Thousands of teens celebrate poetry during Teen Read Week 2003, Slammin'@ your library

Contact: Nichole Gilbert


For Immediate Release

November 7, 2003

Thousands of teens celebrate poetry duringTeen Read Week 2003, “Slammin’@ your library”

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has successfully completed its 6th annual Teen Read Week,
“Slammin’ @ your library.” Hundreds of school and public libraries and bookstores celebrated the event October 19 – 25, 2003, by hosting an array of poetry-centric activities including poetry reading and writing competitions and poetry slams. Activities focused on giving teens an opportunity to
“read for the fun of it,” while celebrating the popularity of poetry among teenagers.
Thousands of teens throughout the country participated, making reading and writing poetry as much of a part of the teen scene as hip-hop music and instant messaging.

Libraries throughout the country offered creative programs that encouraged teens to participate in Teen Read Week events. The Phoenix Public Library, Phoenix, provided teens with a punch card that was punched every time they visited the library or attended a Teen Read Week program. Full punch cards could be entered in a drawing for prizes. Other libraries hosted reading pizza parties, literary scavenger hunts, coffee house read out events, literary-themed costume parties, and hip-hop events.

Poetry slam competitions were one of the most popular events that took place during “Slammin’@ your library.”
Hundreds of teens participated in lyrical boxing matches placing poem against poem, poet against poet. Audience members judged the competitions and prizes like gift certificates to bookstores and music stores were awarded.

This year’s Teen Read Week also presented an opportunity to gather data on teenager’s reading habits.
Teens were invited to participate in a reading survey jointly sponsored by YALSA and Over 3,600 teens participated in the survey while attending various Teen Read Week events at their school library media center or public library. Survey results will be available later this year.

Teen Read Week supporting organizations include: American Association of School Administrators, American Booksellers Association, Cable in the Classroom, International Reading Association, Kids Care, KIDSNET, National Association of Secondary School Principals, National Council of Teachers of English, National Education Association, National School Boards Association,, The N/Noggin, Speak Up Press, and TeenInk.

Corporate sponsors include New Line Cinema, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, HarperCollins Books for Children, Harcourt, Inc. and Morningstar Foods, Inc.
Scholastic, Inc. is a corporate friend of Teen Read Week and Pamela Spencer Holley is an individual friend.

Teen Read Week is a national literacy initiative aimed at teens, their parents, librarians, educators, booksellers and other concerned adults. It began in 1998 and has been celebrated the third week in October each year ever since.

For more information regarding Teen Read Week, and events that took place during “Slammin @ your library,” please visit or Information regarding YALSA and future literacy initiatives may be obtained by contacting Nichole Gilbert via e-mail at, or 800-545-2433 ext. 4391.