I’ve been blogging for YALSA for almost year. Crazy to think I’m starting my second year of graduate school. Those job descriptions that come into my email box seem a little more real, and a little more attainable.

What makes me so excited about heading into the professional world of librarianship is when I get the chance to interact with other librarians, librarians that have experience and insight, insight that I hope to one day have. While I know they, technically, are my colleagues, I still feel a little out of their league. However, that doesn’t stop me from soaking up as much knowledge from them as I can.

I got an opportunity to meet a handful of other librarians (and YALSA) bloggers last week. Crystle, our blog manager, had arranged some Google Hangouts as a way for us bloggers to meet each other. I logged on Monday night, not quite sure what to expect.

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This is a guest post by Kristine Macalalad, a member of the Local Arrangements Committee for Annual 2015 in San Francisco.

Why do we attend conferences? Getting ourselves there – from making the case, finding the funding, pinning down all the details of travel and accommodations, leaving work in the middle of summer reading…all the way down to schlepping all those cardigans with us across a great distance – can be no small feat. So, why do we do it? Is it all that great swag? Is it the marvelous learning opportunities? Some might argue it’s all about the networking!

Some things are just done best in person, and one of those things is networking. For newbies and seasoned professionals alike, networking affords a chance to make beneficial connections. Imagine: hundreds of like-minded folks, many passionate about the same things, many friendly and wanting to help, and all under the same roof. Magic happens! Ideas are bounced around, brains are picked, burning questions are answered, and connections are made that can have lasting effects long after we return home.

How to do it? Read More →


(image from socialmediablazer.com)

Looking to join a Division or Roundtable?’  Want to serve on a committee, or find a mentor, peers or new colleagues?’  Or even just want to meet some like-minded fun people to hang out with?’  There is every opportunity and more at Annual to discover new relationships through networking!’  Here are some resources to use depending on what you’re looking for: Read More →

There’s a YALSA initiative that tends to regularly bubble up in conversation with notable nostalgia and fondness: the 2008 YALSA Road Trip. Well, fear not dear members, I’m happy to report that it’s back. With 2013 sensibilities.

The YALSA Board voted unanimously at the Mdiwinter meeting to create a taskforce that will identify ten state or regional public and school library conferences to visit in the next year. Once identified, the task force will recruit local YALSA members to staff a booth, present a program, and/or host a suitably YALSA-tastic event armed with a toolkit packed with suggestions, guidelines, and strategies.
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Happy Hour

Saturday, Jan. 26th
5:30 – 7:30pm
The Tap House Grill‘ 
1506 6th Ave’ 
Mingle with YA librarians and YA lit enthusiasts at this YALSA’ sponsored’ happy hour. Network, enjoy good company, and partake in complimentary appetizers and drinks.


The Tap House features over 160 beers on tap including local and national craft beers as well as a good selection of Belgians. They also serve cocktails, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages.

Door Prizes
There will be giveaways featuring Seattle coffee and Seattle chocolate!

The Tap House Grill is located less than a block from the Convention Center. Note: Enter from the street and proceed down a long flight of stairs.

Karaoke Night

Saturday, Jan. 26th
9:30pm – 2am
The’ Spectator
529 Queen Anne Avenue North
After happy hour, take a quick nap or grab a bite to eat and then head over to The Spectator in the Lower Queen Anne neighborhood for some karaoke shenanigans. Beginning at 9:30pm, Baby Ketten will bring their unique brand of karaoke, and according to their Facebook page, “bkk offers the best karaoke in the universe. period.”
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I’m just back from YALSA’s 2012 YA Lit Symposium in St. Louis. It’s YALSA’s third Symposium, but—for a variety of reasons—my first. There will be much discussion over at The Hub about the actual programs and presentations, but I wanted to say a few words about something else that I observed over the course of three days.

I’ve been going to ALA Annual and Midwinter for over 15 years, and they are great. But a Symposium like this is something really special, and it’s all about the connections. Let me just give you a few examples that I observed:

  • I was chatting with someone at a break who works at the library in the area where I grew up. We knew people in common from the library, but then I found out where she had gone to high school, and immediately took her over to introduce her to another YALSA member who went to that same high school—turned out they had overlapped by a year or two.
  • A librarian told me that she was rooming at this Symposium with someone she had first met at the 2008 Lit Symposium.
  • At the closing session, I was asked to take a picture of four librarians who had met and bonded at the symposium. They told me they were all “orphans” who had come alone, but met and had a great time together.
  • At the Morris Lunch, a librarian who wanted to know more about staff development models happened to be seated with another librarian who does staff development as a full-time job.
  • At the same table, a person who is interested in library apps like Boopsie was put in touch with someone in her local area who was involved in getting the app for her library.
  • The symposium Twitter hashtag (#yalit12) was trending on Saturday afternoon, as attendees live-tweeted their sessions and got into back-and-forth discussions about what was being presented.
  • I found new people to follow on Twitter, and new people followed me.
  • Attendees had opportunities to have real conversations with authors at the Book Blitz on Saturday night, and at the networking breaks. Read More →

For episode #99 we’re talking New Orleans as we preview some of the upcoming YALSA-oriented events happening at the 2011 ALA Annual Conference. First we talk to Penny Johnson, who gives us the big rundown on The Nuts and Bolts of Serving Teens Pre-conference. Then Blog Manager MK Eagle interviews Matt Moffett about The Table Talk Mashup Program and things close out with Gretchen Kolderup giving us a nice overview of the Speed Networking for YA Librarians event.

2011 ALA Annual Preview

If’  you prefer, you may go to the’ YALSA Podcast Site, download the Mp3 file and listen to it on the Mp3 player of your choice. To avoid missing future episodes, add’ the feed to Itunes or any other rss feed tracker.

To find out more about these and other YALSA-related events happening at this year’s annual conference, take a look at the YALSA Conference Wiki.



As we get closer to Annual (just 38 days left!), maybe some of you have started to look through the schedule to choose the sessions you want to attend. Did YALSA’s Speed Networking for Librarians catch your eye?

Are you the only teen services librarian at your library? Tired of being lonely and want a simple way to connect with your peers? Attend this informal event to meet colleagues from around the country and exchange practical ideas and information to help you bolster your teen services program.

This program is inspired by the speed dating model of getting to know someone: participants will be divided into smallish groups and seated two groups at a table. Every few minutes, groups will swap tables, giving you a chance to get to know a lot of fellow YALSA members in a more personal way in a short period of time. The event will be on Saturday, June 25th from 1:30 to 3:30pm.

Here’s where you come in: we need volunteers to help facilitate conversations at each table. You’ll be provided with a list of questions and discussion topics ahead of time, so your basic responsibility will just be to keep the conversation going. This is a great chance to dip your toe into volunteering at Annual if you haven’t done that yet and to expand your professional network. It’s also an opportunity for more seasoned YALSA members to help out at an event where new members and students will be present, which will help them feel welcome within our organization.

If you’re interested in being a facilitator, please email me. And if being a facilitator doesn’t sound like you, at least consider participating in the speed networking event!

Have you registered for the Young Adult Literature Symposium yet? The 2nd YALSA YA Lit Symposium is going to be November 5-7 in Albuquerque, NM. Early Bird Registration for the Symposium is only available until September 10th – register soon to get the great early bird rates!

To give the YALSA Blog readers an idea of what to expect at the Symposium, I will be posting interviews with the symposium presenters from August until the Symposium. What a better way to decide which programs to attend?

Why wait until the symposium to get the discussions started? Join us in the discussion of diversity issues and YA literature that addresses them today at the YA Lit Symposium Online Community (http://yalsayalitsymp10.ning.com/).’  Booklists, discussions, and questions and answers about the symposium can all be found here!

Look for the first YA Lit Symposium presenter interview next week!

For additional information about the symposium, visit the symposium website (http://ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/yalsa/yalitsymposium/symposium.cfm) or the symposium wiki (http://wikis.ala.org/yalsa/index.php/Young_Adult_Literature_Symposium%2C_2010).

Are you new to the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)? How can this ALA division help you?

Get the answers to these questions at YALSA 101, a mixer-style orientation where new members and those considering membership will get an overview of the division and its activities, and can learn more about the benefits of joining YALSA!

YALSA 101 will be held on Friday, June 25th, from 4-5 p.m. in Embassy Suites Convention Center, Capital D.

Guest speakers include:

• Linda Braun (YALSA President)
• Carrie Kausch (Local Arrangements Committee Chair)
• Eve Gaus (Webinar Instructor)
• Kristin Brand Heathcock (YA Literature Symposium Committee)
• Kelly Czarnecki (Teen Tech Week Chair)
• Sandra Hughes Hassell (YALSA Research Journal Advisory Board Member)
• mk Eagle (YALSA Blog Manager)

and more!

New and established members are welcome to attend this great networking opportunity!