There’s been a lot of activity at YALSA since Annual Conference. In my six weeks as the President, I’ve had the chance to speak with many members, work on projects with fellow Executive Committee and Board members, and plan for future events and programs.

Accomplishments

  • Following discussions at Annual about BBYA in particular and modernizing YALSA’s selected lists in general, the YALSA Executive Committee discussed, via phone, next steps in developing a proposal, to be fine-tuned at Fall Executive Committee Meeting. An overview of the information from that conversation is available as a pdf file.
  • The work of YALSA’s committees/juries/taskforces goes on year-round. Several committees including Strategic Planning, Membership Division & Promotion, and Research have a role to play in helping YALSA move forward with its strategic plan. In order to support the committees with their work and planning, I (and YALSA’s Executive Director Beth Yoke) had calls with each Committee Chair in order to discuss the work at hand. Thanks to the Chairs for the time and attention to the projects of their member groups. I also spoke with the Chair of the Teen Space Guidelines Task Force about next steps and to thank her for the work of the Task Force on the Guidelines.
  • At Annual Conference the YALSA Board approved a few new interest groups, committees and task forces. Over the past month I have appointed chairs and members for these groups: Past Presidents Lecture Committee, Reader’s Choice Task Force, and Competencies Update Task Force. Thank you to the YALSA members who have agreed to take part in these new activities.
  • In the summer, the YALSA Board meets via conference call to go over reports filed by Chairs after Annual.  This year the meeting was held on August 25th. You can read a full overview of the meeting on this blog.
  • YALSA’s monthly e-chats continued in August. Connie Urquhart and I facilitated YALSA chat on the theme of Risky Business. An overview of the chat, and the transcript, is available on this blog. Topics covered in the chat will be considered for YALSA’s new publication, to be published in summer 2010, Risky Business. You can learn more about YALSA’s monthly chats on this blog.
  • In order to provide Chairs with ongoing support related to use of web 2.0 tools in their group work, the YALSA Web Advisory Committee began developing a hands-on training for Midwinter. This training will provide tips, techniques, and examples of how to use web 2.0 successfully as a YALSA Chair.
  • YALSA is continuing to seek out ways to provide opportunities to help members expand and enhance leadership skills and roles within the organization. In order to help achieve this goal, the association will sponsor YALSA 201 at Midwinter 2009 in Boston. The Division Membership and Promotion Committee has been asked to take the lead in organizing this session and will work with the 2011 Nominating Committee as well as other YALSA Chairs, board members, interest and discussion group conveners, editors, and trainers to provide information to members.
  • I wrote my first President’s Column, on the topic of Risky Business, for the fall issue of YALS.

Media

  • Spoke with Philadelphia reporter, Natalie Hope McDonald about teen services in the 21st century
  • Spoke with Lauren Barack from School Library Journal (SLJ) for three SLJ web articles on Maine’s school laptop program, on teen use of social media, and on a new project to bring science resources to students.
  • Provided Stevie Kuenn, YALSA’s Communications Specialist, with quotes for press releases on Teens’ Top Ten Voting, the winner of YALSA’s Spectrum Award, YALS winning an Apex Award for the second year in a row, YALSA’s grants and awards, and the launching of YALSA’s web-based research journal.
  • Scheduled radio interviews with WTFI-FM in St. Petersburg, FL and KISS-FM in Seattle to talk about Teen Read Week.

In Progress

  • Following the resignation of the Chair of the Research Committee, I am in the process of appointing a new Chair to that group. The Research Committee has worked diligently over the last year to develop an updated research bibliography and plan for YALSA’s new research journal. I would like to thank them for the all for their work.
  • Over the past several years the YALSA Board and Executive Committee has discussed ways to provide leadership development opportunities for Board members. Starting in September, Board members will be taking part in monthly chat sessions on topics related to Board leadership. Over the next year they will have the chance to participate in webinars and other online courses on topics related to leadership and board member engagement.
  • YALSA is currently investigating possibilities for applying for an IMLS grant. The Association is looking at ways that a grant of this type can support leadership, mentoring, and/or training needs of members.

Additional Important YALSA News

  • You can give your teens the chance to vote for their favorite books as a part of YALSA’s Teens’ Top Ten project. Visit the Teens’ Top Ten section of the YALSA web site to learn more and to read about ways in which you can promote voting with the teens with whom you work.
  • If you would like to get more involved in YALSA, committee/jury/taskforce work might be just right for you.  You can read about how to fill out a volunteer form and about the types of member groups or which you can volunteer on this bog. The deadline for Selection Committee Volunteer form submission is September 30.
  • Registration is now open for Read Beyond Reality the theme of the 2009 Teen Read Week (TRW). You can register and learn more about TRW on the YALSA web site.
  • Bundled registration for Midwinter Meeting 2010 in Boston and Annual Conference 2010 in Chicago began September 1. By using the bundled registration option you can save $75 on registration fees. Registration is available on the ALA web site. Registration for YALSA’s Friday Institute, “Libraries 3.0: Teen Edition” and Friday evening social event, “Games Gadgets & Gurus” is not available until October 1. We apologize for any convenience this might cause. You can learn more about what YALSA is planning for Midwinter and Annual 2010 on the YALSA wiki

About Linda W Braun

Linda W Braun is a YALSA Past President and the Youth and Family Learning Manager at the Seattle Public Library.

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