I planned to post about YALSA’s Board meetings every day of Midwinter. But, as they say, “The best laid plans….”

Following the Saturday 1/16/10 meeting, the YALSA Board met twice more and the hard-working members continued to strategically plan for the Association. Items on the agenda on Sunday and Monday were discussion items. That means that what was discussed was not slated for specific action. Items listed as discussion usually are related to topics that haven’t yet been discussed by the Board and which may need more thought, and perhaps revision, before placed on a future agenda for a specific action. Discussion items can be acted on, but they do not have to be. An overview of topics discussed on Sunday, 1/17/10, and Monday, 1/18/10, follows. Read More →

Displays can be so important in encouraging teens to read or to broaden their reading habits.’  And there is nothing more satisfying for a teen librarian than to have a book display emptied out by teen readers.

So how do you accomplish these wonders?’  And how do you do it without spending money?’  It’s called the power of suggestion.’  You don’t have to have real palm trees or lounge chairs to create an illusion that suggests the feeling of a beach.’  A little sand, a miniature Barbie lounge chair, and the tiny dessert pails from Logan’s Road House will do the trick.’  Suggestion and illusion are the keys because what you really want are for teens to initially be attracted to the display (Oh, that’s neat!) but then to be drawn to the books.’  You are “selling” books.’  And you know you can do it as well, if not better, than the bookstores.

Use a tabletop, a display stand, a chair stationed by an easel, or a piece of your circulation desk. Try placing some books standing and some books lying flat and consider using bookends only if you absolutely have to. (You want it to be easy for a teen to take a book.) Use pieces of cloth or colored Kraft paper or construction paper to give color and define your space.’  Tie in the color or type of material to the theme if possible. (I have even used the comics section of the newspaper for a humor display.)’  Make sure you have a sign (8.5X11 computer generated backed by colored 9X12 construction paper is great) that gives the title/theme/slogan you have chosen.’  I use some scissors I got at a yard sale that cut scallops to add a little extra to the edges.

Here are a few specific theme ideas for book displays using recycled, free, cheap, or borrowed materials to get your creative juices flowing.

Author themed display: Find a picture of the author you can print out in 8X10 inch size and place it in a borrowed frame.’  Photoshop yourself or a teen in the picture to create real interest!’  Place flamboyant bookmarks with notes about the books sticking out, such as “Newest Richard Peck Title!” or “Peck Wins Newbery Honor With This Book!”

Beach theme: “Beachcomber’s Choice” with real shells scattered on a borrowed beach towel and books standing amid them.’  Forget the sand but use an old piece of driftwood to give some height if you have one.’  Otherwise a plastic beach bucket turned upside down will also work.

School spirit theme: Use the cheap paper boxes sold at home decorating stores to spell out your school initials.’  Spray paint them one of your school colors if you have some left over paint or use poster paint or cheap markers to color.’  Add curling ribbons to make it festive and place books set in schools in your display. “Back to School” or “High School Fiction” might work for a theme.

Sports theme: “Football Fever is Catching” using a goal post made from fat drink straws and a gridiron lined off on big green paper will provide a backdrop for all your football sports books, both fiction and non-fiction.’  Free pom-poms or shakers from college football games make it fun. Add some purchased bookmarks with football themes if you have funds.’  The same can work for soccer or basketball but you will need some mesh from an orange bag for the nets.’  Beware!’  If you use a purchased miniature toy frame, teens will want to play with them, so decide beforehand if you want that to happen.

Fantasy theme: “Out of this World Reading” can accompany a publisher’s planet poster used as the backdrop for books or use an old pair of sheer curtains to scrunch up on the tabletop and look otherworldly. A few aluminum foil covered stars and glitter on the title poster add to the allure.

I’m sure you guys can think of thousands more of these cheap and easy ideas now that you are revved up.’  Have fun!

Please help YALSA’s MAE Award committee help publicize our monetary award by spreading the word. If you know of someone who you feel would qualify, encourage them to apply AND become a YALSA member. Every bit helps in these tough economic times!

Win $500 and an additional $500 for your library with the MAE Award for Best Literature Program for Teens

Here’s your chance to win $500 for your pocket and another $500 for your library!’  YALSA members are eligible to apply for this award recognizing an outstanding reading or literature program for young adults.’  If you have created an exceptional reading or literature program in the 12 months before December 1st consider applying for the MAE Award for Best Literature Program for Teens.’  The MAE Award is sponsored by the Margaret A. Edwards Trust.’  The winner receives $500 and additional $500 for their library.

Application forms can be downloaded at http://www.ala.org/yalsa/awards&grants and must be emailed to Nichole Gilbert at ngilbert@ala.org by December 1.

Not a member of YALSA?’  It’s not too late to join.’ ‘  Please note that it may take up to 2 months for new memberships to be fully processed.’  New members should send an electronic copy of their membership application with the grant application.

For questions, contact Alexandra Tyle-Annen at atyle@homerlibrary.org.

Reward yourself for bringing young adults and books together and encouraging the development of life-long reading habits.’  Apply today!

During YALSA’s October echat on advocacy, there was a lot of discussion about how the economy is having an impact on the advocacy efforts of teen librarians. (Chat participants remarked on difficulties in gaining sponsorships for programs as a result of limited funds within the community.) I’d been thinking prior to the chat about another way that the economy is having an impact on teen librarians – their own finances. Read More →

Last night YALSA sponsored a chat on how the economy is affecting YA librarians and libraries and how YALSA can support librarians in tough economic times. Those who participated had a lot of stories to tell, questions to ask, and ideas for YALSA to consider. Including:

  • Looking at ways to provide mentoring for librarians moving up the leadership ladder. A teen librarian might be very skilled at how to run a teen department, but maybe needs some advice on how to move into management positions and how to be a successful manager. Read More →

Howdy YALSA Members!

Please join YALSA Tuesday June 9th for a discussion about the impact of the recession on library workers who serve teens and how the association might provide support to our members in this economic climate. YALSA President Sarah Debraski will convene the discussion at 8:00PM, eastern in YALSA’s space on ALA Connect at http://connect.ala.org/yalsa. Please feel free to drop in any time between 8:00 and 9:00PM, eastern to share your thoughts and/or listen to what others have to say on the topic. Click on the link called ‘chat’ in the upper right corner of the page at any time between 8 and 9 to participate. Read More →

In this podcast Linda Braun talks with YALSA’s Fiscal Officer, Mary Hastler, about:

  • The financial health of ALA and YALSA
  • How member dues help support the activities of the Division
  • Ways in which YALSA is helping members through difficult economic times

You can listen to the podcast

I’ve been doing some thinking about the recent blog post made by YALSA’s Fiscal Officer Mary Hastler and the comment posted. I’m thankful she broached the topic on the blog of what to do in these difficult economic times. It’s not necessarily a comfortable nor easy subject to talk about but it also can’t be ignored.

The post got me thinking about how we as YALSA members are helping each other on a daily basis in the context of the economy and how we can perhaps use the many tools of communication that YALSA already has in place. We can share with others how we made a difference and maybe that difference would apply to other libraries as well or at least nudge someone to speak up and ask for some advice particular to their own situation. Read More →

Individually, we are all probably feeling the effect of the current economic’ downturn and I know that I am.’  In addition, my library system had budget cuts this year both from local and state support.’  We are also facing furloughs in the upcoming fiscal year (begins July 1) as well as additional cuts.’  I wish that I could say that’ YALSA and ALA are immune to the economic troubles but they are not.’  ‘  However, both ALA and YALSA have been proactive in seeking new revenue funding streams as well as implementing cost savings.’  So what does this have to do with YALSA members?’  Read More →

Posted on behalf of the ALA Washington Office:

The next 36 to 48 hours is critical to get millions, maybe billions, of dollars for libraries in the Congressional stimulus package. We need every single library supporter to start sending messages and calling Congressional offices so that we can keep important library provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). More details and talking points are available. Read More →