Get Ready for the 2012 Young Adult Literature Symposium

By Berry, Hannah | Young Adult Library Services, Fall 2011 | Go to article overview

Get Ready for the 2012 Young Adult Literature Symposium


Berry, Hannah, Young Adult Library Services


The Young Adult Literature Symposium is almost upon us ...

Every two years, YALSA hosts an event that brings together librarians and future librarians from across the world in one lucky town. When these teen librarians from schools and public libraries descend, no book is safe! But that is only how it starts. Authors, publishers, editors, and reviewers also come out of the woodwork to attend. It is the event for anyone in the field of teen literature!

The 2012 symposium will take place in St. Louis Nov. 2-4, with a theme of The Future of Young Adult Literature: Hit Me with the Next Big Thing. Proposals for programs and papers are now being accepted at www.ala.org/yalitsymposium. Visit the symposium website (www.ala.org/yalitsymposium) to learn more about St. Louis and sign up for updates; registration will open in April. Past events have focused on diversity and how teens read in the twenty-first century. They were fun, memorable events filled with author signings, talks, presentations (on everything from body positivity to zines), and interactive fun with networking. Carla Riemer, a 2012 Young Adult Literature Symposium Task Force member, said she "really enjoyed meeting so many librarians from all over and in all stages of their careers. Tying real life experiences with the topics we were hearing about on the panel made the whole thing much richer." This year it's all about the next big thing!

The YA Lit Symposium can be an invigorating experience for anyone. Just ask Kate Pickett, who said, "I know that about every two years I get bone tired and I need a shot of librarian-caffeine. This conference does this for me! It totally gets me re-energized, pumps me up, and gives me the fuel to run on for the next two years."

I too have learned a lot from the past two conferences. Everything I learn I take back to my library and put to use. Like Kate, I start to run low on energy and ideas until I see that call for proposals go up. Then I know that soon the symposium will be here, and soon I will be a new me filled with ideas and plans for at least the next two years!

Everyone who attends walks away with something. Carrie Dietz said:

   The general dosing session was my
   favorite part of the 2010 Symposium.
   Lauren Myrade and Ellen Hopkins
   discussed the importance of overcoming
   intellectual freedom challenges. Hopkins
   read a letter from a St. Louis fan whose
   life is similar to that of the characters in
   her novels. Both authors expressed the
   fact that not every book is appropriate
   for every reader; however, some books
   are appropriate for some readers and are
   needed by them. After the Symposium I
   felt prepared to defend access to all types
   of books for teens. … 

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