Teens Needed for Virtual Best Fiction for Young Adults Teen Feedback Session

YALSA is recruiting teens to participate in its Best Fiction for Young Adults (BFYA) Teen Feedback Session. This session is scheduled to take place virtually via Zoom on Saturday, January 9th from 2-3:30pm CT. During the session, teens will be asked to give constructive feedback to the BFYA committee members on the titles that have been nominated for the 2021 BFYA list. The list of books can be found here. The session will be recorded but will not be made public. It will also only be sent to BFYA Committee members.

YALSA takes input from youth very seriously, and in order to get a wide representation, there are two ways to participate.  First, we are seeking up to 50 teens to participate virtually. Participating teens are asked to read as many of the BYFA titles as possible, but all titles do not need to be read by each teen. Secondly, librarians may gather feedback from their teens to share on behalf of their teens during the session. Both teens and librarians interested in participating in the feedback session should apply by January 5

YALSA Goals for Youth Participation:

  1. To organize and implement youth participation to support division goals,
  2. To collect a wide range of ideas from as diverse a young adult population as possible,
  3. To incorporate youth participation into programs and services in order to provide a richer experience for YALSA members,
  4. To create valuable experiences for the participating young adults in which they can gain knowledge and/or skills useful in future endeavors.

2021 Morris Award Finalists Announced

YALSA has selected five books as finalists for the 2021 William C. Morris Award, which honors the year’s best books written for young adults by a previously unpublished author. YALSA will name the 2021 award winner virtually at the Youth Media Awards on January 25, 2021 during the American Library Association’s virtual Midwinter Meeting. Registration is open now through January 15, 2021.

The 2021 finalists are:

  • Black Girl Unlimited: The Remarkable Story of a Teenage Wizard, written by Echo Brown, published by Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt and Co. Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group. 9781250309853.
  • The Black Kids, written by Christina Hammonds Reed, published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing. 9781534462724. 
  • If These Wings Could Fly, written by Kyrie McCauley, published by Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins. 9780062885029.
  • It Sounded Better in My Head, written by Nina Kenwood, published by Flatiron Books, Macmillan Publishers. 9781250219268.
  • Woven in Moonlight, written by Isabel Ibañez, published by Page Street Publishing. 9781624148019.

Annotations and more information on the finalists and the award can be found on the Morris Award page. Finalist seals are available for purchase by publishers and library staff to place on the finalist titles. Individuals can watch the Youth Media Awards live on January 25th at 8am CT online. For more information on YALSA’s William C. Morris Award and other ALA Youth Media Awards, please visit the Youth Media Awards web page.

Congrats to all the finalists and thank you to the 2021 Morris Award Committee for all the hard work, effort, and time they put into reading all submitted titles and selecting the finalists.

Members of the 2021 William C. Morris Award Committee are: chair Melissa Malanuk, Queens Borough Public Library, Jamaica, New York; Meaghan Darling, Sparta Public Library, Sparta, New Jersey; Laura Erwin, Bossard Memorial Library, Gallipolis, Ohio; Megan Garrett, Mid-Continent Public Library, Lee’s Summit, Missouri; Jamie M. Gregory, Christ Church Episcopal School, Moore, South Carolina; Lindsey Helfrich, Sacramento Public Library, Sacramento, California; Alicia Kalan, The Northwest School, Seattle, Washington; Carol Maples, Central High School, Pollok, Texas; and Ann Pechacek, Worthington Libraries, Worthington, Ohio.

2021 Nonfiction Award Finalists Announced

YALSA has selected five books as finalists for the 2021 Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Award, which honors the best nonfiction books written for young adults between November 1, 2019 and October 31, 2020. YALSA will name the 2021 award winner virtually at the Youth Media Awards on January 25, 2021 during the American Library Association’s virtual Midwinter Meeting. Registration is open now through January 15, 2021.

The 2021 finalists are:

  • All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys’ Soccer Team, written by Christina Soontornvat and published by Candlewick Press. 9781536209457.
  • The Cat I Never Named: A True Story of Love, War, and Survival, written by Amra Sabic-El-Rayess with Laura L. Sullivan and published by Bloomsbury YA. 9781547604531.
  • How We Got To the Moon: The People, Technology, and Daring Feats of Science Behind Humanity’s Greatest Adventure, written and illustrated by John Rocco and published by Crown Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House. 9780525647416.
  • The Rise and Fall of Charles Lindbergh, written by Candace Fleming and published by Schwartz and Wade, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House. 9780525646549.
  • You Call This Democracy?: How to Fix Our Democracy and Deliver Power to the People, written by Elizabeth Rusch and published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers, a division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 9780358387428.

Annotations and more information on the finalists and the award can be found on the Nonfiction Award page. Finalist seals are available for purchase by publishers and library staff to place on the finalist titles. Individuals can watch the Youth Media Awards live on January 25th at 8am CT online. For more information on YALSA’s Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Award and other ALA Youth Media Awards, please visit the Youth Media Awards web page.

Learn more about YALSA’s portfolio of book and media awards, which helps strengthen library services for and with teens by identifying quality, age appropriate resources for librarians and library workers to share with the teens in their communities.

Congrats to all the finalists and thank you to the 2021 Nonfiction Award Committee for all the hard work, effort, and time they put into reading all submitted titles and selecting the finalists.

Members of the 2021 YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Award Committee are: Chair Adrienne Gillespie, Beaverton School District,  Portland, Oregon; Danielle Rae Dreger-Babbitt, Sno-Isle Regional Library, Mill Creek Library, Mill Creek, Washington; Jennifer Longee, Durham Academy, Durham, North Carolina; Jill Bellomy, Highland Park Middle School,  Dallas, Texas; Lisa Goldstein, Brooklyn Public Library, New York; Katie Richert, Bloomingdale Public Library, Bloomingdale, Illinois; Joel Shoemaker, Illinois Prairie District Public Library, Metamora, Illinois; Kerry Townsend, Columbia Public Schools , Columbia, Missouri; and Dr. Terrell A. Young, Bringham Young University, Provo, Utah. 

2020 Teens’ Top Ten Announced

2020 Teens' Top Ten

The official titles of the 2020 Teens’ Top Ten are as follows:

  1. Wayward Son (Simon Snow, #2) by Rainbow Rowell. Wednesday Books/Macmillan. 9781250146076.
  2. Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell. Illustrated by Faith Erin Hicks. First Second/Macmillan. 9781626721623.
  3. With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo. HarperTeen/HarperCollins. 9780062662835.
  4. Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. Alfred A. Knopf/Penguin Random House. 9781524720995.
  5. Broken Throne: A Red Queen Collection by Victoria Aveyard. HarperTeen/ HarperCollins. 9780062423023.
  6. #MurderFunding (#MurderTrending #2) by Gretchen McNeil. Freeform/Disney Book Group. 9781368026277.
  7. We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya) by Hafsah Faizal. Farrar Straus Giroux /Macmillan 9780374311544.
  8. Lovely War by Julie Berry. Viking/Penguin Random House. 9780451469939.
  9. Wilder Girls by Rory Power. Delacorte Press/Penguin Random House. 9780525645580.
  10. The Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy. Blink/HarperCollins Publishing. 9780310767657.

Download the full list with annotations on the Teens’ Top Ten webpage.

Thanks to all the teens for voting and congrats to all the winners!

Teens aged 12-18 can nominate their favorite titles to be considered as a 2021 Teens’ Top Ten nominee via the public nomination form by Dec. 31. For books to be eligible for consideration for 2021, they must be published between January 1– December 31, 2020. Since the start of the year, YALSA’s Teens’ Top Ten book groups, which are made up of teen book groups from libraries across the U.S., have been reading advanced reading copies and nominating titles. 

A digital image of a Teens’ Top Ten seal for nominated titles is available to publishers for licensing. Arrangements can be made through ALA’s Rights and Permissions office for publishers who need permission to reproduce the seal on a paperback edition or book jacket. Contact permissions@ala.org or Mary Jo Bolduc, (312) 280-5416 or (312) 944-8741 (fax) for information.

2020 Teens’ Top Ten Voting Open

Voting is open for YALSA’s 2020 Teens’ Top Ten now through October 15. Teens aged 12-18 can vote for up to three titles from the 25 nominees. A video featuring the nominated books can be found on the Teens’ Top Ten site.

Every April, the Teens’ Top Ten nominees are posted on the Thursday of National Library Week, and readers vote online August 15 – October 15. To learn more about the Teens’ Top Ten and voting, please visit the Teens’ Top Ten website.

Share the nominees video on your library or school’s website and encourage teens to vote.

2021 Teens’ Top Ten Book Groups Application Open

Library staff can now apply on behalf of their teen book groups for a chance to be a part of the official 2021-2022 Teens’ Top Ten book groups.

The Teens’ Top Ten, formerly called YA Galley, is an ongoing project in which publishers of young adult books provide advanced reading copies of their recent titles to teen book discussion groups, also known as the Teens’ Top Ten book groups, in libraries. In exchange, teen readers evaluate books for the publishers.

A total of fifteen teen book groups, led by an advisor, will be selected to fulfill a two-year term (January of 2021 – December 31, 2022). Advisors of the book groups must be current personal members of YALSA and are required to submit sample teen book reviews with their application. Book reviews must be filled out by teens and can be for any book that they have recently read. Learn more about the Advisor’s Procedures, eligibility requirements, and more by reading the FAQ.

Apply by October 15.

2020 Printz and Odyssey Award Virtual Celebration Recordings

Last Sunday, ALA’s The Book Award Celebration event took place. The event celebrated several of its book and media award winners, including YALSA’s very own Printz and Odyssey Awards. If you missed our celebrations, check out the recordings below, which feature speeches and Q&A segments from the winning authors. Don’t forget to share these recordings with your teen patrons and feature them on your library’s website! You can also view the full playlist of all the celebrations.

The Hub Member Manager Sought for 2020-2021 Term

We’d like to thank the Hub’s current member manager, Stephen Ashley for the tremendous work and dedication he’s put into the Hub the past few years.

YALSA seeks a new member manager for a one-year term starting August 17, 2020, with an option to renew based on performance. Main responsibilities include leading an advisory board to provide oversight in creating, soliciting, and managing content for the blog, as well as recruiting bloggers. Additionally, the member manager will help manage the selected lists blogging teams and the dissemination of the selected lists, as well as the promotion and technical maintenance of the blog.

The member manager will receive an honorarium for their one-year term, as well as a small stipend to attend YALSA/ALA conferences. Please note that this is not a salaried staff position, but a member volunteer opportunity. YALSA membership is required.

Interested individuals should send a cover letter and resume that includes management, writing, and web publishing experience. Familiarity with PHP, WordPress, HTML, and social media preferred, but not required. Send cover letters and resumes to Anna Lam at alam@ala.org by July 20.

See the list of qualifications and responsibilities below.  

List of Qualifications:

  1. Strong project management and organizational skills
  2. Ability to delegate work and to manage a variety of contributors and volunteers
  3. Dynamic, self-motivated individual
  4. Excellent verbal and written communications skills, in order to develop content and communicate with potential content providers
  5. Experience in web publishing with responsibilities including but not limited to: utilizing video clips, audio, and social media, maintaining a high standard of writing, and ensuring compliance with policies created for the maintenance of the site
  6. Knowledge of HTML and WordPress, which YALSA uses for administration of blog sites; as well as knowledge of plugins, tagging, categories, and other WordPress tools
  7. PHP knowledge a plus
  8. Ability to set and meet deadlines
  9. Knowledge of best practices and current trends in collection development for and with teens in libraries
  10.  Ability to work well in a team environment
  11. Ability to work well in a mostly virtual setting, including using tools such as Google Drive, Google Calendar, Zoom, etc. to coordinate work and communicate with others
  12.  Personal membership in YALSA
  13. A commitment to advancing the recommendations YALSA outlined in its report, The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: a Call to Action and Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff.
  14. A commitment to advancing and supporting YALSA’s mission and EDI Plan.
  15. High ethical standards and no real or perceived conflict of interest with YALSA or its portfolio of print and web publications

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Oversight & Coordination

  • Communicate with the Advisory Board, Selected List Blogging Team Leaders, and YALSA’s Communications Specialist on a regular basis to generate ideas for content, assign tasks, discuss marketing strategies, and discuss site management
  • Work with the YALS and JRLYA editors and YALSAblog and Teen Programming HQ managers as appropriate to coordinate dissemination of information to members and the library community.
  • Maintain communication with YALSA member groups whose work relates to collection development and content curation
  • Oversee and help manage the posting and promotion of the selected lists
  • Follow all established and relevant ALA and YALSA policies and guidelines, enforce them as necessary and periodically conduct a review of them to ensure relevancy and currency
  • Direct questions about sponsorships, advertising, etc. to YALSA’s Executive Director
  • Develop a calendar for content, based on YALSA events and activities as well as those going on in the larger community related to collecting and curating library materials for and with teens
  • Write reports prior to the Annual Conference and Midwinter Meeting for submission to the YALSA Board of Directors

Seek Out & Manage Content & Contributors

  • With the Advisory Board, review and edit content submitted to the site to make sure the quality is acceptable, that it is aligned with YALSA principles, and that it includes YALSA branding prior to posting, when appropriate
  • With the Advisory Board, manage postings regularly to guarantee quality of content and appropriate tagging and category identification
  • With the Advisory Board, recruit a diverse group of contributors on a regular basis, which may include but is not limited to: YALSA members, authors and teens
  • Communicate regularly with bloggers to solicit content, share news, motivate bloggers, develop a blogging schedule, etc.
  • Interact with and provide any necessary training to contributors as needed at ALA’s Annual Conference, Midwinter Meeting, or YALSA’s Symposium and via virtual means
  • Effectively motivate, support and manage a large and fluctuating group of contributors and volunteers
  • Work with the Advisory Board to manage comments and spam daily to guarantee that the blog content is appropriate

Promotion

  • Attend ALA and YALSA events to recruit contributors and inform member groups about the site
  • Answer questions and inquiries about the site in a timely fashion
  • Work with YALSAblog Member Manager to cross-promote the blogs and collaborate on projects that advance YALSA’s Organizational Plan
  • Utilize social media to increase awareness of the Hub and its content

Technical Maintenance

  • Work with YALSA’s Communications Specialist as appropriate to update and manage blog software
  • Monitor new technologies as they impact the site: add-ons and plug-ins to blog software, widgets or applications for hand-held devices, etc.

Selected Lists and Bloggers

  • Select bloggers and team leads for YALSA’s book lists: Amazing Audiobooks, Quick Picks, Best Fiction, and Great Graphic Novels for the Hub from volunteer applications with support from YALSA staff
  • Review applications for Selected List Teams and build a balanced roster for each team in terms of:
    • A balanced geographic distribution of members on the team
    • Representation of all library types (school, public, academic)
    • Inclusion of both younger and older adolescent focus of committee members
    • Representation of a variety of experience levels of team members
    • Diversity of team members in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, etc. 
  • With Coordinators, facilitate the work of these blogging teams on The Hub by communicating with bloggers about editing and scheduling of reviews
  • Support the dissemination and promotion of final lists
  • Work with the Advisory and the Award and Selected List Oversight Committee to oversee training for Selected List Teams and leverage existing YALSA resources to do so, and develop new as needed
  • Provide a template and sample posts for the blogging teams, and other resources as called for.
  • Communicate regularly with Selected List Team Leads
  • Work with the Advisory Board to update and/or create guidelines for the Hub, including public comment guidelines, so that they accommodate selected list efforts
  • Sit in on virtual meetings of Selected List Teams, as needed
  • Offer guidance, support, and expertise for Team Leads throughout term as needed
  • Communicates with YALSA Board and staff regarding the possible need to expand into a co-manager format, and/or increase the size or change the make-up of the Advisory Board
  • Communicates with YALSA staff regarding any possible back-end improvements needed to the site to accommodate the selected list effort

2020 Virtual Alex Awards Celebration Recording

Last week, the virtual celebration for the 2020 Alex Awards winners took place. If you couldn’t attend, view the recording below.

Free virtual celebrations for YALSA’s Printz and Odyssey Awards, as well as other ALA book and media awards, will take place via an all day event called The ALA Award Celebration, on June 28 on ALA’s YouTube channel starting at 10am EST.

The Odyssey Award Ceremony will take place at 4:30 pm ET, while the Printz Award Ceremony will take place at 6 pm ET. Learn more and view the full schedule.