YALSA celebrates the first-ever Support Teen Literature Day as part of National Library Week

Contact: Nichole Gilbert
For Immediate Release
March 13, 2007

YALSA celebrates the first-ever Support Teen Literature Day

as part of National Library Week

CHICAGO - The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), the fastest growing division of the American Library Association (ALA), is celebrating the first ever Support Teen Literature Day on April 19, 2007. Support Teen Literature Day will be celebrated in conjunction with ALA’s National Library Week (April 15-21, 2007).

Librarians all across the country are encouraged to participate in Support Teen Literature Day by hosting events in their library. The purpose of this new celebration is to raise awareness among the general public that young adult literature is a vibrant, growing genre with much to offer today’s teens. Support Teen Literature Day also seeks to showcase some award-winning authors and books in the genre as well as highlight librarians’ expertise in connecting teens with books and other reading materials. Many of these activities can be featured throughout National Library Week or simply featured on Support Teen Literature Day.

Support Teen Literature Day also will be the official launch of YALSA’s 2007 Teen Read Week initiative, which will be celebrated October 14-20, 2007, with the theme “LOL @ your library.” The humor theme is meant to encourage teens nationwide to make time to read something light and entertaining just for the fun of it.

“Since about one in every four library users is a teen, Support Teen Literature Day is the perfect time to plan a program specifically for teens,” said Judy Nelson, YALSA President.

YALSA has compiled a list of activities, display ideas, and contests to help librarians and Teen Advisory Groups celebrate Support Teen Literature Day.

Display Ideas:

Read-a-like Lists/Displays: Connect teens to teen literature with read-a-like lists: If you liked this book, try ________.” Ask teens to submit their recommendations.

Highlight YALSA Award-Winning Books and AV. Create a display highlighting the YALSA Award-winning books (www.ala.org/yalsa/booklists) and Support Teen Literature Day.

Teens’ Opinions: Invite teens to write book, graphic novel, game, music and/or film reviews to post on a library display, web site, blog, or newsletter. Post a photo of the teen holding the book they reviewed. Introduce the reviews with a paragraph about Support Teen Literature Day.

Teen Read Week: Promote Teen Read Week 2007, October 14-20, by making a display around the theme, LOL@ your library. Showcase the humorous material available in your library.


Letters to the editor: Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper about Support Teen Literature Day and in support of the genre. Describe what your library is doing to celebrate the day. Invite teens to write letters to the editor, citing their favorite titles.

Teens 4 Libraries: Help teens create and film public service announcements about their local library to air at local schools or on the community public access channel during National Library Week. Make sure they talk about the teen literature offered at their library.

Teen Flash Mob: Work with your Teen Advisory Group to plan a flash mob on Support Teen Literature Day. Ask teens to gather in a public place at a certain time. The mob activity could be reading, appearing as a favorite book character, or holding a sign like “Support Teen Literature” or “got a library card?” After the mob disperses, host a Flash Party at the library. Be sure to take pictures of the flash mob and submit them to the local paper.

Teen Open House: Work with your Teen Advisory Group to plan an open house at the library on Support Teen Literature Day. Work with the local schools to make a special effort to invite teens who are not regular library users. Consider organizing transportation for teens who may need it. Provide refreshments and prizes. Ask a local band to provide entertainment. Be sure to display new library materials, and make sure everyone who attends gets a library card.

Drawings and Contests:

Teen Choice Award: Organize a favorite book drawing. Have teens drop their name in a box with their favorite book title listed. Have a drawing on Support Teen Literature Day, April 19, for winners. Ask local businesses to donate prizes. After the winner is announced, compile all the favorite books into a brochure or display.

Adult Flashback Award: Invite adults to enter a drawing where they list books they loved as teens. Ask local businesses to donate prizes. Create a display or brochure featuring the titles.

Teen Reading Contest: Invite teens in school English classes and at the library to compete all week to see which one can read the most pages or minutes. Keep and announce a daily tally to heighten the competition. Ask local businesses to donate prizes for the winners and announce the winners on Support Teen Literature Day.

Teen Road Show: Go where the teens are. Ask your Teen Advisory Group to help you plan an event on Support Teen Literature Day at a local mall, community center, fast food restaurant, etc. Secure a venue, and then decide what activity to hold, such as a read-a-thon or poetry slam. Be sure to have some high interest library materials on hand for check out as well as applications for library cards.

YALSA believes strongly that teens deserve the best, yet many libraries have inadequate numbers of trained staff and resources to address the needs of teens. According to information from the U.S. Census Bureau, there will be more than 42 million teens by the year 2008 (Projections of the Total Resident Population by 5-Year Age Groups and Sex with Special Age Categories: Middle Series: 2001-2005. Population Projection Program, Population Division, U.S. Census Bureau, 2000). Furthermore, studies indicate that teens are reading less often and fewer of them are obtaining critical literacy skills. More than 60 studies have been done since the 1970s that link increased student achievement with access to well-stocked and professionally staffed school library programs.

To address these issues, YALSA’s mission is to advocate, promote and strengthen library service to teens, ages 12 through 18, as part of the continuum of total library services, and to support those who provide library service to this population.

For 50 years, YALSA has been the world leader in selecting books, films, and audiobooks for teens. For more information about these events or for lists of recommended reading, viewing or listening for teens, go to www.ala.org/yalsa/booklists. For more information about YALSA, please contact us via e-mail, yalsa@ala.org; or by phone at 1-800-545-2433 ext. 4390.