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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

John Green Shout-Out to Librarians and Teachers

I used to watch the vlogbrothers videos more regularly.  I got my fill of them a few years ago, but I got reintroduced when the Office of Intellectual Freedom blog highlighted a video that John Green made, talking about how his Printz Award winning book Looking for Alaska topped the list of Most Challenged books in the US in 2015.  My favorite part of the video is where he emphasizes that LIBRARIANS and TEACHERS are trained and skilled professionals who choose materials carefully and with a deep understanding of literature and the youth they serve.  It's always nice to get a shout-out like that from a revered author.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Promoting Voting for the Teens' Top Ten

The YALSA's Teens' Top Ten Nominations are out!  This is a list of 25 books that are nominated and selected by teen book groups from across the country.  Then, from August 15-October 15, teens have a chance to vote on the three they think are best.  After Teen Read Week, the winning list of 10 titles is published.

How cool is this?  A teen-run, crowd-sourced book list of some pretty interesting books that were published last year.  Unfortunately, a lot of teens have never heard of it, and many librarians haven't, either.  I highly recommend promoting these titles and the voting!  As a way to help with that, last year a group of librarians and IFLS created a website to encourage teens to interact with each other (virtually) around these books.  We had very limited response last year, but are going to try it again this year.

At http://ratearead.org, teens can easily find a list of the Teens' Top Ten nominees, keep track of which ones they read and which ones they liked, comment on them and engage in discussions with others, and even earn digital badges for doing so.  In addition, thanks to the Menomonie Public Library, this year all participants will be entered into a drawing for a Kindle.

In the meantime, student filmmakers at Eau Claire Memorial High School are working on a promotional video, and the LE Phillips Memorial Public Library is going to have a kick-off party in a few weeks.