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What is Teen Read Week ?

Teen Read Week is held each year in October the same week as Columbus Day. In 2016, it will be celebrated Oct. 9-15.

Teen Read Week is an national literacy initiative of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association. It's aimed at teens, their parents, librarians, educators, booksellers and other concerned adults.

Teen Read Week's theme is Read For The Fun Of It. Each year, YALSA offers a new sub-theme to serve as a basis for developing programs in schools, public libraries, and bookstores. The 2016 sub-theme is a multilingual take on "Read for the Fun of it!" which encourages libraries to leverage Teen Read Week as a time to spotlight services and resources for and with the 22% of the nation's youth who speak a language other than English at home. The event also offers librarians and educators a chance to encourage teens to read for pleasure and to visit their libraries for free reading materials. If you have a recommendation for a theme for 2017, please send it to yalsa@ala.org.

Teen Read Week 2016 will be celebrated at thousands of public and school libraries, classrooms, and bookstores across the country. Although teens realize the importance of reading, they have a huge menu of activities to choose from when deciding how to spend their free time, and reading gets lost in the shuffle. Reading skills get rusty when they are not used. The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reports that over the last 20 years there have been only modest gains in reading achievement. And although there are many active literacy campaigns, very few efforts focus on teenagers.

AnchorI am interested in Teen Read Week, but how do I participate?
There are many ways that you can participate in Teen Read Week. You can offer special programs or activities or simply encourage teens to read.  Over the summer, encourage teens to read nominations from the Teens' Top Ten and then vote for their favorite books online.

Does it cost anything to participate in Teen Read Week ?
No, it does not cost anything to register or participate. Products are available for purchase through the ALA Store to help you promote Teen Read Week and your activities, but you are not required to purchase anything to participate. You can purchase products, including posters, bookmarks and digital downloads, at the ALA Store on the Teen Reads Week page.

I am not a librarian, can I still participate?
Yes! Teen Read Week is a national literacy initiative aimed at teens, their parents, librarians, educators, booksellers and other concerned adults. If you would like to participate, just register!

I am a teen, what can I do?
The best thing to do is to talk to a teacher or your librarian. Ask them if they have anything planned for Teen Read Week and let them know you are interested in helping out. If your teacher or librarian does not have anything planned or has never heard of Teen Read Week, show them this website and volunteer to help them get started! Also, don't forget to vote for the Teens' Top Ten and for next year's Teen Read Week  theme!

AnchorWhy should I register?
YALSA is a nonprofit organization that depends on its members for support. By registering, you are letting us know that teen literacy is a concern and you are willing to do something about it! Your registration helps YALSA know how many people participate in Teen Read Week and ensures that it will be an ongoing event.

My community doesn't know about Teen Read Week. Why doesn't YALSA more widely publicize the event?
Although YALSA conducts media outreach with many major media outlets, it isn't possible for us to get the word out to every TV station, radio station, magazine, or newspaper in the United States and abroad. So we encourage each participating library, school, or bookstore to advertise their events in their local media. Please use our publicity toolkit, including press releases, letters to the editor, and public service announcements, to help you spread the word about Teen Read Week. Help spread the word!

Do I get anything for registering?
Our Team Teen Read Week partners will provide incentives that registrants can opt-in to receive, which are typically sent so they arrive before Teen Read Week. Some years, there are no incentives available, and in that case, we won't be able to send anything.

AnchorIf I register, will you share my contact information with others?
We respect your privacy and do not share your name or contact information with anyone without your permission. Registrants can opt in to monthly email updates on Teen Read Week from YALSA or to receive a one-time mailing from Team Teen Read Week members. If you do not opt in, you will not be contacted by YALSA or its partners.

I do not like the theme; it isn't popular with my teens. What can I do?
This year's theme of Teen Read Week is "Read for the fun of it!" and the sub-theme is a multilingual take on that concept, asking libraries to spotlight services and resources for and with the 22% of the nation's youth who speak a language other than English at home. In general, Teen Read Week encourages teens to read a variety of books, magazines, graphic novels and other materials for fun. The most important thing is that teens are excited to read, no matter what the theme. So feel free to adapt concepts or activities to fit with your teens' specific needs during Teen Read Week! Be sure to contact YALSA with any theme ideas for future Teen Read Weeks and encourage your teens to vote for the 2017 theme during Teen Read Week.

Can I tell you what I am doing for Teen Read Week?
Absolutely! Not only does YALSA love to hear about your events (and see photos!) but other libraries across the nation do as well. Please take a moment to tell us about your events on the Showcase page. Until June 1, you can also apply for funding from YALSA and the Dollar General Literacy Foundation to fund your event.

You can also work with YALSA to post information about your celebration on the YALSA Blog or write about your experiences for Young Adult Library Services, our quarterly journal. Just contact us at yalsa@ala.org.

AnchorI like to plan ahead. What are the future dates for Teen Read Week?
Teen Read Week is held each year in the same week as Columbus Day. Future dates are:

  • October 9-15, 2016
  • October 8-14, 2017
  • October 7-13, 2018
  • October 13 - 19, 2019
  • October 11 - 17, 2020

My library wants to celebrate Teen Read Week at another time or expand it to Teen Read Month. Can I do that?
Certainly! The reason we celebrate Teen Read Week is to encourage teen reading, and we want you to celebrate at the best time for your library! The only thing we can think of that's better than Teen Read Week is Teen Read Month. Many libraries  celebrate teen reading throughout the entire month of October.

I have an idea for a Teen Read Week  theme, what should I do?
We love new ideas! Please send all your ideas for a Teen Read Week theme to the  YALSA office.

AnchorI contacted a Teen Read Week partner, but they would not donate anything to my organization. What role does a sponsor play?
YALSA is a nonprofit association that relies on sponsorships and partnerships to help fund our efforts to plan and promote Teen Read Week at a national level. A corporate sponsorship for Teen Read Week means that the corporation provides support directly to YALSA so it can fund Teen Read Week. Unfortunately, it does not mean that they will financially support each organization that plans to celebrate Teen Read Week. We encourage you to approach local businesses in your community and ask if they are willing to donate money, goods, or time towards your local events. Be sure to remind them that their donation is tax deductible!

AnchorHow can I get the 2016 logo?
You can download a low-resolution version of the 2016 theme logo after you register. To download it, please log in and hover over the Planning tab, where you'll see a link that says "Download the Logo."

You can use the logo to use to promote Teen Read Week on your library's website or blog.

If you need a high-resolution version of the logo, you may purchase it and other Seek the Unknown @ your library images from the ALA Store. If you registered and could not download the logo, please contact the YALSA office.

AnchorI'm having a problem with the website. Who do I ask about it?
If you're having trouble with the Teen Read Week website, please email the YALSA office and describe the problem and the browser and system you were using (e.g., Chrome on a Mac) when you encountered it. We'll help you out.

Can I use the Teen Read Week artwork that is on the website or posters to create my own displays?
There are two different logos YALSA has created that you may use for free to help promote Teen Read Week. One of them is the generic Teen Read Week Logo, which you can download on our Get Publicity page. The other one is the theme-specific logo. To have access to the theme-specific logo, you must register for Teen Read Week. If these images are not the quality you were looking for, there are downloadable images you can purchase in the ALA Store. If you registered and did not download the logo, please contact the YALSA office.

I can't download the logo. Is there something wrong with the file?
The first thing you should do is check to make sure that you have photo viewing software installed on your computer. If you do not, you will need to download the Word documents with the logos from the Get Publicity page.

Join this site!

Join this Teen Read Week website for great resources and opportunities such as:

  • Opportunity to attend a free TRW 2016 webinar on Tuesday, May 3 at 2pm Eastern!
  • A low-res download of the 2016 TRW themed logo (found under the planning tab - must be signed into account)
  • Free access to archived TRW related webinars
  • Alerts about grant opportunities
  • More perks to come so be sure to register and check back for updates!

YALSA Products & Publications

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