I’m back from New Orleans and ALA Annual Conference, where, among many other things that happened, I was formally installed as the new president of YALSA for the upcoming year. I was delighted to meet so many of you: at the YALSA Happy Hour, at the Strategic Planning session, at the membership meeting, at the Odyssey Award and Printz Award ceremonies, on the exhibit floor, at the speed networking event, and many other places. I was once again reassured that YALSA has the best members of any division in ALA, and I know you will all help me as I focus on my theme for the year: Building the Future.
I will be making regular blog posts throughout the year (and don’t forget also to follow me on Twitter–@yalsapresident), but for now, I want to give some highlights from the four YALSA Board sessions that occurred at Annual.
On Friday afternoon, the Board met with consultant Alan Brickman to start taking a look at YALSA’s Strategic Plan and get some ideas of what needed to be changed or updated. Priscille Dando, YALSA’s chair of Strategic Planning, will update you on that in another blog post. The Board met again on Saturday, Sunday, and Tuesday, and passed several motions that will help us build YALSA’s future in a positive way. Some of the major motions were:
- The approval of guidelines for creating a Board Fellow position. This will give members an opportunity to develop leadership skills and learn how YALSA works by serving on the Board for a year. The draft guidelines are available in the Annual 2011 Board agenda packet and final guidelines will be published in the Fall.
- A task force will be created to assess YALSA’s interest group/discussion group framework and how these groups are working, both for members and for the goals of YALSA.
- A draft research agenda was approved, with the direction that the Research Committee open a call for public comments on the document in July and August.
- A standing committee will be established to focus on promoting national guidelines (such as YALSA’s Competencies and Public Library Teen Services Evaluation Tool) on teen services in libraries.
- The Division and Membership promotion committee was directed to evaluate and prioritize recommendations for creating a local presence for YALSA, to help YALSA members engage with their YALSA colleagues more locally.
In addition to these YALSA Board meetings, I attended a meeting of the ALA Awards Committee, where I responded to questions about a proposed new YALSA Writing Award. I am pleased to report that the Committee approved the award. In the near future, YALSA will be able to award cash prizes to members for the best articles in YALS and JRLYA ($500 each), and the best blog posts in the YALSA Blog and The Hub ($200 each). Watch for details coming soon!
I look forward to working with all of you this year!
Sarah Flowers, YALSA President