Guess which YA title this is? YALSA is holding a photo contest for Teen Read Week! If you follow us on Facebook (and if you don’t, by all means become a fan today!), you saw YALSA staff make a few attempts at the contest themselves. Use our two entries as inspiration and encourage your teens to join the contest — we’re accepting entries now through Oct. 31 from teens ages 13-18 on Flickr (you must be at least 13 to establish a Flickr account, per its terms of service). Entries will be judged by Jay Asher, 2011 Teen Read Week spokesperson. Any teen, or group of teens up to three, can enter the contest now through Oct. 31:

  • ‘ Select a YA book
  • Come up with a creative image expressing the book’s title and ensure it meets the contest guidelines (PDF)
  • Upload the photo or illustration to Flickr and tag it TRWcontest11
  • Enter as many times as you’d like!

Five finalists will have their photos featured on the YALSA website and win a prize pack from Penguin Books for Young Readers that include signed copies of Jay Asher’s 13 Reasons Why as well as Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler’s The Future of Us. A winner will receive an e-reader preloaded with teen titles and will be featured on YALSA’s blog and in a press release.

Start entering at Flickr today!

YALSA Midwinter Institute

The Whole Library Experience was the theme for the YALSA Midwinter Institute in San Diego. The morning got underway with Paige Battle’s ice-breaker activity. She asked participants to come and select adjectives on strips and then sort ourselves into two groups according to whether we thought the adjective described a teen or a librarian. Actually, a third group formed for those who thought their adjectives could describe either teen or librarian. There was quite a bit of laughter as we talked about the stereotypes both groups have.

Our first speaker was Linda Braun, former President of YALSA, who has just written a white paper on this topic of Whole Library Experiences for YAs. Her suggestions included not forgetting the parents of the teens, working with circulation and reference staff about the needs and interests of YAs. We who work with YAs need to be aware of “those who are not us” and how we can assist them in offering services and materials to teens. Read More →

This week, YALSA launched the inaugural issue of its open-access, peer-reviewed electronic research journal, the Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults at The journal will be published quarterly beginning in November 2010, with issues following each February, May and August. You can also subscribe to the journal’s RSS feed

The first issue highlights paper presentations from YALSA’s Young Adult Literature Symposium, held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Nov. 5-7 with a theme of Diversity, Literature and Teens: Beyond Good Intentions. The papers in the issue are:

Read More →

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 (’  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 ( or the symposium wiki (

For a limited time only at the ALA Online Store, if you buy a copy of YALSA’s Cool Teen Programs for under $100, edited by Jenine Lillian, or Excellence in Library Services to Young Adults, 5th edition, edited by Amy Alessio, you’ll receive a free copy of Excellence in Library Services to Young Adults, 4th edition, edited by Renee Vaillancourt McGrath.

All three books offer the examples of high-quality programming, submitted by YALSA members and YA librarians and public and school libraries across the country. Both editions of Excellence were sponsored by the Margaret A. Edwards Trust and honored the best 25 programs for teens across the country. Cool Teen Programs highlights high-quality programs for libraries that cost less than $100, with tips for adjusting the programs to your budget needs (categories include no money, some money, and lots of money). Cool Teen Programs also includes helpful chapters on budgeting and marketing for youth librarians.

This offer is only available at the ALA Online Store (you won’t be able to take advantage of it at the ALA Store in DC), so be sure to order your copy of Excellence 5 or Cool Teen Programs today!

YALSA’s board just unanimously approved Board Document 14 (PDF; Selected List Portfolio Proposal)’ in its entirety, which will affect several YALSA selected booklists and awards, notably Best Books for Young Adults and the Alex Awards. YALSA President Linda Braun will go into more detail’ on the blog after the YALSA Board adjourns this evening at 5:30 p.m.

Major changes are:

  • The heading “Best of the Best for Young Adults” will be used to promote all of YALSA’s lists and book and media awards inclusively, including but not limited to an annually disseminated cumulative list of the top ten titles selected by each of YALSA’s various selection committees
  • The current standing Best Books for Young Adults Committee will have an updated charge for its work in order to focus solely on annual publications of fiction (not including graphic novels) published for young adults. In order to reflect this change, the name of the list will become Best Fiction for Young Adults.
  • The number of books honored by the Alex Award will be increased. The ten winning titles will appear in addition to a list of the committee’s official nominations.

Although the national networks do not seem to be aware of this, school is back in session in Texas. Students returned to classes in the last week or so in many states. As a matter of fact, school librarians are already busy with book talks. One posted a tweet that she made certain every student had a book before he or she left the library. Wow! Of course, public librarians are switching from SRP to back to school mode as well, packing bags of books and applications for library cards to take to schools in their area.

But what about you? Are you ready for school? Have you looked at the courses YALSA is offering online for the fall?’  Check out the offerings here:

YALSA continues to offer courses to meet the needs of its members. So, if there is a burning issue or topic you think needs to be covered in YALSA’s continuing education, let us know by taking our Future Topics survey. In the meantime, think of taking some time to add to your knowledge base.

As a member of the inaugural Odyssey Committee, I was thrilled when the 2009 Committee presented the awards for distinction in audiobook production. Monday afternoon at the Convention Center was the place to be for audiofiles. Pam Spencer Holley welcomed the audience and presented plaques to the producers of the winning titles. As a wonderful bonus, 4 of the narrators were present to make remarks. Read More →

Congratulations to everyone!

Vice President/President Elect
Sarah Cornish Debraski

Board of Directors
Michele Gorman

Dawn Rutherford

Margaret A. Edwards Committee
Sharon Rawlins
Stephanie Squicciarini
Kristine Mahood

Michael L. Printz Committee
Karyn Silverman
Elizabeth Burns

Marin Younker
Alison Hendon

Proposal to amend the bylaws to increase the member representation on the Board of Directors by increasing the number of Directors-at Large from six to seven. Adopted

Proposal to amend the bylaws to add to the Board of Directors a Secretary position that will also serve on the Executive Committee. Adopted