If you are new to young adult services getting started can be daunting. The first step is mental. You must have a clear, professional, and personal understanding of why you are developing a teen program.

Professionally; pleasure reading and library use decline during the teen years. Traditionally we have reclaimed these lost patrons when they have children of their own but the changing face of the information, education, and entertainment world may change this. Young adult programs are needed to help teens think of libraries as relevant to their lives, so that we don’t lose them as patrons in the first place. Read More →

A man waits patiently for his daughter to finish finding books at the Braille Book Fair

I read with great interest the articles posted here on the YALSA blog by Liz Burns and Joseph Wilk about accessibility to the blind and physically handicapped. I recently had an opportunity of a lifetime. I attended the National Federation for the Blind (NFB) Convention in July: an annual convention that is the largest gathering of the blind and visually impaired people all over the world. This year’s convention was in Dallas, Texas. I was there to assist a blind couple that set up a table in the exhibit hall to promote their organization, the International Christian Braille mission (ICBM). ICBM is an organization that distributes free Christian reading materials in Braille and other accessible formats through the mail to the blind.

It was an amazing experience being around this group of passionate folks. I wasn’t prepared for how committed they would be, how passionate they were, about learning and education. A couple of things I observed proved this. Read More →

Two of my favorite presentations were given by teens while in Anaheim. Seth Cassel with Flamingnet Book Reviews presented as part of the YALSA Outreach to Young Adults with Special Needs panel presentation on Hyperlinks: Reaching Teens Outside the library as well as the YALSA Technology for Young Adults poster session. He is a true entrepreneur, appeared to enjoy presenting, and has such a fantastic product which started grassroots and has grown into such a rich community.’  Check out his article in YALS from last summer. Read More →

Check out the latest YALSA podcasts in honor of last week’s Teen Literature Day. Victoria Vogel,Teen Librarian at the Rocky River Public Library is interviewed by Gerry Vogel, about ways to serve homebound teens. She gives a great list of titles that are going to be hits with many teens-homebound or not.

The other podcast is with Stacy Whitman, Editor for Mirrorstone Books who talks about how the organization contributes to the larger community as well as some great up and coming fantasy titles. She also mentions a contest that teens might be interested in!

Listen in here or subscribe to the podcast feed.

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki

Thanks to Librarian and project director of the Write to Read Program, Amy Cheney, YALSA’s Outreach to Young Adults with Special Needs committee has been sharing information about an upcoming movie coming to theatres on January 12: Freedom Writers starring Hilary Swank. It is set to premiere in the following locations: Texas: Dallas, Houston, Austin, San Antonio, El Paso, Waco, McAllen, and Harlingen, Ohio, Nashville, Oklahoma City, New Orleans, and Washington DC.

The trailer is here and the movie is based on a true story about teacher Erin Gruwell in Long Beach, California. The writers perform events throughout the country. The movie was based on the book, Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them (Main Street Books, 1999) with Zlata Filipovic (of Zlata’s Diary, Penguin, 1995, 2006 reissue) being one of the contributing writers.

Bring teens to the movie!
Freedom Writers on MySpace

Don’t forget-the deadline for the Sagebrush Award is today! Have a reading program that has encouraged life-long reading habits for young adults? Apply to be awarded $1,000 to attend upcoming ALA annual conference in Washington DC.

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki