The books on this list were published between November 1, 2019, and October 31, 2019. Titles were nominated by teens and library staff in Oregon. OYAN members voted to select the 20 titles on the list and worked to create a balanced list that includes a variety of genres and diverse titles. Learn more about the annual Book Rave and access past lists on the OYAN website.
Guest writer: Ian Duncanson
Like everybody else, I have been trying hard to stay connected with teens in my community during our COVID-19 closure. My library’s virtual storytimes and children’s videos have been a hit, but reaching and engaging teens is tricky even in normal times!
Virtual Poetry Contest
Every April, the Beaverton City Library runs a National Poetry Month contest for teens sponsored by our Friends group. This year’s contest entry flyer encouraging teens to write Free Verse poems had already been created and distributed to teachers the week before spring break when we closed. I retooled the flyer during the final week of March with these changes:
- The entry fields on the form were made typable so that students could save the PDF with their entry information rather than having to print and scan or turn in.
- I normally allow up to two entries per person but shifted it to one entry to save myself a lot of shuffling and possible confusion.
- I extended the due date to the end of April to make it even easier to write one and submit.
- Instead of taking physical entries at the libraries, I added my work e-mail address to the flyer so students could submit their entries by e-mail.
I e-mailed the updated flyer again to all of my school writing and library contacts and encouraged them to pass it on to their students who are doing virtual work. The response has been really good so far and the process is smooth, provided I keep up with downloading and indexing all of the entries that come in. I also loosened up the entry sheet rules to allow students to type their information into an e-mail if they are having problems getting the PDF to fill in on their computers or devices. I will be judging the entries with a colleague and the Teen Library Council via Google Drive and a member of the city’s Web services team will post the winning entries on our site.
The cool thing about doing a virtual contest like this is that it could easily be adapted for any other type of virtual contest you want – photography, scratch game coding and digital art are some of the possibilities I’m considering for the future.
Remote Teen Library Council Meetings
Ending the Teen Library Council’s year before I normally do was another hard pill to swallow. The year normally ends in May, so I decided to host a couple of virtual check-ins / brainstorms via Zoom before then. It’s a good way to get further ideas for possibilities, especially if virtual services continue on into the summer. I create a Zoom link and then send it to members about an hour before the meeting to ensure security. Most of the members connected for the meeting and we were able to do a check-in and brainstorm some potential virtual programs and contests for summer reading as a contingency plan in case in-person programs at the library are not possible. I have been putting together a collection of Bibliocommons Booklists, several with input from the Teen Library Council.
With the school year prematurely over, I will be unable to go to schools to do my regular summer reading and book talk visits. Instead, I will be working with some fellow librarians to put together a series of short middle and high school book talk videos highlighting some new titles to send to teachers who would otherwise invite us to speak in front of their classes. Each book talk will not exceed 90 seconds and we will be editing them into videos with three talks per video by grade level or theme. I find that filming myself doing book talks is actually much harder than going in and doing them in front of classes. I am inherently more self-conscious when I am being filmed and the booktalks really lose a lot without spontaneity and interactivity. This video is an excellent 5-minute primer on what to do and what not to do when you’re starting to make digital content with your smartphone or iPad.
Ian Duncanson is a Youth Services Librarian focused on teen services at Beaverton City Library.
Guest writer: Danielle Jones
For the past six years, Portland Public Schools has hosted a summit for their schools Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA), Queer-Straight Alliance (QSA). and Straight and Gay Alliance (SAGA) groups. I have had the opportunity to attend most of these, and present a booktalking session with teen volunteers from my branch. After our first year presenting, we decided it would be great to curate a booklist to take to the event. One of the teens had the great idea to create multiple booklists, each focusing on a unique identity, and then we could print them in different colors to represent the rainbow flag.
We just presented our fourth iteration of the booklists, and each year, we hone our process on creating them. This is just one kind of content that the teens have created to have in the library. Having teen-created booklists facilitates a multitude of outcomes. I have often found that it is easier to sell a book to a teen if they know another teen recommends it, and staff at my branch have also appreciated having teen created book lists on hand when they are doing reader’s advisory for teens. For the teens creating the booklist, they get to create something for the community, get to be an expert, and learn collaboration skills.
Having teens create booklists for the library is a great way to get a new teen council or teen advisory group off the ground, as it can be a great icebreaker. It is also a way to get started in having other teen led activities at your library.
Our processes for our lists have varied, but generally there are three key components:
Before brainstorming, we define our focus: what is our goal, who is the list for, and how will the list be used after we complete it. Then we do a wild brainstorm. Often teens will be googling other lists for inspiration. We know we might not use every title that gets mentioned, but it is good to have more content than not enough. For our LGBTQIAP lists, we have master lists of titles that would fit into different identities, and we move onto the next section – discussion.
During discussion, we have a variety of conversations. These have ranged from the importance of diversity, and how to prioritize titles that explore intersectionality to looking at problematic books, and how some titles haven’t aged well. Sometimes we have done this as a large group discussion, and sometimes they have broken up to groups. For each of the LGBTQIAP lists, if they have broken up into groups, there is importance placed on someone that identifies as one of the list’s focus is part of the group. They have been having great discussions to also try to have a variety of genres and formats for each list.
Keeping this as teen led is also important. Let them own the list and the process as much as possible. I am there as a gentle guide, but even more so as their secretary. It will often be on me to take the lists that they create to get published, so I need to confirm their selections and reasonings.
Here are this year’s LGBTQIAP book lists for teens. Please feel free to share, or inspire your library’s teens to create their own!
- Anthologies and non-fiction books about the queer experience
- Books featuring bisexual characters
- Books featuring gay characters
- Books featuring intersex, asexual, aromantic, demisexual, or pansexual characters
- Books featuring lesbian characters
- Books featuring Transgender, non-binary, and genderqueer characters
Danielle Jones is a Teen and Youth Librarian at Multnomah County Library’s Hollywood Branch.
TikTok is a social media platform that combines “elements of Spotify, Snapchat, Vine, and Twitch.” People use TikTok to create short, snappy videos and share them worldwide. You can make TikTok videos to connect with teens or perhaps have a virtual TikTok program with teens.
Watch a few short library TikToks—no account necessary!
- Something For Your M.I.N.D. by 24hourlibrary (If you liked Looking for Alaska)
- Falling – Harry Styles by Diana (Books to Make You Cry)
- You don’t wanna do that. by unicornlibrarian
- It’s all in the #research by Mrs. Pope
- #drseuss #reading #racism by Mrs. Pope
- That’s #exactlyhowifeel by gvhslibrary
- Chinese New Year – SALES by gvhslibrary
- Teen Librarian by nerdylibrarianx
- Librarians be like by Mikey Tsilimidos
Watch some “book with all the swear words” challenges:
Learn how to use TikTok to view, make, and share videos.
- A Beginner’s Guide to TikTok by Louise Matsakis on WIRDED
- Ultimate TikTok Guide—How to TikTok & How to Make a TikTok Video that Gets Likes by Elena on FlexClip
Many libraries and schools are doing virtual escape rooms to engage kids and teens online! Here are a few resources that may help you get started:
- How to Build a Digital Escape Room Using Google Forms an article by Meredith at Bespoke ELA.
- Making A Digital Escape Room a video by Kempson’s Korner.
- Create A Virtual Escape Room with Google Forms Tutorial by Sydney Krawiec at Peters Township Public Library
- Hogwarts Digital Escape Room an escape room you can try by Sydney Krawiec at Peters Township Public Library
OYAN has an annual raffle to raise money to offer professional development and scholarships for members to participate in those opportunities. Historically, the raffle has taken place at the Oregon Library Association’s Annual Conference. The 2020 OLA Annual Conference has been canceled due to the coronavirus. Therefore…
The 2020 OYAN Raffle is postponed until the fall.
Guest writers: Aurora Oberg and Kris Wiley, Roseburg Public Library
Roseburg Public Library is partnering with the Douglas Education Service District’s Horizons foster children program to provide reading materials to some of the community’s most vulnerable patrons.
Photo: Roseburg Public Library Youth Services Librarian Aurora Oberg and Douglas Education Service District Special Education Administrator Bryan Hinson at Horizons media center.
In February, the library provided its first rotating collection of Young Adult and upper-level Juvenile popular materials to Horizons students. About 150 books and graphic novels of varying reading abilities were pulled from the library collection and masked in the online catalog, and they now sit on the bookshelves at Horizons’ media center for students to access. The library trained two Horizons staff members to issue cards, check out and check in materials, and facilitate placing holds on items that remain at Roseburg Public Library.
The Horizons program was developed by the Douglas Education Service District (ESD) in partnership with Roseburg Public Schools and the Douglas County Juvenile Department mid-school year to provide education to minors ages 12-18 who are in three foster homes in Roseburg. The Horizons school serves a small population with a maximum of 36 students in a facility focused on serving and encouraging them in their unique circumstance. These older children have been moved around frequently, creating gaps in their education. Horizons has three classes and a media center to serve the students, and teachers and aides have received extra training in helping them learn to self-regulate emotions and ultimately have a more productive experience.
In addition to sharing current materials, the Douglas ESD will provide funding for Roseburg Public Library’s Youth Service Librarian to utilize her expertise and help purchase new materials for the youth collection that will be shared between the organizations. The library will encourage input from Horizons students to help guide purchases for genres, themes and authors they would like available to read. Having a collection of books available to the students at such a small learning facility is important to give them a positive way to escape their daily stresses, and creating a library at their school eliminates the transportation barrier. Additionally, students can place holds on all materials in the Roseburg Public Library collection, and the ESD provides courier service, ensuring students get the material they want.
This project is one more way Roseburg Public Library and the Douglas ESD work together to support literacy and lifelong learning in the community. The organizations co-located in a refurbished library building last year, creating a collaborative environment. The Oregon Technology Access Program, which is located within the Douglas ESD, provides a 3D printer for the library’s new Maker Space, and the library’s Resource Assistance for Rural Environments (RARE) AmeriCorps participant is using the printer to create assistive devices. The Douglas ESD manages the library’s public networks, and the library and Douglas ESD co-sponsor programs such as a mental health education series.
In only its third week, the response from Horizons staff and students has been positive. Students have been checking out books and requesting more materials be delivered to the school. We look forward to developing a long-lasting, positive relationship with the Horizons program.
Aurora Oberg is the Youth Services Librarian and Kris Wiley is the Director at Roseburg Public Library. They may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.