Editor’s Message: Summer 2011

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by Sandra Hughes-Hassell

Researchers present the findings of their studies in a number of ways. While the primary avenue for dissemination is still the peer-reviewed journal, other means such as juried conference papers and presentations, as well as juried poster sessions, are frequently utilized. Some funding agencies require researchers to publish their studies on the web as a way to share their research with a broader audience.

YALSA provides opportunities for researchers to utilize the method that works best for them.’ Researchers are invited to submit papers and proposals for peer review to the Young Adult Literature Symposium, and this year the YALSA Committee on Research and Statistics sponsored a juried poster session at ALA’s Annual Conference in New Orleans. The Frances Henne/YALSA/ VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates) Research Grant annually provides $1,000 in’ seed money for small scale research projects that respond to the YALSA Research Agenda. The papers that result from these projects were published in Young Adult Library Services (YALS) and will now be published in JRLYA. Recently, YALSA launched the Network for Research on Libraries and Teens, a community and space “for those interested in and performing teen research to connect with each other” (http://yaresearch.ning.com/). In line with this approach, this issue of JRLYA includes both a peer-reviewed article and five juried posters.

In her article, “The Silent Message: Professional Journals’ Failure to Address LGBTQ Issues,” Elizabeth Koehler provides a look at the challenges faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) teenagers in the United States. Arguing that libraries should act as centers of advocacy for LGBTQ teens, she makes the case that more than ever, young adult librarians need knowledge and support from professional literature. But how well are professional journals supporting them in their efforts to include LGBTQ resources in their library collections and to serve LGBTQ teens? To find out, she performed a study focused on the representation of LGBTQ-themed articles in nine professional journals commonly read by librarians serving young adults.

The five posters included in this issue of JRLYA provide an overview of research studies that have either been completed or are in progress. Focusing on teens that are often underserved, Julie Ann Winkelstein asks, “What role should public libraries play in the lives of LGBTQ homeless teens?” and Dana Hanson-Baldauf explores the everyday life information needs, practices, and challenges of young adults with intellectual disabilities. Robin Fogle Kurz examines the internal censor in an attempt to understand what causes librarians to avoid collecting certain books for the teens they serve. Annette Y. Goldsmith explores middle school students’ reactions to book covers, specifically their response to the same title with a Swedish cover versus an Americanized cover. Finally, Leslie S. J. Farmer addresses the issue of how digital citizenship can best be taught.

We hope you enjoy this issue of JRLYA and look forward to your comments.

Call for Papers

JRLYA is currently accepting manuscripts for upcoming issues based on original qualitative or quantitative research, an innovative conceptual framework, or a substantial literature review that opens new areas of inquiry and investigation. Case studies and works of literary analysis are also welcome. The journal recognizes the contributions other disciplines make to expanding and enriching theory, research, and practice in young adult library services and encourages submissions from researchers, students, and practitioners in all fields. Please direct any manuscripts, questions, or comments to yalsaresearch@gmail.com.

 

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