Short-Term Volunteer Opportunities

Colleagues-

YALSA has three short-term member volunteer opportunities. We are looking for:

  1. One member to conduct an inventory of YALSA’s portfolio of advocacy resources and submit recommendations to YALSA’s Board for improvements by no later than May 22, 2018.
  2. Three to five members to serve on a virtual taskforce charged with developing a new member Innovation Award. This award will recognize a member who has embraced YALSA’s vision for teen services. The award proposal will be due to the Board for review at our June 2018 meeting.
  3. Three to five members to serve on a virtual taskforce charged with developing a new Mid-Career Travel Stipend to be used by a YALSA member who expresses need and has not had the opportunity to attend an ALA Annual Conference or YALSA Symposium for five years. The stipend proposal will be due to the Board for review at our June 2018 meeting.

These are three great ways to get involved in the work of YALSA without having to attend in-person meetings or make a lengthy commitment.  If you are interested in volunteering for any of these short-term volunteer opportunities, or have any questions, please contact me (smhughes@email.unc.edu) by February 28th.

Thanks,
Sandra

Sandra Hughes-Hassell
YALSA President 2017-2018
smhughes@email.unc.edu
@Bridge2Lit

Connect & Collaborate to Create Teen Learning Experiences

The fourth competency area in YALSA’s Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff is Learning Experiences. With all the other responsibilities of our library jobs, it’s a tall order to “use a broad collection of effective teaching strategies, tools, and accommodations to meet individual teen needs, build on cultural strengths, address learning differences, and enhance learning.” So how does a librarian find new ways to make learning fun and relevant for teens? Recently, I spoke with Cathy Castelli, school library media specialist at Atlantic Technical College and High School (ATC) in Coconut Creek, Florida, about strategies that she uses to continually excite and engage her students in meaningful learning experiences

As any fan of Saturday Night Live can tell you, a “Celebrity Guest Host” adds new excitement to a show’s routine. And since Ms. Castelli is an aspiring YA novelist, she has been able to connect and collaborate with several local YA authors, who make “guest appearances” at the school to teach creative writing workshops. Students listen with rapt attention, write and share enthusiastically when authors such as Stacey Ramey (The Sister Pact, The Secrets We Bury), Gabby Triana (Summer of Yesterday, Wake the Hollow), Steven Dos Santos (The Culling trilogy), and Melody Maysonet (A Work of Art) speak about their career paths, discuss their novels, and inspire creativity with stimulating writing exercises. Teens are learning how to express themselves while discovering the joys of reading and writing.
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#neveragain – Students Demand Action

In the wake of the tragic school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida this week, student survivors are demanding that adults take action to prevent tragedies like this from occurring. It is incumbent on all adults, including library staff, to support these youth as they speak out and call for change in their communities and in our country.

One way library staff can do this is by providing opportunities for teens to be positive agents of change in their communities. We can do this by offering a brave and welcoming space for them to discuss issues like gun control and mental health care, providing opportunities for leadership, helping them hone their skills in inquiry, evidence, and presentation, and facilitating engagement in their communities.

To assist library staff in their efforts, my Presidential Taskforce and I  have created the Youth Activism through Community Engagement wiki –  a resource designed to help library  staff build their knowledge and skills around youth activism and to help teens become youth activists. It contains research, toolkits, and  examples of youth activism in action.

Beginning this month and continuing through the end of my presidential year in June, the Taskforce will also be featuring examples of library staff supporting youth activism on the YALSA blog. Be on the look out for these blog posts and please contact me if you have stories about youth activists in your community that you would like to share.

I will admit that this is personal for me. I have a 15 year old son – he is a freshman in high school. As the young people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas have clearly and loudly stated, this is unacceptable! This must stop! I applaud their bravery in speaking out. It’s now time for us, the adults in the room, to step forward, to support them, and to amplify their voices.

 

YALSA Snack Break: Youth Engagement & Leadership

YALSA’s February 2018 webinar focused on how informal learning institutions can support teen leadership development by engaging with youth in community action projects. In this webinar clip, Eli Weiss, the webinar facilitator, discusses the Youth Engagement Pyramid (developed by the Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality) and the importance of using a framework like this when designing and assessing youth led projects and activities.

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#FundLibraries: Advocacy Season is Upon Us & We Need YOU!

The proposed White House budget for FY19 that was released February 12, 2018 calls for eliminating federal funds for libraries and the Institute of Museum & Library Services (IMLS), the only federal agency charged with providing support to the nation’s hundreds of thousands of libraries and museums. Now it’s up to Congress to decide whether or not they want to change that.  ALA and YALSA need your help to ensure that IMLS and federal funds for libraries are saved, because without libraries teens will not have the resources and support they need to succeed in school and prepare for college, careers, and life.  Here’s what you can do right now:

  1. Send an email or Tweet to your members of Congress.  ALA has ready-to-use messages waiting for you in their Action Center.
  2. Sign up via the ALA site to receive action alerts so you can easily email or call the offices of your Congress members at critical times during the budget process between now and Sept.
  3. Read and subscribe to District Dispatch, the ALA Washington Office’s blog, to stay up to date on the issues.
  4. Encourage your library users to share their stories about what their local library means to them.  ALA will use these with their advocacy efforts.  Direct patrons to this quick and easy form.
  5. Brush up on your advocacy knowledge and skills by checking out the resources on ALA’s shiny, new ala.org/fund-libraries site and YALSA’s web site.
  6. Sign up to participate in National Library Legislative Day on May 8, online, at your library, or in Washington DC, and check out YALSA’s NLLD resources.
  7. Connect with your members of Congress when they’re in their home districts to keep them informed about the many ways the library helps community members.  Congress is typically not in session the week of a national holiday, like Presidents’ Day.  Schedule a meeting at their local office, and/or invite them to your library.  YALSA has free resources and tips to make this an easy task!
  8. Join YALSA, or make a donation, because together we’re stronger.  YALSA’s the only national organization that focuses its support and advocacy on teen library services. Dues start at $63 per year.  Your support will build our capacity to advocate for teens and libraries.
  9. Encourage your patrons, advocates groups, friends, family, and colleagues to do the above as well.

Don’t know much about IMLS?  Here’s a quick overview: through IMLS, every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. territories receive funding to support their state or territory’s libraries and museums.  In FY17 the total funding IMLS distributed to states and territories was $156,103,000.  In addition, IMLS offers competitive grant opportunities that individual libraries and museums can apply for.  In FY17 they awarded competitive grants to libraries and library-supporting institutions totaling more than $27,469,000.  Visit the IMLS site to see how much funding your state receives from them.

Want to take further action to support teens and libraries?  We salute you!  Check out the free online resources we have to make speaking up for teens and libraries easy.

Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff: Midwinter 2018 Ideas and Learning

competencies coverOn Sunday, February 11, during ALA Midwinter YALSA sponsored two sessions on the Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff.

The first session was facilitated by University of Maryland College of Information Studies Associate Professor, Mega Subramaniam. In this quick 90 minutes LIS faculty discussed how they can integrate the dispositions, skills, and knowledge that are the focus of the Competencies into the pre-service and in-service library staff educational setting. The conversation included review of a current syllabus – the syllabus that Mega is using for a Design Thinking course – and considering where the syllabus helps students to gain skills and knowledge highlighted in the Competencies and where changes and additions might be made in order to help students achieve what is outlined in the Competencies. The small group discussed how the Competencies aren’t just about the activity of library staff but also about infrastructure and systems of/in libraries – including job descriptions and internal and external policies. They also brainstormed ways their own syllabi could be revised to support the ideas in the Competencies.

Towards the end of the session, Sandra Hughes-Hassell, YALSA President and Professor at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill School of Information and Library Science, reminded the group that at the LIS level, instructors don’t need to focus on the bits and pieces of the Competency content areas. Instead they need to support students in being able to demonstrate what is outlined in the Competencies.
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YALSA #alamw18 Board Document #29: Building Stronger Ties with Spectrum Scholars

With direction from the board President Sandra Hughes Hassell, the board has recently set out to explore the possible tangible steps that YALSA can take to better engage current and future Spectrum Scholars. Since 2009 YALSA has sponsored 10 spectrum scholars.

The Spectrum Scholars programs affirms ALA’s commitment to diversity and inclusion by seeking the broadest participation of new generations of racially and ethnically diverse librarians to position ALA to provide leadership in the transformation of libraries and library services.

Board document item #29 Building Stronger Ties with Spectrum Scholars focuses on how to get both current and past Spectrum scholars more involved in YALSA’s activities, and in taking leadership professions in the field. Some of the broad questions that will be explored in this board discussion include:

·       Can we engage current YALSA-sponsored Spectrum Scholars to be mentors to other YALSA members who are aspiring to apply for Spectrum scholars? How do we do this? 

·       How might Spectrum Scholars be engaged in help us implement YALSA’s Organizational Plan, especially EDI related activities, such as our goal of diversifying the membership by 20% over three years? 

·       Across the association industry, what are other organizations doing to support and engage scholarship recipients? 

The board is seeking feedback on item #29 from its members and others interested and in attendance on this important equity and inclusion effort. Thank you in advance for your consideration and input!

Kafi Kumasi & Mega Subramaniam

YALSA Board Members

YALSA Board #alamw18 Board Doc #28: Expanding Member Engagement

YALSA has been working to expand member engagement and has been discussing a number of ways to do just that.

At the 2016 Annual Conference, the board approved the recommendations outlined in Board Document #25, Evolving Member Engagement Opportunities. The goal of the proposal was to provide members with a wider menu of options for getting involved in the work of YALSA, with a particular focus on creating more short-term, opt-in and virtual opportunities, as recent member surveys indicated that in-person and lengthy commitments (2-3 years) did not suit many members’ needs. Successfully implementing this change to better meet the needs of the membership is critical for YALSA, so a check-in to see how the change has progressed is warranted.

The Board will discuss what proposed next steps came about from the 2016 board document in regards to expanding member engagement #28 and what progress has been made toward them.  Also, there will be related questions for the Board to explore, as this issue continues to be one of importance for the board.

See the full agenda of the Board of Directors at ALA Midwinter in Denver. All Board meetings are open to attendees, and you can learn more about the Board meetings on the wiki.

Speaking up for teens & libraries during the federal budgeting process

Each year the federal budgeting process kicks off when the White House releases a draft budget.  This will happen sometime in February, and there’s talk that the FY19 draft budget may be released on February 12, 2018.  If you recall last year, the White House’s draft budget called for the elimination of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) as well as all of the federally earmarked funds that the nation’s libraries depend on to provide critical services to their community.    However, a grassroots advocacy effort led Congress to keep funding for IMLS and libraries for FY18.

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YALSA #alamw18 Board Documents #30 & #32

At Annual 2017, the Board directed the O&B Committee to investigate ways to measure outcomes and make the work of the organization more efficient and effective (board document #29). To that end, Organization & Bylaws is bringing Board Document #30 and Board Document #32 up for discussion at ALA Midwinter 2018.

Board document #30 focuses on YALSA’s existing chair manual and it’s need for updating. As chair of the Organization & Bylaws Committee, Melissa McBride is seeking feedback from the Board to guide the Committee’s work on updating the document. O & B would like to update the Chair manual to:

  • Reflect the Organizational Plan
  • Include more big-picture information
  • Add outcomes focused content
  • Update the virtual resources content
  • Update the selection committee content
  • Expand the responsibilities, communication, ethics and policies sections
  • Change the language of the document so it can be used for Chairs, Conveners and Blogging Team Leads
  • Add turn-key materials, like sample messages as well as examples of completed forms and documents that are thorough and well-written

Organization & Bylaws is also seeking feedback from the Board (document #32) on the role of the YALSA Board Liaisons, including seeing how the role can evolve to support YALSA’s more outcomes focused approach. A Board Liaison is a member of the Board who maintains a critical connection between the Board of Directors and a designated committee, jury, advisory board or task force. Board Liaisons are appointed by the President-Elect and assignments begin annually in July. The primary purpose is to facilitate communication between the Board and appointed member groups. The Board Liaison is the Chair’s primary contact for all governance related issues and supports the Chair with leadership of the appointed group as necessary.

Additional information can be found in the board documents. Please email Melissa McBride mcbride.melissa@gmail.com with any questions. Looking forward to seeing you in Denver!