Posted by Linda W. Braun

If you are a regular reader of this blog you might want to use the RSS feeds to keep up with new posts and comments. If you haven’t used RSS feeds before this is a perfect opportunity to get started with them. You could find that feeds help you keep up with what’s happening on topics in which you are interested. I subscribe to lots of technology and library feeds and through them I quickly and easily find out about new and interesting developments in those fields.

Library websites incorporate RSS feeds so users get information about what’s happening in the library pushed to them. Database vendors are beginning to integrate RSS. With RSS enabled databases, researchers get notified when new information is added to the database on a specific research topic.

To subscribe to feeds you need a feed reader – you can use something that’s web-based or a special piece of software. Find out more about RSS and how you can use it read Will Richardson’s RSS Quick Start Guide for Educators.

Posted by Linda W. Braun

There are some great photos that Mary Hastler took on Friday during the Institute and the gaming night. You can see them on Flickr.

Don’t miss the YALSA President and the Financial Officer on the DDR pads. The biggest crowd seemed to always be at Karaoke and the teens in attendance gravitated to Guitar Hero all evening.

Posted by Linda W. Braun

This week the Pew Internet in American Life Project came out with a report on the impact of technology on social networks. While the report isn’t specifically about teens, there are several topics within the document that relate to the way teens use technology and what they will expect from technology when they become adults.

The report describes two types of networks/ties. They are:

Core Ties: These are the people in Americans’ social networks with whom they have very close relationships — the people to whom Americans turn to discuss important matters, with whom they are in frequent contact, or from whom they seek help. This approach captures three key dimensions of relationship strength — emotional intimacy, contact, and the availability of social network capital.

Significant Ties: These are the people outside that ring of “core ties” in Americans’ social networks, who are somewhat closely connected. They are the ones with whom Americans to a lesser extent discuss important matters, are in less frequent contact, and are less apt to seek help. They may do some or all of these things, but to a lesser extent. Nevertheless, although significant ties are weaker than core ties, they are more than acquaintances, and they can become important players at times as people access their networks to get help or advice.

As I read this I thought about how teens use websites like My Space, along with blogs, to build and support their social networks. Do teens think about the differences within the social networks they build? I’m not sure they could articulate differences, but I bet they use online tools in different ways in order to create core and significant ties.

Posted by Meg Canada

How do you track what’s hot for the 12-18 set?

Ypulse offers a daily e-mail update that, “provides daily news & commentary about Generation Y for media and marketing professionals.”

The SafeKids/NetFamily Newsletter may also inform your reading of teens and tweens use of technology.

Finally on my list of regular professional reading is Pop Candy which comments on pop culture and what the cool kids are doing.

Do you have additional sources for teen research?

Posted by Linda W. Braun

Committee work is complete, for the year, and it’s now possible to access the various lists on the YALSA site. I’m a fan of Quick Picks – was a member of the committee a few years ago – and I like having a list that is made up of books teens said they like to read. But, the other lists are good too. I think one of the greatest things is that YALSA develops a variety of “best” lists so that different teen needs are met. Some teens are quick pick readers, some are best book readers, some are audiobook lovers, some are a combination of everything.

You can check out the lists on the YALSA website. The direct links are:

Of course other news was announced during the conference including the Printz Award winner and the Margaret Edwards Award winner. You can read more about those announcements on this blog.

Posted by Linda W. Braun

At every midwinter on Monday night one of the youth divisions sponsors a reception for members of all three youth divisions (AASL, ALSC, and YALSA) Last night was YALSA’s turn to host. There was a good turnout of YALSA members at the event.

The reception is always a great place to catch up with people you didn’t get to see any other time at conference and start to relax after having spent several days in meetings. When I got to the reception Pam Spencer Holley was greeting people at the door which I thought was a really nice thing to do. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a division president do that before.

Posted by Teri Lesesne

Though the exhibit halls look like ghost towns, and many participants are now home and busily unpacking their ARCS from their overstuffed luggage, some work still remains for the folks on various YALSA Committees. My roomie and I head off shortly for the final meeting of the Quick Picks List for 2006. Today we cast our final votes for the books, write annotations to go along with the titles, and settle on our Top Ten Books.

Other committees are meeting as well so that soon members can access BBYA and Notable and other important collection development lists. Of course, YALSA officers and Board Members are still meeting to plan for New Orleans and beyond. Get involved and see how it all works behind the scenes at ALA and YALSA.

Posted by Teri Lesesne

There was a palpable thrill in the air of Hall C as Pam Spencer Holley opened the first ever live web cast of the awards ceremony known as the Oscars of the juvenile literature world. Librarians and publishers mingled before being called to order with lots of us getting in our last picks for winning titles before the actual announcements.

After viewing footage from the forthcoming Pura Belpre video that celebrates the 10th anniversary of this award, President Michael Gorman opened the ceremonies by announcing the winners of the Schneider Family Award. (for a full list of awards: ALEX Awards were announced and then it was time for what all the YALSA folks had been anticipating since the beginning of conference: the winners of the Margaret A. Edwards Award and the Printz winners.

Pam Spencer Holley’s announcement of Jacqueline Woodson as the recipient of the 2006 MAE Award we met with much enthusiasm. Printz winners came next, again to thunderous applause. (List of Winners.)

After announcements for all the awards were made, we scurried off to call friends and colleagues. Immediately, the listservs lit up with the post announcement discussion also known as Monday morning quarterbacking. It was an incredibly exciting way to start a day here in San Antonio.

Today we finalized our four lists, so you can look forward to seeing them on the YALSA Web site soon, accompanied by annotations that we hope will give clues about the right readership.

Next year’s committee will be creating four new lists with the following themes–the titles still need some work, but you’ll get the idea:
* Religion in Your Life

* Art, Artists, and Creativity
* Humor
* Truth: More Fun/Stranger than Fiction

Caryn Sipos presented esteemed outgoing Chair, Walter Mayes, with a pack decorated with symbols of each of this year’s lists.

Diane Emge, outgoing Administrative Assistant and Incoming Chair, continued her success with keeping everything and everyone in line. Well, maybe not in line, but at least on task.

Sally Leahey