Teen Read Week and Teen Tech Week: Tips and Resources for YALSA's Initiatives

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Each year, the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) sponsors two national literacy initiatives: Teen Read Week™, which encourages teens to read for fun and become regular library users, and Teen Tech Week™, which encourages teens to take advantage of the free technology available at libraries. Since 2003, YALSA's award-winning quarterly journal, Young Adult Library Services has offered guidance for librarians planning Teen Read Week and Teen Tech Week events.

For the first time, YALSA has compiled the best YALS articles on teen reading and teen information literacy into one volume, Teen Read Week and Teen Tech Week: Tips and Resources for YALSA's Initiatives, launching its new Best of YALS series. Editor Megan P. Fink, middle school librarian at the Charlotte Country Day School and a former Teen Read Week chair, selected articles to form a manual that will offer guidance to librarians planning their annual events, with advice on best practices, collection development, outreach and marketing, program ideas and more.

In addition, YA authors Walter Dean Myers and Cynthia Leitich Smith and Best Teen Read Week contest winners Elizabeth Kahn and Jennifer Velasquez contributed original content about the importance of these initiatives and how they support teens' information needs, along with an introduction by YALSA past president Judy Nelson.

This project was funded by a 2010 Carnegie-Whitney Grant from the American Library Association.



Judy Nelson, with contributions from Cynthia Leitich Smith

Part I: Teen Read Week

Introduction: Teen Read Week: For More than the Fun of It
by Megan P. Fink, with contributions from Walter Dean Myers, and Elizabeth Kahn

Chapter 1: Teen Read Week Best Practices

  • "Powering up with Print" by Patrick Jones
  • "Perspectives on Practice: Young Adult Collections" by Mary K. Chelton
  • "Break Through to the Other Side: Get Adult Services Staff to Buy Into Teen Read Week" by Carla Land

Chapter 2: Teen Read Week Programming

  • "Academic Librarians Organize Sixth Grade Reading Club" by Iona Malanchuk
  • "Crafting Cheap and Successful Teen Programs" by Charli Osborne
  • "The Book vs. The Movie" by Jessie Vieau
  • "Write Here, Write Now: Holding a Creative Writing Workshop at Your Library"
  • "Lessons Illustrated by Teen Read Week" by Jennifer Velasquez

Chapter 3: Teen Read Week Collection Development

  • "Go Ahead, Judge a Book by Its Cover" by Darcy Lohmiller
  • "Emergence of Spoken Word Recordings for YA Audiences" by Francisca Goldsmith
  • "Reading: It's Not Just About the Books" by Linda Braun
  • "What do You Want to Tell Us About Reading? A Survey of the Habits and Attitudes of Urban Middle School Students" by Sandra Hughes-Hassell
  • "I Got Graphic!" by Jodi Lockbee

Chapter 4: Teen Read Week Marketing, Promotion and Outreach

  • "Get Real! Booktalking Nonfiction for Teens"
  • "Fifty Ways to Promote Teen Reading" by CD McLean
  • "Get Real! Book Talking Nonfiction for TRW" by Jane Charles
  • "Teen Read Week Collaboration" by Megan P. Fink
  • "Popular Culture and Teens" by Kimberlee Ried and Kaite Mediatore Stover
  • "Easy on the Eyes: Large Print Books for Teens" by Elizabeth Burns

Part II: Teen Tech Week

Introduction: Teen Tech Week and Teens
by Linda Braun

Chapter 5: Teen Tech Week Best Practices

  • "Teen Tech Squad: Hennepin County Library" by Cynthia Matthias and Christy Mulligan
  • "What? No Books?" by Julie Scordato
  • "Online Homework Help" by Judy Michaelson

Chapter 6: Celebrating Teen Tech Week in Challenging Situations

  • "Teen Tech Week on a Budget"by Jami Schwarzwalder
  • "Free Online Tools for Serving Teens: Four Verbs to Live by and Great Technologies to Try" by Mary Fran Daley
  • "Now is the Time" by Kim Herrington

Chapter 7: Teen Tech Week Programming

  • "Alex, iPods and My Wildest Dreams" by Shonda Brisco
  • "Teen Book Discussions Go Online" by Cathy Rettberg
  • "All Thumbs Isn't a Bad Thing" by Beth Saxton
  • "Gaming in Libraries 2.0" by Katherine Makens
  • "Bending Circuits and Making Music" by Camden Tadhg

Chapter 8: Teen Tech Week Marketing, Outreach, and Promotion

  • "What Teens Want: What Librarians Can Learn from MTV" by Erin Helmrich
  • "Advocating for Teens' Technological Needs: A Q&A with Stephen Abram" by YALSA's Technology for Young Adults Committee
  • "Partnerships for Teen Tech Week" by Stephanie Iser
  • "Marketing the Homework Center Digitally" by Suellen S. Adams
  • "Technology for Every Teen @Your Library" by Vikki Terrile


Appendix A: YALSA White Papers
Appendix B: YALSA's Social Networking Toolkit
Appendix C: YALSA's Ultimate Teen Bookshelf
Appendix D: Publicity Templates for Teen Read Week and Teen Tech Week

Megan Fink

Megan Fink is middle school librarian and advisor at Charlotte Country Day School, in Charlotte, North Carolina. A former Teen Read Week committee chair, Fink worked in children’s publishing before earning her MLS at the University of North Carolina and has written multiple articles for Young Adult Library Services, ilovelibraries.org, Book Links, and the Charlotte Observer.

Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) is a national association of librarians, library workers and advocates whose mission is to expand and strengthen library services for teens, aged 12-18. Through its member-driven advocacy, research, and professional development initiatives, YALSA builds the capacity of libraries and library staff to engage, serve and empower teens.