Blog of Note—The YALSA Blog
The YALSA blog is the official blog of the Young Adult Library Services Association. The blog’s mission is to “provide a fast, focused, and flexible format for publishing information about time sensitive issues such as news in the YA field, programs, conferences, initiatives, resources, and activities of use to YALSA members and the YA librarianship community.” The blog was launched in 2006, and has since undergone several redesigns and upgrades. In 2007, LISNews named it one of the Top Ten Blogs to Read.
I found the blog attractively designed and easy to navigate. I was also glad to see how active it was. A quick glance of the tag cloud gives one a pretty good sense of the wide variety of topics and issues the blog has discussed. In the last week, it has featured several posts related to Teen Tech Week, a post on mentoring teens effectively, a heads-up about volunteer opportunities for YALSA members at an upcoming ALA conference, information about an online gaming toolkit, and—my favourite post of the week—a hilarious rant on the 10 most annoying teen fiction trends.
I like that the blog is authored by a number of different contributors, most of whom are practicing YA librarians and YALSA members. The blogger guidelines also state the teens are eligible to contribute, however I did not find evidence of teen contributions to the site.
Without a doubt, the YALSA blog is a terrific way for YA librarians to keep up on current trends in programs and materials and to keep tabs on what their colleagues at other libraries are doing, in a format that invites lively opinion and commentary. The blog has helpfully implemented RSS feeds offering readers an easy and alternative way to access content.
I was curious to see if there were any recent posts on booktalking, given that I was in the midst of producing my own video booktalk at the time. Sure enough, a search for the term retrieved several posts. Several referred to something called America’s Next Top Booktalker. A hyperlink directed me to YALSA’s blip.tv page where I was able to view several videos of the finalists delivering their booktalks at the ALA Midwinter conference.
The YALSA blog is just one way YALSA is utilizing web 2.0 technology. There are references to Twitter all over the place (which I must admit, I’m still trying to figure out), links to Facebook and MySpace pages, and wikis, etc. The blog serves as a portal to all of these and highlights how the organization is harnessing these technologies to build and support a community of YA librarians. To quote LISNews, “We all have much to learn from each other, and these bloggers are working hard to share their knowledge and understanding with [us].”