Tag Archives: teen library

Links Round-Up: Two Months’ Worth of News, Activities, Conferences, Contests, and Giveaways

29 Mar

Regular posts resume on Monday, after a six week hiatus. In the meantime, catch up on some teen librarian news.

News and Relevant Reading

CILIP has revealed the full scale of the library cuts.

The Booked Up scheme has been withdrawn and replaced with a scheme that requires schools to pay.

The EDGE has taken over the March edition of Teen Librarian Monthly and provided the world with lovely gems like “Story Time for Teens,” “You Should Read This! It’s Great!: Be Wary of Telling Teens to Read,” and “Guardians of Innocence
How One Writer Feels About the Taboos of YA Fiction.”

Anne Harding makes some good points related to Ofsted’s “Moving English Forward” report and pleasure reading for secondary school pupils.

Activity Guides

April is Script Frenzy month, during which young people (and adults) can dedicate the month to writing 50 pages of a script. Click on the link above to find more information and teaching resources.

World Poetry Day (21 March) has passed, but the Guardian’s guide to teaching poetry has good ideas for any day of the year.

My Fake Wall and Fakebook allow you to design fictional Facebook pages “for study purposes.” So you could, for example, design a “Facebook” page for a fictional character, an author, a historical figure, et cetera. Check out the Fakebook pages of Hermes and Martin Luther. I can imagine a ton of fun uses for this, especially in a school library!

Conferences and Training

YLF Scotland Spring Conference running four sessions for working with teens: http://teenlibrarian.co.uk/2012/03/22/youth-libraries-group-scotland-spring-conference/ £35 +VAT, Friday April 27th. Be there!

Lighting the Future – the joint Youth Libraries Group, School Libraries Association and School Libraries Group conference – will take place in 8-10 June. There are some panels and workshops useful for those working with young people. For those who need assistance there are several bursaries available. See the Lighting the Future website and Youth Libraries Group regional pages for more information on financial assistance.

Anne Harding is offering a one day course for secondary school librarians on cost-effective methods of promoting reading and library use to pupils. The course will take place in Sutton on 17 May and cost £89/120 (early bird/standard).

Awards and Booklists

Winners of the Carnegie Award will be announced in June. For now you can have a look at the shortlist.

Several YA novels have been nominated for the LGBT Children’s/Young Adult category of the Lamba Award.

Bali Rai writes about his favourite YA novels.

Action Librarian has compiled a useful list of YA books with Muslim protagonists.

Contests for Teens

Young people ages 11-19 can enter the International Young Person’s Short Story Award from now until 24 July. The prize is £2500 plus publication! (Info via the wonderful Chicklish.)

Contests for Teen Librarians

Tell the Siobhan Dowd Trust how you spread a joy of reading in your school and win £1000 worth of books!

Win a Set of Eight Signed Novels from EDGE Authors! Contest ends 31 March.

And of course the YA Library UK Teen Book Giveaway is open until 2 April.

If you have a piece of news you think should be included in the Links Round-Up, email me at yalibraryuk@gmail.com or Tweet @yalibraryuk.

The YA Library UK Teen Book GIVEAWAY!

9 Feb

To say thank you for your interest in teen library services in the UK – and HOORAY for 100+ email subscribers and 400+ Twitter subscribers – YA Library UK is hosting a giveaway! I will randomly select TWO winners to win a bundle of three new YA novels OR Cool Teen Programs for Under $100 OR Young Adults Deserve the Best: YALSA’s Competencies in Action OR The Ultimate Teen Book Guide (your choice!). (Both winners will receive the prize they select, even if they both choose the same prize.)

The contest is only open to residents of the United Kingdom. This is YA Library UK, after all!

Entries to the giveaway close on 2 April 2012. The Giveaway is now closed. Winners will be announced by Monday 9 April.

Links Round-Up: On Work Experience, Teen Involvement, and a PRIZE DRAW

9 Feb

When YA Library UK reaches 100 email followers to this site (and, hopefully, 400 Twitter followers!) there will be a prize draw for followers in the UK! So far my ideas are as follow: 1) YALSA’s Cool Teen Programs for Under $100 (plenty of stuff in here that still applies in translation) or 2) a bundle of new YA releases! Or, 3) I could pick several winners for several new YA releases. There’s also 4) Something else (activity packs? Promotional materials?). What do you think? What would you most like to win? Comment, tweet, et cetera. (There are currently 98 email followers, so it’s very close!)

Now back to your regularly scheduled links round-up:

New research suggests work experience reduces the drop-out rate, leads to greater employability of young people.

How to put ‘the “Teen” in Your Teen Space’, a post about getting teens involved and excited about your library’s activities.

In response to The Hunger Games‘ pending release, Springfield-Greene County Library has created Hunger Games website, and a roster of a week’s worth of library activities for teens.

Pinterest is the “rising star of social media”. It’s easy to use, highly visual (like Tumblr!) and worth getting your library involved with while it’s hot.

A new book website called Small Demons finds and lists all the things mentioned in your favourite books: places, people, other books, movies, music, et cetera. The site is still in its nascent stages and doesn’t have many books added yet, but in time it could serve as a great help in planning programmes and displays (for example, I can imagine around a popular book of “books and/or music and/or films enjoyed by the characters”).

This is from 2011 but it’s new to me (and thus maybe to you): Sherman Alexie on why the greatest books for young people are “written in blood”. Alexie writes, “I have yet to receive a letter from a child somehow debilitated by the domestic violence, drug abuse, racism, poverty, sexuality, and murder contained in my book. To the contrary, kids as young as ten have sent me autobiographical letters written in crayon, complete with drawings inspired by my book, that are just as dark, terrifying, and redemptive as anything I’ve ever read.”

Demonstrating Our Value: Thoughts On the 2012 Project and Beyond

6 Feb

Are libraries dying? American librarian Karen Jensen has set out to prove they’re not by creating the 2012 Project, an ever-growing collection of pictures of teens using libraries. She hopes to have 2,012 photos by the end of this year (click here to see a scrapbook of photos already collected).

Official 2012 Project Promotional PosterMost teen library services advocates (whether librarians or otherwise) spend time and energy trying to communicate the value of teen library services to colleagues and the public. (We also spend time communicating these to teens, but that’s a different story.) It is especially challenging to communicate the value of certain core jobs that appear unglamorous (like stock editing) or considered to effect specific demographics only (home library service).

How do you communicate the value teen library services the value isn’t always quantifiable?

There are always clear PR moves: inviting councillors to teen events, notifying local papers of all that’s on offer for young people. I wonder, however, if sometimes the essence of the service gets lost. Last year I was inspired by Meanwhile, The San Francisco Public Library, which captures some of the more ephemeral benefits of the service. That’s one of the reasons I like the 2012 Project: it’s one thing to be told that teens use our services, and quite another to see photos of happy, engaged teens in the library.

How do you think we can communicate some of the less articulable qualities of our service to teens? What are the best ways that our libraries do this, and what are our biggest blind spots?

Links Round-Up: University Applications Fall, but Graphic Novels and Teen Events Are Awesome

2 Feb

Don’t forget, Saturday 4 February is National Libraries Day!

University applications set to show slump after tuition fee hike of about 9%. This does include overseas students. I’d be interested in seeing figure for UK students. This is the steepest fall in 30 years.

Read about a week in the life of a secondary school librarian on Big, Friendly Librarian.

Teen Librarian has compiled a list of great graphic novels about the Holocaust.

Photos from a completely amazing Harry Potter-themed party for teens (seems like this could also be used with children, or maybe even put together by teens for children!).

I love this visual list of ideas for a Teen Summer Read programme called “Own the Night” (her teen library Pinterest is also worth a look in). As far as I know there haven’t been any recent summer reading programmes for teens in the UK (anyone know differently? Give a shout in the comments!), but it’s one of my librarian dreams. I do know that Southend Library held one some years ago (through the Reading Agency, I believe) and it was quite a success. There’s certainly potential there.

Wondering what Pinterest is and how you can use it in your library? Read 5 Ways to Use Pinterest in Your Library.

The Hunger Games Film: Activities and Read-Alikes (A Special Edition of Pop Culture Round-Up)

30 Jan

Hunger Games cover (UK edition)The Hunger Games will be out on the 23rd of March. Already a wildly successful YA trilogy in the US (and popular in the UK, too), the film is bound to create fresh interest in the books. Katniss Everdeen lives in District 12, a poor sector of a dystopian United States called Pan Am. When Katniss’s younger sister is selected as a “tribute” in the yearly state-sponsered teen-on-teen battle royale – the eponymous Hunger Games – Katniss volunteers to take her place, knowing full well that she will probably die in the process.

Film trailer:

Due to the popularity of the books, many American libraries are already hosting Hunger Games events. I would recommend preparing with extra stock – buy plenty of copies of all three books in the and considering events, but holding off until after the film is released, as I suspect many British teens will become fans of the trilogy after they watch the film.

In the meantime, you can read the books yourself and look at the District One Capitol Couture website – a very clever introduction to some of Pan Am’s obsessions.

Read-Alikes

You will probably get requests for more books like The Hunger Games. YALSA put together a list of classic and contemporary dystopian books for teens: The Future Sucks – A Visitor’s Guide to Dystopia. (One addendum to that list: the classic dystopian novel We by Yevgeny Zamyatin.) They have also compiled a short list of post-apocalyptic teen books at Dystopian vs. Post-apocalyptic Teen Books. There is an older list of 50+ dystopian YA books at Bart’s Bookshelf, and a shorter but very recent one compiled by on Wired. Alternately, type “dystopian YA list” into a search engine of your choice in order to yield extensive lists.

Displays and Activities

Tons of ideas for activities and displays. Here are my two favourite lists:
Feed Their Hunger for the Hunger Games from Teen Librarian’s Toolbox and and older (but still very useful) post from Youth Services Corner Hunger Games Party Ideas.

Do you have anything planned to respond to interest in The Hunger Games and dystopian YA?

The Future of YA Library UK: A Conversation

25 Jan

I used to work at a public library. I don’t anymore. In fact, right now I don’t work in any library at all.*

Last year, the local council cut my (former) library’s budget exponentially. The library was allowed to cut any aspect of its services except one: we couldn’t close any branches. It was decided that meant cutting all of our enquiry desk staff and reallocating them to outreach positions (at a pay cut for those who had been librarians). After minimal training, library assistants were reallocated to the few remaining reference desks.

The local council knew branch closures are such a hot-button issue. They were likely aware that both staff and the public would put up a fight if they closed a branch. So instead, they went for something without a public face: cutting staff essential to providing a quality service.

The cuts were announced around the same time that certain necessary government services went online. The government failed to provide training programmes for those with low or no computer literacy skills, so local council employees referred the baffled and upset to the library with the vague words, “they might be able to help you.” New patrons flocked to the library. Demand increased while staff numbers began to dwindle. It was disheartening and put a tremendous strain on all of us. I had no idea what to do about it, or whether I could do anything at all. In the end I left.

YA Library UK will continue to run, some changes need to be made. This site was created for people who had the enthusiasm to provide teen services in their library, but who faced barriers like inexperience, limited budgets, and staff resistance. People who needed a demonstrable outcome to get real support for teen services, but didn’t have a clue where to start, or any guide to teach them. People who were doing the YA ordering and trying to figure out how to get the books young people actually wanted to read.

In many cases these concerns have become subordinate to cuts and closures. Without a library, a staff, or a budget, how can we provide a service to anyone, let alone teenagers?

I want to hear from you: what are the main challenges you’re facing in your library? Closures? Budget cuts? Staff cuts? If you’re still running a teen library service, what are your challenges there? Budget? Local (dis)interest? Colleagues who laothe teens? In some libraries, I know that many of these issues intersect.

In response to your feedback, I will formulate new directions for YA Library UK that respond more effectively to the current climate in public and school libraries. So please comment below (anonymous commenting is on!), tweet or email me and let me know about the challenges you’re facing.

*If you’re wondering what I’m up to these days, you can visit the updated about page.