Midwinter in Denver . . . first the weather! After reports of seventy degrees the day before I arrived, I saw zero degrees, thirty degrees, and everything in between. Yet, while it was cold outside, there was a lot of energy and warm feelings being generated inside the Convention Center among the many enthusiastic librarians meeting there this past week.
Between you and me, I think YALSA has to be the hardest working and most fun group in ALA. I experienced a wonderful balance of discussion and fellowship among young adult librarians who all share the same mission: connecting young adults and libraries. Committee and board meetings gave way to social events where many discussions continued into the night. Committee chairs met Saturday morning to receive guidance from board members and many passed the torch to new chairs. The committees gathered afterward at the all committee meeting to plan the year’s projects. As I wandered from table to table discussing article proposals, I heard many interesting ideas being generated for programs and projects. This is the think tank that makes YALSA successful in its mission.
This year I attended a few sessions and witnessed the dedication and commitment of the Best Books for Young Adults (BBYA) Committee. You can read about the teen experience at BBYA in the Teen Perspective column of this issue. BBYA is but one of the selection committees that spend countless hours during Midwinter and Annual to discuss and create the lists librarians find so helpful for building collections. The annual awards and lists are so interesting because they are as unique as the committees that select them. The combined experience, expertise, tastes, interests, and personalities of the committee members work together to find what they consider to be the best media of the year for teens. The highlight of Midwinter Meeting is the Youth Media Awards on Monday morning, the culmination of all that hard work.
All the YALSA book and media awards are documented here in this spring issue, as well as enlightening articles from Deborah Taylor about the Coretta Scott King Award 40th anniversary, and Alex Award chair Angela Carstensen, highlighting winner Thomas Maltman’s speech from Annual 2008. Also in this issue is the Best Practices article by Jessica Snow and her work reaching the foster teen audience and a very informative article by Don Essex on what is happening to keep teens safe online.
The conferences encapsulate what YALSA is all about: people, books, teens, hard work and dedication, fellowship, and fun. Don’t miss out . . . get active in YALSA today! YALS