Hello YALSA, it’s Thursday!

We’re getting closer to Teen Read Week 2012, and after the fantastic’ tweetup‘ yesterday,’ I thought I’d start celebrating early!
Are you ready for a contest that is made of awesome?

I had the honor’ of meeting our’ Teen Read Week spokesperson, John Green at the’ National Book Festival‘ in Washington, D.C. last month. He was kind enough to sign a couple of’ John Green – Reading is Awesome Posters‘ for me (in green sharpie, for those of you who are interested in that kind of information).

The awesome part: I am going to pass these on to two lucky Teen Read Week 2012 participants.

Here’s how you can enter to win:

Follow’ this link‘ to the Teen Read Week Ning. If you haven’t registered ‘ and signed up for the Ning yet- it’s not too late! Once you’ signup’ and login, look for the’ Teen Read Week – Made of Awesome Contest‘ and just comment on the post!

  • Tell me why you think Teen Read Week is awesome (one entry)
  • Double entries if your comment has a TRW related picture attached to it.
  • Triple entries if your comment has a TRW related youtube video attached to it.

Feel free to comment on the Ning post as much as you like, but’ only your first comment will count towards the drawing‘ (so make it count). If you have more questions about this contest please comment on my post here.’ ‘ I will pick the lucky winners during Teen Read Week, at noon on October 18th. Good luck everyone!

Best wishes,

Sarah Russo,‘ Howard County Library System, Teen Read Week 2012 Committee

The Dallas Public Library was definitely the place to be last night. Starting with the reception that preceded his presentation, YA author/rock star John Green was swarmed by loyal readers who were anything but quiet!

In his introduction to John Green, Freedom to Read Foundation, (FTRF) President Kent Oliver shared a general overview of the kinds of cases the organization has been recently involved in; a harmful to minors statute to be applied to the Internet in Ohio, the removal of Vamos a Cuba in Florida, and video game bans in Illinois and Minnesota. FTRF is a legal arm of the American Library Association that John Green thanked several times throughout his presentation for their support to First Amendment Issues. Read More →

Title: Tumblr
Platform: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android running 2.1 & higher
Cost: Free

Tumblr is a blogging software that works well for sharing all kinds of media. ‘ It’s been around for awhile, but some of the teens I know have been using it, so I thought I would check out the free’ app.

When you open up the Tumblr app there are five options across the bottom of the app screen. “Dashboard” is where you can see the posts of other tumblogs you follow.’  “Likes” takes you to a list of posts that you have clicked the like button on.’  “Post” takes you to the options for posting: text, photo, link, quote, audio and video.’  These different post types for different media are in my opinion, Tumblr’s strongest feature. You can have multiple blogs on Tumblr, and the “Blogs” tab lets’  you access these blogs and statistics about them.’  Under the “Account” option, you can see the’ blogs you follow and’ search tumblr for new blogs to follow. Read More →

The morning began with Michael Cart giving an overview of some of the important social and political events related to LGBTQ issues. Next, Cart and Christine Jenkins presenting a list of all of the books with LGBTQ content from 1969 to 2010. They booktalked many of these, highlighting some trends (resolution by automobile crash, melodrama, impossibly good looking gay men and the women who love them), the breakthrough books, and the real dingers. It was like being back in library school, taking a class on LGBTQ YA Lit, but it was compressed. If you want to spend more time with these books and these issues, check out Cart and Jenkins’ book from Scarecrow Press, The Heart Has It’s Reasons.

If you get your hands on their bibliography and were not in attendance, please note that this is not a list of recommended books. Some are good and some are not so good. During introductions, we each chose books from the list to highlight. Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan and Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and Levithan got the most nods, along with the graphic novel Skim by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki. Please add your own recommendations in the comments. Read More →

My mother is a crazy, enthusiastic children’s librarian and I am her crazy, librarian-wannabe daughter which means that ALA is like Disney World for the two of us. I’m lucky that she’s my mom because otherwise I might not even know what ALA stands for.

But she is, and I do, and now we’re getting ready for our second trip to the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, DC. As a teenager and not technically a librarian yet (even though I like to pretend that I already am) ALA is all about fun for me. Of course, I’m such a librarian nerd that even sessions about RefWorks are pretty thrilling but the true magic happens in the Exhibits Hall.

So, with excitement and antici…pation running through my book nerdy veins, I thought that I would write a list of the top ten things I hope I can tell you about in my post-conference post:

  1. Meeting Lauren Oliver and telling her that Before I Fall was one of the most beautiful novels that I have ever read. When you start a novel wanting to punch the main character in the face and end a novel crying because you know she has to die, you know you’ve just experienced something that doesn’t happen very often.
  2. Congratulating Libba Bray on her Printz Award and tell her that I TOTALLY saw it coming, because honestly, how could I not? I think she might also like to know that I am now the proud owner of a growing lawn gnome collection, all thanks to her.
  3. Participating in Libraries Build Communities again.
  4. Attending the YA Author Coffee Klatch and trying to contain my giddiness, especially if John Green is anywhere in the vicinity.
  5. Waiting just outside the Exhibits Hall just before they open and making a mad dash for all of the major publishers before the really good ARCs are gone.
  6. Talking about books with the Best Fiction for Young Adults panel (including my fabulous VOYA partner, Alissa Lauzon)
  7. Planning to fan girl every YA author I can find but ending up just staring at them in awe while my mother tells them how much I talk about their books.
  8. Recreating another serendipitous moment where I turn the corner and there is STEPHEN CHBOSKY signing The Perks of Being a Wallflower .
  9. Wandering through the Exhibits Hall pulling the “I am an eager teen reader. Please give me books” card.
  10. Being around a bunch of librarians who are as excited about books as I am.

I have no doubt that no matter how many of these things I actually get to do, I will still manage to have a great time, learn a lot, and get a ton of awesome ARCs. See you there!

What a line up for the preconference event on Friday, June 25 from 12:30-4:30p! Promoting Teen Reading with Web 2.0 Tools will feature the following speakers and topics:

Eliza Dresang , author of Radical Change: Books for Youth in a Digital Age will talk about evolving literacies and teen readers

Authors John Green and David Levithan will talk about the future of reading and writing young adult literature

Kristen Purcell with Pew Internet & American Life will give an overview of teen online behavior

Authors Malinda Lo (Ash, 2009), Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (Beautiful Creatures, 2010), and Melissa Walker with readergirlz will give a panel presentation on putting teen reading and web 2.0 tools into practice

This is a ticketed event for $99. This is a great opportunity to learn how to connect with teens beyond the collection in your library!

I have a confession to make: I am a Nerdfighter. If you know what I mean, skip the next two paragraphs.

What’s a Nerdfighter? Well, it all started with a video blog called Brotherhood 2.0, in which YA author, John Green, and his brother, Hank, decided that they would communicate via video blog, no text, for the entire year of 2007. They alternated days of making videos to each other and posted them on YouTube, so the world could watch their conversation. They talked about growing up as nerds, they talked about books and music, they wrote songs, answered questions and made up challenges. They talked about current events and how to make the world a better place. It turns out that both brothers are good storytellers who can monologue on topics serious and amusing with great heart and humor. We watched, we laughed, and we were inspired. Over the course of the year and in the time since, the brothers Green have collected a following, and we call ourselves Nerdfighters.

Read More →

With budgets being frozen and cut, it can be hard to find the money to host a traditional author visit. Here are six tips to connect with authors – virtually and in person – for little to no money.

1. Piggyback: When you book an author, you don’t just have speaker fees. You also need to pay for travel, lodging, and other expenses. One way to cut costs is to piggy back on book tours. When Jeff Kinney came to our local Border’s, one of our elementary librarians contacted his publisher who put her in touch with his agent. She was able’  to schedule a school visit between his other engagements. While this visit was not exactly cheap, it was cheaper than it might have been.

2. Buy Local: Another way to avoid travel fees is to book a local author. YALSA has a wiki which lists YA authors by state. Local authors may be more willing to work with your budget constraints since it is a way for them to support their community.

Read More →

I added two new resources to the YALSA wiki: Virtual Worlds: A Teen Tech Week Guide. Download yourself a free copy of the Blue Book: A Consumer Guide to Virtual Worlds published by the Association of Virtual Worlds. It lists over 250 virtual worlds, their age appropriateness, and what kind of environment they are. Also, check out the Second Skin site. It is a documentary on virtual worlds through the lens of seven gamers.

Tomorrow from 5-6pm EST, Young Adult Author John Green will be in Second Life (*note this is the main grid of SL which is for those 18 and over). He will be presenting in audio. There are a few other ways you can listen to his presentation if you don’t have access to SL or don’t have time to fiddle with it. Visit the Bookosphere Radio here or go to the Library Loft web site here where streamed video and audio of the presentation will be available.