Editor sought for YALSA’s quarterly journal, YALS (Deadline Extended)

YALSA seeks an editor for its quarterly, online journal, Young Adult Library Services (YALS). The editor will serve a one-year term starting July 15 Aug. 1.

The editor will be responsible for the textual and pictorial content of the journal, and will work closely with YALSA’s Editorial Advisory Board, member groups and YALSA’s Communications Specialist to solicit articles and information. The editor will also edit and proof all copy for each issue.

Applicants must be YALSA members, have editorial experience, excellent communications skills, and be comfortable working virtually with various digital platforms and tools such as WordPress, FTP software, and more. The editor will receive a rate of $500 per issue plus $1,000 total in travel support for attending the ALA Midwinter Meeting or Annual Conference during the term of the contract.

Editor responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Setting the scope and tone of the journal and its online presence both textually and visually
  • Working with the member Editorial Advisory Board (EAB) to develop a yearly editorial calendar, solicit manuscripts and determine content and themes for each issue of the journal
  • Reviewing, editing, and as appropriate, writing content for the journal
  • Managing the work of columnists, contributors, reviewers, and online contributors and to communicate with them regularly (at least monthly)
  • Serving as spokesperson for the journal and help maintain an appropriate web presence for the journal
  • Maintaining the highest degree of integrity and ethical standards as member editor
  • Attending ALA’s Annual Conference or Midwinter Meeting to promote the journal and solicit authors
  • Communicating and collaborating with other YALSA member editors when appropriate
  • Performing other relevant duties as needed

Send cover letter and resume to Anna Lam at alam@ala.org. Apply by June 15 July 1.

YALS primarily serves as a vehicle for continuing education for library staff serving young adults, ages 12-18. It includes articles of current interest to the profession, acts as a showcase for best practices, provides news from related fields, and spotlights significant events of the organization, and offers in-depth reviews of professional literature. Learn more.

JRLYA Down Under!

Last summer, I had the extraordinary opportunity to co-direct a month-long University of Washington iSchool study abroad children’s literature course to New Zealand (also known by its Maori name, Aotearoa) and Australia with Michelle Martin. The course had an Indigenous focus – we met Maori and Aboriginal authors, publishers, librarians, storytellers, and more! Through this immersive experience, all of us — ten grad students, two undergrads, and the co-directors — developed a deep appreciation for the richness and breadth of the children’s literature scene Down Under. Needless to say, I was very happy to see Dr. Kasey Garrison’s JRLYA article, “What’s Going on Down Under? Part 1: Portrayals of Culture in Award-Winning Australian Young Adult Literature,” which brings more of these titles to the notice of readers in the US. You’ll find it in the March 2019 themed issue, “Movements That Affect Teens.”

Articles in JRLYA are wide-ranging in their concerns, and relevant to both practitioners and researchers. With this article, practitioners may focus more on the collection development implications. The two appendices work well for this purpose – librarians can see easily which themes (class, disability, gender, immigration, Indigenous Australians, language, the LGBTQIA community, race/ethnicity/nationality, and religion) may be found in each of the twenty-four book sample, and the article introduces readers to two major awards: the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s Book of the Year for Older Readers (chosen by adults) and the Centre for Youth Literature’s Gold Inky Award (selected by teens). Researchers may be as interested in the method – the article is a critical content analysis – as in the findings.

Looking at portrayals of culture in YA books is timely, considering the robust discussion around diverse books in this country, and the paper extends this important conversation beyond books first published in the US. I am looking forward to Part 2, in which Dr. Garrison will look at the implications of the relatively poor representation of Indigenous Australians in the sample.

Annette Y. Goldsmith
Member, JRYLA Advisory Board

Libraries Welcome All Families: A Conversation with Urban High School Students about Representation in the CT Nutmeg Nominees

This post was first published on the ALSC Blog on April 23, 2019

Jillian Woychowski is the Library Media Specialist at West Haven High School and a member of the ALA Interdivisional Committee for School and Public Library Cooperation

Kymberlee Powe is the Head of Children’s and Teen Library Services at the West Haven Public Library

I am very lucky as a school librarian to work so well with my public librarians. Our city’s children’s and teen services librarian has held card drives and visits me on a regular basis. We’ve coordinated getting materials for each other and worked together on summer reading. We also share the experience of serving on our state book award committee. I served on the High School Level 2018 Nutmeg Committee and Kym just wrapped serving on the Middle Grades Nutmeg Committee for 2020 (see nutmegaward.org). Being on the committee for a state book is a serious time commitment, requiring reading 75-150 books and monthly meetings to discuss them. For both of us, making sure our students were represented in the eventual nominees was very important.

Kym comes to West Haven High School once a week to hold a book club with students in our Program for Accelerated Credit-recovery in Education (PACE) program. Students in PACE “have had difficulty succeeding in the regular setting. The program offers credit recovery and and intensive support system so that these students can learn the appropriate skills and behaviors needed to be successful in school and beyond. The program takes a unique outside-the-box approach to teaching and learning in order to re-engage students in their own education, with a focus on college and career readiness” (Program of Studies, whhs.whschools.org). Students receive 90 minutes each of Language Arts and Mathematics a day, along with contemporary issues and environmental education to give students an awareness of their own community. Technological literacy rounds out their curriculum.

This March, Kym and I sat down for a conversation with two PACE students to talk about being an urban librarian and the challenges for equity, diversity, and inclusion in potential award-winning literature.

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YALSA Community Survey Results

Thank you very much to everyone, both members and non-members, who took the time to fill out YALSA’s Community Survey this past year. The results are in, have been analyzed and passed on to the board for their review. It was great to have so much valuable and thoughtful feedback on what you think is important about YALSA and how it addresses the diversity and inclusivity needs of the people it serves.

Almost a third of the survey participants were either somewhat unfamiliar or not at all familiar with YALSA’s recently updated Teen Services Competencies. Many respondents reported a lack of time or simply not being aware of them as reasons for not implementing or planning to implement the competencies. Others responded that they were not currently working with teens, so the competencies did not apply to them in their current position. The highest rated competency most respondents said they implemented or were working toward implementing was interactions with teens with 68 percent of responses. This was followed by equity of access at 48 percent and teen growth and development at 45 percent.

Survey participants were asked what they saw as the most important work of YALSA and its leadership in the teen services library field. The top three choices were advocacy with 25 percent of responses, equity, diversity and inclusion with 23 percent of responses, and continuing education with 22 percent of responses. Reading and other literacies followed not too far behind with 13 percent. When people were asked what they thought was the second most important work, answers continued to follow this pattern.

The survey also asked people about YALSA’s communication channels in terms of how much they are used and how they keep up with the latest news about YALSA and library/teen services. Most of the responses indicated that people obtain the latest news from YALSA’s website and YALSA E-news with each choice being ranked first by 25 percent of responders. People said they also got their news from other YALSA emails and listservs and their colleagues and friends.

More than half of respondents, totaling 64 percent, were not familiar with YALSA’s updated Intended Impact Statement on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.  But when directly asked, about a third of people stated that increasing diversity in YALSA is the most important item on a scale of one to ten. Many different reasons were given for this, which included needing to be more diverse, wanting to reflect the communities they serve, and the importance of having different perspectives.

Some of the other general takeaways from the survey is that many respondents think YALSA is useful and has an important purpose, but the cost is prohibitive for many people. Many participants expressed concerns about the membership price, especially when attached to the cost of ALA membership and whether the benefits of membership were really worth the money. Other respondents felt YALSA mostly caters to public libraries and is not particularly inclusive for school librarians, small, rural libraries, special libraries, certain ethnic groups, demographics and sexual orientations. Some of the suggested solutions to address these issues included hiring more diverse people within the field, offering more conference discounts and grants, academic scholarships and free or discounted memberships, especially to diverse people. Cost was frequently mentioned as a barrier to diversity within the organization.

About 62 percent of survey participants hold a current membership in YALSA. Most of the survey respondents work in a public library, 82 percent are white/Caucasian, most do not speak another language, 88 percent are female, 69 percent are heterosexual, and 84 percent do not have a disability. Survey participants frequently referred to themselves as members of the majority and did not feel they were the right people to answer some of these questions.

The survey received a total of 436 responses.

This post was submitted by Rebecca Leonhard and Kimberly Kinnaird.

Editor Sought for YALS Journal

YALSA seeks an editor for its quarterly, online journal, Young Adult Library Services (YALS). The editor will serve a one-year term starting July 15.

The editor will be responsible for the textual and pictorial content of the journal, and will work closely with YALSA’s Editorial Advisory Board, member groups and YALSA’s Communications Specialist to solicit articles and information. The editor will also edit and proof all copy for each issue.

Applicants must be YALSA members, have editorial experience, excellent communications skills, and be comfortable working virtually with various digital platforms and tools such as WordPress, FTP software, and more. The editor will receive a rate of $500 per issue plus $1,000 total in travel support for attending the ALA Midwinter Meeting or Annual Conference during the term of the contract.

Editor responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Setting the scope and tone of the journal and its online presence both textually and visually
  • Working with the member Editorial Advisory Board (EAB) to develop a yearly editorial calendar, solicit manuscripts and determine content and themes for each issue of the journal
  • Reviewing, editing, and as appropriate, writing content for the journal
  • Managing the work of columnists, contributors, reviewers, and online contributors and to communicate with them regularly (at least monthly)
  • Serving as spokesperson for the journal and help maintain an appropriate web presence for the journal
  • Maintaining the highest degree of integrity and ethical standards as member editor
  • Attending ALA’s Annual Conference or Midwinter Meeting to promote the journal and solicit authors
  • Communicating and collaborating with other YALSA member editors when appropriate
  • Performing other relevant duties as needed

Send cover letter and resume to Anna Lam at alam@ala.org. Apply by June 15.

YALS primarily serves as a vehicle for continuing education for library staff serving young adults, ages 12-18. It includes articles of current interest to the profession, acts as a showcase for best practices, provides news from related fields, and spotlights significant events of the organization, and offers in-depth reviews of professional literature. Learn more.

Partnerships to Support Teens in Computing: Library Staff and School Counselors Can Team Up

This is a guest post by Jennifer Manning, AspireIT Partnerships Program Director and Marijke Visser, Senior Policy Advocate, ALA Washington Office

The National Center for Women and Information Technology AspireIt program and ALA’s Libraries Ready to Code are continuing their partnership to connect more young women and girls to computer science (CS) and technology- related opportunities. Library staff can and do play an important role in supporting youth as they explore career paths in and out of school. This month’s post spotlights a potential partner for library staff active in connecting youth interests to CS and tech, the school counselor.

CS educators across the nation are finding that collaborating with their school counselors yields positive results in directing youth to viable education and career opportunities. School counselors are key partners with community libraries as counselors regularly share out information to students about local opportunities, especially those at the library. Many families tap into the library as a hub of information, community-building, and more. Often, counselors are in the role of distributing information about community events on a school-wide level and also individually targeting students and families who would enjoy and benefit from the programs.

NCWIT Counselors for Computing (C4C) provides professional school counselors with information and resources they can use to support ALL students as they explore CS education and careers. Counselors are influencers and gatekeepers. They counsel and encourage students in their education and career aspirations, advise on course selections, and expose students to occupations through career fairs and internships. Working together, school counselors and library staff can provide the encouragement and exposure , young women are need to pursue computing in school ro as a career.

To help you build a partnership with this valuable resource, check out the webinar CS for All Teachers and C4C held discussing key strategies for creating a positive partnership with your counselors for CS advocacy.

For additional valuable NCWIT C4C resources (available to libraries for free), click here to view the collection and how to order. To find out more about the Libraries Ready to Code and AspireIT events and resources check out the 2019 Community Champion Learning Series calendar.

Help YALSA Name A New Teen-Focused Month

This year, Teen Read Week and Teen Tech Week will be dissolving to form a month long celebration of teen programming and teen services in libraries across the country! The month long celebration will be held in October of every year.

Teens, want a say in YALSA’s newest month long celebration? Librarians, please encourage your teens to be a part of an exciting initiative. The celebration will include related displays, passive activities, and programming that will fit public libraries, school libraries, and beyond! We will also being asking both teens and librarians for their feedback on the celebration, so be sure to keep an eye out for that.

To submit your celebration name, post on social media with your suggested idea and use #yalsaname or fill out our Google form. The winner will receive prizes and recognition! You are able to submit ideas until 5/31. Once the submission date has passed, there will be a voting period for the top 10 entries. Please share the news! We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

This post was submitted by members of the Teen Tech Week / Teen Read Week Committee.

Register Now for YALSA’s 2019 YA Services Symposium

Registration for YALSA’s 2019 YA Services Symposium is now open.

The symposium takes place November 1-3 in Memphis, TN with the theme Show Up and Advocate: Supporting Teens in the Face of Adversity. Anyone with an interest in young adult services is welcome to attend.

Now through early bird registration (September 15), those who join YALSA and register for the symposium will be automatically entered for a chance to win free registration for the 2020 YALSA symposium. YALSA members already registered for the symposium will be entered into the drawing automatically.

Additionally, non-members who join YALSA/ALA before registering can save and become eligible to register with the YALSA member rate, apply for a $1,000 symposium travel stipend, gain access to a quarterly journal, weekly newsletter, additional grants, and more. Joining and then registering often costs less than the non-member rate.

Early bird registration ends September 15 and rates are as follows:

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2019 YALSA Election Results

YALSA is excited to announce its 2019 election results. The following individuals have been elected:

President-Elect
Amanda Barnhart

Secretary
Josie Watanabe

Fiscal Officer
Jane Gov

Board of Directors
Trixie Dantis
Karen Lemmons
Ryan Eduardo Moniz
Charli Osborne
Valerie Tagoe

To learn more about YALSA elections or governance, please visit www.ala.org/yalsa/workingwithyalsa/governance.