March 21, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Be “Pinspired” To Unleash Your Story This Teen Read Week

Not sure what to do for this year’s Teen Read Week event? Teacher librarian Kathy M. Burnette has you covered. Burnette added some fun suggestions for how educators and librarians can get young people celebrating stories and reading during the Young Adult Library Services Association’s (YALSA) annual event on October 8–14.

This year’s program features the theme “Unleash Your Story.” Library staff, after-school providers, and educators are encouraged to leverage this theme to encourage teens to tell their own tales as well as find stories, biographies, autobiographies, folktales, and more in their local library. Join the conversation on Twitter with #TRW17.

From giving teens guidelines on how to write their own novels or creating a “Meet Someone New” display of biographies, these ideas can spark your patrons into unleashing their stories. And if you’re short on time, try a quick “Six-Word Memoir” passive program.

Teen Read Week is a national adolescent literacy initiative created by YALSA. It began in 1998 and is held annually in October the same week as Columbus Day. Its purpose is to encourage teens to be regular readers and library users.

If your library is doing fun, innovating programming and displays to commemorate the love of reading, share in the comments section below.

Kathy M. Burnette (aka The Brain Lair) is a K–8 teacher librarian at a small, independent school in South Bend, Indiana. She is currently serving on the 2018 ALA Printz Committee. Kathy is working on opening her own teen-centered bookstore with a focus on diverse books. Follow her on twitter @thebrainlair and send lots of hugs and coffee. Kidding about the hugs, she just wants the coffee.



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Shelley Diaz About Shelley Diaz

Shelley M. Diaz ( is School Library Journal's Reviews Team Manager and SLJTeen newsletter editor. She has her MLIS in Public Librarianship with a Certificate in Children’s & YA Services from Queens College, and can be found on Twitter @sdiaz101.

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