August 2020 President’s Report

Greetings YALSA members and youth advocates,

When I began the path to run for this position, there were several areas I was looking forward to contributing towards, namely in the areas of representation, as I identify as Hispanic and as a library staff who has spent more years as a library paraprofessional (17) than as a librarian (5). While I had not anticipated the challenges we would encounter this leadership term, I do feel that my experience has prepared me to create pathways of support for YALSA, its volunteers, and its members, during this extraordinary year of transition.

I may not have a product to show off to you right now, but I am undertaking the pre-work that is required to support YALSA in both short-term and long-term projects. I know that hardly describes what exactly is being done behind the curtain. However, successful projects involve teamwork which means the final product will continue to evolve until it is completed. Once such projects take on their final form, I will readily release that information through one of YALSA’s communication channels.

August Tasks (listed by date, oldest first)

  • Held a discussion and orientation with our ALA Liaison, Liz Nebeker to support their work in collaboration with ALA groups.
  • Participated on the hiring panel alongside the immediate past HUB manager, the YALSA Executive Director, and the YALSA Communications Specialist for The Hub Manager position. I was particularly interested to hear how candidates define diversity in literature and on their ideas for monitoring and evaluating for inclusive practices. Stay tuned for the press release of the selected HUB manager.
  • Held a valuable conversation with two YALSA members who were open and gracious to discuss supporting inclusive environments and members’ diverse needs. During this conversation, proactive next steps the association might explore on this issue were brainstormed.
  • Began conversations with Cindy Hohl, American Indian Library Association’s President, to explore collaboration opportunities with YALSA. Cindy has been tremendously helpful in sharing local and indigenous communities’ traditional ways of knowing as well as providing resources for learning.
  • Representatives from YALSA staff and leadership debriefed the past year’s efforts of the Social Media Taskforce and planned for its restart and expansion. These ideas are being crafted into a board document and will be presented to the YALSA board later this month.

Mark Your Calendars

  • I’m looking forward to our next Member webinar scheduled for September 10, 2020 Thursday, 2PM Eastern. Virtual Dungeons and Dragons Games: A How-To Guide will be facilitated by Michael Rogowski. For more information on the webinar, including non-member pricing, follow this link. (Currently, I’m relishing in playing a Tabaxi monk character with local librarians.)
  • Have you heard that the YALSA’s Young Adult Services Symposium’s virtual schedule has been posted?! Check it out and join us if you are able. We hope to see you this year or next.

Relevant Stats & Data

  • Donation and Membership information continues to remain unavailable at this time.

 

Respectfully submitted,
Amanda Barnhart
YALSA President 2020-2021

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