YALSA Board at #alaac19: YALSA Board Contract

In May, the YALSA Board approved a new Board Member Contract. This document is signed by all Board members and it stipulates what responsibilities the Board members have to the organization, as well as the responsibilities that the organization has in regards to the Board members.

The current YALSA Board Member Contract was approved on January 16, 2010. Since then the Board’s work has evolved to include more year-round governance discussions and decision-making by board members. The contract was also updated to better reflect the time commitment involved in serving as a YALSA Board Member.

If you are interested in more info, Board Document #10 shows both the old contract as well as the new one that was agreed upon.

See the full agenda of the Board of Directors at ALA Annual in Washington D.C. All Board meetings are open to attendees, and you can learn more about the Board meetings on the YALSA Conference wiki.

YALSA Board at #alaac19: Presidential Taskforce

Each year YALSA’s incoming president works with the Board of Directors to establish a taskforce to coordinate activities in support of the president’s upcoming theme for the year. Since the presidential theme is based on an aspect of the organizational plan, the taskforce helps YALSA accomplish its goals and provides an opportunity to leverage member expertise.

Incoming President Todd Krueger submitted board document #11 for discussion last month as we prepared for our upcoming meeting at ALA Annual. The upcoming Presidential theme will be: Striving for Equity using YALSA’s Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff. This theme connects the organization’s adopted EDI Plan and Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff, both fundamental components of YALSA’s work. The Board virtually discussed and voted to establish the taskforce to begin work in July.

To learn more, read board document #11 on the 2019 Annual Conference Agenda.

Interested in getting involved with YALSA? Read about ways to participate and sign up for YALSA e-News for information on current volunteer opportunities.

YALSA Board at #alaac19: Pura Belpré Award Board Docs

For the past couple of years, YALSA has had a task force working with ALSC and REFORMA to re-envision the Pura Belpré Award.

The Pura Belpré Award, established in 1996, is presented to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth. It is co-sponsored by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), and the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking (REFORMA), an ALA affiliate.
The award is named after Pura Belpré, the first Latina librarian at the New York Public Library. As a children’s librarian, storyteller, and author, she enriched the lives of Puerto Rican children in the U.S.A. through her pioneering work of preserving and disseminating Puerto Rican folklore.
The award is now given annually. It was given as a biennial award from 1996 through 2008.” Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/belpremedal/belpreabout)
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Going to the Annual Conference in Washington, DC? Don’t forget to use the Conference App!

For the past two years, I have been YALSA’s rep on the ALA Conference Committee.  When I first was assigned this position, I was thinking we would be planning the far future Conferences, picking the cities we would have our conferences in.  My imagination ran wild about what we would be doing as a committee.  In reality, I was assigned the role as a Division Rep, which means not only do I represent YALSA, I represent, along with a few other Division Reps, the ALA Divisions.  While I’ve been at one meeting where we were told that 2039 Annual Conference would be in Washington DC and I know I’ll be retired when this conference comes to pass, it wasn’t what I originally thought it was going to be.  It’s been much more fun.

One of the primary functions we have on the committee is to help set up the schedule for the Annual conference.  Working with the ALA Conference Staff all the committee members as a group work our way through all the selected meetings and put them in their time slots, while the ALA Conference Staff pick the rooms these meetings will fit into.  Juggling all the various nonmoving components that make up the conference, Council meetings, Board meetings, and major sponsored programs etc.   Once we have decided where all the programs fit into the schedule, the ALA Staff load full schedule onto the scheduling app and the various websites, and this is what I’m here to talk about.
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YALSA Board at #alaac19: EDI Leadership Training

The YALSA Board embarked on an ambitious plan to weave equity, diversity and inclusion principles into all aspects of their work. This began with the Board approval of an EDI plan in October 2018 and continues as the Board creates a new Strategic Plan. In this work it’s essential that the YALSA Board, staff and member leaders have a common understanding of EDI principles and how to move from EDI awareness to intentional implementation strategies. Board Document 28 proposes a way to accomplish this work through  a continuing education plan that begins with a full day training at ALA Midwinter 2020, the training will focus on :

  • An introduction to structural racism in the United States and its current impact on Black, Indigenous and Youth of Color
  • Developing a  shared EDI vocabulary
  • Leveraging a framework for engaging in difficult conversations about race, equity, diversity and inclusion

At Annual in Washington, D.C., the YALSA Board will review recommendations for the EDI focused full-day training for YALSA Board and staff. Learn more in Board Document 28.

See the full agenda of the Board of Directors at ALA Annual in Washington, D.C. All Board meetings are open to attendees, and you can learn more about the Board meetings on the YALSA Conference wiki.

The Most Dangerous Place on Earth

In the novel The Most Dangerouse Place on Earth one of the female characters’ thinks to herself, “As if middle school were a safe haven…when in fact it was the most dangerous place on Earth.” Of course that sounds like teenage hyperbole, however I would say that if you think about it it’s more reality for many teens than one might want to admit. While teenage lives may have some of the outlines of a nightmare, there are many assets for library staff and community members to leverage in order to support the successful growth and development of all teens.

When I think of the assets that library staff can promote for and with teens I often think of the Santa Ana (CA) Public Library. I was fortunate to visit the main library a couple of years ago, after getting to know the teen librarian, Cheryl Eberly. The library building itself is nothing to “write home about.” The building is a 1960 structure that has quite a bit of wear and tear. However, when I was inside the building I didn’t really notice that. Why? Because from the time I walked in to the time I left (about two hours later) it was clear that this is a community library in which staff members (teens and adults) are embedded in the Santa Ana community and that the work that happens inside, and outside of the building, is completely centered on community needs.
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Learning with YALSA This Summer

drawing of hands raised The teens in your community might be out of school for the summer (or just about to get out of school) however, library staff never stop learning. That’s why YALSA has some great options for you to keep your learning going this summer. Here’s what’s on YALSA’s continuing education calendar for June, July, and August:

New E-Course

Start at the End: Backward Design for Library Programming
7/8/2019 – 8/11/2019

This new online course, taught by Casey Rawson, a Teaching Assistant Professor at UNC Chapel Hill’s School of Information and Library Science, gives participants the chance think about what they would like their library activities for and with teens to achieve. Then with that in mind work backwards to determine what programs they might provide in order to reach that goal/impact. During the five week course participants will learn about the backwards design framework for planning. They will also have the chance to develop learning goals for their activities for and with teens and through those goals better articulate the value of the work that they do. You can learn more and register for this e-course on the YALSA website.
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Prepping for ALA: Bookish D.C. Beyond ALA

As ALA Annual draws near, you’re probably looking over the program and figuring out which YALSA sessions to attend and which ticketed events you can’t miss. Obviously you’ll be making your way to the Best Fiction for Young Adults Teen Feedback Session on Sunday (1-3pm WCC 202A), a perennial librarian favorite. But how else will you spend your time? And when you need to escape the convention center, where and how can a librarian find other bookish things to do? Here are our Top Five recommendations for Bookish D.C.:

Our Voice: Celebrating the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Awards
This exhibit, featuring artwork from the illustrators of 101 Coretta Scott King Award-winning titles is FREE! and open to the public. Created by the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature, this traveling installation is co-sponsored by the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Committee and the Ethnic & Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table of the ALA. The exhibit will be on display at THEARC, 1901 Mississippi Ave SE (a 15-minute walk from the Congress Heights metro station) through June 25. If you can, join for a special Closing Reception on Friday, June 21, from 1-3pm. If you’re planning to attend the reception, RSVP to CSK50Art@gmail.com.

Book Buzz D.C.
Combine a visit to a branch of the D.C. Public Library with a fantastic FREE! event that includes lunch! Metro over to Cleveland Park to hear representatives from 20 publishers share their most anticipated upcoming release titles. Children’s & teen titles will be showcased in the morning session, while the afternoon will feature books for adults. Pre-register for this event to reserve your seat and ensure that they have enough food to provide lunches for all attendees.

Library of Congress
No librarian’s visit to our nation’s capital would be complete without a visit to the Library of Congress. Hour-long public tours of the Thomas Jefferson Building run Monday-Saturday, but if you just want to wander around on your own, ogle the gorgeous Reading Room, and head down into the basement to visit the Young Readers Center on your own schedule, that’s also a possibility. Note that if you want a Reader Card, you’ll need to stop by the Madison Building. To speed the process, pre-register online up to two weeks in advance of your visit.

Bookshops and Bars
Perhaps your idea of escape includes a drink or some book browsing in one of D.C.’s beloved independent bookstores. In that case, be sure to head over to Petworth Citizen for a signature cocktail in their Reading Room, a free library-turned-speakeasy, where you can sip your beverage among the stacks. Prefer a muffin or coffee? Local independent bookstores and D.C. treasures Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe and Politics & Prose should suit you just fine. If you’re looking for an evening outing, Politics & Prose has trivia Saturday nights @ 8pm. Book Riot also put together this list of DC’s top indie bookstores. Hungrier for more? Busboys & Poets is a local chain with several locations that offer a curated book selection, open mic, poetry readings, and deliciously conscious cuisine (so many vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free options!).

If you haven’t found anything here to spark your interest, rest assured, there’s plenty more bookish things to explore in D.C. Book Riot and Epic Reads have both put together their own guides with some additional suggestions.

Better yet, any D.C. locals want to chime in with their favorites?

YALSA 301 at Annual 2019

It is almost time for ALA Annual! I am looking forward to seeing many of you in Washington, DC, at the great YALSA events and programs that are scheduled!

Here is an important one to add to your schedule:

Saturday, June 22nd from 9-10 am
Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Room 159A-B

At YALSA 301, you can learn about YALSA leadership opportunities and ask questions of members of the YALSA Board Development Committee – all current or former YALSA leaders. It is a great time to meet other YALSA members who are also interested in leadership positions! Many of us volunteer our time to take on leadership roles within YALSA. Serving on the Board or chairing a committee is a win-win! YALSA benefits from your experiences and passion for teens, and you gain leadership, team building, and career building skills.

Not able to make it to conference? I encourage you to contact me or the other members of the Board Development Committee to learn more. Even if you are not ready to run for Board right now, we would love to talk with you about the exciting leadership opportunities that are available in YALSA!

The Board Development Committee is:

Sandra Hughes-Hassell, smhughes@email.unc.edu

Sarah Hill, gsarahthelibrarian@gmail.com

Carla Land, landc@lvccld.org

Melissa Malanuk, mmalanuk@gmail.com

Ritchie Momon, rmomon@mymcpl.org

Gail Tobin, gtobin@stdl.org