recess radio program

10/22/03
Teen Read Week
    by Lauren Brosnihan

This is Teen Read Week and many groups are celebrating with this year's theme, "Slammin'@ your Library." In its sixth year, this program is sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association of the American Library Association, and it's aim is to connect teenagers with programs and resources of both public and school libraries. These young adult outreach programs in many local public libraries are meant to keep teenagers engaged in reading and writing and ultimately to help create an active community of life-long library users.

The publishing world has embraced the young adult market, with ever-increasing catalogues of new titles each year in fiction, nonfiction and poetry. The savvy marketers in the industry are always on the lookout for what's cool, like current trend in books written by teens themselves. And the publishers have been quickly adapting to the new media that often accompany or, in some cases, take the place of traditional books -- dvds, cds and audiobooks. Most libraries are trying to keep up with these new technologies, adding them to their collections for their teenage patrons. One of the problems, though, is there has never before been so much material for teens to choose from, and standard best book lists that are available at libraries and that often involve teenagers in the review process, are not the way most cyber-teens today get their information.

To bridge the library-internet generation divide, The American Library Association has developed its site to try to touch on the basic concerns that teens have when they are looking for books; not only do they include a list of prize-winning books, but also one of suggested books for the college bound, popular paperbacks for young adults, and recommended CDs, audiobooks, DVDs and videos. The site also contains an interactive "Teens' Top Ten Books" in which teens read and vote for their favorites online. Thirty-five titles have been nominated, and the ten winners will be announced next week, right around Halloween. You can find the link for this on the ala.org website. Just look for "yalsa" booklists.

Another important website that might spark a teenager's interest in reading is the Internet Public Library's TeenSpace.1 Here, you'll find the category "books and writing," with information on authors and poetry as well as help with writing and links to additional booklists. TeenSpace also provides an extensive number of links to teen reading, writing and reviewing sites all over the Internet. At last, here's a way to slam dunk that old teenagers' lament, "I can't find a good book to read." Just send them slamming over to the internet and your local library.

Websites referred to on today's program:
Young Adult Library Services Association
Internet Public Library's TeenSpace

Copyright 2003 Lauren Brosnihan

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