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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.
How Recent YALSA Activities Support the Association’s Mission and Strategic Plan
YALSA Executive Director, Beth Yoke, attended this year’s WrestleMania Reading Challenge event and returned with these Mission Moment stories:
Two of thiis year’s Reading Challenge finalists were from a school for homeless youth in San Diego and two kids returned from previous years. I spoke to the mother of one, who said that her son enters every year in hopes of winning. He’s a 10th grader who has wrestled since he was 5 and who wants to be an architect.
One librarian who keeps in touch said that one of the former teen finalists from her school was struggling academically until he was selected as a finalist, which motivated him to do better. She said he won a ‘most improved’ award from the school at the end of the school year.
These short stories demonstrate that YALSA’s WrestleMainia Reading Challenge program meets the mission of the Association by promoting and strengthening the service that librarians offer teens across the country. More information on the WrestleMania Reading Challenge event in Phoenix is available.
- In order to help process committee chairs better understand changes to virtual participation policies, a chat was held in ALA Connect. During the chat chairs had the opportunity to ask questions about the impact of the changes on committee work and discussed the training needs of committee chairs and members who will be working in a virtual environment.
- YALSA Board member Cindy Welch resigned from the YALSA Board. Unfortunately, Cindy’s work commitments made it impossible for her to continue. I thank Cindy for her work during her approximately 18 months of Board service.
Ritchie Momon agreed to join the YALSA Board to fill the spot opened up by Cindy’s resignation. The YALSA Bylaws state “Vacancies other than those provided for in these Bylaws shall be filled by the Board of Directors by appointment until the next annual election.” The vacancy on the Board came less than a week before the opening of the current ALA and YALSA elections. As a result, there was not enough time for the Board to place candidates on the ballot. Board members therefore appointed Ritchie to fill out Cindy’s term. Thank you to Ritchie who has agreed to serve on the Board through Annual 2011.
- In late March the winners of the WrestleMania Reading Challenge were announced in Pheonix. In preparation for this annual YALSA & WWE event, the WrestleMania Reading Challenge Jury worked dilgently to select the finalists, to come up with contest trivia questions, and to update the program toolkit. Thank you to the Chair of the Jury, Lori Guenthner, and the members of her group for all of their hard work. Thank you too to Jill Harrell, Carol Finch, and their colleagues at the Phoenix Public Library for their gracious event hosting.
- I attended PLA in Portland, OR in March and while there spent time at the YALSA Booth where I was able to meet and talk with many current and potential YALSA members. During the Conference, YALSA co-sponsored (with the Oregon Young Adult Network OYAN) a very well attended Happy Hour. Thank you to members of OYAN and YALSA Board member Sara Ryan, for organizing the very successful event.
- YALSA continues to develop professional development opportunities for members and for those interested in serving teens in libraries. In March, the first ever YALSA webinar was held. Over 80 people registered for the free event which had the theme Getting Involved in YALSA. Information on future webinars is available on the YALSA web site.
- YALSA committee and task force chairs are hard at work. Over the past month I have had the opportunity to check-in with several of them in order to learn how their work is progressing. In March I spoke with John Sexton about the development of the 2011 election slate. YALSA Executive Director Beth Yoke and I spoke with Legislation Committee Chair, Janet Hilburn, about the work of the Legislation Committee, and the Advocacy Task Force, focusing on developing materials to help librarians connect with legislators during District Days. (District Days take place around the country every year in the summer.) I also spoke with the Chair of the Past Presidents’ Lecture Committee, Joan Atkinson, to talk about the progress of the group and their future work. A Past Presidents’ Lecture will be held at Midwinter 2011, more information on this will be available as Midwinter approaches. Thank you to all of these chairs for their work leading YALSA committees and task forces.
- In April, several YALSA Board members will be posting on the YALSA blog about what life is like as a Board member. During the week of April 23, Board Director Sara Ryan, Secretary Francisca Goldsmith, Fiscal Officer Mary Hastler, and Immediate Past President Sarah Debraski will post about the work that they do on the YALSA Board. The group recorded a podcast in March that will act as an introduction to the blog posts. We hope that these posts and podcast wil help those who are interested in running for YALSA Board gain a sense of what Board work is like and help potential candidates determine if now is a good time to participate in the Association in this way. More information on running for a YALSA elected position is available on the YALSA website.
- Following Annual Conference 2010, seven YALSA Committees will transition to either interest or discussion group status. In order to let YALSA members know about the transition, and the work of these groups, during the week of April 5 conveners of current interest and discussion groups, along with chairs of the committees making the transition to interest or discussion group, will post on the YALSA blog about the each group and ways in which to get involved. More information about YALSA interest and discussion groups is available on the YALSA website.
- In their February meeting via conference call, the YALSA Board voted to accept a series of recommendations made by the Association’s Financial Advancement Committee. One of these recommendations was to spend Friends of YALSA funds on advocacy initiatives. In March, the YALSA Board voted to use up to $5000 of these funds in order to provide Library Advocacy Day stipends. The stipend will be awarded to up to five librarians who will each be awarded up to $1000 in order to attend ALA’s 2010 Advocacy Day. Information on the stipends and Advocacy Day is available on the YALSA website.
- In order to support members who are facing economic challenges, the YALSA Board voted in March to create a Recession Relief Task Force. This member group, being appointed now, is charged with developing and enhancing online resources to support members facing difficult economic times.
- Each spring the YALSA Executive Committee (made up of the Association President, President Elect, Immediate Past President, Secretary, ALA Councillor, and Executive Director- who is an ex officio member) meets via conference call to discuss current Association projects and initiatives and to plan for meetings at Annual Conference. The spring 2010 meeting will be held on April 20. An agenda for the meeting has been drafted and Board members are currently providing feedback on the document.
- In March, I, and ALA President Camila Alire, invited publishers to join Team Teen Read Week. This new initiative gives publishers the opportunity to make a donation to YALSA in order to support Teen Read Week mini-grants. To date Carolrhoda Lab (an imprint of Learner), Random House, Scholastic and Sleeping Bear Press (an imprint of Gale/Cengage) have all joined the Team. Details on the mini-grants will be available later this spring.
- Spoke with Avalon Manly for an article on connecting parents to edgy teen fiction, with Tania Padgett at Newsday for an article on teens and technology, and with Jessica Johnson on types of content in books for teens.
- Provided quotes to YALSA’s Communications Specialist, Stevie Kuenn, for press releases on the YALSA Advocacy Day stipend, the Association’s new mentoring program, the Carnegie Whitney grant that YALSA was awarded in order to publish a book on Teen Tech Week and Teen Read Week, and a consulting proposal that YALSA successfully submitted to Service Corps in order to help the Association connect more successfully with corporate sponsors and partners.
- YALSA is sponsoring two preconferences during Annual 2010. It’s Perfectly Normal is the full-day preconference that focuses on having successful conversations with teens about difficult topics (drugs, sex, depression, etc.). The half-day preconference, titled Promoting Teen Reading with Web 2.0 Tools focuses on how libraries can use web 2.0 tools to connect teens with reading and writing opportunities. You can learn more about each of these preconferences in this pdf file.
- The programs for the YALSA 2010 YA Literature Symposium have been announced and registration for the event will open up in mid-April. Make sure to check out the great list of programs and find out about registration on the YALSA website.
- On April 5 YALSA will launch its brand new mentoring program which will pair an experienced librarian with a new librarian or graduate student in a Library Science program. YALSA believes that everyone has important skills and knowledge that can be shared with others. More information on the mentoring program is available on the YALSA website.