This winter issue of YALS features Teen Tech Week™ 2009, Press Play @ your library®, YALSA’s initiative to celebrate teens and technology in libraries. School and public librarians working with teens have found technology to be a wonderful tool for making connections. While these young digital natives are eager to try any new technology, parents, teachers, and librarians keep busy trying to keep up, finding the best and safest way to use these new tools and applying them to activities that will enrich young people’s lives.
Technology can be the key for your library to reach out to teens in juvenile detention centers, as the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County has found. Kelly Czarnecki tells of this amazing work being done by librarians in her article, “Dream It, Do It.” Ruth Cox Clark tells us about the next new thing, cell phone novels, now hot in Japan. Vikki Terrile has great advice on making technology available to all your teens, and you’ll find many great ideas for celebrating Teen Tech Week submitted by the Teen Tech Week Committee and compiled by committee member Jami Schwarzwalder. Also, check out how two winners of last year’s Teen Tech Week Mini Grants made the most of their awards.
This issue also features Jami Jones’ second article, “ ‘Shelters from the Storm’: Teens, Stress, and Libraries,” focusing on the stress teens face at home and school and how we can help. Judy Michaelson explores online homework help options, and Brian W. Sturm and Karin Michel examine the power of problem novels.
Teen Tech Week reminds us that teens and technology belong in libraries. Our game-playing, multi-tasking, delightfully complex teens keep us on our toes in a constant learning curve and on the cutting edge of technology, teen literature and all its forms, and the newest trends. If lifelong learning is truly the fountain of youth, I think young adult librarians are swimming in it!
When you receive this issue, the buzz will be about the justannounced ALA Youth Media Awards. Anyone who has been to an ALA Midwinter Meeting can attest to the excitement in the ballroom as titles and authors are announced for the Printz, Edwards, Odyssey (for audiobooks), and Alex Awards. A new award to look for this year is the William C. Morris Award, for a first-time author. The Best Books, Popular Paperbacks, Quick Picks, and all the other valuable lists are released as well into the eager hands of librarians wanting to provide the best available materials for their teen audiences. All of the committees assigned to the task of selecting items for these awards and lists have read, thought, studied, argued, and carefully listened before committing to their final choices. Their work is rewarded by the agreeing cheers and hoots from the appreciative audience. The spring issue of YALS will feature all of the awards and lists to help you select the best materials for your teens.