Tag: yalsa blog

Other Things I Wrote

by flickr user Allie Holzman

by flickr user Allie Holzman

During my personal blogging hiatus, I was spending a lot of my free time on Amazing Audiobooks and on running The Hub, but I did make some time to write — it just wasn’t here. In case you missed any of it and are some sort of Gretchen Completionist, here are my words, elsewhere:

On The Hub

On the YALSAblog

YALSA blog: NaNoWriMo @ my library

We’re halfway through November (already?!), which means we’re also halfway through National Novel Writing Month. My library’s never done any NaNoWriMo programs before (we do have a memoir writing group, though), so when one of my teen patrons asked this year if we were doing anything, I decided we’d give it a try!

Our NaNoWriMo support has been a collaboration between me and the adult services department and I’m happy with how things have gone so far. We have a pretty cool Municipal Liaison who’s willing to work with us, so on the first Saturday of the month, we hosted a meet-up for participants and the head of reference and I talked about library resources one might use to research a novel and resources for teen writers specifically. Exactly half of the people at the meet-in were teens, and it went well!

This Saturday we’re hosting a write-in (five hours of NaNoWriMo participants cranking out words), which is mostly just going to be us providing space. We’ve also created book displays about writing that’ll be up for the entire month. If you want to read a bit more about our NaNoWriMo support, I’ve written a post about it for the YALSAblog.

How is your library supporting NaNoWriMo this year?

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Leave a Comment November 14, 2011

YALSA blog: How to Be an Advocate for Teens

The YALSA blog is currently running another theme month, so every day in September, you can find another “how to” guide. I contributed by discussing how you can be an advocate for teens in your library, in your community, and in their lives.

Do you have any great advocacy stories or ideas?

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Leave a Comment September 20, 2011

YALSA blog: Trading spaces: visiting each other’s libraries

I wrote about my visit to Chicopee Public Library when I went last month, but this month for the YALSA blog, Erin and I reflected on both of our visits and talked about the importance (especially as YA librarians) of having a professional network and of finding inspiration for new ideas.

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3 Comments August 16, 2011

Thoughts from ALA Annual 2011 (plus a link to my YALSA blog post)

After returning home from ALA this year, I came down with a cold that I just haven’t been able to shake. It’s making catching up on my life and correspondence difficult, but I wanted to write down some of my impressions and thoughts from Annual before they fade too much.

Before I left for New Orleans, I spent some time thinking about what I wanted my conference experience to be like this time. Especially since the last time I’d been to Annual was also my first and I’d been a student at the time, I had a different perspective now that I have my own library to which I’m applying everything I learn rather than just trying to file everything away for later. And just by virtue of being in the field longer and finding more ways to get involved, I knew some of my responsibilities and experiences would change. (For example, in small groups, I was able to actually contribute ideas since I have hands-on experience that I didn’t have a year ago, and now that I’m on a committee, I had more official meetings that I needed to attend at specific times, which precluded me from attending sessions that looked interesting.) And for the first time, I was going to be rooming with a coworker, which turned out to be a lot of fun.

Anyway, my big goals this time were to be more fearless in just jumping into conversations and introducing myself and to learn more about YALSA and to find new ways to step up my involvement. (more…)

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Leave a Comment July 9, 2011

YALSA blog: an interview with 2012-2013 President Jack Martin

Did you vote in the ALA elections this year? I did, but it was the first time I’d done so since becoming a YALSA member in 2009. In previous years, I didn’t feel familiar enough with the organization–what would these candidates be doing if they were elected?–and I was overwhelmed by the long lists of names and the sheer number of positions I needed to choose people for. The elections seemed big and huge and unknown and unknowable. (I think this is, in part, responsible for the 17% voter turnout we saw this year.)

In the years since then, I’ve gotten to know YALSA and its structure a little better and as I’ve gotten more involved and met other members, I’m starting to recognize names on those lists of candidates, so the elections seem a lot less scary. I’ve also grown more invested in seeing YALSA (and ALA, too, I suppose, though I feel less connected to ALA than to YALSA) move in smart directions and in seeing good work be done by the organization, so voting seemed a lot more important to me this year.

And I know that ALA and YALSA can seem faceless and huge, but your vote does matter. If you look at the huge PDF with election results for ALA’s divisions and roundtables, you’ll find candidates who won by twenty votes, or ten votes, or even one vote in a few instances. If you have any preference at all for who runs ALA and your divisions and roundtables, you really, really need to vote. It matters.

Anyway, the elections came in about a month and a half ago, and I was excited to see that Jack Martin had been elected president for the 2012-2013 term. I recently had the opportunity to interview him for the YALSA blog, and in the course of responding to one of my questions, he used the phrase “more cool everything!” which I think is my new mantra at work and at home.

Click through for Jack’s thoughts on teens’ involvement in YALSA, raising YALSA’s profile nationally, creating opportunities for new members, and whether pirates or ninjas would emerge victorious in a fight.

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Leave a Comment June 10, 2011

YALSA Blog: volunteers needed for speed networking event at Annual

Are you attending ALA Annual 2011? Are you looking for a chance to get involved, help out, meet new people, and expand your professional network?

I’m helping to organize YALSA’s Speed Networking for Librarians event, and I need facilitators to help keep the conversations moving. I’ve written about this in more detail at the YALSA blog. If you’re interested in helping out, please email me–and even if you don’t feel up to facilitating, consider attending the event!

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Leave a Comment May 16, 2011

YALSA blog: I got the spring break blues

Last week was spring break at my library and there were zero teens in the library. That totally destroyed my program attendance rates–I wanted to make sure we had activities at the library for kids who were stuck in town so I planned two programs for last week–and it also left me feeling stressed out and bummed, which surprised me.

But what I realized over last week (especially upon reflecting on the same thing happening during winter break in February) is that I get bummed out when there are no teens in the library because as much as I love YA lit and what libraries do and the values of our profession, what really matters to me is the teens themselves, and what the library and I can do to make their lives more awesome. Being able to do readers’ advisory and talk about what they’re interested in and joke around with them is what makes the paperwork, the planning, the emails, the stressing out about getting everything done totally worth it.

I considered this in more detail in a post for the YALSA Blog.

Do you see more or fewer teens in your library during breaks? And what makes you love what you do?

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Leave a Comment April 26, 2011

YALSA blog: thoughts from PAX East and an intro to interactive fiction

Last weekend I went to PAX East in Boston. I had a great weekend playing games (new and old) with friends (new and old) and enjoying nerding out, but there were definitely moments when I had my librarian hat on. One of those moments was during the keynote address, given by Jane McGonigal (author of Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World). She talked about how gaming can be social, how gaming can be an avenue for healing, and why gaming matters in general–and I was thinking a lot about gaming in libraries and how it sounds like we can use a lot of what’s in her book to make the case for gaming. (Check out this Reuters article for more about her work.)

Over the course of the weekend, we played a lot of games, and I’m excited about introducing one of them, Zombie Dice, to the kids who come to my weekly drop-in gaming sessions.

But we didn’t just play games at PAX–we also talked about them and listened to people talk about them. One of the panel discussions I attended was on legal concerns in gaming, and I was struck by the overlap in the legal issues we encounter in the library world: gamers and librarians alike come across questions about the doctrine of first sale, copyright, digital distribution, and the rights of minors.

But the one thing I encountered that weekend that really got my librarian jets firing was interactive fiction. A piece of interactive fiction is a text adventure game where the narrative unfolds as you solve puzzles and interact with the world around you. I think it’d be really awesome to organize an IF competition for library teens where they create their own stories or adapt their favorite YA novel into a game–or at least to show them this alternate form of storytelling. I’ve written more on the YALSA blog about interactive fiction and about a great language and development environment, Inform 7, that makes creating IF accessible even if you’re not a programmer. I included a little mini-game and the source code for it if you want to see how easy Inform 7 makes writing IF.

Have any of you brought IF to your library?

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Leave a Comment March 20, 2011

YALSA blog: the larger social effect of the Internet

Now that the YALSA blog’s 28 Days of Teens and Tech is drawing to a close, I thought it might be interesting to pull back a little and look at the larger social effect of the Internet on society. There are two reports by the Pew Internet & American Life Project in particular (one on social isolation and new technology and another on the social side of the Internet that can tell us how the Internet has changed our social lives.

I’ve summarized some of the findings of those reports on the YALSA blog.

I tend to be pretty excited about the Internet and new technology, but I know there are definitely people–and studies–that worry about what the Internet is doing to society and to individual people and their ability to socialize and develop and be part of our wider society. But I think that both of these reports help to counter those impressions. While our networks of trusted discussion partners may be shrinking on average, Internet users aren’t seeing that negative outcome, and some Internet users are even experiencing more diverse social networks. The Internet lets groups and clubs reach more people and have more of an impact on the world, and Internet users are, on average, more likely to be involved in those groups and clubs and to feel pride in what they do with those groups. That’s news I like to hear!

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Leave a Comment February 28, 2011

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