President’s Report – September 2020

Greetings YALSAblog readers and youth advocates,

I’m pleased to share this month’s activities, as plans become further developed from conception to execution. The big items on this past month’s docket for the YALSA Board include providing input for our association’s Strategic Plan RFP (request for proposal). More information will be forthcoming about this item and its subsequent timeline of activities once a consultant company has been selected and a contract confirmed. 

Also, the Board offered decisions regarding changes that would better support the Odyssey Award committee members’ workload. This input has been returned to the working group who will provide the board with more details regarding these confirmed changes. The Board approved the continuance of the Social Media Marketing Taskforce with adjustments to their responsibilities and tasks. Finally, the board approved the working group’s recommendations in developing a manual for the Morris Award that was modeled after the Non-fiction Award manual. This item creates consistency in language and responsibilities that will better support future work of the award committee. 

September Meetings (listed by date, oldest first)

  • Participated and led recurring meetings for the monthly YALSA Board Chat, the quarterly Executive Committee meeting, the monthly YALSA President’s meeting (YALSA Pres-Elect, Past-Pres, Pres, ED), and weekly meetings with the YALSA Executive Director. These events contribute to supporting the work of the association. 
  • Participated in the President’s Implementation Taskforce meeting by answering questions and providing background information, which is a responsibility of being the board liaison.  
  • Attended a meeting with the YALSA Executive Director and ALA staff to understand the steps involved for creating an endowment. 
  • Met with YALSA member Gregory Lum, YALSA Executive Director and ALA staff to determine next steps for the Joann Sweetland Lum Memorial Grant. Next steps will be presented in the October 2020 report. 
  • Provided guidance to the Division and Membership Promotion chair and encouraged the opportunity that exists in sharing free YALSA resources and YALSA 101 information with library staff who work with teens and are likely non-members. Solutions will need to be developed in reaching this audience. 
  • Discussed the BCALA/IMLS Taxonomy of Black History Month Programming in Libraries project with Dr. Grace Jackson-Brown, a project coordinator and professor at Missouri State University Libraries, and agreed to participate as the YALSA representative. Further information about this project will be forthcoming in a separate communication. 
  • Attended the Greater Kansas City Metropolitan Area’s YALSA Meet-Up via Zoom and provided updates on YALSA activity. 
  • Participated in the Promoting Professional Success for Underrepresented Groups within YALSA Taskforce meeting by answering questions and providing background information, which is a responsibility of being the board liaison. 
  • Attended ALA President Julius C. Jefferson Jr.’s meeting with fellow ALA division presidents. 

Thank you!

  • Yolanda Hood and Tess Wilson for the development and release of the Spring YALS issue.
  • Outstanding Books for the College Bound working group members who diligently continued efforts towards the re-development of a well-rounded and vetted list. More info will be forthcoming. 
  • The Board appreciates the work of all chairs who submitted a quarterly report in August. Timely submissions better support the work of volunteer groups. 

Relevant Stats and Data

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

Don’t Forget

 

Respectfully submitted,
Amanda Barnhart
YALSA President 2020-2021

New Volunteer Opportunities

Greetings, youth advocates—

We’re winding down our seventh month of life since the coronavirus disease initially changed our environments. With the start of the school year underway, many of us have a better understanding of our new work patterns and responsibilities than even a month ago. Things will continue to be hectic more so for some than others and we will continue to rise to these challenges and support our communities.

YALSA has two new volunteer opportunities available to members, opportunities that serve as a path to develop new relationships with peers from across the nation. For me, hearing of others’ experiences, from anecdotes of the air quality and staying indoors in California to the struggles of finding opportunities for MLIS practicum students in Texas, keeps me connected to the work we do in a positive and meaningful way that right now especially supports my psychological well being. I trust that you will consider these opportunities, the Joann Sweetland Lum Memorial Grant Jury and the Social Media Marketing Taskforce, in light of our new landscapes.

The Joann Sweetland Lum Memorial Grant Jury
This short-term virtual opportunity – beginning Nov. 1 and running through January 31 – seeks two members willing to honor the late teacher and library advocate Joann Sweetland Lum by serving on this jury. Responsibilities include evaluating applications through a blind review process and selecting a candidate based on their creative and innovative project that support literacy. The selected project will be awarded funds for their project. You’ll find more information about the jury and the responsibilities here. You’ll find more information about the grant opportunity currently available to members and non-members here (deadline for application is December 1).

Social Media Marketing Taskforce
This long-term virtual opportunity – beginning Nov. 2020 and running through June 2021 – seeks seven to nine member volunteers skilled in utilizing social media platforms, in particular Instagram and Twitter. This group will be responsible for using social media to widely market three foci of YALSA activities. In brief, they will collaborate their efforts into:

  • Support for YALSA selection lists and the Teens’ Top Ten list.
  • Member Recognition of volunteer efforts.
  • Support for the YALSA Symposium and the Youth Media Awards events.

Additionally, this group will monitor members engagement with YALSA social media channels to evaluate success as well as communicate member concerns to YALSA leadership.

If you are interested in volunteering for one of the above opportunities, please submit the volunteer form (must sign into ALA account) by Oct. 28.

—Amanda
YALSA President 2020-2021

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

A Note from the President

Greetings, YALSA members and youth advocates, 

If you can’t believe it’s already the second week of August, I can’t believe I’ve one full month under my belt as YALSA President. For the month of July, several of YALSA staff including myself took a short break to regroup upon the completion of the YALSA board meetings in June. For July YALSA activities, I have the following items to report:

Completed Tasks

  • Met with Tammy Dillards-Steel, YALSA ED, and Sarah Evans, Education Advisory Committee chair, to provide support and direction for the new group’s initial work.
  • Facilitated YALSA’s annual Membership meeting via Zoom. I compiled links to the topics that were discussed which were sent out with the archived recording via Connect. A few members had additional concerns that are currently being followed up by the President.
  • Participated in a meeting with the always delightful Shauntee Simpson-Burns, BCALA President, to discuss potential future projects.

Mark your Calendars

  • YALSA Staff have furlough dates in August and will be unable to respond to email or complete any YALSA activities. Please be aware when reaching out to them that they will be unavailable starting Sunday, August 16 – Saturday, August 22, 2020.
  • August 13 at 2pm Eastern, School Librarians and School Counselors: Computing Together webinar
  • 2020 YALSA Symposium, now virtual, November 6-8, 2020. Follow the link to sign-up for the latest news concerning the virtual event.

Special Appreciation for:

  • Tina Lerno, YALSA Volunteer of the Year, reminded the board that this recognition is usually announced at the Membership meeting. I sincerely apologize for this oversight and applaud Tina’s self-advocacy. The board will pilot the opportunity for the Volunteer of the Year to be included in one of the future YALSA Board monthly chats as a way to further support members’ growth and interests in leadership.
  • M’issa, YALSA Member, reminded the board of YALSA’s EDI commitment. The request included an evaluation of the events that occurred at the 2019 Symposium so that strategies and solutions may be developed for handling similar situations that are supportive of inclusive environments. For YALSA to truly embrace EDI, it will require not only the continued work of the board, but the direction from voices willing to make some noise. I appreciate M’issa’s commitment to make some noise.

Relevant Stats & Data

  • It is unfortunate that due to the pandemic’s impact, membership statistics and donations received are currently unavailable to report for July.

Respectfully Submitted,

Amanda Barnhart
YALSA President 2020-2021

 

YALSA Member Task Force Volunteer Opportunities – Apply By 11/12

Greetings, YALSA Members,

Do you consider yourself to have strong organizational qualities, nurture a creative mindset to problem solving, and are savvy with social media? Does it sound appealing to participate on a national committee, but perhaps shine the spotlight on someone else? Consider your strengths to serve on the YALSA’s Task Forces for the YA Services Symposium Marketing & Planning, ALA Conference Marketing & Local Arrangements, and Midwinter Marketing & Local Arrangements Committee. Complete and submit your Committee Volunteer Form by Tuesday, 11/12. 

Do remember that to serve on any of these committees, applicants will need to have a current YALSA membership. Also, much of the work is accomplished virtually, but some do require attendance to the event for ensuring the smooth running of YALSA activities. Committee members will soon begin work and run for roughly 6 months of work. 

Committee member duties can be found here and here. A few examples of committee life might include:

  • Vetting applications and selecting winners for the Symposium stipends.

  • Make arrangements for local teens to participate in the live Best Fiction for Young Adults feedback session that takes place at Midwinter where teens share their critical comments on literature with Best Fiction for Young Adults committee members.

  • Write posts for the YALSAblog to inform conference attendees of local places to eatvisit, or support their interests.

  • Research, collate, and recommend resources for YALSA’s activities and presence at conference to be posted to a wiki page.

If you are still reading this post, what are you waiting for?! Go ahead. Fill out your Committee Volunteer Form. However, should the timing of this volunteer opportunity not fit your schedule, do consider volunteering for the next round of opportunities, including one of the many YALSA strategic committees. Volunteer forms for strategic committees will open between January through February 1, 2020. 

If you have any questions, head over to the Committee FAQ or feel free to reach out to me AmandaBarnhart@kclibrary.org

Thank you for considering YALSA service,
Amanda Barnhart, YALSA President-Elect (2019-2020)