YALSA announces new direction for Teen Read Week Web site

Contact: Nichole Gilbert



For Immediate Release

April 2002

YALSA announces new direction for Teen Read Week Web site

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), announced a new direction for its highly successful, heavily used
Teen Read Week Web site. Now titled "Teen Reading," its goal is to gather and disseminate information about adolescent literacy, and provide resources to assist librarians, teachers and parents in their efforts to improve reading skills and encourage teens to "read for the fun of it."

"Teens like to read, but they just don't have enough time for it, and they've told us so," Bonnie Kunzel, president of YALSA said. "And that's where we, as librarians serving young adults, come in. It is essential that we nurture the relationship our teens are developing with reading. And what better resource than the new and improved Teen Reading Web site to help us achieve this goal."

When Teen Read Week began in 1998, YALSA wanted to forge a stronger link between teens, reading and libraries. Since interest in this initiative has increased exponentially each succeeding year (in October, 2001 the Teen Read Week Web site had 96,625 hits), it became increasingly clear that there was an unmet need to address continuing concerns about adolescent literacy-the more formal term for teen reading. Now, in its fifth anniversary year, the Teen Read Week Web site has been reorganized to make it useful all year around.

"Teen Reading" resources from the original Teen Read Week site include tips to encourage teen reading; lists of recommended books for teens; surveys; and Teen Read Week facts. New information includes results from the 2001 SmartGirl Reading Survey; an updated list of publications about teen reading links to the 2002 lists of books recommended by YALSA for young adults; and an interactive reading interest inventory for individual teen use, with a PDF version for teachers and librarians to use with teens.

The "Let Us Hear From You" section gives visitors to the site an opportunity to share their ideas about teen reading, problems and solutions. There also is a section "What's All The Fuss About" that provides information librarians can use to support their efforts to encourage teen reading in school and public libraries.

New ideas and information will be added at regular intervals and a special section devoted to Teen Read Week will be posted in the spring. The content of this section will be specifically related to the theme of Teen Read Week for the current year, "Get Graphic @ your library." Information about previous years' themes is archived and readily available for use with teen reading activities.

For more information, contact the YALSA office by e-mail at
yalsa@ala.org, or by phone at 1-800-545-2433 ext. 4387.