During the Annual 2014 Conference, the YALSA Board approved an agenda item that proposed a new framework to formally include the voices of professionals in related fields with similar goals and objectives. The Advocates Advisory Panel will be charged with tackling a specific area of focus related to the Strategic Plan, the Future of Library Services for and with Teens report, or other topics as identified by the Board each year. The hope is that through this process, YALSA will gain valuable outside perspective on topics that are important for teens, expand its reach through new and/or strengthened relationships, and model the kind of collaborative, collective work that is called out in the Future report.
Because the Board approved the proposal in concept, as the author, I’ve been tasked with working with the Board Standing Committee on Capacity Building to create an inaugural focus and to hammer out some of the logistics. Although there’s obviously any number of topics that might be interesting to pursue with this, we decided that one viable option would be for the panel to consider strategies that YALSA might pursue in order to connect key principles and guidelines (such as the those presented in the Future report) to LIS education. We determined that this might be a sensible place to start because:
- A deeper dive into the state of and needs of LIS educators in light of the report may help inform the work of the Board as well as priority content areas for subsequent Panels
- Without connecting directly with the ways in which students in LIS programs are recruited and educated, YALSA can’t guarantee that the work recommended in the Futures report can move forward
- An academic perspective is lacking in YALSA’s current leadership. By actively recruiting experienced LIS educators to serve on the panel, YALSA may build capacity in this area
- Engaging the perspective of educators in other fields on this issue has the potential to create the opportunity for increased cross-pollination or future collective impact efforts
You can view the full proposal and other Board docs here. If you have questions or ideas related to this proposal, I’d love to hear them! Please feel free to connect with me at email@example.com