See you there!Add a Comment
See you there!Add a Comment
This weekend the Federation of Children's Book Group conference had an infestation! Two Oxford University Press publicists, both named Charlotte, both have mothers who can knit and both mothers made wonderfully cheeky Sea Monkeys. Here's Charlotte Armstrong, with the Sea Monkey who kept cracking jokes, asking how to get this lady off its bum.
We had several people ask where they could get a Sea Monkey, and the answer is... you can knit one yourself! Or find a friend who can! Free pattern on my website, developed by my studio mate Deadly Knitshade; do click over if you want your very own Sea Monkey.
When Philip Reeve and I first started doing Oliver and the Seawigs events, we focused more on how we met, and decided to start writing books together. But these days we're having more fun talking about the actual story. Here we are, enacting the scene when Mr and Mrs Crisp meet at the top of Mt Everest.
Photo tweeted by @FCBGNews
Now I saw this 'Going Down' advice in last Saturday's Guardian, and I'm setting out to prove them wrong.
Anyone can rock glasses and a frock if they can draw, they're wearing a squid on their head and playing a ukulele. True fact.
One of the great things about the conference was getting to hear other authors give presentations. Here's a drawing I did in pen of illustrator and writer Cressida Cowell, talking with Caroline Horn about her book series, How to Train Your Dragon.
Cressida also talked about having big films made of her stories, and how she was offered the chance to write the screenplay, but turned it down so she could focus on her books. You might have seen the first film already, and here's the trailer for the second film, coming out this summer:
Another fascinating thing was listening to her talk about her childhood holidays on an uninhabited island in Scotland, where they were able to run completely wild and encounter weird and wonderful wildlife:
The next day, after our event, Philip and I got to hear writer Meg Rosoff talk about writing, about how our brains are a sort of colander; we experience lots of things, and most of the things we forget. But some of the things mash down inside and begin to form something as they liquify and ferment, and start to create something new. She said she took comfort, years back, in something Philip said about writing books and throwing many stories away before hitting on the one he's happy with; she'd struggled with periods where she just couldn't get a book to work. But looking back, she'd realise that this time was important, is was when the story she really wanted to tell was quietly arranging itself in the back of her head. I should add that Meg also has a recent film adaptation of her book, How I Live Now, which I definitely want to see:
I didn't manage to get a photo of Meg, and the drawing didn't really turn out (I drew a colander on her head and it didn't look like her at all.) But I bought a copy of her latest book, Picture Me Gone, which I'm very much looking forward to reading. Marilyn Brocklehurst was running a great bookshop on site, so I also picked up a copy of Alex Milway's brand-new Pigsticks & Harold illustrated book, which is a lovely cross between a chapter book, picture book and comic. And Letters to Klaus, which is going out of print and contains a lovely gallery of illustrated envelopes by Satoshi Kitamura, David McKee and others. (You can have a peek at it over on Booktrust's website.)
Thanks so much to FCBG for inviting Philip and me, to Louise Stothard and Damian Kelleher for introducing us, to Marilyn Brocklenhurst for selling our books, to Hattie Bayly and Charlotte Armstrong from OUP for looking after us, to the monastery for yummy food (Worth Abbey's a gorgeous place; I'd wish I'd had more time to explore), and to everyone who made our visit so much fun!
Over the past two weeks, the YALSA President’s Program task force has been meeting with connected learning coaches who will facilitate discussions in Las Vegas to discuss their experience with and use of connected learning ideas. The diversity of these discussions cemented the feeling that connected learning comes in all shapes and sizes and we can’t wait to hear from you at our program at ALA Annual.
As we dove into discussion with the coaches a few themes kept recurring and we wanted to share them with you. Connected learning is already happening in many libraries, some just don’t have that term in their vocabulary to label what they are already doing. Libraries are poised to be the place where passion-directed learning happens. Already a community hub, we can help connect teens with the resources, mentors and spaces that will help them follow their passions. Now that we know what connected learning is and can see it already happening in our libraries, we can begin to foster it with intention.
As we begin to plan programs, services and classes with connected learning in mind, we have to stay flexible. Self-directed and passion-based learning is difficult to direct without derailing the learners enthusiasm. This is an easier goal for public libraries, who likely do not have to prove the learning happening at their programs, and can let the process take as long as it needs to. Schools face the challenge of identified outcomes to every class or program, but there are some great examples of librarians using the concepts of connected learning to add additional value to their testable outcomes.
Connected learning is happening in all types of libraries, as evidenced by the diversity of our coaches. At A Burning Need to Know: How Passion Connects to Learning they will help participants identify connected learning already happening in their environments, and as a group we will discuss ways to level up what we are already doing. There are small things we can do to bring big rewards to our teens.
If you want to find out more about connected learning please start with the wonderful posts on the YALSA Blog, starting with this one. Don’t forget to mark your calendars to attend the YALSA President’s Program, A Burning Need to Know: How Passion Connects to Learning, Monday, June 30, 1-3 pm.Add a Comment
. . . (and sometimes the little screen too)
With Las Vegas’ colorful history of mobsters, swanky hotels, and famous entertainers, it’s no surprise that the big screen (and sometimes the little one too) are attracted to Sin City. There is a lengthy list of films and television shows that have graced our 24-hour town. Some feature actual locations in Las Vegas while others are happy to simply use our city to set the story.
During your conference downtime, check out some of the locations that appear or inspire your favorite films and television shows. Don’t take your directions straight from the silver screen though; be sure to consult a map, GPS, or even a friendly local for the best way to visit these movie hot spots.
How many of these movie and television locations do you know?
Submitted by Natalia Tabisaura, YALSA Local ArrangementsAdd a Comment
If you’ve never been to a convention before, the Exhibit Hall can be a bit overwhelming. Trust me, I’ve done ComicCon’s enough to know how to get the most out of the time you have and, really, the strategy can be applied to any convention or conference you go to. Here are some of my tips on being as efficient as possible when navigating the exhibits at Annual this year:
What Is the Exhibit Hall?
At any conference or convention there are hundreds of companies renting out booths to try and pitch their products to you, and with thousands of people rushing by, many will try almost anything to get you to stop at their specific booth. Some will offer freebies, some have raffles for awesome items like iPads and free airfare to next year’s conference and others will have author signings with some big-name people. In between all the speakers, panels, division meetings and professional development trainings you’re interested in going to, how do you manage to make the most of your time in the Exhibit Hall?
Make a Schedule
Check back on the official webpage for Annual about a month prior to the conference to see the Scheduler. You can browse, search, and select the specific programs you’d like to see and make a nice list of everything you’re interested in. The Scheduler can be a little hard to sort through but if you use the limiters such as Meeting Type, Sponsoring Divisions, and Subject you can find what you’d like to see. Once you know what your days will look like, take the time in between to visit the Exhibit Hall. And don’t feel like you have to see everything all at once. Stagger your time in the Hall throughout the conference so you have time to visit all the booths you’re interested in.
All the Free Swag
You won’t understand just how much free stuff there is until you see the Exhibit Hall when it opens. It can make librarians go mad, so use your head. At the 2013 conference, there were people with book trucks literally running inside to be the first to grab all the awesome freebies. I got caught up in it too, blindly grabbing things from each booth as I passed by, though I learned from my experience that it’s a good idea to take an extra moment to determine if you really want or need what you’re picking up or you might end up with more stuff than you’re able to get home. Be sensible, and you’ll be fine.
There are limited quantities of the best swag and those tend to disappear quickly. The booths limit how much product they put out each day though, so if it’s “sold out” when you go, ask the representative at the booth what time they’ll put out the next batch of items. It’s usually at opening the next day, so if you’ve got some time before your panel, I suggest stopping by early. Also, if you can make it to the ribbon-cutting ceremony on opening night, you’ll see exactly what the booths have to offer.
Every publisher you can think of will be at the conference hoping to sell you their books and to pull you in. The best way of doing this is to bring the authors for book signings, a great ploy because it gets you to buy their book and you get to meet some of your author celebrities. For example, last year I met Laurie Halse Anderson, Marie Lu, Patrick Ness, Veronica Roth, Tamora Pierce, Francesca Lia Block, and David Levithan, and my mind was blown! I mean these are rock stars in my opinion! You can use the Scheduler to see who’s coming this year and plan ahead by buying your own books, though usually the publishers will have their books discounted for the signing. Be sure to carry cash on you though, just in case they don’t accept cards.
Some of the big, big name authors have limited spots, so you have to pick up a wristband or a ticket to attend their signing. It’s at the publisher’s discretion and is not always listed on the Scheduler so if there is someone big you want to see, find out which publisher they’re going to be with and on opening night for the Hall, visit their booth ASAP to see if you need a ticket to attend.
Raffles and Giveaways
A lot of the booths will have other incentives to get you to stop by, including raffles and giveaways. This usually requires your filling out an entry form or leaving a business card so they can contact you, but this also means they have your contact info and will be sending you emails throughout the year. Do keep in mind, if you don’t want a million spam emails, that you can unsubscribe from their mailing list when you get back home. One of the easiest ways to find out what booths are raffling off is to look at the ALA Conference Guide handed out at registration. There is a coupon book with most of the Exhibit Hall promos that you can complete before you go so you can quickly submit your entries for all of the drawings you’re interested in.
If you are in a position high enough where you have the purchasing power to actually invest in publishers, new technologies, or furniture then do take advantage of talking with the reps at each booth to see what they have to offer. You might get some deals if you chat them up and make a new associate.
Getting Everything Home
So you went crazy and picked up way too much swag to actually take back home. What do you do? Brilliantly, there is a USPS Post Office in the Exhibit Hall for all your shipping needs. And the best part about shipping books is that you can use Media Mail which is infinitely cheaper than regular postage. Just make sure you only have books in those boxes and pack your posters, stuffed animals and other trinkets separately because the mail carriers do open up Media Mail to check that only books are inside and will charge you the difference if you have any other items in it. Also, to avoid long lines don’t wait until the last day to ship your loot.
One Hidden Small-but Fun-Activity
While walking around last year’s conference, I noticed that many attendees had these cool ribbons on their badges saying what division or round table they were in, if they were a first-timer, or even cute funny ones like “Library Superhero,” and I wanted to know where these ribbons were coming from! The division and round table ones are almost all located in the ALA Membership Pavilion in the Exhibit Hall, or sometimes near registration, and you can pick and choose which ones you’d like. Then there are the fun ones put out by different booths and it’s like a random scavenger hunt to find them. If you see someone with one you like, the best way to find it is to ask them where they got it. Otherwise while you’re exploring, take a second to see if the booths have any quirky ones that you’d like. My friend and I made it a goal to see who could get the most and the coolest ones and ended up with five-foot long ribbons. (photo from facebook.com/farm4.static.flickr.com)
Having Fun and Relaxing
To be honest, I was exhausted by the end of the conference last year. Between running around to all the panels, joining up with colleagues and meeting new ones, and finding time to eat and rest, hanging out in the Exhibit Hall was actually quite relaxing and fun after the free-swag madness was over. Sometimes just taking some down time to stroll around and browse or wait in line for author signings was a nice little break from everything. I definitely advise taking time visit the Hall and enjoy what’s going on. Overall, don’t stress, have a good time, and try to pick up some good freebies or meet some authors if you can!
Submitted by Soraya Silverman, YALSA Local ArrangementsAdd a Comment
St. Patrick’s Day is drawing nigh, and talk of luck, leprechauns, and pots of gold abound. Luck (both good and bad) is also commonly associated with Las Vegas, and of the millions of people who visited Las Vegas last year, those who spent time in the casinos were most likely hoping that luck would be on their side so that they could leave town with their own pot of gold. Many bring their own lucky charms with them when they visit, but if you don’t have your own or happen to forget it at home there are a few places in town you can visit that will reportedly bring good luck your way.
Photo courtesy of blog.vegas.com
The Blarney Stone in Ireland is reported to bestow the gift of gab to those who kiss it, but Las Vegas has its own version. At the D in downtown Las Vegas (formerly known as Fitzgerald’s) you will find a piece of the Blarney Castle, which has reportedly brought good luck to those who give it a kiss, or if you’re more germ-conscious, a rub.
The Crazy Girls show at the Riviera is a topless revue, but it’s best known for a racy ad campaign with the slogan, “No ifs, ands, or …,” accompanied by a picture of a row of showgirls showing their bare derrieres. The ads were so popular that the Riviera erected a bronze statue of the lovely ladies at the front entrance to the casino, and for years hence those shapely buttocks have been polished to a glowing shine by the large numbers of tourists that rub them for good luck. Many other statues around town are also believed to bestow good luck when given a rub, but the highest concentration of them are found at Caesars Palace, including the Caesar Augustus statue at the entrance (hand), the Joe Louis statue outside of chef Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill (boxing glove), the Cleopatra statue at Cleopatra’s Barge (bosom) and the replica of Michelangelo’s David located within the Appian Way (big toe).
If your lucky charms don’t seem to be working, you can always make a wish for good luck, and what better place to do so than the famous Fountains of Bellagio? So many people make wishes into this man-made lake with its famous “dancing fountains” that the Bellagio collects thousands of dollars in coins each month, which are then donated to charity. While you’re there, don’t miss the opportunity to take in one of the amazing water shows. Other popular fountains/water shows include the volcano at the Mirage, the indoor rainstorm at the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood, the animatronic fountains of the Forum Shops as well as the famous main fountain at Caesars Palace, and various water features at CityCenter (namely at Aria and Crystals).
Whether you stick to the Convention Center or take your chances in the casinos, may your trip to Las Vegas for ALA Annual 2014 bring you nothing but good luck!
For more information:
Fight Friday the 13th with these lucky charms in Las Vegas- http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2013/sep/13/friday-13th-thirteenth-las-vegas-lucky-places-char/
Kiss the Blarney Stone and get lucky at the D- http://blog.vegas.com/las-vegas-hotels/kiss-the-blarney-stone-and-get-lucky-at-the-d-29154/
Crazy Girls at the Riviera- http://www.rivierahotel.com/las-vegas-entertainment/crazy-girls.aspx
Caesars Palace- http://www.caesarspalace.com/
Fountains of Bellagio- https://www.bellagio.com/attractions/fountains-of-bellagio.aspx
Volcano at the Mirage- http://www.mirage.com/attractions/volcano.aspx
Indoor Rainstorm (Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood) – http://www.miraclemileshopslv.com/entertain.php?id=19&row=4
CityCenter Las Vegas- http://www.citycenter.com/
Submitted by Jennifer Jost, YALSA Local Arrangements Committee
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As many of you already know, the 7th annual Kidlitosphere Conference is taking place this coming weekend, in Austin, Texas. This weekend, Meredith Maresco published a lovely article about KidLitCon on the YA Interrobang site. The article includes quotes from this year's keynote speaker, Cynthia Leitich Smith, as well as from Charlotte Taylor, Sheila Ruth, and Allie Jones. And from me, representing this year's organizing committee.
I especially liked what Sheila said about KidLitCon:
"It’s different from other conventions: the relatively small number of attendees and the close-knit nature of the Kidlit community make this more like a family reunion than a convention. I’m looking forward to seeing people that I’ve known for years and meeting new people, all of whom share a passion for children’s and YA books, literacy, and infecting young people with the reading bug,”
I love "more of a family reunion than a convention." So true! And that quote ended up going well with something that I said, about KidLitCon "turning virtual friends into real world friends" (here I was somewhat paraphrasing Leila's post at Bookshelves of Doom).
Pam Coughlan posted about the YA Interrobang article this morning at MotherReader. She said:
"It's too important a conference for our online community to not have it. Even if it's difficult or running behind schedule. Even if room selections fell through, leaving us wondering if maybe we could just quietly set up shop on the grounds of the capitol. Even if arranging a block of hotel rooms was more like getting an IRS audit. Even if we found that we were conflicting with another event in the morning targeting our exact potential attendees. It hasn't been easy.
But this week, I hope that I'll have a chance to turn more virtual friends into real world friends. We're keeping registration open, and I hope that you'll consider joining us. Visit the KidLitCon website for more information and register today."
And there you have it. Attend this family reunion of a conference. Even if you've never attended KidLitCon before, you'll find friends there. I know that it's tough to book flights on short notice, but if you are in or near Austin, and have some time to spare this Friday and Saturday, we would love to see you at KidLitCon.
Many thanks to Meredith Maresco for her well-researched piece on KidLitCon. See you all in Austin!
On October 19-20, I went to the workshop, “The Exquisite Act of Balancing Text and Art with Richard Jesse Watson.” hosted the SCBWI SWTX chapter.
In the weeks prior to attending the workshop the attendees where given an assignment. We were asked to illustrate a paradigm shift featuring the beloved A. A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh characters.
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I posted last week about the registration and call for proposals for the 7th annual Kidlitosphere Conference. Today, I'm happy to share the news that the keynote speaker for the conference will be the fabulous Cynthia Leitich Smith, children's and young adult author and long-time blogger at Cynsations. Cynthia will be speaking on Saturday morning to kick off the main conference, and she's sure to be a hit.
KidLitCon will be held November 9th in Austin, TX, with a precon event in the works for Friday. You can register for KidLitCon here. If you register by October 11th you'll receive a $10 discount off of the already quite reasonable $65 registration fee. We're also accepting sessions proposals for KidLitCon here. The deadline for proposals is this Friday, October 4th, so please get yours in soon.
Here are links to other posts about KidLitCon from:
Don't miss out on all the fun. Register for KidLitCon today. Or, as Tanita said in her post:
"Once upon a time, this was an idea - then a potluck - and now for seven years running, a place where many people meet up with Their Tribe. Will you be there?"
It's official. Here is the announcement from MotherReader at the KidLitosphere Central website:
The seventh annual KidLitCon on November 9th in Austin, Texas is officially accepting registrations!
While we would love to be ahead of schedule with well, a schedule, we invite you to register now to help your organizers plan for attendence. Registering early will also give you a chance to suggest topics that YOU would like to see at KidLitCon 2013. Register before October 11th for $10 off the registration fee and a chance to win a prize package of books and goodies!
Once you register, you will receive a confirmation email with instructions for sending your check or money order. Hotel information will also be available, hopefully with a discount for our group.
We are still accepting proposals for workshops and panel discussions. Past KidLitCon sessions have included topics such as ethics of reviewing, diversity in children/teen literature, effective marketing, kidlit social media, and online community building. If you are interested in presenting at KidLitCon, please submit a proposal soon.
Look to this website for updates to the schedule, including our Friday evening event.
And now back to me. Why should you sign up now to attend KidLitCon 2013, when there isn't even a schedule posted yet? Because attending KidLitCon is one of the most rewarding things you can do as a children's and/or young adult book blogger. KidLitCon is not like other big, monetization-focused, swag-focused conferences that you may have heard about. KidLitCon is a small conference (between 50 and 100 attendees), populated by children's book bloggers and authors. KidLitCon is:
I wasn't able to attend last year's KidLitCon due to illness, though I had attended the prior five. I missed it terribly. KidLitCon is where I connect, face-to-face, with my peeps. It's a place where everyone around me knows what the Cybils are, and when the next Divergent book comes out, and who the National Ambassador for Children's Literature is. KidLitCon is home.
The registration fee is $65, plus $20 for the Friday precon. This is a very reasonable conference fee indeed. If you can at all swing travel to Austin in early November, and you love blogging about children's books and encouraging kids to be readers, you should come. You won't be disappointed. Submit a proposal if you like, but no pressure on that front. The important thing is to come. Register now! The dealine to register is October 24th.
I hope to see you all there.
I have been meaning to post about my experience at my first SCBWI LA conference all month, but between a tight deadline with very cool steampunk novel cover project(which I will share in a post soon) and squeezing in some summertime fun with the kiddos before the summer comes to an end, the poor blog had to come a distant third on my priority list. Now that the final art is in, we have all our back-to-school shopping complete and sneaked in a few family fun-day treks, I am finally able to post few pictures and some take-away moments.
Overall I felt my first SCBWI LA conference was a very positive experience. But I must say I was blown away by the sheer size of the event. It was enormous! Just look...this is a snapshot of about 1/3 of the grand ballroom where all of the keynotes took place- humongous!
It started innocently enough. When Scholastic editor Nick Eliolpos spoke at a local conference, he talked about his love of Spiderman. So, I dubbed him the Peter Parker of children’s literature. And now, it’s a tradition that speakers at our conference must be tagged with a popular super-hero or super-character.
Read about these figures in the children’s publishing world:
We had writing exercises with provoking questions: what character has traditionally been left out of children’s books and can you find a way to add that character to your WIP?
We had group Pitch sessions: “From the great state of Arkansas, we have Darcy Pattison to regale us with a pitch specially crafted by her group.” It was a take-off on a Pitch session that Jones regularly holds at venues in NYC. Only there, the GPPutnam Editor in Chief gives the winner his business card! The funniest pitch was when Robin Burrows walked on-stage and accidentally tripped and lost a shoe–then pitched a modern version of Cinderella. Yeah, right, Robin! That wasn’t an accident!Karl Jones has been with GP Putnam for three years and is now starting to acquire. They do everything from picture books through middle grade (no YAs), with many licensed properties that are done as work-for-hire. He’s interested in middle grade novels, in particular.
One of the topics that came up was gender and how it is treated in novels today. He recommended P.K. Pinkerton and the Deadly Desperados as a recent novel that walks a fine line on this issue. Jones said he didn’t know if the main character was male or female until the very end.In that vein, he talked about He-Man, Master of the Universe and She-Ra, Princess of Power. He noted the irony that He-Man called power from his castle, “By the Power of Gray Skull?” However, She-Ra didn’t get power from her own castle, but had to refer to He-Man’s castle, “For the honor of Gray Skull.” And for that reason, we’ll dub him the He-Man of children’s literature.
Thanks to Phyllis Heman, Regional Advisor for the AR-SCBWI, for a great conference.Add a Comment
If you haven't yet heard of the Less Than <3 event, I hope to shed some light on it and here.
encourage you to attend. It will be held this Fall on October 19th. It will run from 9am-2pm in St. Peters Missouri and it will be held at the Spencer Hill branch of the St. Charles City-County Library. For even better directions go
This event is to have authors, librarians, bloggers, book lovers, book sellers, teens, tweens, parents, teachers, and whoever else that would love to attend and join together.
This is a YA Lit event focused on bullying. There are several bestselling authors currently on the list and the list is still having authors added to it. The authors will host their own panels and each will specialize in different strategies and positive approaches. To see the list of authors, visit here.
The Less Than Three event was created by Heather Brewer in hopes to rally against and help put a stop to bullying. This event does have limited availability and tickets are being sold for a mere $10 each. For more information and to purchase your tickets, check it out here. As of now, only 202 tickets are still available. Hope to see you there!
At the Houston SCBWI conference, we were given a homework assignment. A choice of one of two prompts that we as attendees could choose from. One was a double page spread from a picture book and the other was a YA cover. I started both prompts and then went with the one that appealed to me the most. The sketches were sent to the Art Director for comments and direction, then we all brought back a full color illustration with the changes suggested. Above is my sketch and then my finished illustration. Later, I was decided to finish the other prompt on my own. Below you see a “Mock” cover for a young adult novel that is currently out. This is just a mock cover.
Mock coverAdd a Comment
One of my favorite parts of any Midwinter Meeting is the announcement of the Youth Media Awards. There’s an Oscar-like buzz in the room. I love the pride and enthusiasm from juries and selection committees (many of whom dress up for the event). I get chills at the emotional outpouring for beloved authors and titles, and it’s a particular thrill when a dark horse title wins.
But if you can’t be in the room for the announcements, have no fear–YALSABlog and The Hub will be jointly covering the YMAs with a live blog, complete with streaming video! Join the session here or on The Hub to watch the video, answer reader polls and add your own commentary live. We’ll also be pulling selected hashtags (like #yma13, #printz, #alexaward and #morrisaward) to bring you thoughts and reactions from Twitter.
If you miss the live session, you can replay the whole thing (including the video) at any time after the live session ends. Don’t miss out on one of the best parts of Midwinter!
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Not in Seattle but wishing you could hear what local teens have to say about this year’s Best Fiction for Young Adults nominations? In Seattle but stuck in another meeting or session on Sunday? Have no fear–you can join the BFYA Teen Feedback Session live blog here or on The Hub!
We’ll be streaming live video from the session, pulling tweets with the #bfya hashtag, polling readers about nominated titles and publishing your comments LIVE. The live blog will start shortly before the session opens at 1:30 PM Pacific, and you can join at any time. You can even log in with your Facebook or Twitter account to include your gravatar with your comments.
If you can’t make the live session, have no fear; the complete session, including video, will be available to replay at your leisure as soon as the live blog closes.
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Looking for a Seattle souvenir? Check out these places to find fun and interesting gifts with Seattle flair for family, friends, and yourself. All shops are located within walking distance or a short bus ride from the Convention Center.Add a Comment
For many more suggestions of places to eat in Seattle, the Local Arrangements Committee invites you to check out YALSA’s Midwinter wiki.
~ Sarah Evans & Dawn Rutherford, YALSA Local Arrangements Committee, Midwinter Seattle 2013Add a Comment
I’m en route to Seattle even as I type this! What will the board and I be up to at the 2013 Midwinter conference? Keep reading to find out.
It’s going to be an awesome conference. We’ve got programs, meetings and activities everywhere. We’ll be talking about advocacy, collaborations, books and reading, the future of teen services in libraries and more.
First, I’ll be helping YALSA host the first National Forum on Teens & Libraries on January 23 and 24. This is the first summit of its kind, and we’ll be bringing leaders on youth development, libraries, technology, publishing, everything. The goal is figure out where teen services is going and where it needs to be in the 21st Century. ALA President Maureen Sullivan will be the lead moderator, and we’ve got some amazing special guest stars, including Lee Rainey, head of the Pew Internet and American Life Project, Mizuko Ito, Professor in Residence and MacArthur Foundation Chair in Digital Media and Learning at the University of California, Irvine, Renee Hobbs, Director of the Harrington School of Communications & Media at the University of Rhode Island and George Needham, Vice President for Global and Regional Councils at the Online Computer Library Center. We’ll be talking lots of teens, literacy, library, technology and more. I’ll even be leading the Youth Panel portion of the forum with special awesome teens from YALSA President-Elect Shannon Peterson. We’ll be tweeting, blogging and posting the entire time, so check out our social media channels to find out what’s going on.
The YALSA Executive Committee will also be meeting with the executive committees of our sister divisions, AASL and ALSC. The three divisions traditionally meet every Thursday before Midwinter and Annual conferences. This time we’ll be talking about our Joint School/Public Library committee, a new Common Core taskforce and a whole lot more.
The YALSA Board will also be pretty busy this conference. Not only will you see us at Leadership Development (coffee and carbs!!!) and the YALSA Happy Hour (free drinks and apps!!!) on Saturday, feel free to drop by our meetings from 1:30-5:30 on Saturday, 4:30-5:30 on Sunday and 1:30-3:30 on Monday, all in room 309 of the convention center. You’ll also see us at the Youth Media Awards and the Morris and Non-Fiction awards ceremony on Monday.
What will the Board be talking about? Lots of stuff. In thinking about how YALSA can help its members advocate for teen services in libraries, the Board will be having a major discussion on how to reach library administrators to help them understand the importance of teen services.
We also know that members want to learn more about teen programming in libraries. So we’ll be voting to establish a new taskforce of programming best practices and replicable program examples for members. Interested in serving on the taskforce? Hit me up after Midwinter!
We also know how much everyone loves our biennial YA Lit Symposium. In fact, we know ya’ll love it so much that we’re going to be considering whether or not we should do it every year as opposed to every other year. Got an opinion? Let us know what you think.
Also back by popular demand is the YALSA Road Trip. We know from the member survey and from my virtual town halls that members really want to find better ways to connect to one another on a regional or state-by-state basis. The board will be brainstorming new ways that YALSA can reboot this exciting project.
We’ll also be exploring lots of other new ways for members to connect with one another, both virtually and in-person. We’ll be talking about a new student chapter proposal as well as a cool new idea on how members who love teen books can better connect with one another.
Finally, we’ll be at the Coffee with the Candidates, which is a great opportunity for members to meet this year’s candidates for President-Elect as well as the Board. This is your chance to get up close and personal with the candidates and let them know your concerns and ideas. I know I’ll be there with plenty of questions of my own.
All in all, it’s gonna be a super busy conference, and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone there. I’ll be the guy with the crazy socks. Over and out. See you there.Add a Comment
How far would you go to promote a book you really loved? Actor Matthew Lillard went to amazing lengths to share one of his favorite teen stories (which also happens to be a Printz Honor Book!):
“OK. So, I first stumbled across FAT KID RULES THE WORLD when I was hired to record the audio version of KL Going‘s award winning novel. The book blew me away. It was funny and true, and it told the story of a lost kid – Troy Billings, alienated and alone – who finds his purpose in life through the magic of punk rock music. The book rocked my world. It was crazy! It spoke to me, in a deep way because I had been my own version of Troy Billings in high school. I was lost and an outcast and didn’t really fit in anywhere… that is until I found acting, which pretty much changed my life forever. After I read the book I knew I had to tell THIS story. I made this movie for everyone who has ever felt like they just didn’t belong… the misfits, the outcasts. the kids that are lost… this movie is for you! “
He raised over $150,000 on Kickstarter to get this movie distributed. Start to finish is is a true labor of love. And thanks to the producers, we have a special screening of the just-released-this-week DVD just for YALSA members attending ALA in Seattle (where the movie was filmed!)
Join us at the wonderful Elliott Bay Book Company Sunday January 27th at 7pm to watch the movie I’ve been dying to see all year! We also have door prizes: Listening Library is providing two CD sets of the audiobook; the movie producers are supplying bumperstickers; and Random House is sending some extra goodies for everyone who attends! Please feel free to bring a snack or beverage to share. But just like the public library, we need to clean up after ourselves, and be out before they close the store at 9pm!Add a Comment
The guests for this episode are Carol Tilley, this year’s Trends in YA presenter, and Denise Agosto, organizer for the event. The Trends in YA Presentation is an event that occurs each year at the Midwinter Conference. This year’s presentation will be on Saturday, January 26th at 4:30 in room 213 in the Seattle Convention Center. Tilley will read from her research paper, which explores the history of comic books and their relationship with libraries.
For more information on Carol Tilley and her various projects, please visit her website at www.caroltilley.net/.
You’ll find the schedule of other YALSA-related events on the YALSA webpage.Add a Comment
I feel so privileged to have been at the IMLS-supported YALSA Forum on Teens and Libraries the past two days in Seattle – right before Midwinter starts today.
It’s hard to know where to start, but one of the most powerful parts of the Forum was that it wasn’t just library folks talking about our work with each other — like we often do– partners and supporters were intentionally included and asked about how we can continue to engage them.
We have to reach out and partner with other organizations that value youth—we can’t do it all ourselves. We need to attend coalitions or collaboratives in our communities to make sure libraries are included in new projects or initiatives – that we are key players at important tables. While I’ve been here at Midwinter I just learned there is now a Twin Cities Career Readiness Collaborative that I was not aware of – I’m going to find out who’s in charge and see if it could be meaningful for my Library.
A number of current and future partners were at the table – the Search Institute (if you’re not familiar with their great Assets work, it’s a foundational element of youth development that you should know). They also have newer family assets that I’ve been thinking about how to incorporate into our library work, GLSEN, the Science Museum of Minnesota, DC Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation, the Afterschool Alliance, and others.
Partnership doesn’t have to look like program offerings – it can be making partners aware of library services or tools that can help their work – did you know we have a database that can help your clients prepare for the GED? Did you know our library has an app?
Partners can help libraries improve or add to services, as well. At the forum, all partners expressed their support for libraries and interest in staying engaged in this work. In particular GLSEN and the Search Institute reminded us of the resources available on their websites.
If you’re the only youth services librarian in your library, it can sometimes feel lonely, but other people who care about youth are everywhere in your community — we just need to find them and work together.Add a Comment
Bring together a group of energizing professionals from different backgrounds who have devoted their talents to serving teens and prepare to be inspired. The Summit on Teens & Libraries was a part of YALSA’s National Forum on Libraries & Teens funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and these two days of creative thinking about missions, opportunities, aspirations and connections was simply dazzling. After a series of speakers and small group discussions, I took away a powerful word: relationships. So often we go about our daily routine, and we take time to think of the best library programming or instructional ideas or focus on our technology and book offerings. Those things are key to our success of course, but none of that matters if teens don’t feel connected.
A teen panel took questions from YALSA President Jack Martin, and in our discussions we kept referring to what they said brought them to the library and what they wanted from their experience. It was clear that connecting with interests, friends, and the library staff kept them coming back. As studies show and our speakers stated throughout, learning driven by teens and their interests is most meaningful. Two powerful statements from the panel that resonate with me are “The library gave me a community” and “I leave with new ideas.” What could possibly be better than that?
Cultivating positive, non-judgmental relationships with teens and helping them form meaningful connections with others is something we may think we do already, but as closing speaker George Needham from OCLC reminded us, “Question everything. Including yourself. Especially yourself.” My group’s wild aspiration at the conclusion of the summit was to bring these passionate conversations back to our local environments and have everyone immediately buy-in. Yes, we’ll encounter the regular eye-rollers, but the potential connections we can make in our communities, with each other and with our teens is too important to be derailed. But our first step is to look at ourselves. My immediate action when I return home to my school library world is to ensure that my favorite instructional practices and ideas for engagement outside of academics are truly student driven. That I creatively seek partners who share my mission of youth engagement. That I learn more about how to bring Connected Learning into school libraries, and that I spread the word of all I’ve learned in these two days to strengthen current relationships and forge new ones.
Interested in exploring further? Check out the prolific #yalsaforum hashtag and make plans to be a part of the first virtual town hall on teens & libraries March 19th.Add a Comment