The deadline for YALSA’s Thinking Big About Advocacy Contest is February 1.’  The goal of the contest it to create and share a collection of advocacy best practices.’  During the past two months the Contest Task Force members have highlighted the efforts of dedicated librarians who have successfully worked to improve YA services at their libraries.’  If you haven’t submitted your entry’  yet, there is still time to get involved.’  We’ll be awarding prizes to five YALSA members in recognition of truly outstanding efforts, so if you could use $500 for you next program, check out the application at YALSA’s Thinking Big About Advocacy Contest.

What do you do with middle school students acting like…well, middle school students? Give them a Room of Their Own! Teen spaces are becoming an increasingly common means to keep teens coming into the library once they reach that awkward age of too old for the kids section, but needing their own space. The path to teen-centered spaces in libraries has been paved by advocacy.

“When I wrote the first edition of Teen Spaces in 2002, no one was even really thinking about teen spaces with the exception of a few like Phoenix and Los Angeles,” says author and consultant Kim Cullin. “In the mid to late 90’s I had worked to create teen spaces in a several rural libraries and ended up doing a ton of public speaking on the topic to motivate others to do the same. It became a mission!” ‘ Cullin goes on to say that by the time she started working on the second edition, teen spaces had become increasingly commonplace. ‘ â€œI had so many wonderful examples to show people as compared to the few and far between that were out there while writing the first edition.”
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Have you ever planned and implemented a program for the young adults of your library only to have a handful of teens show up or worse, none at all? There is nothing more disheartening than to pour your time, expertise and heart into a program only to have it go thud. To paraphrase Mr. Burns, the poet not the Machiavellian owner of the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant, the best laid plans of mice and young adult librarians oft go awry. So what’s a librarian to do? One solution that has worked remarkably well at our library is to create a Teen Advisory Board (TAB).

A Teen Advisory Board is a win/win situation for you and your library. It incorporates your teens as direct stakeholders in their library, instilling a greater sense of pride and responsibility for the programming and collection, and by having a monthly meeting with your TAB, you are granted a direct link to the inner workings of the teenage mind while also fostering deeper relationships with your young adult patrons. Read More →

Could you use additional funding to launch your upcoming YA programs? Tell us how you successfully advocated for a YA public or secondary school program at your library, and you’ll be eligible to win YALSA’s Thinking Big About Advocacy Contest. YALSA President Kim Patton is challenging all YALSA members to Think Big during her term in office, so we’re kicking off the new year with this challenge. ‘ We want to hear your stories! ‘ Have you had an event, spearheaded a campaign, or collaborated with community groups to raise awareness of the importance for teen services? ‘ Submit a summary of your winning strategy (300 words or less) by February , 2011, and you could be awarded the $500.00 grand prize, or one of four $100 honorable mention awards.

In the coming weeks, members of the contest task force will be reaching out to some of YALSA’s well known advocates about topics like gaming, graphic novels, and YA programs, and asking them to share their best tips for launching successful initiatives.’  We’ll post their responses here on the YALSA blog, and’  hope that their experiences inspire all of you to think big and submit your stories!
Visit the YALSA website at for complete contest rules .

Maybe you don’t know who the Bella Twins are, or think that the only person who goes by the moniker “Edge” is a the guitarist for U2, but chances are you have young adult patrons who are fans of WWE’s WrestleMania and know that the Bella Twins are a WWE tag team, and Edge won Royal Rumble 2010!’  That’s why you should register for YALSA’s WrestleMania Reading Challenge!

Other reasons you should register:

  • You get free posters and bookmarks!
  • One of your patrons/students could win a trip to Atlanta to see WrestleMania live!
  • Your library could win free books or $2,000!
  • It is a great tie-in to Teen Read Week!
  • You can reach reluctant readers you might otherwise not reach!

The WrestleMania Reading Challenge is really a great opportunity to reach out to the the reluctant readers and patrons you might not see as often. ‘ Bambi Mansfield, a library director in Michigan, found that participating in the Challenge brought new users into her library.

You must register by July 31st’ ‘ to participate in the Challenge, so the clock is ticking! ‘ The Challenge is open to patrons in grades 5 through 12. ‘ The commitment, length, and rules have changed this year, so if you participated in the past and felt it was too difficult, please reconsider.
It is free, and we will provide a toolkit and wiki with lots of ideas to implement the program. ‘ You can put forth as little or as much effort as you have the time, and you do not need to have an interest in wrestling to run it.

More information and the link to register can be found at YALSA’s website.’  If you have questions, we are more than happy to assist, or you can contact YALSA directly.

If you have participated before, please share your experience in the comments.

Good luck!

Save $10 on next Thursday’s webinar If you register for YALSA’s Risky Business webinar by July 14, , taking place next Thursday at 2 p.m. Eastern, you’ll save $10 over normal registration rates. That means the webinar is just $29 for individual YALSA members and $39 for all other individuals. Register today at

WrestleMania: We’ve made the Challenge shorter and simple. The WrestleMania Reading Challenge has changed this year to take place during just one week, making it simpler for you and your teens and tweens to particpate. Registering automatically enters you into a drawing for one of five sets of books from Penguin — and it gives teens and tweens at your library the chance to win tickets to WrestleMania and $2,000 for your library. It’s a surefire way to get new YA readers into your library. Don’t believe us? Then find out what happened at Bambi Mansfield’s library.’  Register today at

Win cold, hard cash from YALSA. Do you have an idea to make YALSA’s awards and booklists into household names, ensure young adult and school librarians have access to important research, help YALSA better advocate for quality library services for every teen in every library, develop continuing education or career services that librarians need or engage YALSA’s current membership and recruit new members? Of course you do. Well, YALSA will pay you $250 for that great idea (and YALSA committees are eligible to submit an idea, too). But you have to submit your idea to the Great Ideas contest by July 15.

New Books from YALSA Now available in the ALA Online Store: Risky Business: Taking and Managing Risks in Library Services to Teens by Linda Braun, Hillias J. Martin, and Connie Urquhart and Multicultural Programs for Tweens and Teens, edited by Linda B. Alexander and Nahyun Kwon. Order your copy today!

After the jump, find out how you can win FREE BOOKS simply by registering for Teen Read Week, be a 2011 YALSA Emerging Leader, and more!

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Summer Course Registration Ends Tuesday Registration ends July 6 – that’s Tuesday – for YALSA’s summer online course, Power Up with Print! Instructor Jamie Watson will show participants how to boost the library’s circulation’ through the development of teen-centered programs,’ material evaluation and selection, booktalks and more, as well as discuss the latest trends in YA lit. Course registration now open at Courses cost $135 for YALSA members, $175 for ALA members, and $195 for nonmembers and will take place July 12 to August 9.

Congrats to YALSA’s Newest Spectrum Scholar! Congratulations are in order for Hoan-Vu Do, YALSA’s 2010-2011 Spectrum Scholar. Do will attend San Jose State University’s School of Library and Information’ Science.

WrestleMania Reading Challenge Registration You only have 30 days to register for the 2010-2011 Challenge! Remember, the Challenge has changed this year to take place during just one week, making it simpler for you and your teens and tweens to particpate. Registering automatically enters you into a drawing for one of five sets of books from Penguin — and it gives teens and tweens at your library the chance to win tickets to WrestleMania and $2,000 for your library. Register today at

Register for our July webinar! Registration is open for YALSA’s July webinar! Our July 15 webinar (Risky Business, hosted by Linda Braun) offers participants insights into effectively taking risks to manage and improve services to teens at your library. This in-depth, one-hour webinar will be held at 2 p.m. Eastern. Registration costs $39 for individual YALSA members, $49 for all other individuals. A group rate of $195 is available. Learn more (and find out details on our August and September webinars) at

After the jump, see how to win $250 from YALSA for your Great Idea,’  how you can get a free copy of Excellence in Library Services to Young Adults, 4th edition; how to win books’  simply by registering for Teen Read Week (it’s free!); who’s speaking at the Bill Morris Memorial Author Luncheon at the YA Lit Symposium, and how you can be a 2011 Emerging Leader!

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Win up to $1K to attend Library Advocacy Day YALSA will offer travel stipends of up to $1,000 each to five YALSA members to participate in ALA’s Library Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C. on June 29, 2010, held in conjunction with ALA Annual Conference. Applications are available as a PDF or Word document. They can also be downloaded at YALSA’s Awards and Grants page and must be sent to Applications are due today, so be sure to get yours in!

Share your Great Idea You can win a prize from YALSA! Do you have a great idea to support YALSA’s goals in its strategic plan (PDF)? Share them with YALSA and you could win a prizes worth up to $250. Download an entry form (Word doc) today. Entries are due by May 1.

May 20, VIPs: Why You Need Them for Advocacy Webinar: Karen Keys will explore how librarians and library workers can help grow their library program by improving communication and developing professional relationships with local town councilors, school board members, Chamber of Commerce members, etc. This webinar will take place Thursday, May 20, at 2 p.m. Eastern. Register today! Registration costs $39 for individual YALSA members, $49 for all other individuals. A group rate of $195 is available by contacting Eve Gaus at or 1-800-545-2433, ext. 5293. Learn more about our webinars at Save the date for our June 17 webinar on YA Classics, led by Sarah Debraski.

First Wednesdays with YALSA: YALSA’s First Wednesdays continue with an online chat on May 5 at 8 p.m. Eastern, this time on encouraging reading by using Web 2.0 tools, hosted by Wendy Stephens. We will be using a private room in Meebo for the chat; the password to log in is available to YALSA members at this ALA Connect post. See you next Wednesday!

YALS at San Jose State’s SLIS Sarah Flowers, editor of Young Adult Library Services, discussed writing for professional journals for San Jose State University’s SLIS Colloquia. Watch the webcast today!

After the jump, learn more about summer e-course registration, applying to our NEW mentoring program, becoming a YA Galley Group, registering for Teen Read Week and the WrestleMania Reading Challenge, and YALSA’s Annual preconferences!

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The world championships for this year’s WrestleMania Reading Challenge were held on Sat. March 27th at the Burton Barr Library in Phoenix.’  The winners are:

  • For grades 5&6: Gabe Murrell from Courtice, Ontario, who represented the Oshawa Public Library
  • For grades 7&8: Liam Jose from Oshawa, Ontario, who represented the Oshawa Public Library
  • For grades 9-12: La’Quan Deen from Homestead, PA, who represented the Carnegie Library of Homestead

They all won ring-side seats to WrestleMania XXVI as well as $2,000 for their libraries to use towards the purchase of materials for their tween and teen collections.’  Attending the event was award winning author Will Weaver, who served as judge, and four WWE Superstars.’  More information and photos’ are available from WWE’s web site.’ 

Librarians can register to participate in the’ next WrestleMania Reading Challenge beginning in April.’  Look for information on YALSA’s home page.

YALSA’s First Webinar: Join YALSA on March 31 at 2 p.m. Eastern for a FREE webinar! Linda Braun, YALSA president, will lead the hour-long session on the topic of Getting Involved with YALSA. Topics include the various ways to participate in YALSA, and how doing so can help your daily work and career development. Registration is limited, so please contact Eve Gaus at 1-800-545-2433, ext. 5293 or to reserve your space.

Process Volunteer Forms Due Today YALSA will begin appointing process committee, jury, task force, and advisory board members this spring! Be sure to fill out your Committee Volunteer Form by March 12 so that Kim Patton, YALSA’s president-elect, will know you’re interested. (Read Kim Patton’s post on the process to find out more about serving on YALSA’s committees).

After the jump, learn more about YALSA’s preconferences (including which authors will appear!), how to access YALSA’s newly revised competencies, details on YALSA’s upcoming mentoring program, how to enter the 2010 Great Ideas contest, and information on the 2010 Young Adult Literature Symposium.

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