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ALA Annual Meeting - June 2012


Kathleen Houlihan, LSYC IG leader (Austin TX public library)
Tricia Desjarlais (Helena, MT)
Anja Kennedy (Passages Academy, NYC)
Claudio Leon (Passages Academy, NYC)
Regan Schwartz (Passages Academy, NYC)
Amy Cheney (San Francisco Bay Area, CA)
Barbara Roos (Baton Rouge LA public library)
Jeanie Austin (SLIS phD student, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champagne)
Dena Gould (San Jose State University SLIS student – volunteers at juvenile hall in Los Angeles)
Michael Golrick (LA state library)
Camden Tadhg, by phone (Colorado State Library)
Diana Reese, note taker (Colorado State Library)



Amy: Creating an In the Margins book committee to review books of a pre-school to adult reading level that are of interest to young adults.  Kathleen & Amy have created a list of titles; An SLJ article in August or September issue.  Amy will have a quarterly column in SLJ; ultimately a “best of” list will come out at the end of the year

Regular book reviews don’t provide info relative to correctional limitations.  Need to advocate to other book review journals to provide more information regarding the kinds of info we need to be included in reviews; would include reading level.  The group will meet virtually.


Camden:  60% of the content has been transferred from the wiki to the website; 55 resource pages, 200 juvie listings, 28 members; users from all over the world; many users searching for a specific juvenile facility; Camden needs more help transferring content. The group needs to talk about copyrighted content and how we’ll deal with that.  Attendees asked to indicate on the sign in list if they are willing to help with content transfer. Amy questioned whether the book list should be public; she does not want administrators seeing the list.  Camden proposed only objectionable content be restricted to members-only;  title, author, etc. would be allowed for viewing by administrators.  Camden proposed this issue be discussed on yalsa-lockdown.

Library standards:
Need to revise the library standards for juvenile correctional facilities, last published by ASCLA in 1999.  Kathleen would like to create a working group within LSYC. book database:
Kathleen asked what attendees would like to see in the book database on youth

  • Barbara Roos wants stories of realistic fiction where the character really messes up badly and turns their lives around;
  • Brief summary of plot
  • Retribution – is there punishment?
  • Age groups

Amy recommended discussing on yalsa-lockdown whether the book list should be private among LYSC members or open to facility administrators.


  • Robbie Reasoner coordinated the LYSC webinars, sponsored by ASCLA
  • Amy Cheney will follow up on the webinars
  • Important that the webinars be archived
  • Diana reported that ASCLA has tools, e.g. checklists for webinar hosts & presenters


New LYSC interest group leader:

  • Kathleen nominated Camden Tadhg.
  • Amy suggested taking the nomination to the listserv
  • Camden very interested in playing the role of leader, but wants to give other people the opportunity to do so


LYSC Interest Group moving forward:

  • Camden will write up some options for ways the group could work together.
  • Kathleen stated ASCLA & YALSA are working on ways to provide cross division membership, i.e. the second division membership is discounted.  Cross division committee membership critical so that YALSA and ASCLA members can both participate in the IG.


Idea share

Jeanie – wants to know about book clubs, reading/writing programs – Kathleen: outreach from the public library; the team that serves the facility, but she gets interns & volunteers form the local library school and school librarians; writing workshop: she tries to partner with the local writers league; try English department at local universities; you need to be there to facilitate!  Presenters usually need to be cleared.  Amy: develop a relationship with the people who do the clearances – finding out what they want and providing it – develop the trust with facility; really try to make the initial presenter/program super awesome.  Kathleen cited Amy’s video about “Yummy.”

Barbara Roos:  wants to implement a writing program, but short detention time & short block of time (25 minutes)

Amy recommended “The Beat Within” – they do a whole volunteer-driven (24 volunteers) who simultaneously do their program for an hour in each of the 24 living units.

Anja suggested working with the teachers in the library during their class times.  Barbara says the teachers are not at all interested in partnering with them.

Jeanie suggested doing book displays related to the curriculum unit the students are currently working on.

Kathleen suggested talking to the principals – what can I do to support your teachers?

Anja: a writing program would be better if implemented during the school day

Kathleen:  writing workshops are very successful if done outside school time; gives the kids more freedom in their writing;

Jeanie: be aware of the school schedule and when there are breaks, so you can take advantage of those

Anja: asked Kathleen who manages the library at her facility & how it is accessed.  Every unit has a library day, as well as a unit librarian who visits them once a month.  During this time they do book talks, book promos, etc.  Anja: accountability?  Kathleen: books are not formally checked out.  However, there is a limit on the number of books they may check out at a time.  Statistics are gathered by the # of books on the return shelves in the units.

Barbara: how frequently do you need to replace books?  KH:  more of an issue with books being destroyed in the short term units

Jeanie: management has changed at the detention center; they’ve been asked to check the books for written communications between the kids.  Anja says she flips through the books to check for items the kids may have left in the book.  The kids are able to pass notes in other ways.  Amy: who’s the authority in the library?  Amy recommends the librarian maintain as much control over the library as possible.  Do a lot of education about the needs of reluctant readers, not a type of message about how the library works and telling the kids you have to use the library in a certain way.  Jeanie:  the issue is more about control & power and what is the purpose of the library.  Barbara: some staff brings in the bodice ripper books, then leaves the books so that the kids can access them.  Amy:  there’s the library and then there’s the underground economy.  Accountability is not that important; reading is.

Dena Gould:  library is frequently being used for other functions in the facility; she’s going into the units.  Books are kept in a closet space.  There is a “school library,” with a clerk who manages it.  The kids have very limited access – one hour a week.  So does Dena develop the units’ book spaces, or does she help the clerk “librarian” develop the library space?  Discussion to be continued after Monday’s tour.  Amy recommends Dena talk to Dan Marcou or Margo Fesperman.


Sometimes they’ll bring the girls in with the guys’ units.  The girls won’t check out books.  But if they come in with just the girls, they check out a lot of books.

Amy wants to create an opening day collection list.  She will create it and people could add their suggestions.  This should be public & promoted on


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