world in the same way such as create new connections, reinvent the economy, and imagine new governments.

Continue to look for battles over who owns our culture. These decisions are going to determine how much we can participate in the communities that we do.

Jenkins says that we need to use games to re-engage reality-not just escape it. The origin of science fiction was to help average people make sense of technology changes taking place around them. Popular culture and education, sorting out and speculation, has always been a part of science fiction.

So many questions and application for libraries:

How can we as librarians expand the educational process through video games? How are we doing this already?

Are we valuing online participation through our policies and practices? How can we value it better? How can we get comfortable with what is ‘worth’ holding valuable?

How can we create more opportunities for youth to be part of an online community?

How will battles of who owns culture play out in our libraries and how can we inform the youth we interact with about this?

posted by Kelly Czarnecki

Make your plans now to attend the world’s largest conference for librarians and library workers! Registration is now open for ALA’s Annual Conference, which will be held June 22-27, 2007 in Washington DC. Register until Jan. 5th to get the lowest rates. YALSA will host over 30 programs, events and meetings on topics such as graphic novels, marketing your library to teens via the latest technologies, gaming, audiobooks, trend-setters in teen literature, enhancing your collection with music in multiple formats, and more.

2007 is YALSA’s 50th anniversary, so we’re hosting special events, such as:

YA Authors’ Breakfast: on Sunday morning dine with and meet award-winning authors from the past 3 decades.
YALSA on the Authors’ Stage: visit the Exhibit Hall Monday for a day of readings by contemporary YA authors.

You can read descriptions of YALSA’s programs and/or register from our web site.

Never been to a YALSA event at ALA’s Annual Conference? Here’s what some attendees from the 2006 conference had to say:

“YALSA is dynamic and exciting. I’m proud to be a member.”

“YALSA does a great job of offering networking opportunities and programs with enthusiastic and knowledgeable presenters.”
“I thought the topics were great and covered a lot of ground. I also enjoyed hearing from so many authors. Overall, a superb job by YALSA!”
“It’s the members that make YALSA such an inspiring organization.”
“YALSA continues to get better and more diverse. It’s great to see it so relevant.”

We hope to see you in Washington DC!
-Beth Yoke

As I read postings from the past week or so, I am struck by the incredible resource we have at hand. The discussion raging right now is focused on the awards that will be announced in about a month at the ALA Midwinter Meeting. Talk of possible Printz candidates is racing across the miles that separate us and reminds us that we are connected through reading and books and this listserv.

It is interesting to see how the voting for TTT went this year. I venture to assert that this list is quite reflective of teens across the country. It certainly reflects the reading of the teens I have talked to. These are the books, though, that reflect the reading of kids who are avid readers. To see what reluctant readers want check out the lists under QUICK PICKS. You will see there is some overlap (most notably TWILIGHT). If you are searching for some titles for those kids who are less-than-eager readers, check out QP.

Posted by Teri Lesesne, QP Committee Member

Please join YALSA in celebrating our first ever Teen Tech Week March 4-10, 2007. The purpose of this new initiative is to encourage teens to use libraries’ nonprint resources for education and recreation, and to help teens recognize that
librarians are qualified, trusted professionals in the field of information technology. Here’s what you can do to join the celebration:

1. Register for Teen Tech Week at Those of you who register will receive incentives from our Promotional Partners Rosen Publishing and

2. Visit the Teen Tech Week wiki to find and share ideas for celebrating the event.
3. Plan on attending the Teen Tech Week Kick-Off from 10:30 to 12:30 Jan. 21st at the ALA Midwinter Meeting. Meet our partners and sponsors and get ideas from our TTW Taskforce on how to celebrate in your library.
4. Keep an eye out on the TTW web site for Teen Tech Week podcasts.
5.Stock up on your Teen Tech Week swag from ALA Graphics’ Online Store.

Thank you for working to ensure that the teens in your communities have access to a variety of electronic resources and are competent users of information in all formats. YALSA would like to thank E-Vanced Solutions for making the online registration possible.
-Beth Yoke

During October a small group of YALSA bloggers are posting ideas and information about positive uses of social networking tools in schools and libraries. Here’s positive use #20.

My colleague, who teaches MySpace classes for parents around the library system, has had a lot of positive results. Teens show up for these presentations as well, give their input, and a lot of great conversation results.

Some of the parents that have attended these workshops at the library include the following:

One couple’s daughter was raped several years ago by a man that will soon get out of prison. They attended the class to learn how they could keep their daughter safe online so that she could not be found via MySpace.

One father attended a workshop because he wanted to be in the same ballpark as his teens with technology; to have a way to communicate with them, by finding out what it is they are doing online.

Parents who want to allow their daughter freedom and flexibility but also honesty and safety in communicating online.

Here is the handout my colleague uses for his workshops which is also on theYALSA Teen Tech Week wiki.

If DOPA had passed in its current form, parents would probably not consider the library a resource to help guide them through the social networking sites that their teens are using at home. Teens would be less likely to participate in a dialogue at school and public libraries on using these sites in a responsible manner. Education within the school and public library setting can deter predators-not ignorance and not forcing these sites to only be accessed at home.

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki

During October a small group of YALSA bloggers are posting ideas and information about positive uses of social networking tools in schools and libraries. Here’s positive use #19.

Social networking software that promotes collaboration has special significance in the school setting. Students who learn collaboration skills at school are likely to be more valuable contributors to today’s workplace, which generally values collaboration and team work.

Linda has written about some of Google’s newer collaborative tools, such as Google Docs and Spreadsheets and Google Calendar. Wikis and blogs are naturals for classroom collaboration. Joyce Valenza tells us about some of the classroom wiki collaborations going on at her school. English classes are using a wiki to create podcasting scripts which they will use to report “on the spot” breaking events in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. And AP U.S. History is using a wiki to build collaborative answers to critical study questions. Helpful design patterns for education-focused wikis have been developed by Bernie Dodge and Karl Richter at San Diego State University.

For our computer literacy semester projects, we are using phpBB bulletin board software for student groups to post their weekly progress reports. Teachers and other students in the class then post feedback on the reports. These interactions are not visible to the world at large, but teachers and students in the class have full read/write access. This semi-public forum encourages sharing among students and creates a sense of accountability that goes beyond the typical closed teacher-student interaction.

Other tools that, on the surface just look like lots of fun, can be adapted for classroom use. A Ta Da list is a simple way for groups to keep track of tasks. As each task is finished, it can be checked off the list. Students can use Flagrant Disregard’s Flickr toys to create movie posters, magazine covers, photo mosaics, motivational posters, trading cards, and photos with comic book captions.

Social networking software clearly has much to offer to the classroom learning experience. Legislation like DOPA would stymie the potential positive contribution it could make in this area.