How Will You Give Back Today?

Giving Tuesday

This year, Giving Tuesday looks and feels a bit different than years past as it has been an especially difficult year for everyone, and giving financially might not be an option for you this year.

If you are able to give, please consider donating to the Friends of YALSA (FOY) campaign: Give $20 in 2020. The funds raised are used for member grants and awards. One particular program is the Spectrum Scholarship, which works to diversify the field of teen services. This year has been an awakening for racial injustice. YALSA has been a long standing leader in bringing awareness of structural racism in our country and our teens need their libraries to reflect the diversity of our population. Each year, YALSA supports two Spectrum Scholars. The program actively recruits and provides scholarships to American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Middle Eastern and North African, and/or Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander students to assist them with obtaining a graduate degree and leadership positions within the profession and ALA. These scholarships help our profession grow in much needed ways. To learn more about the Spectrum Scholarship and the full list of member awards and grants FOY supports, please visit YALSA’s website.

We understand that this year has been a difficult and trying time for many, so if you are unable to give financially this year, please consider sharing the Give $20 in 2020 campaign on social media to encourage others to donate. Thank you for all you do to support teens in our communities.

-Carrie Kausch
Financial Advancement Committee member

A Time to Connect: My Experience at the 2020 Virtual YALSA Symposium

The following blog post is written by one of YALSA’s 2020 Symposium Registration Grant student winners, Esperanza Pacheco.

My name is Esperanza Pacheco, and I am the Assistant Director/Young Adult Librarian for the Englewood Public Library in New Jersey. My community was super proud and excited that I was selected to attend the virtual YALSA YA Services Symposium from November 6-8 this year.

On the Friday of the Symposium, I started looking into which prerecorded sessions I could log into to begin my conference experience. Immediately, the session title which caught my eye was #DiverseReading: Encouraging Teen Readers with Instagram. I’ve created Instagram accounts for three libraries and am constantly seeking ways to use it, as well as other social media platforms to attract teens’ attention towards reading. I had the pleasure of e-meeting Rachel Milburn, who recorded this video for us. She is the Teen Services Librarian at the Frankfort Community Public Library, Frankfort, Indiana. Instantly, through our library accounts, I followed her pages on Instagram and Twitter. I was so impressed by how much time and deliberation went into her posts. She had one title that had basketballs surrounding the books on the shelf. This is a great idea as it draws immediate attention on an app, where people are constantly scrolling and only stopping for something alluring to the eye. I kept in mind some of the details she mentioned when it comes to using Instagram professionally, such as switching over to a business account in order to view the background Insights of your account interaction and engagement. It is interesting to see the outliers in how many thousands of views her top post garnered, which could have been due to the title of the book she posted or perhaps how she set up the post.

The next recorded session I tuned into was called Our Voices, Our Protest: Migrant Stories in Latinx Young Adult Literature. I was especially excited to view this one because I was able to place these authors’ titles right into a cart for my library to purchase; the beauty of online services! The authors were Aida Salazar, Jenny Torres Sanchez, Daniel Aleman, Guadalupe Garcia McCall, Yamile Saied Mendez, and Ernesto Cisneros. I love sessions like these that teach me about authors I may not have known or seen. Being able to ask these authors questions in real time was a real treat. I think it is imperative for both sides too, as authors get the benefit of hearing readers’ feedback. Continue reading

Virtual Conference Does World of Good

The following blog post is written by one of YALSA’s 2020 Symposium Registration Grant student winners, Jana Wiersma.

YALSA’s Young Adult Services Symposium theme for 2020, “Biggest Little Spaces: How Libraries Serve the Expanding World of Teens”, was a play on Reno’s slogan “Biggest Little City”, where the symposium was originally supposed to be held. When it became clear the COVID-19 pandemic wasn’t letting up, the symposium moved online, and representation, diversity, and inclusion were not lost in the shift. As disappointed as I was to not attend the symposium in my backyard, connections and networking were still possible, and many young adult librarians were able to join from all over the world. As a first-time YALSA symposium attendee, I was able to enter the community of young adult librarians and share experiences in a meaningful way.

The author lineup was incredible in its diversity of the powerful voices that YA librarians could not only hear, but also discuss relevant issues with. The excitement of the authors at being represented and presenting together on panels was palpable and contagious, even via Zoom. Even with the plethora of diverse authors, there was still an overwhelming call for more diversity in publishing, editing, and writing. Each author recognized the need for our teens to see themselves in whatever space they occupy — represented as readers, yes, but also as authors, editors, publishers, media specialists, and more. During the opening session, author Alan Gratz said, “There isn’t one America, there are many different American experiences,” which I felt entirely summed up YALSA’s 2020 Symposium.

From the pre-conference to end of symposium, sessions included relevant topics like teaching teens to spot and stop the spread of fake news, ramping up library teen volunteer programs, creating book boxes to help teens and tweens destress, fostering community partnerships to advocate for teens beyond the library, transforming teen services, providing support to our immigrant youth, and more!

Each session provided a wealth of information and resources we could bring back to the library and apply with confidence to better support our local teens and the spaces they occupy. With this information, our team can go forward with our top priorities: re-evaluating our teen volunteer program, re-configuring our teen space to better support the needs of our young adult community, and helping our teens feel both represented and connected during this especially difficult time of separation.

As the Young Adult Services Symposium wrapped up, I was inspired and motivated by all the possible ways I could apply what I learned, how best to implement shared tips, and how to better diversify our young adult services on a daily basis. My to-be-read pile now has a thousand books on it, and my inner book-nerd heart was bursting with the joy of getting to hear from so many amazing authors! I cannot wait for YALSA members to meet in person once again, but in the meantime, meeting and connecting virtually still did a world of good.

Jana Wiersma
MLIS Student @ University of North Texas,
Senior Library Assistant, Carson City Library, NV

President’s Report – September 2020

Greetings YALSAblog readers and youth advocates,

I’m pleased to share this month’s activities, as plans become further developed from conception to execution. The big items on this past month’s docket for the YALSA Board include providing input for our association’s Strategic Plan RFP (request for proposal). More information will be forthcoming about this item and its subsequent timeline of activities once a consultant company has been selected and a contract confirmed. 

Also, the Board offered decisions regarding changes that would better support the Odyssey Award committee members’ workload. This input has been returned to the working group who will provide the board with more details regarding these confirmed changes. The Board approved the continuance of the Social Media Marketing Taskforce with adjustments to their responsibilities and tasks. Finally, the board approved the working group’s recommendations in developing a manual for the Morris Award that was modeled after the Non-fiction Award manual. This item creates consistency in language and responsibilities that will better support future work of the award committee. 

September Meetings (listed by date, oldest first)

  • Participated and led recurring meetings for the monthly YALSA Board Chat, the quarterly Executive Committee meeting, the monthly YALSA President’s meeting (YALSA Pres-Elect, Past-Pres, Pres, ED), and weekly meetings with the YALSA Executive Director. These events contribute to supporting the work of the association. 
  • Participated in the President’s Implementation Taskforce meeting by answering questions and providing background information, which is a responsibility of being the board liaison.  
  • Attended a meeting with the YALSA Executive Director and ALA staff to understand the steps involved for creating an endowment. 
  • Met with YALSA member Gregory Lum, YALSA Executive Director and ALA staff to determine next steps for the Joann Sweetland Lum Memorial Grant. Next steps will be presented in the October 2020 report. 
  • Provided guidance to the Division and Membership Promotion chair and encouraged the opportunity that exists in sharing free YALSA resources and YALSA 101 information with library staff who work with teens and are likely non-members. Solutions will need to be developed in reaching this audience. 
  • Discussed the BCALA/IMLS Taxonomy of Black History Month Programming in Libraries project with Dr. Grace Jackson-Brown, a project coordinator and professor at Missouri State University Libraries, and agreed to participate as the YALSA representative. Further information about this project will be forthcoming in a separate communication. 
  • Attended the Greater Kansas City Metropolitan Area’s YALSA Meet-Up via Zoom and provided updates on YALSA activity. 
  • Participated in the Promoting Professional Success for Underrepresented Groups within YALSA Taskforce meeting by answering questions and providing background information, which is a responsibility of being the board liaison. 
  • Attended ALA President Julius C. Jefferson Jr.’s meeting with fellow ALA division presidents. 

Thank you!

  • Yolanda Hood and Tess Wilson for the development and release of the Spring YALS issue.
  • Outstanding Books for the College Bound working group members who diligently continued efforts towards the re-development of a well-rounded and vetted list. More info will be forthcoming. 
  • The Board appreciates the work of all chairs who submitted a quarterly report in August. Timely submissions better support the work of volunteer groups. 

Relevant Stats and Data

  • Donation and Membership information continues to remain unavailable at this time.

Don’t Forget

 

Respectfully submitted,
Amanda Barnhart
YALSA President 2020-2021

“The Claudia Kishi Club” kicks off Media Literacy Week, Oct 26-30!

Hello members!

I wanted to draw your attention to an event that’s taking place next Monday, Oct 26 at 8pm ET/5pm PT to help kick off Media Literacy Week. YALSA is a member of the Media Literacy Alliance, created by NAMLE, the National Association for Media Literacy Education. The free event is a conversation with Sue Ding, filmmaker of “The Claudia Kishi Club”, along with cast members Sarah Khan and Phil Yu. The documentary is currently airing on Netflix.

This looks to be a really cool experience for people who grew up with The Baby Sitters Club and those who have engaged with it for the first time with the recent streaming series. The event is co-sponsored by YALSA, AASL, and the California Film Institute.

Thanks!

Todd Krueger, YALSA Immediate Past-President

YALS Winter 2021 Issue: Call for Articles

Article proposals for the Winter 2021 issue of YALSA’s journal, YALS are currently being sought. The theme for the issue is Youth Voices. Prospective articles include those that consider teen voice, what it is, how teens use it, and how we can provide support through library services, resources, and programming. How do we train ourselves to encourage and support teens who want to engage their communities and the world at large? Learn more and submit by Oct. 28.

Supporting Diversity Through the Spectrum Scholarship

In her opening remarks at ALA Annual 2020, Tracie D. Hall (ALA Executive Director) stated that, “If our institutions and profession is to be sustainable, all of us must devote ourselves to the diversification of the next generation workforce.” (Hall, 2020)

The Spectrum Scholarship Program was developed to do just that. The program actively recruits and provides scholarships to American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Middle Eastern and North African, and/or Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander students to assist them with obtaining a graduate degree and leadership positions within the profession and ALA.

Each year, YALSA sponsors two Spectrum Scholars who have an interest in serving youth aged 12-18 in a library setting. See the list of past scholars. Those interested in applying for the program should visit http://www.ala.org/advocacy/spectrum/apply. The application process runs from October to March each year.

To be eligible for a Spectrum Scholarship, you should:

  • Be a citizen or permanent resident of the U.S. or Canada
  • Identify as American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Middle Eastern/North African, and/or Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander
  • Attend an ALA-accredited graduate program in library and information studies or an AASL-recognized School Library Media Program
  • Be enrolled in an accredited program and begin no later than September 1st or Fall semester
  • Have full or part-time status
  • Plan to maintain a minimum course load of two classes per semester while receiving your scholarship funds

If you are interested in donating to the program, please visit YALSA’s Give to YALSA page. Donating to YALSA’s Leadership Endowment directly sponsors our Spectrum Scholars. Your donation will help YALSA and ALA reach the goal of building a more diverse workforce, ensuring that kids and teens of color see themselves represented at the library.

Hall, Tracie D., (2020, June 24-26). Let Our Legacy Be Justice [Conference Opening Session]. ALA Annual Conference 2020.

–Celeste Swanson
Financial Advancement Committee

New Volunteer Opportunities

Greetings, youth advocates—

We’re winding down our seventh month of life since the coronavirus disease initially changed our environments. With the start of the school year underway, many of us have a better understanding of our new work patterns and responsibilities than even a month ago. Things will continue to be hectic more so for some than others and we will continue to rise to these challenges and support our communities.

YALSA has two new volunteer opportunities available to members, opportunities that serve as a path to develop new relationships with peers from across the nation. For me, hearing of others’ experiences, from anecdotes of the air quality and staying indoors in California to the struggles of finding opportunities for MLIS practicum students in Texas, keeps me connected to the work we do in a positive and meaningful way that right now especially supports my psychological well being. I trust that you will consider these opportunities, the Joann Sweetland Lum Memorial Grant Jury and the Social Media Marketing Taskforce, in light of our new landscapes.

The Joann Sweetland Lum Memorial Grant Jury
This short-term virtual opportunity – beginning Nov. 1 and running through January 31 – seeks two members willing to honor the late teacher and library advocate Joann Sweetland Lum by serving on this jury. Responsibilities include evaluating applications through a blind review process and selecting a candidate based on their creative and innovative project that support literacy. The selected project will be awarded funds for their project. You’ll find more information about the jury and the responsibilities here. You’ll find more information about the grant opportunity currently available to members and non-members here (deadline for application is December 1).

Social Media Marketing Taskforce
This long-term virtual opportunity – beginning Nov. 2020 and running through June 2021 – seeks seven to nine member volunteers skilled in utilizing social media platforms, in particular Instagram and Twitter. This group will be responsible for using social media to widely market three foci of YALSA activities. In brief, they will collaborate their efforts into:

  • Support for YALSA selection lists and the Teens’ Top Ten list.
  • Member Recognition of volunteer efforts.
  • Support for the YALSA Symposium and the Youth Media Awards events.

Additionally, this group will monitor members engagement with YALSA social media channels to evaluate success as well as communicate member concerns to YALSA leadership.

If you are interested in volunteering for one of the above opportunities, please submit the volunteer form (must sign into ALA account) by Oct. 28.

—Amanda
YALSA President 2020-2021

Give $20 in 2020 to Support YALSA Board Fellows

What’s really cool about the money that is donated to Friends of YALSA (FOY), like through our Give $20 in 2020 campaign, are the programs the donations support. One program especially close to my heart is YALSA’s Board Fellow program! In 2019, I was honored and thrilled to be named YALSA’s Board Fellow.

I first heard about this opportunity a few years prior at the 2016 ALA Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida. I sat next to a YALSA member on a bus to a publisher event that evening. I was so happy being a part of the Great Graphic Novels for Teens selection committee, but I was also thinking of going outside my comfort zone in terms of getting more involved in YALSA. I really had no idea how to do that until I started talking to the YALSA member next to me. All these years later, I wish I knew who I spoke to because that person changed my YALSA life I explained to them about feeling like I wanted to do more, but I wasn’t sure how to do that exactly. I felt like applying to be on the YALSA Board proper was too big of a step for me, and it was then that they told me about the Board Fellow program. It seemed like the perfect step in the direction I knew I wanted to go. I could meet Board members, see how the process worked, be active and engaged, and grow my leadership skills in ways that I could use in my YALSA volunteer work, as well as at my own organization. I would be a non-voting member, but I was totally fine with that! I wanted to see how it worked before I threw in my “ayes” or “nays”.  It took me another couple of years to muster up the courage to apply, and I am so glad that I did.

I feel the Board Fellow program really opened my eyes to the work of the Board and introduced me to so many friends I have made in the process.  My experience as the Board Fellow showed me the bigger picture of YALSA work and how it affects all of us who work for and with teens in our libraries. I was incredibly thankful to receive the stipend that the Board Fellow receives from monies donated to FOY to help defray conference attendance costs over my one year appointment term.

The application for YALSA’s 2021 Board Fellow is due by December 1! I hope everyone who wants to take that next step in YALSA leadership will consider applying. And, thank you to everyone who has donated to FOY. Your contributions have helped members like me and from around the world. As I mentioned in my post last month, we know that everything is challenging right now. If you’d like to and are able to contribute, please consider becoming a Friend of YALSA (any denominations welcome) or donate $20 as part of this year’s Friend of YALSA fundraising campaign Give $20 in 2020. Thank you for your work supporting teens in our community and supporting your colleagues near and far.

-Traci Glass, Financial Advancement Committee Chair

Celebrate TeenTober with These New Resources!

TeenTober Logo

Celebrate TeenTober this October with the release of our new digital poster, bookmark, and toolkit!

TeenTober replaces YALSA’s previous Teen Read Week and Teen Tech Week celebrations to allow libraries the flexibility to celebrate all types of literacies according to their library and teen patrons’ schedule anytime during the month of October. It aims to celebrate teens, promote year-round teen services and the innovative ways teen services helps teens learn new skills, and fuel their passions in and outside the library. Library staff are also encouraged to utilize this new celebration to advocate for and raise awareness of the importance of year-round teen services in libraries.

To help libraries plan programming for TeenTober, YALSA has developed a list of suggested weekly topics for the celebration month:

  • Week 1: Literacies
  • Week 2: Writing
  • Week 3: Technology & Gaming
  • Week 4: Art & Music

Libraries are encouraged to adapt and alter the schedule to fit its library and teen patrons’ needs. Find more helpful resources related to planning, advocacy, and programs in the TeenTober toolkit. Don’t forget to also visit our Teen Programming HQ database to share and find more program ideas. Free marketing graphics such as a logo and social media graphics are also available. Share your celebration plans with @yalsa and join the conversation online with #TeenTober.