For the past few months, YALSA has been holding informal online chats in ALA Connect on the first Wednesday of each month. Beginning in December, we’d like to encourage YALSA members to connect with each other in person as well as online.

We’re thrilled to announce First Wednesdays with YALSA — a chance for our members to use our monthly chats as a tool for gathering with other members in their area to socialize, exchange ideas, network, and exchange news and tips about YALSA and the profession as a whole.

The next chat (focusing on teens and technology) takes place Dec. 2 – read on to find out how you can be part of First Wednesdays with YALSA!

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AASL’s National Conference in Charlotte is Nov. 5-8 in Charlotte, N.C., and YALSA will be there! You can visit the ALA booth in the exhibits hall and see Nichole Gilbert, YALSA’s program office for events, and you can network with your colleagues at the official YALSA Happy Hour.

Join YALSA upstairs at Cosmo’s Cafe Uptown, 300 N. College St., Charlotte, on Friday, Nov. 6, from 5-7 p.m. YALSA’s reserved a space upstairs. Connect with your colleagues over a full food menu and half-price wine in a relaxed atmosphere.

Advanced registration ends tomorrow for the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Denver, Jan. 23-28! Details on all of YALSA’s plans available on the YALSA wiki.

Adding Special Events after Registration: f you have already registered and would like to add an institute or special event, you have two options: (1) By phone: Call ALA Registration at 1-800-974-3084 and ask to add a workshop to your existing registration.; (2) Online: Add an event to your existing registration by clicking on this link. Use your log in and password to access your existing Midwinter registration and add events in the “Your Events” section (screen 6). Then simply check out and pay for the events you’ve added.

Learn more about YALSA’s Midwinter highlights after the jump

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Like many of you, I suspect, I have been watching the Olympics into the wee small hours of the morning. Each time, I find myself sucked into the competitions and the people who are competing. In some ways, this is like going to ALA. Now, stick with me here. Twice each year, we gather to renew friendships, to talk about books and reading and teens. The competition? Our predictions about which books will receive the medals this time around. There always seems to be an air of excitement. That air is heightened by the “celebrity” spotting. In our case, the celebs are the authors and illustrators who create these world class books we have come to love. Read More →

2008 Annual Conference LogoYes, it’s still several weeks away, but it’s really not to early to start thinking about what YALSA’s up to for Annual in Anaheim. I just decided to put programs, meetings, and events on my Google Calendar and was reminded what a full-schedule of offerings YALSA has put together for attendees. For example:

  • On Friday, June 27, there are two pre-conferences to choose from. One on booktalking and one on serving younger teens and tweens. Both require pre-registration.
  • Friday, June 27, is also when YALSA will host it’s third annual YALSA 101 meeting. This is when Conference attendees get a chance to find out what YALSA is all about. If you’ve been thinking about getting involved, and aren’t sure how, this is a good chance to get your questions answered
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The exhibits are open and the 2008 nMidwinter meeting is well underway. Philly greeted us with unseasonably warm weather. While there were a few showers this morning and early this faternoon, the rain cleared up in time for attendees to obtain badges and enter the Exhibit Hall.

Today was also a day for committee meetings. As the deadline for the Youth Media Awards draws close, many of us are involved in discussions, fervent and impassioned, about the nominations for the committee members to consider.

As I got off the bus this evening, I met a fellow Texan. This is her first ALA and she was grinning from ear to ear. It is contagious, I think, this eagerness to see the “show” and to become more involved in our profession. Side conversations all day have centered on everyone’s best estimations of the books whose titles will be announced Monday at the awards presentation. The buzz is audible.

Have you filled out a volunteer form yet? Consider becoming more active in ALA and especially in YALSA. There are literally dozens of ways to contribute. Selection committees are only the tip of the iceberg. YALSA needs you!

Tomorrow YALSA’s leadership and all committee meetings will convene. If you are here, plan to come by and see how you can become a more active member of the YALSA team.

Posted by Teri Lesesne

Yesterday was a blur of activities: meetings, ceremonies, bus rides. It began bright and early with a trip across town to a breakfast hosted by HarperCollins. Terry Trueman, Chris Crutcher, and other luminaries were there along with Patty Campbell, Joni Bodart, Betty Carter, YALSA Past Prezs Bonnie Kunzel, Pam Spencer Holley and others. Aftr some refreshment, it was off to the YALSA All Committee meeting, the working session where a great deal of planning and discussion takes place. I am serving as co-chair of the next YALSA preconferene with the terrific Stacxy Creel from St. John’s University (and former colleague of mine in Houston and on the QP Committee).

Lunch was next: Margaret A. Edwards’ lunch, that is. Lois Lowry’s pseech was warm and funny and inspirational. Her award was certainly well deserved. There were other authors on hand to witness her award. Judy Blume sat at a table nearby and I almost swooned in delight.

My afternoon was spent on the Odyssey Committee, a new joint ALSC/YALSA committee which will present an award for the best sudio for children and/or YAs at midwinter.

Back to meetings today with a glimmer of hope to see some of the exhibits as well. The weather is still lovely and librarians are everywhere!

Posted by Teri Lesesne

The USBBY Committee is meeting today to talk about a wide variety of subjects. Did you know that YALSA has representation on this committee (me, for one and Ty Burns). The committee meets at IRA and NCTE and ALA since its members come from these organizations. Check out the information on USBBY at its web site:

Posted by Teri Lesesne

On the short cab ride in from the airport, I saw the Washington Monument and the Capitol Building and the White House. Then, my hotel is literally across the street from the convention center, so I strolled on over to pick up my badge holder and conference program. It is a gorgeous day outside, so I think I will head out for an early dinner and then come back to the room to listen to my final audio for the Odyssey meeting Saturday.

I hope to see many of you here in DC. If not, I hope the blog and wiki will suffice to make it seem like you are here with us.

Psted by Teri Lesesne

I have posted some candid snapshots from the All Committee Meeting and from the Awards Press Conference to my Flickr account. Go see YALSA and its members in action.

Posted by Teri Lesesne