The mission of the Young Adult Library Services Association is to advocate, promote and strengthen service to young adults as part of the continuum of total library service, and to support those who provide service to this population.

Accomplishments

Over the last month YALSA’s Executive Director, Beth Yoke, and I have participated in several calls with committee chairs to discuss ongoing and upcoming projects. These include a call with the incoming chair, John Sexton, of the 2011 YALSA Nominating Committee to talk abou the process of developing a YALSA slate for election 2011; the current Chair of the Research Committee, Rebecca Hunt, to discuss Research Committee activities in support of YALSA’s strategic plan; and the current Chair of the Division Membership and Promotion Committee, Candice Mack, to discuss the YALSA 201 event planned for Midwinter in Boston and YALSA’s continued efforts to recruit and engage members. I want to thank John, Rebecca, and Candice for their leadership in YALSA.

The Advocacy Task Force and the Legislation Committee are working together to develop an advocacy training session for Annual 2010 in Washington, DC. I spoke with the Chairs of these two groups, Beth Gallaway (Advocacy) and Janet Hilburn (Legislation), to discuss plans for the training. Beth, Janet, and the members of their groups plan to develop an interactive session that will provide attendees with useful tips and skills for advocating at the legislative and community level. Thanks to Beth and Janet for leading this endeavor.

Recently ALA revised its policy related to virtual participation on committees. This revision gives YALSA the opportunity to re-think its committee structures and expand virtual membership beyond the 1/3 rule previously stipulated by ALA. The YALSA Board met by conference call in November to discuss this new policy and the implications for YALSA. The Board will continue to discuss this with an eye to voting on a proposal related to virtual committees and virtual committee membership during Midwinter 2010 Board meetings.

In its continued efforts to find effective ways to support members during the recession, over the past month the YALSA Board participated in brainstorming activities specifically focusing on how to recognize and assist members in difficult economic times. Ideas generated from the brainstorming will be discussed further at Midwinter 2010.

In Progress

Last year YALSA instituted a new format for the Leadership Development meeting held for chairs during each Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference. Feedback received on these changes was positive. As a result, the new format will continue in 2010. In order to prepare for Midwinter Leadership Development, a series of podcasts with YALSA Board members and committee chairs are being produced and the YALSA Executive Committee is planning for mini leadership training sessions which will be held during the Midwinter Leadership Development meeting.

Planning for Midwinter Board meetings began in earnest in November, with Board members providing feedback on a draft agenda for the meetings as well as brainstorming about the Board planning session that takes place on the Friday of each Midwinter meeting. The full agenda for Board meetings, along with supporting documents, will be available in the YALSA Members Only section of the Association web site in early January. Information about some of the topics the Board will discuss at Midwinter is available on the YALSA blog.

The YALSA Search Committee is in the process of interviewing candidates for the Editor position of YALSA’s new research journal. Final interviews will be held the first week of December with a decision regarding the Editor position made by December 15.

Media

In mid-November I participated in both a TV and a radio interview at WFME in West Orange, New Jersey. The interviews focused on the work of YALSA, including the Association’s booklist and book awards, Teen Tech Week, Teen Read Week, and continuing education offerings for librarians.

I responded to two email interview requests from university students. A student at Syracuse University’s SI Newhouse School asked for information for an article on cell phones in academic libraries. A student in an introduction to libraries class at Missouri State requested information on the value of getting involved in professional organizations.

In November I supplied quotes for press releases on Teen Tech Week and First Wednesdays with YALSA to the Association’s Communications Specialist Stephanie Kuenn.

YALSA News

In December YALSA launches a new project, First Wednesdays with YALSA. This monthly event is created to give members support in organizing informal local social/professional events. The focus of the gatherings is to meet and talk about the topic of YALSA’s monthly echat, learn about YALSA programs and activities, and discuss general topics of interest related to serving teens in libraries. You can read about the First Wednesdays project on the YALSA blog.

SILS Students have the opportunity to win a ticket to YALSA’s Games, Gadgets, and Gurus event at Midwinter in Boston. All it takes to enter is a message on Twitter with the hashtag #gamesgadgetsgurus. Learn more on the YALSA blog.

YALSA is sponsoring a booth at this year’s ALISE Conference. The Conference takes place just before Midwinter. If you are interested (and able) to spend an hour or two staffing the booth get in touch with me at lbraun@leonline.com.

With the holidays approaching, and library school students about to graduate, it’s the perfect time to give the gift of YALSA. The Association is now offering gift memberships for new members, or as renewal for those already in YALSA. When you purchase a gift membership YALSA will notify your recipient to let him or her know about the gift. For more information about gift memberships, or to purchase one, contact Letitia Smith, YALSA Membership Coordinator, at lsmith@ala.org or 1.800.545.2433 x4390. Gift memberships are not available online.

Registration for Teen Tech Week opened in November. The theme for 2010 is Learn, Create, Share @ your library. Information on the program, along with information on how to register, is available on the YALSA Teen Tech Week web site.

YALSA President Elect Kim Patton is currently completing the selection list committee appointment process. Appointments to all of these committees should be completed by December 15. If you have questions about a selection committee appointment contact Kim at kimpatton@kclibrary.org.

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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