ALA Midwinter Impressions

I began the ALA Midwinter Conference off by hosting a tour coordinated with YALSA and my organization, the Boston Public Library. In February 2015 the Teen Central and Children’s Library both received significant renovations to their spaces. Teen Central is a 2,00 square foot designated teen space focusing on the homago model (hanging out messing around and geeking out). There is a Media Lounge where teens can access video gaming, movie access and more, a digital makerspace; the Lab where teens can go beyond consumption and create with access to 20 different types of software such as; Adobe Creative Cloud, Manga Studio, FL Studio, Logic Cut Pro, Garageband, Autodesk 123D Design and more. The tour had about 15 librarians from across the country who focused on youth services and interested in learning ideas and seeing the design of both spaces.
I spent the day on Saturday in the strategic planning meeting with the YALSA Board. All of YALSA Board meetings (unless indicated as a closed meeting) are open door meetings and anyone can observe, listen and learn. All day Saturday, Board members worked with a consultant from the Whole Mind Strategy Group on organizational planning. The goal was to develop a focused and responsive plan which will help YALSA meet the needs of members and advance teen services in libraries across the country. Based on the outcomes of the organizational planning discussions, the consultant will help the Board draft a new, 3 year plan. The goal is to have that in place by March 1st. All of the agendas, notes, and updates on YALSA Board meetings are included in YALSA Blog posts and archived on the YALSA website.
YALSA Happy Hour was on Saturday at Rosa Mexicano and it was a great opportunity to meet new friends as well as be with old friends. It’s always so great to go to the happy hours as I will always meet new people and learn about things they are doing with and for their teens in their libraries.
I’m running for YALSA Board Member at Large and participated in a great opportunity on Sunday morning, Coffee with the Candidates.  There are 6 positions on the Board that are open that people are running for, elections open on March 15 and close on April 22, 2016.  The elections also include people running for the Printz, Edwards and Nonfiction Committees so don’t forget to vote.  The event also included people running for ALA President and Treasurer.  It was a good opportunity to meet the candidates, ask questions and get to know what their thoughts on various things affecting teens, teen services and teen librarians.

I finished the conference by tabling the YALSA booth.  This opportunity always gives me a chance to meet librarians doing amazing stuff with and for teens as well as new librarians wanting to know more about YALSA and how to get involved.  At each conference there is always the opportunity to table the YALSA booth and there is a call put out through YALSA e-news  and I would highly encourage you to think about doing it.

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