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.

Ask Your Senators to #FundLibraries by April 5!

The White House budget proposal for FY2020 has, for a third time, proposed elimination of federal funding for libraries. This year’s “Dear Appropriator” letters have finished in the House. We are now urging Senators to preserve more than $210 million in federal library funding.

One letter asks members of the Senate Appropriations Committee to fully fund the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and the other asks the Committee to fully fund the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) program. The more signatures we have, the better the chance that the appropriators will protect funding for LSTA and IAL programs.

Senators Jack Reed (RI) and Susan Collins (ME) are leading this year’s LSTA and IAL letters and the deadline is April 5. Want to see if your representative has signed already? Check our appropriations letter tracker.  Email your Senators now!

New Special-Themed Issue of JRLYA, Vol.10 N.1: Movements that Affect Teens

I am pleased to announce the publication of a special themed issue of YALSA’s Journal of Research on Libraries & Young Adults (JRLYA). Volume 10, Issue 1 features three papers that examined movements that affect teens through the lens of literature, and how literature reflects certain movements.

#wndb; #metoo
In the first part of a two-part series, Kasey L. Garrison examined the portrayals of various facets of culture in a sample of teen literature from two Australian book awards in her article, “What’s Going on Down Under? Part 1: Portrayals of Culture in Award-Winning Australian Young Adult Literature.” Garrison found that the most prevalent cultural theme was gender, which was situated in stories that focused on issues of harassment or body image.  From her analysis and discussion of culture in this sample, Garrison concluded that Australian literature for teens holds a great deal of potential to serve as the impetus for discussions about social justice issues and movements such as the #metoo movement.

#curestigma; #stigmafree 
Responding to the increasing number of books for teens being published about people with mental illness, Diane Scrofano explored how the narratives of characters with mental illness are being situated. In her article, “Disability Narrative Theory and Young Adult Fiction of Mental Illness,” Scrofano used the narrative categories of restitution, chaos, and quest narratives to understand how characters with mental illness were being portrayed in 50 novels for teens. Scrofano discusses the implications of each narrative category and recommends that librarians and educators try to share more stories of mental illness in which characters have full and meaningful lives beyond their illnesses.

#antiwar
In her paper, “One, Two, Three, Four! We Don’t Want Your F**king War! The Vietnam Antiwar Movement in Young Adult Fiction,” Deborah Wilson Overstreet examined the depictions of the anti-Vietnam War movement in young adult novels, through the lens of three distinct narrative structures. Her findings suggest that the ways in which this sample of books depicts the responses of and to the anti-war movement, may not align with the historical record. Wilson Overstreet concluded her research by discussing the importance of providing today’s teen readers with accurate depictions of activism in order to help readers understand how they can effectively make their voices heard.

JRLYA is YALSA’s open-access, peer-reviewed research journal, located at: http://www.yalsa.ala.org/jrlya. Its purpose is to enhance the development of theory, research, and practice to support young adult library services. JRLYA presents original research concerning: 1) the informational and developmental needs of teens; 2) the management, implementation, and evaluation of young adult library services; and 3) other critical issues relevant to librarians who work with teens. Writer’s guidelines are located at http://www.yalsa.ala.org/jrlya/author-guidelines/.

Robin A. Moeller, editor, JRLYA

Your Help Needed: Support the #FundLibraries Campaign

As you may have heard, the White House has released its federal budget proposal for FY2020 and once again, they have proposed to eliminate the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Libraries need your support now more than ever. ALA is calling on library advocates in every congressional district to contact their representative and ask them to support federal funding for libraries by cosigning “Dear Appropriator” letters to fund the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) program. The more signatures ALA gets on these letters, the more likely it is that funding for LSTA and IAL will be restored. The deadline for signatures is March 28.

Learn more about ALA’s FY2020 #FundLibraries Campaign here. Also, be sure to visit ALA’s action center to contact your member of Congress and sign up to receive action alerts at strategic times as the campaign progresses.

2019 YALSA Election: An Interview with President-Elect Candidate Amanda Barnhart

Get ready to vote in this year’s YALSA election! To help you make informed decisions, we’re sharing interviews with each of the 2019 YALSA Governance candidates. Voting will take place from Monday, March 11 through Wednesday, April 3. To help you further prepare for the election, be sure to check out the YALSA Candidates’ Forum on March 7th!

The President-Elect serves a three-year term — first as the President-Elect, then as the President during the second year, and finally as the Immediate Past President during the third year. The President-Elect is a member of the Executive Committee alongside the President, Immediate Past President, Division Councilor, Fiscal Officer, Secretary, and Executive Director. The Executive Committee works with its ALA counterpart to build ties between the two organizations and helps with the fiscal oversight of YALSA.  A full description of the President-Elect’s duties and responsibilities can be found here.You can learn more about ALA elections here.

Name and current position: Amanda Barnhart – North East Branch Manager – Kansas City Public Library

What best qualifies you for being President-elect?
I believe my two year experience as the YALSA liaison best qualifies me for the role of President-elect. My service in this capacity has provided me with an insight into the functions of eleven ALA groups and has impressed upon me the importance of collaboration to accomplish varying goals. In this role, I have contributed to such activities as developing the form for reporting on liaison conference activities and participating in ALA working groups to update six documents for the upcoming Intellectual Freedom manual (10th ed.). In addition to supporting the eleven ALA groups, I have solicited input from them on our initiatives and shared our work. All of these efforts require staying abreast of YALSA board work and sharing information in a timely manner to YALSA leadership, the YALSA membership, and the ALA groups by phone, email, e-lists, the YALSA e-newsletter, the YALSAblog, and ALA Connect. It also requires attendance for the related conference calls, virtual meetings and in-person conference meetings scheduled by these ALA groups. Also, I have served on YALSA committees for the Advancing Diversity Task Force (6 month term), Organization and Bylaws (1 year term), and Teen Read Week (2 year chair term and 2 year member term). Your vote for me would be supporting an individual who is knowledgeable on current YALSA board work and has experience in connecting YALSA’s accomplishments to ALA groups.

How do you envision furthering the mission of YALSA as the President-elect?
I would continue to support the furthering of collaboration with partners. My effort invested towards building stronger ties to the ALA groups demonstrated the importance of working together to increase our impact.

What are some ways that being a member of the YALSA Board can help you serve as an even better connector to helping libraries become thriving learning environments for/with teens?
I have fifteen years of experience in library services and programs for and with teens, nine of which I was a library support staff member. In addition, my role shifted into branch management this past year where I support staff in our work and in the concept that “We All Serve Youth.” We can best serve our teen populations when everyone has a hand in contributing towards that goal and those combined efforts enrich the opportunities we provide for continuous learning in libraries.

What about YALSA’s Organizational Plan excites you most and why?
Knowing that the current YALSA 3-year organizational plan will be reinvisioned and aligned with the strategic plan that the board is working on, I am most excited to see a new organizational plan that continues to emphasize the importance of diversity, but further incorporates equity and inclusion into its focus. YALSA’s new Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) plan supports the development of continued conversation and education in these areas as well as provides opportunities for greater action, evaluation and accountability for activities around these concepts. The work we put into increasing our knowledge around EDI will strengthen our efforts in library services for and with teens. I am also eager to continue to see our work impacting continuing education opportunities for all library staff. At every level of my career I have found YALSA resources to benefit my work and community’s needs and in my latest managerial role I continue to take a cue from YALSA’s Recommended Actions for Stakeholders, which can be found in the resource Transforming Library Services For and With Teens Through Continuing Education.

How would you embed the concept of “teens first” in the work of the board?
The “teens first” mindset provides a wholistic approach in supporting the youth in our communities and this foundation is crucial in reaching some of our most vulnerable teen populations. These two words are the core of who we are and what we do and I would continue to articulate this emphasis throughout the membership.

Why should YALSA members choose you to be a member of the board of directors?
I committed myself to supporting teens in libraries for many years, even before I realized I wanted to continue to do so as a career choice. It is with pride that I run for office and pledge my service to YALSA in this role for an organization that has created numerous resources that guide my work. I thank you for your time in reading my comments and in participating in this next electoral process.

2019 YALSA Election: An Interview with Board Member Candidate Ryan Moniz

Get ready to vote in this year’s YALSA election! To help you make informed decisions, we’re sharing interviews with each of the 2019 YALSA Governance candidates. Voting will take place from Monday, March 11 through Wednesday, April 3. To help you further prepare for the election, be sure to check out the YALSA Candidates’ Forum on March 7th!

Serving one-year terms, YALSA Board Members are responsible for jointly determining YALSA’s current and future programs, policies, and serving as liaisons to YALSA’s committees, juries, taskforces and advisory boards. Members work year-round, and attend in-person meetings at ALA’s Midwinter and Annual Conferences. A full description of Board duties and responsibilities can be found here. You can learn more about ALA elections here.

Name and current position: Ryan Moniz – Learning & Growth Librarian – Markham Public Library

What best qualifies you for being a Board Member?
The short answer would be my commitment to the work I do. It would be easy to list all the personal qualities and characteristics you look for in a candidate like time-management, a team player, good under pressure and all the other buzz words. My entire career is built on a simple guiding principle: do good. I believe it isn’t always possible to do good by doing what’s easy and I pride myself on challenging myself to never do things the “easy” way just because I can. I’m someone who is committed to providing a voice for underserved populations and a hand-up to those in need of help so that they may have an equal opportunity to succeed. I believe that is exactly what is needed from a Board Member.

How do you envision furthering the mission of YALSA as a Board Member?
I always joke around with colleagues that I’ve never considered myself a traditional “librarian.” I don’t have extensive knowledge of authors and books so my bibliotherapy skills may be lacking when compared to others. My background is working with disabled populations and at-risk youth and I’ve always felt that their needs aren’t part of the important conversations we have, specifically when it comes to library services. Regardless of any position or title I’ve held I have always spoken out about the need for more inclusive services, and that is exactly what I plan on doing as a Board Member. I’ve never been comfortable doing anything simply because it’s the easiest option, whether it’s a family storytime or job skills program for teens. Library services can never be one-size-fits-all, especially when your audience includes teens and young adults. YALSA is an innovative organization, but we must never become complacent. I always challenge my colleagues to ask tough questions and find ways to make improvements that work not just for one segment of the population, but for all members of our community. As a Board Member I plan on pushing the Board to take the necessary steps to advocate on behalf of all those we strive to serve.

What are some ways that being a member of the YALSA Board can help you serve as an even better connector to helping libraries become thriving learning environments for/with teens?
As a Canadian librarian I get to share a unique perspective with my American colleagues. I know, Canada doesn’t seem like it would be that different, but there are many significant fundamental differences regarding our library infrastructure. I believe understanding those differences are key to innovating the services we offer in our respective countries. Fundraising isn’t as much of a concern for Canadian libraries, so we don’t always speak about the importance of advocating for libraries in our communities. In America, not all systems have the luxury of being able to provide staff with necessary training so that they may provide effective customer service and gain the ability to adapt those services based on the needs of their customers. This is just a brief example, but it demonstrates the need to have different views, opinions, and experiences on a Board. I know my professional experience in the social service industry as well as my perspective as a librarian North of the border would help to push for responsive initiatives and innovative services for our shared community; teens and young adults everywhere.

What about YALSA’s Organizational Plan excites you most and why?
I’ve spent the majority of my career in program and service delivery, so it goes without saying that leading the transformation of teen library services is what I’m most excited about. Our services have an ability to enhance the quality of life for teens and young adults in communities across North America. It’s more than just a good program, I’m talking about effective training for front-line staff so that they have the tools necessary to properly serve their users. I’ve always felt both go hand-in-hand. When you have staff that are tuned in and interested in making a change, they’ll be more engaged and open to learning. When you learn you change how you think and how you work. Those changes can lead to some of the most innovative programs and services imaginable.

How would you embed the concept of “teens first” in the work of the board?
Ensure that teens have a voice. No one enjoys being spoken for. As a kid I would get so irritated when people just assumed that they knew what I wanted or what was “best” for me, especially when they never asked for my opinion. It’s easy to get caught up in that pattern of behaviour as an adult. We think we know because we’re a bit older and a tad bit wiser, so we start believing we know what’s best. In my community I always ensure that our teens have a seat at the table when the conversation is about something that would directly impact them. Some of the best ideas for programs and services I’ve had were a result of community conversations with young people in my city.

Why should YALSA members choose you to be a member of the board of directors?
It may sound cheesy to say, but there’s no going wrong with anyone on the ballot. Every person who has submitted their name has done so because they care about teen services and they want to do what they can to improve our industry. It’s not an easy task so I applaud all of them for taking the first step. Like my peers, I care deeply about serving teens and young adults not just in my small Canadian suburb, but across the world. Being a teen is 2019 is difficult and I believe that libraries are in a unique position to be more than a place for books, but a safe welcoming space that can support the healthy development of young people everywhere. Wherever I go I know I will work tirelessly to help make that possible, and if you allow me, I’d like to work towards that goal as a Board Member.

2019 YALSA Election: An Interview with Secretary Candidate Josie Watanabe

Get ready to vote in this year’s YALSA election! To help you make informed decisions, we’re sharing interviews with each of the 2019 YALSA Governance candidates. Voting will take place from Monday, March 11 through Wednesday, April 3. To help you further prepare for the election, be sure to check out the YALSA Candidates’ Forum on March 7th!

Serving three-year terms, YALSA Board members are responsible for jointly determining YALSA’s current and future programs, policies, and serving as liaisons to YALSA’s committees, juries, taskforces and advisory boards. Members work year-round, and attend in-person meetings at ALA’s Midwinter and Annual Conferences. A full description of Board duties and responsibilities can be found here. You can learn more about ALA elections here.

Name and current position: Josie Watanabe – Interim Youth and Family Services Manager – The Seattle Public Library

What best qualifies you for being Secretary?
I have experience leading workgroups and also contributing to them. One of the best skills that I have is moving work forward and also being very organized—organizational skills seem crucial for this role. I am also interested in learning more about how boards operate and so this will be a good learning experience for me as well.

How do you envision furthering the mission of YALSA as the Secretary?
The thing that I love most about the YALSA mission is keeping teens front and center. As the Youth and Family Services Manager at The Seattle Public Library, my charge is to represent the interest of youth and families throughout the system and I hope to do the same on the YALSA board.

What are some ways that being a member of the YALSA Board can help you serve as an even better connector to helping libraries become thriving learning environments for/with teens?
I think a lot about opportunity gaps that youth and families face throughout the country, YALSA can contribute to closing opportunity gaps by supporting library staff to understand community needs and help support community.

What about YALSA’s Organizational Plan excites you most and why?
I am really excited about the continuing education plan, I think that piece is a challenge for library systems all over the country and YALSA has really stepped in to support this work.

How would you embed the concept of “teens first” in the work of the board?
I believe that all decisions, programs, systems and structures need to be designed to help youth and families succeed. In order to do that, we need to help library staff regardless of the size of the library or location strategize and develop a plan to further that mission. We also need to prioritize black, indigenous and youth of color and the intersectionalities that make up their diverse identities and help support library staff to put these teens first.

Why should YALSA members choose you to be a member of the board of directors?
I think I have a diverse background, I have been a teacher, teen librarian, program manager and now a youth services manager. Also, I am uniquely positioned based on my equity, diversity and inclusion work in Seattle to support YALSA in moving forward on their EDI statement and new strategic plan.

2019 YALSA Election: An Interview with President-Elect Candidate Matthew Layne

Get ready to vote in this year’s YALSA election! To help you make informed decisions, we’re sharing interviews with each of the 2019 YALSA Governance candidates. Voting will take place from Monday, March 11 through Wednesday, April 3. To help you further prepare for the election, be sure to listen to the recording of the YALSA Candidates’ Forum from March 7th!

The President-Elect serves a three-year term — first as the President-Elect, then as the President during the second year, and finally as the Immediate Past President during the third year. The President-Elect is a member of the Executive Committee alongside the President, Immediate Past President, Division Councilor, Fiscal Officer, Secretary, and Executive Director. The Executive Committee works with its ALA counterpart to build ties between the two organizations and helps with the fiscal oversight of YALSA.  A full description of the President-Elect’s duties and responsibilities can be found here.You can learn more about ALA elections here.

Name and current position: Matthew Layne – Young Adult Librarian – Emmet O’Neal Library

What best qualifies you for being President-elect?
I thrive on creating meaningful change in our local and state library communities, and I look forward to utilizing my vision, experience, and expertise in enacting meaningful change for librarians and most especially for our young people across the United States. I wish to use my years of experience as a leader of a non-profit organization combined with my leadership experience at the state and local library levels to lead YALSA into the future as the next President-elect.

How do you envision furthering the mission of YALSA as President-elect?
Through the resources of YALSA, I will work to educate librarians around the US and world on how to best empower and give voice to our young people. I will strive to ensure that the needs of our young adult librarians and young adults in general are being best served by the American Library Association.

What are some ways that being a member of the YALSA Board can help you serve as an even better connector to helping libraries become thriving learning environments for/with teens?
I am a firm believer in the power of teens to articulate their own needs; therefore, I will make a push to establish a national teen advisory board comprised of young people from diverse backgrounds around the country. There is so much great information on the YALSA website that serves to make me a better teen librarian. I will work with our board in an effort to better disseminate that information to our membership and to those who work with teen populations.

What about YALSA’s Organizational Plan excites you most and why?
I’m most excited by YALSA’s Mission and Vision: Mission: Our mission is to support library staff in alleviating the challenges teens face, and in putting all teens ‒ especially those with the greatest needs ‒ on the path to successful and fulfilling lives. Vision: Our vision is that all teens have access to quality library programs and services ‒ no matter where they occur ‒ that link them to resources, connected learning opportunities, coaching, and mentoring that are tailored to the unique circumstances of the community and that create new opportunities for all teens’ personal growth, academic success, and career development. I want to see more libraries reaching out beyond their walls to the teens in their communities. We must meet our young people when and where they are.

How would you embed the concept of “teens first” in the work of the board?
As I stated, I think it is of utmost importance that we add actual teen voices to our work. The formation of a National Teen Advisory Board for YALSA would be a major step in that direction. As we witnessed in this past year with the Parkland students, teens have the abilities and skills to lead. As librarians, we can help facilitate and guide them on their journeys.

Why should YALSA members choose you to be a member of the board of directors?
I have proven leadership skills in both the for-profit and non-profit worlds. I ran a successful French bakery and cafe for 10 years before becoming a librarian. I headed a non-profit board and led the organization from the brink of being disbanded to becoming a thriving self-sustaining community organization. I look forward to sharing my skills and expertise with YALSA as we boldly move forward into the future. Thank you for your consideration and your vote!

Libraries Welcome all Families: Collaborating on Inclusive Summer Initiatives

This post was written by School and Public Libraries Collaboration Committee members April Witteveen, Natasha Carty, Jill Woychowski, and Robin Gibson.

Public libraries are beginning to look ahead to their summer reading or summer learning programs. Through school and public library collaboration librarians can identify approaches for success using an equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) lens.

In order to reach as many students as possible with information about library summer programs, a great strategy is to collaborate on school visits. Natasha Carty, who’s been a public librarian, school teacher, and now a school librarian, has seen the value of these visits from all angles. As a public youth librarian, Carty’s school visits resulted in a 50% increase in participation. She’s now looking forward to inviting her local public librarians to school to promote their summer reading program, and she will be investigating if there are ways to get students registered for the program while still in school. Carty stresses the importance of summer reading as a way to address the summer slide when working with students and their families at school. She has handed out recommended reading lists from the public library in order to encourage participation in programming. Both school and public libraries have the opportunity to create summer reading lists that represent diverse characters and experiences. This School Library Journal article shows the need for increasingly diverse summer reading lists.

Summer meal sites offer another opportunity for librarians to extend their reach beyond standard library locations through both program promotion and participation. Jillian Woychowski, a high school librarian in West Haven, Connecticut notes that her local public library’s youth librarians “coordinated activities to happen before or after the [meal] delivery times” at school sites. Robin Gibson, Youth Services Manager at Westerville Public Library in Ohio shares that “Youth and outreach staff visit local WARM (Westerville Area Resource Ministry) lunch sites that provide free lunches during the summer months. We visit to promote the summer reading program and to distribute books to kids of all ages. Many of these children don’t come to the library itself, and we are working to add more services (think early literacy and playful literacy building activities) to these summer visits.  We are a school district library with one location, so we need to get out of the building to reach more families. Artificial boundaries (like a main highway) make some neighborhoods feel distant, so we are working to overcome these barriers and build relationships with these often underserved families.”

Carty concurs, saying that she loves “the idea of public librarians going to where the children and students are to read to them, maybe have a quick craft project, and to sign up students for the summer reading program and promote reading.” WebJunction has an archived webinar on “starting or expanding a USDA summer meals site” at your school or library.

Looking for more ideas to bring EDI to your library? On February 28, Amigos Library Services is hosting a full-day online conference: Open Doors: Reaching Underserved Populations. Speakers will discuss a variety of inclusive library practices and programs, sure to provide inspiration and ideas for librarians working on their plans for summer initiatives.