YALSA Forum and ALA Midwinter

ALA is always somewhat of a whirlwind and this Midwinter was no different. My conference actually earlier than normal due to the YALSA Symposium. I was one of the 15 stipend award winners that got to attend; something I am still thrilled I got to be a part of. It was two days of brainstorming and sharing ideas with people both inside and outside of the library world about how we could work together on creating better teen services. I won’t go into too much detail, but I thought I’d throw out some of the highlights

  • One of the presentations: Teens and Libraries Pew & Rene Hobbs
  • The teen panels was probably my favorite session. It was interesting to hear how the teens interacted with social media and their library. There was a lot of hate for Facebook, but mixed love for twitter and tumblr. It was also nice to see how excited teens get when they connect w/teen librarians/libraries. You don’t need to be “cool” you just need to care!
  • I loved the small group discussions. The themes that hit hard over the two days were creating communities for teens and breaking out the library stereotype. We need to create space where teens can learn (and fail!) without any high risks attached. I’ve been in this mindset for a while, so it was so nice to see I wasn’t alone.

There is so much I could talk about, but I would recommend checking out our twitter hashtag: yalsaforum. There are TONS of good idea and quotes from the session.  Also, check out the Day 1 Storify Slideshow by Linda Braun. There will also be three virtual town halls that I recommend everyone being a part of! They’ll be on March 19th, April 16th, & May 21st from 2:00 – 3:00pm EST. I walked away with several good ideas (which I’m hoping to start highlighting here) and I’m excited to continue the conversation during these town halls!

After YALSA Forum I literally rolled straight into Midwinter. Most of my time was spent in various meetings from leadership to committee to even a board meeting. I don’t even think I could detail a day by day rundown anymore as everything has blurred together!

However, I do want to talk about Fabulous Films for Young Adults (FFYA). Some of you may know this already, but for those you don’t I was the chair of FFYA this year. It was also my third year serving on this committee. The past 3 years have been a blast filled with movies, conversations, and new friends. This year, we created a fantastic SURVIVAL list (or aka Then Things Went Terribly Wrong!) We selected 25 of the best titles from over 60 nominations. I’ll be highlighting some of the movies this year and would love to hear what you think!

I am a little sad to be leaving FFYA, especially since the list only has one year left. It has been a great experience and I wouldn’t trade if for the world. I’m anxious to see what the new theme will be and to start adding nominations to the list! It’ll a;sp be interesting to see how FFYA transitions from being a selection list to being on The Hub and how it morphs into something new in 2014. But as sad as it is to leave, I’m excited to start my term on Great Graphic Novels! This is one of my dream committees and something I cannot wait to start.

I didn’t get to attend any buzz sessions this year, so I doubt I’ll be doing any features about what I got/what I’m excited about right now. However, I will highlight mine and my teens favorites as we read them!

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