Programs & Special Events 2016

YA Services Symposium Registration now open

Participating Authors | Housing and Travel | Programs and Special Events | Registration |

YALSA's Young Adult Services Symposium will take place Nov. 4-6, 2016, in Pittsburgh, PA. YALSA will host special events requiring additional registration on Friday, with concurrent sessions taking place all day on Saturday and for a half-day on Sunday morning.

All symposium attendees are eligible to receive a continuing education certificate showing the number of contact hours each person received. There will be a signup sheet at registration and certificates will be e-mailed out two weeks following the Symposium.

Ticketed Events  I  Free Evening Activities  I  Concurrent Sessions

Ticketed Events (these are an extra fee, separate from registration)

The Participatory Library: Partnering with Teens to Design Library Learning Experiences, Friday, 9am-12pm, $79
In this highly participatory session Juan Rubio, Jennifer Velasquez and Jason Yip will offer tools and strategies for involving teens in a full spectrum of co-design opportunities – useful for the development of everything from basic teen library events to the prototyping of new library services and products.

The workshop will focus on:

  • why the role of teens must shift from consumers of library-driven activities to developers/implementers of library events and co-designers of digitally rich learning experiences;  
  • how practices  designed by Yip, for gathering direct input from teens when designing learning experiences, relate to library practices and how Yip’s “co-design lessons” can be modified for use in library sponsored teen events;  
  • how, through collaboration between Seattle Public Library’s Rubio and University of Washington iSchool, teens are involved in providing insight and inspiration into what makes successful connected learning environments with digital media;
  • why, via tools such as Velasquez’s “matrix of teen participation”, it is vital and possible to make integration of youth voice quantifiable, reportable and an organizational goal
Marketing Library Programs for Increased Impact, Friday, 1pm-4pm, $79.
Increase your library’s impact by empowering teens to contribute to library marketing conversations. This session gives participants a hands-on overview of the life of a teen library marketing campaign. We'll walk you through conceptualization to media creation, traditional paper flyers to the newest social media tricks; data analytics to assessing your marketing return on investment. These can be applied to libraries of any size, or location! Learn how to collect teen-driven content for more meaningful and diverse dialogue, and how to boost your teen library services signal on social media platforms. Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram will be covered, but no prior exposure is needed.  
Designed for Equity Tour: space and programs that empower youth leaders in libraries and museums, Friday, 12pm-4pm, Tickets $40 (includes transportation).  Space is limited.
Tour the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh’s MAKESHOP and the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s The Labs and learn how two very different institutions have designed and run youth-facing programs, rooted in the framework of connected learning. See youth projects, talk to staff, and get ideas to take back to your library.
*Warhol Workshop, Friday, 6:30pm-9:30pm, $25.  *SOLD OUT*.
This program offers a guided tour of the Warhol museum’s permanent collection as well as hands on time in The Factory, the museum’s art studio, creating screen-printed artwork in Warhol’s style. Light refreshments will be provided.  Transportation to the museum is not provided (it is a 10 minute walk from the Westin).  
*It is possible to see the museum without purchasing a ticket to this event.  The museum is open until 10pm on Friday and also offers discounted admission of only $10. Attendees interested in visiting the Warhol can meet near registration at 7:00pm to walk over to the museum as a group.
Author Luncheon, Saturday, 12pm-1:30pm, $49.  
Enjoy lunch and listen to the Teens' Top Ten author panel featuring AG Howard, Mary E. Pearson, and Jordan Sonnenblick.  The Teens' Top Ten is a "teen choice" list, where teens nominate and choose their favorite books of the previous year and all three authors have appeared on this list!
Pittsburgh Trolley Tour, Saturday, 8pm-9:30pm, $30, *SOLD OUT*
Step aboard a vintage 1920's style Trolley and experience Pittsburgh with a fully guided 1-hour historical tour.  The Molly's Trolleys Sightseeing Tour will depart from the Westin and travels to popular areas of the City including Downtown, the Cultural District, and the North Side. It also includes a ride on the historic cable railway, the Duquesne Incline. The historically oriented tour informs riders of the rich history of these Pittsburgh neighborhoods with detailed information on people, places and things all around the Burgh, then will return you to the Westin.

Free Evening Activities (included with registration)

Opening Session: Inside the Diversity Prism: Understanding Hierarchy and Erasure, Fri. Nov. 4th at 5pm

All too often people hear the word diversity and immediately think color or race. But how does one define diversity? This is dependent on many factors and may include many other forms of diversity, including but not limited to race, culture, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and disability. Writing diversely is about bringing the true definition of “other” to light on the page and encompassing all of these differences. If a group of twenty teens enter a library, there may be external differences like color that are immediately evident, but there could be other internal and not so easily identifiable differences. Seeing such representation reflected in teen fiction and not coming from a place of shame or one ridden in stereotypes is a huge measure of empowerment. This panel program discusses the innate hierarchy that currently exists in diverse fiction as well as the subsequent erasure that may occur, making some marginalized groups feel even more marginalized. How do we transform the current mode of thinking to be more all-inclusive? 

Speakers include:  Jonathan Friesen; Leigh Bardugo; Zoraida Cordova; Dhonielle Clayton; Kristin Elizabeth Clark; T.S. Ferguson;  and Julie Matysik. Moderated by Amalie Howard.

Book Blitz, Sat. Nov. 5th, 5:00pm

Immediately following the concurrent sessions on Saturday, registrants can grab a free YALSA bag and attend the Book Blitz where they can score up to five free books and rub elbows with dozens of authors  Hors d'oeuvres served. Cash bar.

Concurrent Sessions (included with registration)Saturday and Sunday, 8:30am-1200pm, Closing session 12-1:30pm

SATURDAY, 8:30am-10:00am

The Double Bottom Line: Engaging Teens as Summer Learning Leaders for Younger Students, (Rubric Handout) Saturday, 8:30am-10:00am

As public libraries continue to evolve their summer learning programs, they are establishing intentional partnerships with schools, city/county government and community organizations. This session will explore how these partnerships allow libraries to target and engage high school students as tutors, mentors and program leaders for younger students via hands-on and connected learning activities. Participants will learn about library summer learning programs that include this “double bottom line” approach: addressing the summer slide for struggling early elementary school students while providing teens with connected learning opportunities, community connections, leadership development and college and career readiness. This session builds on research conducted by the Urban Libraries Council (ULC) in partnership with the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) with funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Presenters: Emily Samose, Director, Education and Learning Initiatives, Urban Libraries Council; Maggie Jacobs, Director of Educational Programs at the New York Public Library; Kelly Rottmund, Teen Services Coordinator at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh; Trixie Dantis, Teen Services Supervisor, Arlington Heights Memorial Library.

The Feedback Loop: Experiences of LGBTQ Youth Services as a Model for Growing Your Library's NetworkSaturday, 8:30am-10:00am

This session will explore how outreach informs and directs in-library programming, and catalyzes and expands community partner networks. Using the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and Seattle Public Library's experiences prioritizing outreach to LGBTQ youth as examples, presenters will discuss their experiences with LGBTQ-focused library services. The session will include input from librarians, a community partner organization and a teen participant in library programming. We will offer impressions, share best practices, and reflect on the impact of coordinated, cooperative efforts to provide access and services to this population. The format will allow time for audience Q&A and breakout conversations.  Presenters: Morgan Suity, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh; Mk Zev Davis, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh; Rachael Bohn, Seattle Public Library; Adil Mansoor, Dreams of Hope; Oliver, Pittsburgh teen. 

The Power of "ProTeen", Saturday, 8:30am-10:00am

From the perspective and experience of both a public librarian and a media specialist, learn the myriad ways we’re working to empower teens at our libraries. From teen internships and advisory groups, to open mics and art contests, to free books and visiting authors, we’ll cover small ideas and big ideas alike. If you work with teens, then you’re in the business of empowering teens, so join us and get inspired!

Saturday, 10:30am-12:00pm

The Fast Track: Introducing Teens to Non-Traditional Career PathsSaturday, 10:30am-12:00pm

Maybe a four-year college is not right for everyone. Learning a professional trade can help teens and new adults kick-start their future. ImaginOn (Charlotte Mecklenburg Library) hosts an annual trade school fair that exposes teens to options for careers and vocational programs that match their interests. In addition, ImaginOn hosts a monthly workshop that features entrepreneurs and other individuals with innovative career paths. This session will focus on the growing trend of choosing trade school programs over four-year colleges and will outline the steps for organizing a successful trade school fair and career workshop series at your library.

Real Characters, Real Issues: Using Complex YA to Empower TeensSaturday, 10:30am-12:00pm

Gone are the days of expecting teens to conform to a specific, perfect mold. We encourage individualism and self-worth in teens, creating a need for literature that reflects this. Whether dealing with suicidal thoughts, sexual orientation, substance abuse, environmental collapse, or dystopian societies, sometimes the safest way to face real emotions and situations is through the eyes of others. Six authors discuss the importance of empowering today's teens and offer ways to help youth librarians use edgy, outsider, and complex YA to better understand current world issues and promote teen empowerment. Participating authors:  Joshua David Bellin, Alexandra Diaz, Bonnie J. Doerr, Alison Ashley Formento, Alissa Grosso, and  Jennifer Hubbard.

Building Their Own World: Teen-Driven Community EngagementSaturday, 10:30am-12:00pm

Discover how library programming and services can foster engaged and informed citizens. From encouraging participation in elections to facilitating teen-driven service learning projects to exposing teens to experiences that will boost cultural competence, this session will help you brainstorm ways to set the stage for lifelong learning and civic engagement by creating opportunities for exploration in a positive and open environment. Connect teens to your community organizations, strengthen partnerships with teachers by providing outlets for teens to practice what they learn in the classroom, and empower teens to be self-advocates. Presenters:  Izabel Gronski and Regina Townsend.

Saturday, 1:30pm-3:00pm

William C. Morris Author Forum, Saturday, 1:30pm-3:00pm

Debut YA authors discuss what led them to write for teens, their creative process, and the experience of publishing a novel. Participating Authors: Laure Eve, Roshani Chokshi, Stephanie Garber, Christine Kendall, and Meredith Russo.  Moderated by 2015 Morris finalist, E.K. Johnston.

Empowering Teens with Books That Reflect Their World, Saturday, 1:30pm-3:00pm

The recent push for diverse books by YA authors rightly suggests that all teenagers need to see themselves in books. Small, independent presses have been at the vanguard in publishing diverse books, and we did it long before the #WNDB hashtag. We find and publish stories that emerge from such marginalized places in society that sometimes award committees, librarians, and booksellers don’t even “see” them due to cultural blinders. Teens will be empowered by exposure to these books, to these publishers, and to a frank discussion of the cultural, creative, and economic powers that make these voices invisible.  Publisher representatives from Source Books, and Cinco Puntos Press.

Springboard to Success: College and Career Readiness in the Library, Saturday, 1:30pm-3:00pm

As we pivot towards an increasingly global information economy, many young people are at risk of being left behind without the skills necessary to participate fully in the 21st century as productive workers and engaged citizens.  Mindful of this shift, libraries across the country are increasingly focused on providing programs and services which help prepare youth for success in the workplace or postsecondary education. This panel will highlight three IMLS funded library-led efforts to address college and career readiness, underscoring the critical role of libraries as catalysts for positive change in their communities.  Presenters:  Jack Martin, Executive Director, Providence Public Library; Karisa Tashjian, Director of Education, Providence Public Library; Homa Naficy, Chief Adult Learning Officer, Hartford Public Library; ‎Linda Braun, Learning Consultant, LEO: Librarians & Educators Online; Tim Carrigan, Senior Program Officer, Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Saturday, 3:30pm-5:00pm

Locally Grown, Saturday, 3:30pm-5:00pm

See and hear the ways in which teen employees, volunteers and patrons of the 2012 IMLS winning Shaler North Hills Library enhance and share their skills and interests with children and adults in the community. From cooking to math, ballet to robotics, teens develop and implement programs for preschool and primary grade children, exponentially growing library offerings, gaining confidence in their own abilities and gifts. Learn about SNHL's thriving partnerships with local schools, special education teachers and career/technical programs. Teens of all abilities contribute to the library's larger mission of empowering the community by sharing their own gifts and interests. Presenters include:  Jill Millard - Shaler Area Middle School/Shaler North HIlls Library; Cari Ludwig, Director of Early Childhood Education at A.W. Beattie Career School; Elizabeth and Casey - students at AW Beattie Career School; Max - Middle school student at Hampton Middle School; Kylie, a student at Shaler Area High School; Kayleigh, a student at Shaler Area High School; Jan Nocita - Shaler North Hills Library; Joyce Mangis - Shaler North Hills Library; Emily - Student, Rochester Institute of Technology; Shayna -Student, Art Institute of Pittsburgh and Ing Kalchthaler, Shaler North Hills Library.

Avengers Assemble!: Establishing and Expanding Community Connections for School and Public Librarians, Saturday 3:30pm-5:00pm

Superheroes work better in teams, and teen librarians and staff are no different. Whether you’re a seasoned hero, are just coming into your powers, or are somewhere in between, this session will help you build partnerships and find avenues to create new ones in your community, regardless of budget or size. We’ll help you identify, maintain, evaluate, and enrich new and existing partnerships to offer more seamless services to teens across your community. Busting down your library's walls empowers teens to discover how the library can connect to their lives in a multitude of ways and helps them to develop their own superpowers. Presenters:  Katie LaMantia, Schaumburg Township District Library; Evan Mather, Bloomingdale Public Library; Renee Neumeier, Evanston Public Library; and Tyler Works Indian Prairie Public Library.

PAPER PRESENTATIONS, Saturday, 3:30pm-5:00pm

Past Events, Current Teens, Future Skills: Producing Digital Oral Histories (Dr. Marilyn Harhai, Dr. Janice Krueger, Dr. James Maccaferri)

The Future of Library Services for and with Teens notes the need for teens to have formal and informal opportunities to learn and use digital tools. Creating digital oral histories is an easy multipurpose project that incorporates fundamental literacy skills with community engagement. The paper will provide details on a start-up project using the Library of Congress Veterans History Project along with ideas for leveraging those skills for teen involvement in community, school and academic based projects. The paper provides practical skills as a jumping off point for teens to learn and share expertise that incorporates library staff and services.

Out of the Closet but Not on the Shelf: Initial Findings from a National Study of Librarian Censorship of Award-Winning GLBTQ Teen Titles (Robin Kurz)

GLBTQ teens may rely heavily on public libraries to fulfill their learning needs, especially when seeking materials with which they can identify. Yet, often librarians struggle with their own fears of real or perceived challenges when selecting GLBTQ materials, especially for teens. This paper highlights the results of a national study. The initial research included a search of public library holdings across the United States for teen books from the Rainbow Book List and the Stonewall Book Award. Findings indicate a variety of factors (regional, demographic, funding, etc.) that may influence holdings and inform teen services staff in all libraries.

From Shelf to Shelter: Empowering Homeless Teens (Kerry Sutherland)

Teens in homeless shelters have limited access to library materials and programs but often a greater need of library services than teens with secure living arrangements. Youth services librarians can reach out to these teens in a variety of ways to bridge the gap, adjusting existing services and programs to meet their needs or creating new services that accommodate them. Eleven years of service to teen girls in a small home-style shelter in Akron, Ohio is explored in this paper, addressing the successes and failures of services that intend to include, welcome, educate, entertain, and empower teen girls struggling with homelessness.

Sunday, 8:30am-10:00am

From socializing to social justice: connecting teens to community through social narratives, Sunday, 8:30am-10:00am

HOMAGO—Hang out. Mess Around. Geek Out. Hanging out and socializing is a defining characteristic of teen life, no matter where you look. How can we, as librarians and educators, create programming around this desire to socialize? More importantly, how do we make it meaningful? This session will provide tools and strategies for incorporating storytelling into a range of programs, from art exhibitions to movie nights. We will address multiple literacies, touch upon the role that mentorship plays in developing trust, and have some fun creating our own stories with some hands-on activities.

Makerboxes: Maker Programs in a Box, Sunday, 8:30am-10:00am Brainstorm and Program Ideas

Although most teen librarians dream of Maker Spaces and the STEAM possibilities they provide, many libraries feel they don’t have the resources, space, or expertise to create a Maker program. This program will demonstrate Maker programming ideas for teens and tweens based on Maker kits created by the North Central Kansas Libraries System. Maker programs cover a broad spectrum of activities and subjects, and the NCKLS kits address these areas in unique ways. We’ll discuss the creation of the kits, ways of using kits for passive and active programs, and opportunities for community partnerships.

Designed for equity: empowering teen leaders in libraries and museums, Sunday 8:30am-10:00am

How can we work with our institutions to design for equity and youth leadership? Learn firsthand from representatives from the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh and the YOUmedia Learning Labs Network about developing frameworks and reflection practices, rooted in equity, and geared towards youth leadership and empowerment. Attendees will hear about examples from a museum and library location and learn what these frameworks and practices look like in the wild, from the perspective of practitioners, administrators, and youth. Presenters:   K-Fai Steele, Program Associate, National Writing Project;  Molly Dickerson and Peter Wardrip, Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh; and Corey Wittig, Digital Learning Librarian, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

Sunday, 10:30am-12:00pm

Rethinking School Outreach, Sunday, 10:30am-12:00pm School Outreach, School Visits, My Library-Principal, My Library-Student

What does successful school outreach from the public library to schools look like? Is it about library cards? databases? gaming? book clubs? In this session members of the MYLibraryNYC program – a school-library outreach partnership program with more than 500 schools in NYC and spanning the 3 public library systems – will discuss successes and lessons learned over the past 5 years of running this program. Best Practices will include: * booktalking new and upcoming book titles for kids * school specific outreach – no one size fits all outreach * working with stakeholders at each school.  Presenters:  Amie Wright (New York Public Library); Amy Mikel (Brooklyn Public Library); Elizabeth Devora (New York Public Library); and Christine Poser (NYC DOE Office of Library Services). 

Think For Yourself and Let Others Do the Same, Sunday, 10:30am-12:00pm

Teens have proven to be a powerful force when intellectual freedom is challenged. The majority of challenges reported to the Office for Intellectual Freedom include YA books. This program will show: 1) Examples of teens who voice their opinions and support for books and libraries. 2) Methods to engage teens when a challenge happens at your library. And 3) ideas to collaborate with teens to advocate for intellectual freedom in your community. Presenter:  Kristin Pekoll, ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom

Doing Justice: Community Outreach to Court-Involved Teens, Sunday, 10:30am-12:00pm

Librarians from across the United States will share strategies for connecting court-involved youth with community resources. Following a presentation of outreach models--from book talks to informal maker activities, structured workshops, and collaborative partnerships--the session will include a breakout discussion; time to strategize outreach in your community; and time for Q&A. Participants will learn: -The importance of outreach to teens in the care or custody of the state -Best practices for engaging court-involved youth and diverse community partners -Strategic community outreach planning.  Presenters:  Simon Rafferty and Andre Costello - Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Kate McNair and Dawna Ofstehage - Johnson County Public Library, Kansas April Witteveen - Deschutes Public Library, Oregon Nancy Buenger - Madison Public Library/University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Library & Information Studies.

Closing Session, 12-1:30pm

All attendees will be entered into a drawing to win $100 cash.  Five winners will be drawn, must be present to win!  Followed by an author panel with Jesse Andrews, Siobhan Vivian, and Ellen Wittlinger!