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November 2009, Volume 1, Issue 11

Check your Calendars!

American Education Week
Nov. 15-21

Letters for Literature
Dec. 12 deadline

SDLA Legislative Day
Jan. 14, 2010

ALA MidWinter
Jan. 15-19, 2010

PLA National Conference
March 23-27, 2010

Cornerstone Survey

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Featured e-Resource of the Month

SIRS adds November Native American Spotlight of the Month, 21st Century tools, and more!

Children's & Young Adult Services

Popular young adult novel made into movie

Critically acclaimed and best-selling young adult novel The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold has been adapted into a feature film. The film, set to be released Jan.15, 2010, is directed by Peter Jackson with the screenplay written by Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens. All three won Oscars for their respective work on the Lord of the Rings trilogy movie adaptations. To see a trailer for the movie go to


Key points from The Teenage Brain & Teens in the Library

At the SDLA Annual Conference this year the State Library sponsored a pre-conference on the teenage brain and teens in the library. Dr. Sheryl Feinstein from Augustana College in Sioux Falls spoke to participants on how the teenage brain develops, how the teen brain affects their behavior and how at-risk lifestyle choices can take a toll on a teen’s brain. The following are a few of Feinstein’s key points to understanding the teens around you:

  • For both boys and girls, puberty can last up to age 24.
  • Peer influence peaks at ninth grade.
  • Only 1 percent of what comes into our brains (regardless of age) stays.
  • When we learn something new our brain creates a “dendrite.” As adults, we lose 1-3 percent of our dendrites each year, but teens lose an average of 15 percent.
  • A portion of the brain called the amygdala is where emotions come from. Testosterone agitates the amygdala.
  • Emotions are the gateway to learning and understanding reading instruction. Libraries are in a unique position to promote this.

Lisa Oldoski presented in the afternoon on library services to teens. She is currently the Collection Services Librarian at Pierce County Library System in the state of Washington. Her ideas were very practical and participants walked away with some helpful ideas to try in their own libraries. Highlights from the presentation include:

  • Do outreach with your enemies because you probably have more in common with them than you think.
  • If you have any staff members who are very anti-teen, try to find something they like to do or are good at, then pair them with a teen who also likes that thing. Making teens human breaks down walls.
  • Anything you or another staff member likes can be manipulated into a teen program. Examples include crosswords (make a giant one for a wall), have a puzzle competition, or rock climbing (if you can’t afford to have a wall brought in teach them how to tie knots).
  • For heaven’s sake, decorate their space and let them be the creative influence!


2010 Young Naturalist Awards begin Dec. 1

The Young Naturalist Awards contest, from the American Museum of Natural History in New York, is an inquiry-based research competition for students in grades 7-12. In conducting their research, students will make observations in the natural world, identify a question they want to answer and do research to learn more about their topic. They will plan how to collect, organize and record their data. After collecting data, they will analyze their findings. They will share their investigation and what they’ve learned in an essay that can be submitted to the Young Naturalist Awards competition.

Essays can be mailed to the Museum beginning Dec. 1, and must be received no later than March 1, 2010. A panel of judges will review each essay, and 12 winners, two from each grade, will be chosen. Winners will receive cash awards. In June 2010, they will be invited, along with a parent or guardian, on an expense-paid trip to New York City to attend an award ceremony at the Museum and to take a behind-the-scenes tour. In addition, their essays will be published on the Museum's Web site. For more information regarding the awards and eligibility see the Rules and Regulations on the Web at Young Naturalist Awards.


YALSA Teens’ Top Ten list announced

Teen readers across the country chose Paper Towns by John Green as their favorite book in the annual Teens’ Top Ten vote, sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association. Teens cast more than 11,000 votes online between Aug. 24 and Sept. 18, with the official list announced during Teen Read Week, Oct. 18-24. The 2009 Teens’ Top Ten are:

  1. Paper Towns by John Green
  2. Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
  3. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  4. City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
  5. Identical by Ellen Hopkins
  6. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  7. Wake by Lisa McMann
  8. Untamed by P.C. and Kristin Cast
  9. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
  10. Graceling by Kristin Cashore


Vote for Spoonfuls of Stories

You can vote for the book you want Cheerios® to put in its box in 2010.We hope you will consider voting for T-Rex in the Library by Toni Buzzeo (click on "more books"). Toni Buzzeo is a former school librarian and is a nationally known children's book author and consultant. She also wrote the fantastic title Our Librarian Won’t Tell Us Anything. Wouldn't it be great to see a book about libraries in the Cheerios cereal box? Go to Spoonfuls of Stories.


awards, books, movie, reading list, SDLA, teens, YALSA

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