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1. Diversify Your Shelves with WNDB--August 3, 2015

Contributed by Karen Sandler

 

Riveting page­turners with lots of twists and surprises are so much fun to read. They’re the ones that keep you up late at night, on the edge of your seat with each new revelation. The excitement of suspenseful thrillers can steal your breath when the main character that you’ve come to know and love confronts high­stakes peril. Who can go to sleep without finding out what happens after that cliff­hanger moment?

I’ve recently read three “unputdownable” young adult suspense/thriller novels with a bonus—all three were written by diverse authors (and featuring diverse characters). Their stories were so gripping, I tore through them at a lightning pace. These books are my personal recommendations, and I hope you’ll check them out.

 

Endangered by Lamar Giles
 

Author Lamar Giles demonstrated his skill at penning thrillers with his debut book, Fake ID. With his second novel, Endangered, he introduces us to a new set of characters, including our African­American heroine, Lauren “Panda” Daniels, and her adversary, the mysterious Admirer.

Panda, a photoblogger, likes to keep a low profile. She specializes in catching classmates and teachers in compromising situations then posts the pictures on her anonymous blog. The Admirer claims to know Panda’s true identity and threatens to expose it unless Panda goes along with a serious of dangerous dares—dares that eventually turn deadly.

 

Why you’ll love this book:

  •  Panda is tough but likeable, with a backstory that explains her mission of exposing others’ missteps

  •  If you’re a photography buff, you’ll enjoy the details of how Panda gets her pictures, but even if you’re not into photography, the window Giles provides into that world is intriguing

  •  The tension just keeps getting wound tighter and tighter as the stakes get raised with each page

  •  The climax is jaw­dropping
    If you loved
    Fake ID, you’ve got to pick up Endangered. If you haven’t yet read Giles’s first 
    book, you’ll want to pick it up after reading Endangered.

  •  

  •  

  • The Living & The Hunted by Matt de la Peña

   

page1image19984 page1image20144 

Yes, I’m cheating here recommending two books instead of one. And while I read The Hunted recently, I actually read Matt de la Peña’s apocalyptic thriller, The Living, at least a year ago. But you’ll get the most enjoyment out of The Hunted if you read The Living first.

In The Living, Shy Espinoza, a Mexican­American teen from Southern California, takes a summer job on a cruise ship to make some extra money to help out his mom and sister. It seems like a dream job—bikinis, free food, maybe even a girl or two while he’s raking in tips from the rich passengers. But then the Big One hits California and the cruise ship is wiped out by a tsunami. Shy survives, but there’s even worse to come.

In The Hunted, Shy and a couple friends, including Carmen, the girl he loves, make it back to California. But they face the utter destruction of the state, society, and everything they knew. As if the earthquake and tsunami weren’t enough, a virulent disease is wiping out the population. Only Shy and his friends can save what’s left of the Golden State.

 

Why you’ll love these books:

  •  Reading them is like watching a high stakes, special effects­laden action film

  •  Shy is an engaging character who manages to be strong and capable while still being a

    regular kid

  •  The disaster is horrifying (de la Peña doesn’t pull any punches) but not gratuitous

  •  The plot twists are clever and unexpected

    As someone who’s a native Californian, these books were especially gripping for me. But anyone who likes action and great characters will love reading The Living and its sequel The Hunted.

  •  

     

    Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton


    Who knew a book about ballerinas would be so jam­packed with suspense? by co­authors Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton is not about adorable little girls in tutus—although they’re featured in the story (and referred to as petit rats—little rats). The main characters in Tiny Pretty Things are savvy, been­around­the­block teens, dancers who would kneecap you if it meant they’d get a starring role in The Nutcracker.

    Gigi, Bette, and June all want to be prima at their competitive NY ballet school. But the pressures of being number one bring out the weaknesses in each of them—Gigi, a physical problem that could kill her, Bette, the shadow of her stellar ballerina older sister, and June, the overwhelming expectations of her mother. The three main characters alternate telling the story, and what seems true one moment shifts the next until you’re not sure what’s real and what isn’t.page2image22424 page2image22584 page2image22744 page2image22904 page2image23064

Why you’ll love this book:

  •  Utterly compelling characters, mesmerizing even when they’re doing something awful to each other

  •  A fascinating look at the world of ballet

  •  A diverse cast of characters who in are turns totally likeable and completely hateable (is that a word?)

  •  A story you really won’t be able to put down until the last page

    Full confession—I’ve never seen an actual ballet. I lasted through a month of ballet in my teens (not prima material, believe me). But I devoured Tiny Pretty Things. It was that phenomenal a read.

     

  • Karen Sandler is the author of nineteen novels for adults, as well as TANKBORN, AWAKENING, and REBELLION, a YA science fiction trilogy from Lee & Low/Tu Books. Just a few felines short of being a full­fledged Cat Lady, she loves chocolate, horses, and folk dancing. She is a founding member of We Need Diverse Books

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_DiverseBooks.jpg

 


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2. Amusement Park Ride Personality Quiz

amusement parkWhat Amusement Park Ride Are You?

Going to amusement parks is my most favorite summertime activity (aside from reading a billion books by the beach). So our next quiz for y’all is an Amusement Park Ride Personality Quiz! Are you a wild upside down roller coaster, a hot-headed bumper car, or a silly Tilt-a-Whirl? Take the quiz to find out!

  1. Your amusement park treat of choice is a) cotton candy. b) nachos. c) churros. d) hot dogs. e) a slushie.
  2. Your amusement park must-have is a a) cute outfit. b) backpack. c) bottle of sunscreen. d) baseball hat. e) cool sunglasses.
  3. Your favorite animal of the following is the a) koala. b) shark. c) giraffe. d) otter. e) tiger.
  4. You are most afraid of a) heights. b) clowns. c) gross bugs. d) the dark. e) zombies.
  5. Your favorite summertime outdoor activity is a) freeze tag. b) jungle gym acrobatics. c) tennis. d) swimming. e) water balloon fight.
  6. Your favorite rainy day summertime activity is a) learning a new craft. b) bowling. c) reading indoors. d) watching movies with your friends. e) napping.
  7. You most enjoy the color a) yellow. b) silver. c) blue. d) purple. e) red.
  8. Your favorite video game involves a) dancing or singing. b) racing cars. c) solving puzzles. d) building or creating something. e) combat fighting.
  9. Your dream ride would be a a) unicycle. b) really, really fast sports car. c) hot air balloon. d) sailboat. e) motorcycle.

Read on for your results!

If you picked mostly A’s, you are a TILT-A-WHIRL.
Your imagination has no limit! You are a free-spirited soul who never has to look far to find adventure. You are not only great at expressing yourself, you are also able to understand other people’s feelings well and be a great source of support. You’re usually able to find something to smile about—and you’re great at making other people smile, too!

If you picked mostly B’s, you are an UPSIDE-DOWN ROLLER COASTER.
You’re a daredevil!  You have never been afraid to speak your mind or try weird, new things. Even people you’re not friends with yet admire how brave you are! You are loud, you are proud, and you can never sit still. You don’t follow trends; you start them.

If you picked mostly C’s, you are a FERRIS WHEEL.
You aren’t flashy or noisy, and sometimes you can be overshadowed by louder people, but you are a steady and true friend. What’s more perfect than that? You are thoughtful and find joy in the little things, like first snowfall or a great hug from your best friend. You are calm, strong, and wise. Your levelheadedness will get you really, really far in life. You go, Ferris Wheel!

If you picked mostly D’s, you are the LOG FLUME.
Like the Log Flume, you’re popular because people think you’re lovable and fun. You don’t put on airs or try to be trendy. You’re just yourself, and people love inviting you to things because you’re so easy to get along with. You are reliable and know how to have a lot of fun without breaking any rules! Now that’s skill.

If you picked mostly E’s, you are BUMPER CARS.
You know what you like, and you stick to it! Nobody is as tough as you, but your friends all know that you are the most loyal person ever and will stand up for them no matter what. You always have something interesting to say, and your lively personality inspires people around you to believe in themselves, too. Bravo, Bumper Cars!

What amusement park ride personality are you? Share your result in the Comments below!

See ya around,

En-Szu

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3. #act4teens: Partnering with Policy Makers for Improved Advocacy Outcomes

act4teens

Just in time for District Days!  In this podcast (click through to download or connect to online player), Dorcas Hand, longtime Houston-area Independent School Librarian, discusses her experiences working with school board members, candidates, and legislators in support of library services for young people in her area and beyond.

The files and links that Dorcas mentions can be found below:
YALSA Advocacy Benchmarks
Students Need Libraries in Houston ISD webpage
Students Need Libraries in Houston ISD facebook page
Students Need Libraries facebook page
TASL: Parents & School Librarians Partnering for Student Success
TASL: Teachers & School Librarians Partnering for Student Success

Wendy Stephens is a member of the YALSA Advocacy Resources Taskforce.

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4. On Debriefing the Summer Reading Club

Maybe you are lucky like me and your Summer Reading Club is finished or winding down, or maybe you still have some weeks to go. Either way, let’s talk about debriefing after the Summer Reading Club is over.

I always dedicate our early August/late July department meeting to discussing the Summer Reading Club. We talk about what worked and what didn’t. We make notes for what we should change or keep for next year. We go ahead and pencil in dates so that we’re all clear about our schedule.

Here are some things we did this summer that we had discussed last summer:

Photo by Abby Johnson

Photo by Abby Johnson

Our prize cart was decorated and we always pushed it out on one side of our desk (the side without shelving carts) because last year we had some confusion about which books were prize books. This worked really well for us this summer and having a special, decorated cart got the kids even more excited about choosing a free book.

Last year, we had a huge issue with registration for programs. We decided to try out having NO REGISTERED PROGRAMS this summer and it went smashingly. The only programs we had capacity issues with were our large performers where we give out tickets to ensure we’re staying within the fire code. And it was amazing the amount of work it saved us in not having to sign up kids for all those programs. That was a benefit we hadn’t even really considered, but it was huge.

And here are some things we discussed this year and that you should consider as you’re winding down your program and making notes for next year:

  • Is the registration and/or logging process easy for patrons and staff? If not, how can we make it easier?
  • Do the prizes given out encourage kids to read and are they easy for staff to manage?
  • How was your program attendance? If it was low, how could you bolster it? If it was unmanageable, how can you make it easier for staff to handle?
  • What great programs did you offer that you might like to repeat? What programs would be good to repeat with some changes?
  • How did you feel at the end of the summer? If you felt like you wanted to die, what made the summer so hard? Is there anything you can change to make it easier?
  • How did your Summer Reading Club affect other departments? Is there anything you can change to make it easier for Circulation, Pages, IT, Marketing, etc.?

Do you meet to debrief about the Summer Reading Club? What items do you make sure to discuss?

— Abby Johnson, Youth Services Manager
New Albany-Floyd County Public Library
New Albany, IN
http://www.abbythelibrarian.com

The post On Debriefing the Summer Reading Club appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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5. ‘When Not to Correct People’s Grammar’ Video Goes Viral

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6. The Beatles, the Watts Riots, and America in transition, August 1965

Fifty years ago during their North American tour, The Beatles played to the largest audience in their career against the backdrop of a nation shattering along economic, ethnic, and political lines. Although on the surface the events of August 1965 would seem unconnected, they nevertheless illustrate how the world was changing and how music reflected that chaotic cultural evolution.

The post The Beatles, the Watts Riots, and America in transition, August 1965 appeared first on OUPblog.

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7. Monday Poetry Stretch - Timeline Poem

So, this isn't really a form, but I can't think of any other way to describe this. I have a number of books I regularly use for inspiration and guidance as I write poetry. One of these books is A Note Slipped Under the Door: Teaching From Poems We Love, written by Nick Flynn and Shirley McPhillips. In the chapter on list poems (the chapter that gives the book its title) is this example.

Ducks
by Homero Aridjis

1
On cold mornings the ducks
slide across the ice
after the dry bread
thrown to them by the little girl

2
In the afternoon
the hungry ducks
cross the street
against the traffic

3
At night the ducks
nestle beside the frozen canal
they scarcely move
their green heads

4
At dawn the ducks
sleep beneath the mist
which cover the man
the dog and the stone alike


Though ostensibly a list poem, I love the arrangement of this series of moments in time, hence my term "timeline" poem. Your challenge this week is to write a poem that describes a series of events over some span of time. I hope you'll join me this week in writing a timeline poem. Please share a link to your poem or the poem itself in the comments.

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8. Thank You And We'll See You In New York For #NY16SCBWI

From left to right: Lee Wind, Martha Brockenbrough, Jolie Stekly, Jaime Temairik and Don Tate

From all of us at SCBWI Team Blog, thanks for following along!

We hope you'll join us for the 17th Annual SCBWI Winter Conference in New York City, February 12-14, 2016.

Featuring:

Full-day intensives for both writers and illustrators,
The juried portfolio showcase with Grand Prize,
The opportunity to network with top editors, agents and publishers
Workshops,
Keynotes
and much more!

Craft. Business. Inspiration. Opportunity. Community.
We're your SCBWI.



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9. Sportscaster Joe Buck Inks Deal With Dutton

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10. Babar Playing Indian in BABAR COMES TO AMERICA

I am always grateful to readers who write to me. Sometimes they write with a question. Sometimes they write to thank me for a review. Sometimes, they send me something to take a look at. This morning's mail had one of the later.

Tricia wrote to tell me about a page in Babar Comes to America. As I read her email, I remember seeing that book in a bookstore and snapping a photo of the page she sent to me. I'd lost track of it and am grateful to Tricia for sending it along so I can include it in AICL's Foul Among the Good page.

Published in 1965 by Random House and again in 2008 by Abrams, Babar Comes to America is by Laurent de Brunhoff.  One of the places Babar visits is the Grand Canyon, where "Babar and Arthur pay a visit to the Indians":



Helen Therese Frank writes:
To source this new title about America, de Brunhoff and his wife were invited to the United States in 1963, with expenses paid by the American publisher and several American companies who are acknowledged in the text and illustrations (Hildebrand, 1991).
Presumably, de Brunhoff and his wife were actually at the Grand Canyon, but what Indians did they see there? Was there really one called "Chief Sitting Bull" who was telling "hunting tales" and "the legend of the White Buffalo"?! Was he sitting on a drum? Was he barefoot?!

It is possible--but not likely--that de Brunhoff saw a "Sitting Bull" but this all strikes me as the imaginings of an outsider who was there but didn't understand what he saw. Rather than depict what he saw with accuracy, de Brunhoff turned to stereotyping when he created this in 1963.

Why, I wonder, did that page go unchanged when the book was published again in 2008? Who, I wonder, edited the book at Abrams? If changes can be made to Curious George playing Indian, I think they can be made to Babar Comes to America, too. What do you think?

This is the second post I've done on Babar. The first one was about Babar's World Tour.


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11. Books and Sweets Pairings: INFOGRAPHIC

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12. Sordid Taglines: Doing Children’s Lit Classics a Wrong

Moving house, home, and family does something to a woman’s brain. If that woman is me, it makes her ponder great intricacies of life, to say nothing of ballsy marketing plans. And today it all began with this book:

LittlePrincess5

I suspect that we Americans are generally more familiar with The Secret Garden as our preferred Frances Hodgson Burnett classic than this little number. Still, it shows up on the occasional Summer Reading List and occasionally gets adapted into films, for good or for ill. As long as you can bust through the child reader’s expectation that the book is going to be about an actual princess, you’re generally in the clear.

Still and all, it got me to thinking. Originally published in 1905 the book is technically in the public domain. And so I wondered what an enterprising soul might do with it if they wanted to hock it to the masses. How could you sell it to 21st century child readers in the most blatant, shameless manner possible? The answer? Kooky taglines, my friend.

With that in mind, here is a crazy conglomeration of famous children’s books with brassy, ridiculous taglines, possibly more likely to cause perturbation amongst the adult masses than interest with child readers. It’s the B-movieazation of classic children’s literature. And I love it.  Here they are, along with some of the odder images I’ve found over the years of these books.

A Little Princess: One orphan has the power to conjure up magic in an attic. But is any of her spellcasting true?

LittlePrincess14

The Little Prince: In the desert, no one can draw you a sheep.

littleprincestatue

Holes: Treasure, blood, revenge and more.

Holes8

Half Magic: Be careful what you wish AND WISH for.

HalfMagic2

When You Reach Me: Sometimes the life you save is your own.

WhenYouReachMe3

One Crazy Summer: Fight the power.

OneCrazySummer

A Wrinkle in Time: Science, God, Magic and one crazy pulsating brain.

WrinkleInTime5

The Secret Garden: You only THINK you’re alone.

SecretGarden3

Harriet the Spy: You only THINK you’re alone.

HarrietSpy4

Charlotte’s Web: You only THINK . . . oh, fine fine. The idea’s played itself out.

WilberCharlotteStatue

Any you’d care to come up with as well?

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13. Are You a Writing Fangirl…Or a REAL Writer? 7 Ways to Know

surpriseAre You a Writing Fangirl…Or a REAL Writer? 7 Ways to Tell

We writers can spend hours every day thinking, dreaming, talking, and ruminating about writing. We love what we do!

But when we use these activities (and I’m loathe to even call them “activities”) as substitutes for actually writing…that’s a problem. We leave the realm of serious writer and enter the realm of — fanfolk.

And it’s a sneaky problem, because geeking out over all things writing feels like we’re being productive. We call it brainstorming, networking, getting motivated, whatever. But what it is not, is WRITING. Oh yeah, and MARKETING. And otherwise getting off our butts and going after, and completing, paying writing assignments.

(Caveat: I’m not saying we’re not allowed to have fun, kill time, and kibitz on writers’ forums. It’s when these time-wasters placate us into feeling productive — or we’re more interested in the trappings of a writer than in writing itself — that there’s a problem. )

Seven Signs You’re a Writing Fanboy/Girl:

1. You wear your Grammar Police badge with pride.

Writing forums, email discussion boards for writers, and blog comments are full of posts like these:

  • My client just sent me an email where he used ‘their’ instead of ‘they’re’! *headdesk*
  • Look at the typo in this newspaper headline! What is journalism coming to these days?
  • Hey, blogger…you call yourself a writer? There’s a word missing in the second paragraph.

Pointing out/kvetching about other writers’ grammar mistakes make you FEEL good because hey, you don’t make mistakes like that so clearly you’re a superior writer. But is it getting you more gigs? Is it getting more writing out of you? Or is it simply wasting energy you could be using to get more assignments?

The person who made the typo is writing. What are YOU doing?

I have a guest post on the MakeaLivingWriting.com blog that goes into much, much more details on why you want to pit away your Grammar Police badge. (With 177 comments…clearly a hot button topic!)

2. You give a crap that The Comedy of Errors is Shakespeare’s shortest play. (And you know that it has 1,787 words.)

Look on almost any writers’ forum and you’ll see long threads where writers discuss their favorite pen (who writes in pen anymore?), post interesting factoids about Shakespeare, share motivational quotes from Hemingway, and hash out the details of the latest plagiarism/book banning/angry-author-screwed-by-publisher case.

I call these “fanboy writer posts.” These writer trivia posts show you’re a big fan of all things writing…but do they actually count as writing?

3. You’re a member of 10 writing organizations.

Here’s your email sig line:

Jane Smith, Wordsmith Extraordinaire

Member of:

National Writers Union
Science Writers of America
Mystery Writers Association
Medial Journalists’ Society
East Podunk Stitch & Bitch Writing Club
Romance Writers of America
[Add five more here]

Guess what? Editors and potential clients do not look at this list and say, “Wow. She must be a serious writer. Let’s hire her!”

Being a member of (most) writers’ associations does not prove that you are a writer. If you shell out your $150, you can get in. Even if you’ve never written a word in your life!

Join the organizations that pertain to the exact type of writing you’re actually doing. Not the genres you wish you were in, or the ones you think will impress people. And only join if you plan to be active in the group (which includes — wait for it — writing.)

4. You are the proud owner of a vast collection of quill pens.

Many writers love the trappings of writing more than the actual act of writing itself. So we see aspiring writers posting photos of their collection of mugs with writerly sayings; getting/talking about/comparing/sharing on social media their tattoos of Remington typewriters; collecting recycled-paper, leather-bound journals (just for looking at, natch); and strolling the aisles of Office Depot coveting the fancy pens.

Anyone looking at you, with your exclamation point tattoo and “Writer at Work” doorknob hanger, would think you are a writer. But…are you actually writing? Don’t delude yourself: A collection of quill pens does not a writer make.

5. You take writing classes you don’t need.

Wait a minute…did I just say that? Maybe I’m shooting myself in the foot because I teach a ton of classes for writers here—but seen too many writers take class after class in order to avoid having to actually pitch and write.

(Many instructors LOVE students like that…they pay good money, don’t do the work, and the instructor gets something for nothing.)

A multitude of certificates from writing classes is the sign of an insecure writer who always thinks she needs to know more before getting started — or the sign of fanfolk who love showing off their creds more than they do actually writing.

Yes, take a class to learn the skills you’re lacking, whether it’s writing the perfect pitch, running a writing business, or crafting an article that will sell. Then…go out and do that thing. That’s what makes you a real writer. If you come to a a roadblock because you need more skills, THEN you can take more classes.

This goes for free classes, too. Just about everyone with something to sell online offers a free class/instructional webinar/training call to get people on their email lists. It’s tempting to try them all! But unless you need that exact skill right now, you can hold off until you do.

6. You love books.

Writers love spending lots of time on Goodreads reviewing books. And weighing in on the latest literary controversies (is The Goldfinch crap or not?) And discussing On Writing and Writing Down the Bones and The Artist’s Way. And bragging about how many books they have in their homes. (I have over 1,000 books! Oh yeah? Well, I have 1,500. Here’s a photo to prove it!)

But the fact that you have a library overflowing with books, a shelf full of writing manuals, and 500 Goodreads reviews (especially of those writing manuals!) does not show you’re a writer. You talk a good game, but do you have the ass-in-seat-time to prove it? Serious writers with limited time use their time to — write.

7. You call yourself a “scribe” or “wordsmith” on your business card.

You are not a scribe, and you’re not a wordsmith. These terms bring to mind unpaid writers jotting down poems for the love of it — or monks copying Bible passages. (My editor at a writing magazine kept changing the word “writer” to “scribe” in my articles and it drove me batshit crazy…as much as I loved this editor!)

You are a serious, well-paid businessperson who offers writing as a valuable service. Right?

So: Are you a fanboy/girl or REAL writer? And if you say you’re a real writer: Prove it today by shutting down the forums, putting away the writing manuals, resisting the urge for one more class or one more writing group membership…and writing.

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14. College Textbook Pricing is Up 1,041% Since 1977

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15. Ryan Reynolds Stars in a Trailer For the Deadpool Trailer

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16. Monday Review: ALL THE RAGE by Courtney Summers

Summary: I finished reading this one today…and I just started reading it last night, right before bed. When I picked it up again this morning to enjoy with my coffee, it turned out to be basically un-put-down-able. It's easy to see how this... Read the rest of this post

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17. OUTREACH SERVICES FOR TEEN LIBRARY STAFF: WHAT SOME STAFF ARE DOING OUTSIDE THE WALLS OF LIBRARIES

The American Library Association (ALA) defines outreach as providing library services and programs outside the walls of the library to underserved and underrepresented populations, populations like new and non-readers, LBGT teens, teens of color, poor and homeless teens, teens who are incarcerated.  As these populations are often marginalized and underserved it is crucial for libraries to recognize these populations and provide services and programs to them where they are.

The President of YALSA, Candice Mack, is focusing her year as President with an initiative, "3-2-1 Impact: Inclusive and Impactful Teen Services," which will focus on building the capacity of libraries to plan, deliver and evaluate programs and services for and with underserved teen populations.  Visit YALSA's wiki to find and share information about serving diverse teens and building cultural competence.

Each month I will profile a teen librarian providing outreach services and programs outside the walls of the library to underserved and underrepresented teens.  The purpose is for us to learn, connect, network and share with each other the crucial work we are doing in this area.

Rekha Kuver,Teen and Children’s Services for the Central Library Seattle Public Library

J:  What kind of outreach services do you provide for teens?

Rekha Kuver-I manage Teen and Children’s Services for the Central Library location of the Seattle Public Library, located in downtown.  One part of what I do is work with two full time Teen Librarians in the Teen Center.  I began in this position in 2011 and at the time I observed how the teen space was being used. Although we were seeing teens in the space, it wasn’t being used heavily, especially throughout all open hours.  I did some data gathering and analysis to get a snapshot of the Teen Center, including the number of teens using the space, what times of day were busiest, and what activities in the space were most in demand.  At the same time, since we are located in the heart of downtown Seattle, I knew that we were close to numerous organizations that work directly with youth, many of whom work with underrepresented youth communities. I wanted teen staff to have more time to find out the answers to questions like: what work are those organizations doing with teens, what needs are they identifying via their relationships to those teens, and how can the Library assist and partner to meet those needs? With the data that we gathered about what was happening (and not happening) inside the building and our growing knowledge of communities in our neighborhood, I gained approval from my manager for the Teen Center reference desk to be staffed only during the hours when teens were using the space most, which for us was between 2:00 and 6:00, 7 days a week. The remaining hours of the work day (morning and evening) would be dedicated to outreach in the downtown neighborhood, collaborating with youth-serving organizations to provide library services to teens wherever they are. Although it seems counter-intuitive, we did not start out this work with clear goals and outcomes that assumed we knew what teens needed. Rather, I encouraged teen staff to spend several months meeting with organizations, making contacts, building relationships, and gathering data (demographic and otherwise). We didn’t put pressure on ourselves to produce a lot of programs and services for these audiences at first. Rather, we asked a lot of questions, made ourselves as available as possible, and listened.  After some months of this, priorities emerged organically from what we were hearing across our community. For most youth-serving agencies that are embedded in traditionally underrepresented teen communities in our area, we found that they talked about three things: supporting teens in their identities; college and career readiness support; and life skills support. Upon learning this, we adopted these as our current departmental priorities as well.

J:  Describe a day in the life of you providing outreach

Rekha Kuver-We have documented relationships with over 70 organizations so far this year, although this does include organizations that work with children as well, since our overall department includes Children’s services. Each relationship looks different- we collaborate with some on longer term projects, others we collaborate with sporadically as needs arise, and still others we are building relationships with and don’t have an active project going with them. We work with many different types of organizations, including teen and family shelters, transitional housing complexes, food banks, health organizations, educational organizations, digital literacy organizations, arts organizations, and more.  Because of this, my day and the other teen librarians’ days are never the same, although we do spend a considerable amount of time meeting/communicating with partners, delivering services off-site and in-house, coordinating amongst ourselves for staffing needs, and debriefing on what has occurred to improve for next time.  One example of an organization we work with is New Horizons.  They are a homeless shelter that provides services for teens and young adults through a drop in center, case management and job training.  Currently, we collaborate on doing a weekly drop in for youth at the Teen Center as well as visits to their facility to bring library services, do library card signups, provide library materials, and provide programming. This is a good example of our philosophy around serving underrepresented audiences: understanding the needs and being responsive to those needs can happen in the library or outside of the library (and oftentimes both). Getting library services to teens is what we provide, but the location of where this happens can be fluid. Often librarians think of programs (in the library) and outreach (outside of the library) as two separate things, but I have come to think of it as completely integrated together.

J:  What resources would you recommend for someone new to outreach to look for ideas for inspiration as well as best practices?

Rekha Kuver-The first thing I would recommend is to look to other librarians who are doing a great job at this work. For instance, my colleague Hayden Bass did a great series for YALSA Blog called Adventures in Outreach that is very informative and motivating. The second thing I would recommend is learning from youth-serving organizations that are not libraries. Although their missions may be different than ours, there is likely some alignment to be found because those organizations, like us, want to understand teen needs in order to meet them. Sometimes they are embedded in underrepresented teen audiences in a way that you may not be. Our work with the leaders of organizations that serve unstably housed youth has provided us a wealth of “insider” information about that audience. Although we know homeless teens and serve them in the library, those organizations have data, statistics, experiences, and best practices that we may not and seeing youth serving organizations as our colleagues and collaborators has helped us a lot. (Building these relationships is, of course, always a two-way street and so they are learning from our expertise as well, which just strengthens the support that our shared teen audiences receive from all sides).

J:  What are some of your favorite things you have heard from teens while providing outreach services?

Rekha Kuver-One of the things we have been working on as we do projects is to make the collaboration with teens and organizations that serve them be true collaborations in every aspect, including evaluation. As we develop a collaborative project, like the youth drop in at the Library, we ask the teens: what do you want to get out of this program? At the end of three months (or 6 months, or one year), what do you want this relationship with the library to have provided for you? Sometimes they say they want a complete resume and cover letter, sometimes they say they want a safe place to hang out with their friends, sometimes they say they want to express themselves with art, sometimes they say they want snacks (ok, they always say that last one). My favorite things I hear from teens happen as we check in with them over the course of the project regarding how we are doing on those outcomes they said they wanted from us. Building those relationships with us, the cumulative listening and responding to what we have heard from them garners thoughtful, sometimes critical, but always insightful and helpful feedback from teens about how we are doing. Building up relationships and trust over time is what gets our patrons the services that they need, because it’s that trust that enables them to tell us honestly what that is. So, everything teens tell us about what they need and how we are doing with that is my favorite thing.

 

 

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18. Here Is the World (of Leslea Newman)

Author Leslea Newman
Leslea Newman has written over 60 books for children and quite a few for adults as well. She is well known as an author of Jewish books and LGBT books, and wrote the groundbreaking title Heather Has Two Mommies (reissued in 2015 with new illustrations). Her newest picture book, Here is the World, is a joyful celebration of Jewish holidays around the year.

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Produced by: Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel 
Supported in part by: Association of Jewish Libraries 
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23. HarperCollins to Open Pop-Up BookLab in New York

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Knowing when and how to cross-examine is an essential part of properly representing clients in international arbitrations. Many cases have been won by good cross-examinations and lost by bad cross-examinations, and that is just as true in international arbitrations as it is in any other dispute resolution procedure in which counsel are permitted to cross-examine witnesses.

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25. 2015 Man Booker Prize Finalists Announced

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