YALSA President’s Report–January 2012

Monthly President’s Report – January 2012

What a month! Midwinter was busy-busy-busy, but also a lot of fun. I had a fabulous time emceeing the Youth Media Awards and the Morris/Nonfiction Awards Event. It was great to see so many YALSA members: at the Midwinter Institute, at the Midwinter Trivia Night FUNdraiser, at meetings, at the YALSA Happy Hour, at the Youth Media Awards event, and at the AASL/ALSC/YALSA joint membership reception.

Below is a summary of activities that I have completed or am working on.

Completed Tasks

  • Committee Chairs:’ 
    • Had phone conversations with several YALSA committee chairs about the work of their committee
    • Worked with both incoming and outgoing selection and award committee chairs at Leadership Development at Midwinter.
    • Prepared and presented a webinar for process committee, task force, and jury chairs.
  • Board Activities: The Board met at Midwinter for its regular meeting to discuss and take action on a number of items. For details, see my Midwinter Summary on the blog.
    • Note: The Board established several new task forces; please see the blog or ALA Connect for details about opportunities to serve. ‘ 
  • Committee/Jury/Taskforce Appointments:
    • Appointed members to fill vacancies on several committees.

‘ Works in Progress

  • Continuing to appoint members to new committees and task forces
  • Continuing to work with Board members on their self-assessments and learning plans.

‘ Strategic Planning. The Board discussed the first steps on the Action Plan, and gave the Strategic Planning committee the task of coming up with ways to measure our success in achieving the goals of the Strategic Plan.


  • The YALSA Executive Committee met with the ALSC and AASL Executive Committees at Midwinter. We discussed the direction of the Joint Committee on School and Public Library Cooperation and we discussed ways we can all collaborate with one another.
  • I worked with Mary Fellows, ALSC President, on planning our joint presidents’ program for ALA Annual.


  • Wrote a post for the YALSA blog in memory of Dorothy Broderick, and wrote a memory of her to be shared at her memorial service in Queens, NY on January 26.

Media & Outreach

  • Quoted in an article by Vincent Jackson of the News Atlantic Press on teen reading trends.
  • Interviewed by Rocco Staino of School Library Journal about the appointment of Walter Dean Myers as National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature.
  • Interviewed by Leanne Italie of AP about YA literature.
  • Interviewed by Elissa Petruzzi of RT Book Reviews about teen books and age ranges.

‘ Important YALSA News & Reminders

  • Don’t forget to vote! ALA (and YALSA) elections are from March 19-April 27. You will be receiving an email from ALA with a link to the online ballot. Watch the blog for information on the candidates, and listen to the recorded interviews for more information.
  • If you don’t usually vote, tell us why not: Judy Nelson of the 2012 Nominating Committee wants to hear from you.
  • If you’re looking for continuing education, check out YALSA’s Webinars-on-demand, free to YALSA members.
  • Sign up for YALSA’s new self-paced online courses, “Connect, Create, Collaborate: Supporting Teen Needs with Technology,” presented by Linda W. Braun, and Power Programming, presented by Amy Alessio. If you can’t attend conferences, online courses are a great way to keep up to date in the profession—and you can get Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for doing it.
  • Start preparing for Teen Tech Weekâ„¢ by signing up for the TTW ning.
  • If you are interested in an appointment to a YALSA virtual task force, jury, or process committee, be sure to submit your volunteer form now. President-Elect Jack Martin will start making appointments in March for committee terms to begin after Annual 2012, and I am filling task force places right now.
  • YALSA’s Teen Book Finder app was debuted at the Congressional Internet Caucus Tech Exhibition in January, and will be available on the iPhone app store later this month.

Thank Yous and Congratulations

  • A big thanks to the YALSA Board of Directors for all of their hard work at Midwinter.
  • Also a special thanks to all the award and selection committee members for their Midwinter work, culminating a year (or more) of reading/listening/watching and discussing. These awards and lists are integral to who we are as YALSA, so we all thank you profoundly.
  • Thanks to Sarah Ludwig and the Teen Tech Week Committee for putting together the TTW Scavenger Hunt at Midwinter.
  • Thanks also to the Midwinter Marketing and Local Arrangements Committee for helping to make Midwinter a big success. We doubled the number of participants in the Midwinter Institute on Friday over last year’s numbers, and in talking with them, I noticed that a lot of them were from Texas—so good work!
  • Thank you to Lucy Lockley and the Midwinter Trivia Night task force for putting together a fun event to raise money for the Leadership Endowment.
  • Thanks to the 2012 Nominating Committee for putting together an informative “Coffee with the Candidates” event at Midwinter, and for recording interviews with the candidates for Board, Councilor, and President so that everyone can find out more about them.
  • Thanks to all YALSA members who signed the White House Petition asking that the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act provide dedicated funding for school libraries.

YALSA Membership: Total membership at the end of November was 5,225 members, down slightly from the previous year. Don’t forget to renew!

Friends of YALSA: In December, the Friends of YALSA received $855 in donations; Books for Teens received $525, and the Leadership Endowment received $25. Thanks to all for your generosity.

Respectfully Submitted,

Sarah Flowers

YALSA President

Published by

Sarah Flowers

Sarah Flowers is a YALSA Past President and former Deputy County Librarian for the Santa Clara County (CA) Library. Currently she does writing and speaking on topics related to teen services and teaches online courses for California's Infopeople Project.