Hello readers! As many of you may already know, YALSA is at work on launching a new blog dedicated to young adult literature. While our award winning YALSA blog will still be the place to turn for great posts about young adult librarianship, advocacy, YALSA, and more, this new blog will be solely focused on young adult literature.

The Hub, as it will be called, will be your stop for interesting posts, interviews, links, and more about the world of ya lit. One of the ways the new blog supports YALSA’s Strategic Plan is by promoting and supporting YALSA’s awards and lists.’  In addition to original content it will also connect readers to sites, videos, podcasts, and images relevant to teen literature already on the web.’  You can read the original announcement here.

If you are a YALSA member and interested in writing for the blog, please contact me, Sarah Debraski, at slcornish@gmail.com.’  Thanks, and I’ll see you at The Hub!

Sarah Debraski
Literature Blog Manager

This fall, YALSA will launch a new blog focused on young adult literature. Beginning this month, YALSA is accepting nominations for the new blog’s name. Nominations will be taken online through June 30. From there, YALSA will choose five finalists and you can vote for your favorite title from July 6 to August 1.

The person who submits the winning title will win a box of books and other materials from YALSA!

This is a great opportunity for anyone with a flair for coming up with great titles. For instance, when deciding what to name this post, I had to choose between the headline YAttitudes used and my idea, “Come Up With A Name For A New Blog Focused On Videos About YA Books And Stuff.” Clearly this is a contest I won’t be entering. (Although if anyone wins with “Videos About YA Books And Stuff,” I’d love a mention in your acceptance speech.)

Last month I posted an interview with Perry Moore, the executive producer of the Chronicles of Narnia films and author of the Y/A novel, Hero, to the YALSA blog.’  Did I know Moore personally before interviewing him?’  No, I didn’t.’  How did I get to know him?’  I blogged about his book.’  Yes, you read it right.’  I posted a blog entry on my own blog about his novel, Hero. Moore read my review, liked what I had to say, and suggested an interview.’  I contacted MK to find out if it was something she would like posted to the YALSA blog (it gets more traffic than mine) and she said, “yes”.’  The moral of the story?’  Get blogging.’  If you want to get to know people who can help you develop and practice professional skills – like interviewing – get blogging.

Some, like Huei-Tse Hou, et al (2009) http://www.informaworld.com/smpp.content~db=all~content=a916755380 suggest that teacher blogging has limited value in the area of knowledge construction and one could extrapolate and apply the same reasoning to librarian blogging.’  I beg to differ.’  For one thing, blogging is practice writing.’  And, while teachers may already know how to write, it never hurts to practice expressing your opinion in the written form.’  Back in my M.A. days it was publish or perish.’  Now it is post, publish, or perish’  (pun intended).’  Employers want to know not only that you can and have read, but also that you can write and have a well thought out opinion.’  Blogging is a public forum in which to show them.’  Research from the National Literacy Trust in the U.K. (Wilce, 2009) finds that “[…] blogging and social networking greatly improve [student] attitudes and make[s students] much more confident about their writing.”‘  The same can be said for teachers and librarians.

Blogging also provides you with a network of professional colleagues – it provides a forum for discussion by way of comments to your posts.’  It gives you a way of contacting other people with similar interests who you might otherwise have never had an opportunity to communicate with.’  Leuhmann (2008) discusses the case of “Ms. Frizzle” (does this name ring any bells?), a science teacher who used her blog to work through dilemmas, solicit feedback, and display competence, among other things.’  Her case study provides empirical support’  of the potential of blogging for teachers’ (and I add librarians’) professional development.

Blogging on a professional site like the YALSA Blog might even be considered a peer reviewed form of writing.’  You know you will be corrected or asked for clarification if you post something that is not clearly articulated and accurate.’  You will also receive comments if you post something controversial like, blogging as a peer reviewed publication!

By blogging you can show others that you have developed an in depth knowledge of a specific area of librarianship.’  While my own personal blog is still quite a mix of ideas about library matters I think are important (I am a new graduate and looking for work so I expect my blog will become more focused once my role as a librarian is defined), I think the best blogs are those that are narrow in scope and more specialized.’  Like a well written essay, they are a lot of information about one thing.’  People who read blogs know exactly what to expect when they go to blogs that follow this model – they know that this blog will have information about X.

In addition, blogging will help increase your comfort level with the ever-evolving world of social software technologies.’  Tools like the new Google Buzz, Twitter, Facebook, wikis, picassa, skype, and others have become commonplace in libraries and, while many people read them, fear still holds some people back from actually contributing to them.

Some people think that writing a blog is naval gazing and time wasting.’  Well, I suppose it could be.’  But it is also a great way to develop a set of professional skills that will either help you continue to work as a librarian in a technologically enhanced world, or prepare you (and me) to work as a librarian when we find that perfect job.

Citations and Suggested Reading:

Hramiak, Alison, et al (2009), “Trainee teachers’ use of blogs as private reflections for professional development” In Learning, Media and Technology, Basingstoke:’  Sept, 2009, Vol. 34, Iss. 3, p. 259.

Huei-Tse Hou, et al (2009), “Using blogs as a professional development tool for teachers:’  analysis of interaction behavioral patterns” In Interactive Learning Environments, Vol. 17, Iss. 4, Dec, 2009, pp. 325-340.

Luehmann, April Lynn.’  (2008).’  “Using Blogging in Support of Teacher Professional Identity Development:’  A Case Study” In The Journal of Learning Sciences.’  Philadelphia:’  July, 2008, Vol. 17, Iss. 3, p. 287.

Wilce, Hilary (2009), “Don’t knock blogging – it’s the answer to our literacy problems” In The Independent, Longon (UK), Dec, 3, 2009, p. 2.

Vicedo, Melanee and Angiah Davis.’  (2010).’  “Professional development on a dime (or less):’  Learning and connecting in the new economy”‘  In College & Research Libraries News. Chicago:’  Jan, 2010, Vol. 71, Iss. 1, p. 30.

The YALSA blog has been nominated for Best Group Edublog Award 2009!

Celebrating the best education blogs on the web, the Edublog Awards have been given since 2005 to recognize outstanding online work from a wide variety of educators and students. Past Eddie award winners include everything from individual librarian blogs to Discovery’s Second Life presence.

You can see all the categories and nominations, as well as past nominations and winners, at the Edublog Awards homepage. And don’t forget to vote! Voting closes December 16.

Those of us who blog for YALSA were asked to go back and tag all of our entries for the past 3 years (for me, it’s three years).’  As I went back in the archives, I found myself opening posts from other bloggers and enjoying some of the wonderful memories of YALSA events past.’  San Antonio, DC, Philly, media ward cerremonies, preconferences, podcasts:’ ‘  YALSA has been there.’  And reporting from there.’  And preserving memories from it all.’  How fortunate we are to have this resource.’  Thanks to the leaders of YALSA who maintain this blog, our listservs, and our organization, too.’ 
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Quick update from Nashville and the YALSA Literature Institute while I am in between sessions. Last night at the Happy Hour hosted by Little Brown (and the ever charming Victoria Stapleton), the drinks (I stuck with Diet Coke) and the ARCs flowed. However, I elected not to join in the frenzy for the ARCs since I was fearful of losing a limb! There are going to be newbie librarians going back home having to pay horrendous fees for overweight luggage. Not me. I will wait until NCTE in San Antonio in just a few short days and pack them into the car for my drive home instead. Much cheaper, and more $$$ for margaritas. Read More →

Adults have been talking a lot about YA literature lately.

Author Margo Rabb (Cures for Heartbreak, 2007) was heartbroken herself to learn that her first novel would be published for young adults, though she soon resigned herself to the prospect.

Cory Doctorow, longtime adult science fiction writer and digital privacy advocate, learned from publishing his first novel for young adults (Little Brother, 2008) that writing for young people is really exciting.

When screenwriter and author Frank Cottrell Boyce compared the YA section of a bookstore to a literary “kids’ menu” in his review of The Knife of Never Letting Go (2008), he provoked a series of passionate responses from YA librarians and YA lit defenders. Read More →

Well, Its been a while since myself or Kelly Czarnecki blogged for YALSA about Eye4You Alliance. Over the last few weeks, Teen Second Life Resident Bubby Boucher has been hosting short interviews with Zombie Pye the FurNation Teen Grid (TG) founder and other TG Residents. Eye4You Alliance provides the land to The Epic Report and helps with the publishing. The shows where filmed and edited by the Teen Second Life Approved Adult and Eye4You Alliance educator Majenna Jewel. We have three episodes online and are waiting to do more. The shows are around 3-5 minutes long and are available on Blip.tv and iTunes.

Show Links:

Please leave feedback and check our blog for more all the up to date news on Eye4You Alliance Island – http://eye4youalliance.info/

Posted By Storm Basiat