Last week, Hillel Italie of the Associated Press profiled Walter Dean Myers, one of a few authors to win both the Printz and Edwards awards from YALSA, on his enduring popularity with teen readers. Read on to see why YALSA chose Myers to be a featured speaker at Give Them What They Want: Reaching Reluctant Readers, YALSA’s half-day Annual preconference in New Orleans on June 24, 12:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Among the kids at the Promise Academy and around the country, Walter Dean Myers is a must-read whose books have sold millions of copies and have a special appeal for the toughest of people to reach, boys. He is able, like few writers, to relate to his readers as they live today.

And he is old enough to be their grandfather.

Myers, 73, has written dozens of novels, plays and biographies. He has received three National Book Award nominations and won many prizes, including a lifetime achievement honor from the American Library Association and five Coretta Scott King awards for African-American fiction. He is also the most engaged of writers, spending hours with young people at schools, libraries and prisons, giving talks and advice on life and work, his own rise from high-school dropout to best-selling author, a story that translates across generations.

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Reserve your spot today for “Advocating in a Tough Economy: An Advocacy Institute Workshop” during ALA’s 2010 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. Advanced registration is economically priced at $50 for the half-day program and will be available until May 14, 2010.

Learn how to better advocate for your library throughout this recession, and get the facts on frontline advocacy, the newest initiative from ALA President Camila Alire. Breakout sessions will focus on maintaining your budget, working with decision-makers, tips for a successful campaign and fundraising, and melding tradition and social networking to create positive messaging.

The program will take place from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Friday, June 25, at the Grand Hyatt Washington. For more information and to register, please visit,

Advocating in a Tough Economy: An Advocacy Institute Workshop is co-sponsored by the Delaware Library Association, the Maryland Library Association, the Virginia Library Association, and the Washington, D.C. Library Association. It is organized by the Advocacy Training Subcommittee of the ALA Committee on Library Advocacy, in conjunction with the ALA Office for Library Advocacy, the Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations (ALTAFF), the ALA Chapter Relations Office, and the ALA Office of Government Relations.

Explore the Universe of Teen Reading! YALSA’s offering a fantastic full-day preconference before ALA Annual Conference. Come to Genre Galaxy: Explore the Universe of Teen Reading and meet popular YA authors, including Holly Black, Cecil Castelucci, David Lubar, and Dom Testa! Discover new ways to reach teens with books, including literacy activities, program ideas and collection development. Tickets start at $195 for YALSA members and include lunch.’  Interested? Register online (you don’t have to register for ALA Annual to attend this preconference).

Advance Your Career with YALSA! In uncertain economic times, it’s important to think about your professional goals and make sure you’re in a good position to meet them. Join YALSA for the half-day preconference Moving Up the YA Career Ladder, where we’ll discuss career options for young adult librarians, tips for transitioning into management or other careers, writing effective resumes and CVs, and finding your management style. Tickets cost $129 and include refreshments. Interested? Register online (you don’t have to register for ALA Annual to attend this preconference).

After the jump, details on other special YALSA events at ALA Annual Conference, Operation TBD and Support Teen Lit Day, the WrestleMania Reading Challenge winners, the ALA/YALSA Election, and the Great Ideas contest.

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What goes on in the mind of the authors that write for tweens? How do they approach the tween audience? During the YALSA preconference, Got Tweens? Serving Younger Teens and Tweens, the audience heard six tween authors share their thoughts. Below are some notes regarding their take on being a tween and writing for a younger audience. Read More →

While I did not spend much time at the exhibits due to other commitments, I did bring home some ARCs to read. I spent most of the flight back to Houston reading TENDER MORSELS. I hope to finish the book this weekend. However, more than books, I brought back with me some terrific memories and some valuable information. Read More →

Here are a handful of the photos from the preconference, GOT TWEENS AND TEENS? Authors, librarians, and others interested in services and books for the early teens and tweens shared a wonderful and informative day on Friday. See if you can spot Lisa Yee, Bruce Hale, Jon Scieszka, Ingrid Law, and Amy Goldman Koss. Read More →

We are more than halfway through the day here at the YALSA Preconference on tweens and teens. In the morning we laughed along with authors Lisa Yee, Lisie Harrison, and Amy Goldman Koss. Lunch was lovely and then the afternoon opened with Jon Scieszka. Bruce Hale was up next and, last but not least, Ingrid Law. More than 75 folks who work with tweens and teens enjoyed the speakers and the camaraderie. If you are here in Anaheim, plan now to come to the first ever Odyssey Reception at the Hilton at 8 pm. Listen to Bruce Coville, Jim Dale (via a recording), Simon Vance, and the winner of the first ever award for excellence in audiobook production, Arnie and Debra Cardillo of Live Oak.

Posted by Teri Lesesne

I arrived in Anaheim yesterday morning.’  The hotel was not quite ready for the onslaught of librarians who came early, so many of us checked our bags and went out to wander around the neighborhood.’  Nice neighborhood–Disney across the street and all.’  My first commitment is tomorrow with one of the YALSA preconferences (Got Tweens?). I hope to see some of you there.

I hope to blog from various meetings and receptions. For those of you unable to be with us, stay tuned. For those who have gathered, enjoy the city and the sights and the fantastic program YALSA folks have assembled.

Posted by Teri Lesesne