For immediate release | November 19, 2012

YALSA celebrates at Young Adult Literature Symposium

CHICAGO — More than 500 librarians, educators and authors came to the Hyatt Regency Saint Louis at the Arch in Missouri Nov. 2-4, to celebrate teen reading at the third Young Adult Literature Symposium, held by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA). The 2012 theme was “The Future of Young Adult Literature: Hit Me with the Next Big Thing,” and explored what lies ahead for young adult literature, including trends in content, format and interaction.

“The YA Lit Symposium was both amazing and inspiring. I loved meeting all of the cool librarians and book lovers who attended, and I can't wait to hear about the next big thing - -er the next YA Lit Symposium!" said YALSA President H. Jack Martin. “I came back fired up about engaging teens in reading, and I'm sure others are feeling the same way.”

Attendees learned about social networking, dystopian literature and how to stay current on trends during symposium preconferences, and enjoyed breakout sessions on Saturday and Sunday on topics ranging from e-books to dealing with complicated and diverse YA content, to fan-created work, to LGBTQ teens and their literature. Many attendees came home with piles of free books, with more than 35 popular young adult authors on hand to sign and talk about their work at social events open to all attendees.

On Sunday, closing speaker Scott Westerfeld gave an "illustrated lecture" about working with artist Keith Thompson on the Leviathan trilogy, with digressions on the history of illustration and the future of fan art.

The 2012 Young Adult Literature Symposium was funded in part by the William C. Morris Endowment. YALSA uses the endowment to fund two scholarships to attend the Symposium. Meg Anastasi, a reference and teen librarian with the Springfield (Mass.) City Library and a teen services coordinator with Meekins Public Library, Williamsburg, Mass., won the worker stipend and Megan England, a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, won the student stipend.

YALSA announced that the next Young Adult Literature Symposium would take place Oct. 31 – Nov. 2, 2014 in Austin, Texas.

For more than 50 years, YALSA has been the world leader in selecting books, videos and audiobooks for teens. For more information about YALSA or for lists of recommended reading, viewing and listening, go to, or contact the YALSA office by phone, (800) 545-2433, ext. 4390, or e-mail,


Nichole Gilbert

Program Officer

Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)

800-545-2433 ext.4387