Wednesday, June 29, 2011

ALA Part 3: Teens Speak at Session on Monday, June 27th

A few months ago, I received an email from YALSA past president, Linda Braun. She was putting together a panel for the ALA conference that would be called: Trends in YA Services: Using Mobile Devices to Serve Teens. Several librarians were going to speak, but she wanted a couple of teens to talk, too. The idea is that the teens would comment on the programs and activities that the librarians were going to describe as happening in their library systems. She wanted the kids to give their opinion of these programs. Did they sound engaging and would they want to participate? It was a big success. The teens were happy to give their opinions. Librarians were coming up to me afterwards complimenting the students' participation. As one librarian told me, "you have touched lives." That felt really satisfying.

The students sat on the stage with the librarians
They could respond as often as they wanted

The panelists include three librarians from New York, one from San Antonio and the two students

ALA Part 2: Teens Attend the BFYA Committee (Best Fiction for Young Adults)

At 11:30, all of the teens and librarians met to head upstairs to one of the meeting rooms. When we arrived there was pizza, salad and cookies awaiting everyone for lunch. We want to send a big Shout Out and thank you to RasShahn Johnson-Baker at Penguin Publishers who made this all possible.

After we ate, two very popular authors entered the room: Jay Asher of Thirteen Resons Why and Carolyn Mackler of The Earth, my Butt, and Other Big Round Things. These two authors have a new book to be published in November, 2011 called The Future of Us. They worked on it as a team even though Carolyn lives in New York and Jay lives in California. They colloborated by phone and email. The premise sounds like a lot of fun. Two teens in 1996 load AOL onto a new computer and find something that they never heard of, Facebook. By seeing the future Facebook they find out about their future lives.

Authors, Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler, speak about their new book, The Future of Us
When the authors finished speaking, it was time for the members of the Best Fiction for Young Adults (BFYA) Committee to listen to the teens. First, let me explain BFYA. The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of ALA, sponsors several book awards and compiles several best of book lists. The BFYA list is selected yearly by committee. About 90-100 books are selected for this list. The committee also selects the 10 best of the best books. Books that appeal to librarians are not always the same that appeal to teens. The committee  always asks local teens to speak at their meetings during both the Mid-Winter and the Annual conferences of ALA. The committee members took copious notes as the teens spoke. It is important that the books on the final list have teen appeal.
Here is the BFYA committee listening to the teens

Students stand in line to make their case for their fav reads

Some students talked for multiple books, others just one, and some were too shy to speak  
After the BFYA meeting, we hightailed it back to the exhibit hall. We had a date at Abrams Publishers to meet author, Lauren Myracle. I want to give a Shout Out to Jason Wells at Abrams who made this happen. He made sure that all of the students received a signed copy of Shine, the author's newest work. 

Lauren Myracle is in the middle wearing the white tee,
and I am standing on the back row, second from the right

It has been a long day and the students went home with bags of goodies
and lots of great memories

ALA Part 1: American Library Association Conference was Amazing

I can now finally breathe. I attended my last conference event on Monday evening, but it has taken me two days to recover from the five days of activities. I was in seventh heaven networking with librarians from across the country and meeting all the authors that my students and I love to read.

However, this blog post isn't really about me and my experiences at the conference but about my students. On Sunday, June 26th at 9AM, I met seven of my students; Lisa Valence, a Taylor teacher; and six other local librarians and their teen patrons. I passed everyone a badge, and we stormed the exhibit hall.

We started our journey at the EasyBib booth

After our visit all the girls scattered to visit the booths on their own. Their goal was to find the publishers meet the authors, and pick up the great swag that was available: pens, bags, post its, and books.
Lisa and I wandered the hall with the only boy in my group.
Standing with one of his all time fav sci fi authors, Orson Scott Card
Here I am with fantasy writer, Jonathan Stroud  
Ellen Hopkins is one of the most popular authors in the Patrick Taylor library

Catherine Gilbert Murdock is the author of the Dairy Queen series

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Please VOTE for the Taylor Library Video on Follett $100K Challenge!

The cheerleaders lead a cheer about books for the video
Starting tomorrow, June 23rd, voting will open for the Follett 100K challenge grant. I created a video about reading for pleasure and the Taylor library. The library video with the most votes will win a grant. Actually, several other libraries will win grants for their written submission. I am hoping to win one of those grants, but I still plan to get out the vote. You never know.
Voting runs from June 23rd until September 8th, and you can vote once a day.
Here is the link:
Please vote for my video on Follett $100K Challenge!

Hey, if you have family and friends who won't mind helping us, please ask them to vote too. THANKS!!!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

On the Radio

On June 14th, three members of Bookmarked and I were broadcast on the local public radio station. There is a weekly show on WWNO 89.9 FM called The Reading Life. Host Susan Larson visited Taylor in May to record the show. I am on vacation in the mountains and Internet is spotty. So I have not heard the show yet because I don't think that it will stream clearly. Anyway, I hope some of you readers will be interested. To hear the show, click here to open the link.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

I Am Still Here

The last day of school for me was May 26th. With school out, I am busy with home projects, getting ready for vacation, etc. Though I like to post weekly, it just might not happen.

Below is a list of some of the books that I have recently read:
Matched by Ally Condie: Loved it. Anxiously awaiting the sequel due out this fall. Yes, I know it is another dystopian futuristic novel, but the characters are wonderful. I heard an interview that Condie did, and she explained that she put a little bit of her husband in the two male characters. She also made sure that both of them were worthy of Cassie. The idea being that Cassie might want to be matched with either one.

I also read Shine by Lauren Myracle. I am sounding like a recording; I loved that one, too. It tells the story of a girl who decides to play detective when her old friend is beaten in what looks like a hate crime. It takes place in a poverty stricken  mountain area of North Carolina. Many of the characters have drug and abuse issues, but Cat is very sympathetic and so is Patrick who is in a coma in the hospital.

I am in the middle of Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. I did not know much about it when I started. I thought it was going to be another mindless piece of chick lit where the teenagers are into consumerism and partying and hooking up. After the first 40 pages, I realized that it was a Groundhog's Day type of story where the main character gets 7 chances to live over her mistakes for one day. I got sucked in, and I am enjoying it. This one will be easy to sell to my students.


Fighting Over Books

We had a meeting on June 6th to talk about our upcoming visit to ALA. 
Two kids decide to fight over a book. Luckily, it was just for fun. 
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