Risky Business

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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.

Mission Moment
How Recent YALSA Activities Support the Association’s Mission and Strategic Plan
In April YALSA launched a mentoring initiative which seeks to match experienced librarians with library school students and/or new librarians. Those accepted into the program will work together as proteges and mentors in order to learn from each other about serving teens successfully in libraries. This new program supports the YALSA mission and strategic plan by engaging members in the Association and by supporting members in their service to teens.

Accomplishments

  • YALSA leaders were a part of two separate blog series in April. Early in the month conveners of YALSA’s interest and discussion groups, and chairs of YALSA committees transitioning to interest or discussion group status, wrote about the work of their groups. Through the posts these leaders also solicited nominations for conveners of interest groups and discussion groups as elections for these positions will take place in late May. To learn more about the work of YALSA’s interest and discussion groups you can read all of the recent posts. Thank you to the current interest group and discussion group conveners and committee chairs that posted on this topic.

    In late April, YALSA Board members Sarah Debraski, Sara Ryan, Mary Hastler, and Francisca Goldsmith posted on the blog on the theme of life on the YALSA Board. These posts are meant to inform those considering running for a YALSA Board position about what Board work is really like. The week of posts ended with a podcast on the topic of Board service. You can read the posts and listen to the podcast on the YALSA Blog. Thanks to YALSA’s Board members for their work on this blog series.

  • Each spring the YALSA Executive Committee (made up of the YALSA President, President-Elect, Immediate Past President, Secretary, Fiscal Officer, ALA Councillor, and Executive Director) meets via conference call in order to continue planning for ALA Annual, to look at upcoming and future work of the YALSA Board, and to consider possible Association initiatives. The 2010 spring Executive Committee meeting took place in late April and Committee members discussed a variety of topics including YALSA’s business plan, the Association’s finances, plans for Board member development prior to Annual Conference, and ways in which ALA youth Divisions can more successfully take part in the work of ALA Council. The full agenda for the meeting, along with meeting documents, is available in the governance section of the YALSA website.
  • The deadline for applications for YALSA’s Library Advocacy Day travel stipend was April 30. It is now the work of a Task Force to evaluate the applications and select those who will be awarded the stipend. The formation of the Task Force was approved by the YALSA Board in April and members of the group were also appointed during the month. Thanks to Chris Shoemaker, and his Task Force members, for the work they will do on selecting those who will receive the stipend.

In Progress

  • Each month the YALSA Board takes part in many discussions, via their ALA Connect space, about the work of the Association. April discussions of the Board included conversation about the formation of the advocacy stipend task force, mentioned above, as well as discussion of the creation of two other new task forces. The Board discussed and then approved the creation of a task force that will plan a set of table talks for the 2011 Annual Conference and a task force that will be charged with selecting and matching mentors and protegees as a part of YALSA”s new mentoring project. Over the next few weeks I will appoint chairs and members to these task forces. If you are interested in participating in one of these groups feel free to email me at lbraun@leonline.com
  • In preparation for ALA Annual a chat is scheduled for all chairs of YALSA member groups. The chat will take place, in YALSA’s ALA Connect, space, from 8 to 9 PM on May 20th. The focus of the chat is on planning for Annual Conference 2010. During the chat I will update chairs on YALSA governance topics that have an impact on their work, provide information on getting ready for Annual Conference, and give chairs the opportunity to ask questions and exchange information related to the work of their groups and about the upcoming conference.
  • YALSA is always striving to provide chairs and members of member groups with information on how to succeed in the work that they do. During April, YALSA Board members discussed, in their ALA Connect space, a revision to a YALSA document that outlines the responsibilities of YALSA Chairs and members of member groups, as well as provides a timeline for the work of member groups. The revised document will be available to YALSA chairs and group members in late May.
  • The 2011 YALSA Nominating Committee continues to develop the slate of candidates for the 2011 YALSA election. In order to provide potential Board candidates with more information on Board service, in April YALSA Board members discussed benefits of YALSA Board service. This discussion is currently being reviewed and a document outlining Board service benefits will be available later in May. We hope that this document will provide those considering Board service information that will help in a decision of whether or not to run for a YALSA board position.

Media

  • In April I spoke with two teens working on a National History Day project on the topic of youth services in libraries. The high school students asked questions about how teens use libraries, why teens should use libraries, and about the work of YALSA.
  • Over the past month I provided quotes to YALSA’s Communications Specialist on Support Teen Literature Day, Teen Read Week, the 2010 Young Adult Literature Symposium, and Teens’ Top Ten nominations.
  • I answered questions as a part of Leap Books blog series on the Secret Lives of Librarians.

Other Important YALSA News

  • The YALSA wiki now includes a page titled Recession Relief Resources which is filled with links to a variety of materials for librarians looking for networking resources, grant opportunities, job information and more.
  • On May 30 the results of ALA/YALSA elections were announced. You can find the full list of those elected to YALSA positions on the YALSA blog.
  • Two new YALSA webinars are coming up this spring. On May 20 a webinar on advocacy will be lead by Karen Keys and on June 17 Sarah Debraski will lead a discussion on YA classics. You can learn more about the webinars and register on the YALSA website.
  • Registration for YALSA’s 2010 YA Literature Symposium is now open. The Symposium will take place November 5-7 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Find out more about what’s planned for the Symposium on the YALSA web site.

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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