in darkness nick lake printz seal

All Friends of YALSA are cordially invited to a reception honoring Michael L. Printz winner, Nick Lake. Join us at this wonderful cocktail hour, hosted by Bloomsbury Children’s Books, before the Michael L. Printz Program and Reception during ALA’s Annual Conference on July 1st from 5:30-7:30pm in the Columbus AB room of the Hyatt Regency Chicago.

Unable to attend yourself? Gift your invitation to someone else so they can meet this amazing author and learn more about YALSA. Help introduce someone to an award-winning author, and a fabulous organization at the same time.

YALSA’s 56th birthday is quickly approaching. Help support YALSA and YALSA members by becoming a Friend of YALSA. Beyond this amazing reception, Friends of YALSA will also  enjoy reserved seating at the Printz and Edwards Receptions at ALA’s Annual Conference. Friends members in the Gold and Platinum circles will also be invited to small, intimate reception with Margaret A. Edwards winner Tamora Pierce.
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CC Image courtesy of Rachel Ford James on Flickr

YALSA turns 56 this month and we want you to be ready to party! There is no better party planning tool than Pinterest, and I certainly don’t need an excuse to peruse the plethora of party planning pins, so here is your guide to an orange and blue theme YALSA party!

The ideas for your YALSA birthday party range from simple and quick to ‘ requiring a Martha-Stuart-like array of tools and attention to detail. But no matter your budget, time or money, you will find something here that can help create the perfect party and draw attention to the wonderful things that YALSA does.


I will be hosting my party in our staff break room next week, complete with orange soda, popcorn (in blue bags) and cupcakes! You can throw a party as big or as small as you like and ask for donations to support the Friends of YALSA, to provide stipends and scholarships for your fellow librarians.

Post a picture of your cake or treats to YALSA’s facebook page by June 17th for a chance to win a gorgeous apron from The Cornish Hen’s Etsy shop and a signed book!

What themes can you come up with? Or perhaps you are looking for another activity, check out the YALSA fundraising guide for more ideas!

The Cornish HenYALSA’s fifty-sixth birthday is just a few weeks away and we want you to be at the party! We will be celebrating here all month long and we want you to get involved. Here are just a few ways you can participate:

1. Donate your time: The YALSA Fundraising Guide (PDF) has several great ideas about how to throw a party, family game night, Dinner by Genre or book trivia night! Take a few hours to host an event that celebrates YALSA’s accomplishments and benefits the Friends of YALSA.

2. Donate your money: Your financial support goes to grants, stipends and scholarships that help foster our profession. Friends of YALSA members also enjoy many benefits. Friends of YALSA attending the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago this year, will enjoy reserved seating at the Printz and Edwards Award Receptions (tickets required) as well as a special reception for Printz-winning author Nick Lake before the Printz reception on Monday evening. Friends in the Gold and Platinum circles are invited to meet with Margaret A. Edwards Award winner Tamora Pierce‘ on Saturday afternoon before the luncheon. Donate today to support your fellow librarians and enjoy the benefits of being a Friend of YALSA!

3. Donate your status: Check out your favorite cookbook and get baking! Help us spread the word about YALSA’s birthday by baking a birthday cake! Theme your cake after your favorite YALSA award, blog or week (Teen Tech Week and Teen Read Week) and post the picture to YALSA’s facebook page by June 17th. Fans will vote on their favorite cake and the baker will win a prize pack including beautiful handmade apron from The Cornish Hen’s Etsy shop.

Find your way of telling YALSA how much you appreciate the past fifty-six years!

Image courtesy of Border Zero on FlickrIf you were like me, you heralded November 7th as a chance to get away from all the political attacks and posturing. Alas, it seems it cannot be escaped. We may be done with another election cycle but as the media reminds us, we are too close to the “fiscal cliff” for comfort. Several politicians have proposed changes to the tax code in 2013 that would affect charitable donations. With that uncertainty in the future, now is the time to donate to the Friends of YALSA and support a Spectrum Scholar like Hannah Gomez (a YALSA blogger).

I am so excited to be joining YALSA as the 2011-2012 Spectrum Scholar. My best memories are linked to books, writing, or libraries. I grew up in Tucson, Arizona, and attended the University of Arizona, where I studied music, creative writing, and Spanish. My parents and sister are teachers. Education and progressivism are family traditions. With my love of literature and experience working with at-risk youth, becoming a youth services librarian seems like a natural choice. It’s my way of contributing to the field of education and social justice.

I’m a school and book nerd, so I chose Simmons College’s dual degree in children’s literature and library science. Combining literacy services with literature scholarship will satisfy my personal and professional interests. Outside of school, I am working on a novel and a collection of short stories. I adore traveling: I’ve been to nine countries in the past six years. I’m also a classically trained pianist and singer. I hope to be able to draw on all my experiences and interests in library services. I can’t wait to begin!

Help us raise $6,500 by the end of 2012 to help the Friends of YALSA support Spectrum Scholars like Hannah.

Image courtesy of Destinys Agent

Last week, we worked together to raise over $800 for the Friends of YALSA. Through the end of the year we will work to raise $6,500 to support a Spectrum Scholar. Every year, YALSA selects a library student or worker from and underrepresented group who will help shape the future of library services for young adults. This opportunity changes lives as 2010 Spectrum Scholar Hoan-Vu Do explains:

“It was not until I visited a public library in the sixth grade did I know the word for library in Vietnamese, “thu vien.” My local library has been instrumental in helping me as a student through out mu school years. If it weren’t for the library I would not have been where I am today. My local library have inspired me as a student and taught me many skills. I was drawn to librarianship after working as a library clerk for the San Diego Public Library system. I really enjoy serving my diverse community and being around the fusion that is created through its diversity.

I feel that when I start my MLIS program in the fall at San Jose State University I have come full circle. My local library has inspired me when I was a youth now I want to become a youth services and science librarian so I can inspire the next generation of youths in my community. Now more than ever I strongly believe that libraries and librarians are needed to teach and provide a place to explore, create, and produce the next generations of academics. I would like to thank YALSA for selecting me as their 2010 Spectrum Scholar, it is a great honor.”

Help us change the lives of librarians and donate today to the Friends of YALSA and support future generations of Spectrum Scholars.

Thanksgiving is a time to take a moment to reflect on the things that enrich our lives.’ This year I thought about how lucky I was to have such a wonderful profession with such supportive colleagues. My entire professional life I have been surrounded by coworkers who have pushed me to be the best librarian I can be. They have given me countless opportunities to try something new, to (sometimes) fail, and to learn. I can’t imagine what my life would look like without their support (actually I would probably be working in bookstore somewhere spending half my income on merchandise with my employee discount, which is where I was before I found the library).

Think about all the people that have supported you along the way, to help you become the best librarian you can be. Now is the time to pay it forward. Today is #GivingTuesday, and Friends of YALSA is asking for your help to support future librarians. We are raising $6,500 to support a Spectrum Scholar‘ between now and December 31st.

I am giving to Friends of YALSA because of how much others have given to me. Donate today and help Friends of YALSA support our profession. Take a picture of yourself with why you are giving, tag it #GivingTuesday and post it on our Facebook or tweet us! Happy #GivingTuesday!

-Kate McNair, Financial Advancement Committee Chair

Interview with Heather Gruenthal, recipient of the Friends of YALSA (FOY) scholarship to attend National Library Advocacy Day in Washington, DC.

By Gregory Lum

I had the pleasure to visit with Heather at the 2012 ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim.’  Both Heather and I served on YALSA’s Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers selection committee in 2011.
GL: Tell me a little bit about where you work and what your focus is?
HG: I have been a Teacher Librarian in the Anaheim Union High School District in Anaheim, California for twelve years.’  We are a high school district, so I have been exclusively serving teens in grades 7-12. My main focus in working with teens is to get them to read, particularly the teens who are considered “at risk” and are placed in intervention classes.’  Many teens do not read because they can’t find anything interesting, and when they don’t practice reading for enjoyment they find it much more difficult to tackle their academic reading.’  Using YALSA’s selection lists, particularly Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers has helped me find books for teens with a wide variety of interests.’  My co-teachers have remarked on how much their students’ reading habits and abilities improved because they were actually reading something that was interesting to them.’  Students who couldn’t be forced to read more than 5 minutes at the beginning of the semester were suddenly begging for more time to read.’  Some students even confessed that they had never read a book all the way through to the end until that year.’  These kinds of interactions are what make my job worthwhile.
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I am stingy with my hard-earned money. So when I decide to donate to worthy organizations and causes you can be sure I feel confident my money will be used in a responsible manner, supporting causes that match my values and passions.

That is why I donate to Friends of YALSA every year. Like you, I am passionate about teens and teen library services. I actively seek out the ideas, inspiration, and motivation YALSA provides through blogs, listservs, publications, conferences, etc., etc. I also want to support my colleagues in their efforts to provide excellence for our young people. The grants, scholarships, and awards offered to members by YALSA enhance our entire profession.

I invite you to donate to Friends of YALSA along with me. Your support will be a positive influence for teens and those who serve them. Your money will indeed be used in a responsible manner as YALSA continues to give us the capacity to engage, serve and empower teens.

Please donate today. If we can raise $2000 by the end of August we will receive an additional $1000 from a generous donor. So each of your dollars will actually be worth $1.50!! What a great deal!!

Any amount is welcome, and it will only take a moment of your time to donate. The URL is:

Thank you so much for your support.

Being a Friend of YALSA means being a friend to your fellow librarians. Since 2005, the Friends of YALSA have funded over $55,000 in grants, stipends and scholarships. Most recently, the Friends of YALSA awarded stipends to Megan England from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Meg Anastasi from the Sprinfield City Library in Massachusetts to attend the YA Literature Symposium in St. Louis November 2-4, 2012. By donating to the Friends of YALSA you are helping to give your colleagues the experiences, the training, and the support they need to serve teens.

In August, we are raising $2,000 to support our fellow librarians and YALSA members. So far this month we have raised $600 for Friends of YALSA, $50 for Books for Teens and $25 for the leadership endowment. That means we have just $1,325 to go! If we reach our goal by the end of the month, we have a generous donor who will contribute another $1,000. Help your fellow librarians and donate today!

Kate McNair,’ Financial Advancement Committee Chair

You lead a busy life, yet you are taking time to follow this YALSA blog. That demonstrates you share YALSA’s mission to expand and strengthen library services to teens everywhere. You are dedicated to providing the best library services for teens. You want to give teens the opportunity to access quality books. You also support your colleagues in their efforts to do the same. Would you be reading this if you weren’t?

Because of your dedication you would like to extend your influence beyond your own community. You would like to bolster the entire teen library profession. You can do that right now, and you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your home or office!

Donate to Friends of YALSA today. Your contribution of any size supports initiatives and projects that benefit teens and the library professionals who serve them. Your generosity can help sponsor emerging leaders, fund attendance at National Library Advocacy Days, or put books in the hands of disadvantaged young people. Did you receive one of the awesome Teen Read Week resource kits in October? That was made possible by contributors just like you.
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