Apply to be YALSA’s Next Liaison to ALA!

Be our next Liaison to ALA! YALSA is seeking a member to serve as liaison to ALA groups for 2018 – 2019. This person’s role is to strengthen ties between YALSA and ALA by sharing information between groups and representing YALSA’s interests to ALA. This position would liaise with nine different ALA groups. If there’s financial need, up to $1,000 in funds total can be provided to the liaison to defray the cost of attending the 2019 Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference. The term of the Liaison’s appointment is July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019. For more information or to apply by April 1, visit YALSA’s web site.

Contact Your Rep’s Office by 3/19 to Save Library Funding

We are coming up on the deadline for Congressional Representatives to sign this year’s letters in support of federal library funding.  As you probably know, the White House budget for the coming fiscal year removed all federal funds for libraries, so it’s up to us to tell Congress to put the funds back in.  Right now, one letter is circulating in support of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and one for the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) program.

As an update, we currently have 84 signatures on LSTA, and 49 for IAL. Last year, we were able to get over 140 signatures for both letters. We can do it again, but we need your help!

With the deadline coming up – March 19th! – I’d like to ask your help in getting the word out about this campaign. ALA is maintaining a list of Reps who have signed at Please take a moment today to find out if your Rep has signed, and email their office via this quick form if not.   You can also Tweet or call.  And then help us spread the word by encouraging others to do the same!   If they have signed, send them a quick thanks.

-Beth Yoke

P.S. Stay up to date on federal funds for libraries via ALA’s District Dispatch blog

Allied Media Conference & Call for Proposals

Do you view libraries, archives, museums, and galleries through a lens of them being a leading force in social justice, activism, and community organizing? Then you may be interested in attending the Allied Media Conference (AMC) which takes place June 14-17, 2018 in Detroit. The AMC brings together themed conference tracks comprised of sessions that are all connected by the concept of media-based organizing, “or any collaborative process that uses media, art or technology to address the roots of problems and advance holistic solutions towards a more just and creative world.” This year, the Radical Libraries, Archives, and Museums track will return to Allied Media Conference and aims to share more ideas and skills while allowing individuals working in these fields to make connections and support each other in their work.

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YALSA’s Virtual Candidates’ Forum: 2018 Election

Save the date for March 6, 2018, for the virtual YALSA Candidates’ Forum, which will be moderated by Past President, Candice Mack!  Drop in any time between 5:00 and 6:00pm, eastern, to meet the candidates for YALSA’s 2018 slate and learn a bit about their vision for moving YALSA forward.  Can’t make it?  The session will be recorded and distributed via YALSA’s weekly member eNews.  And be on the look-out for Candidate Interviews right here on the YALSAblog, which are coming in March.  To participate in the Forum via Zoom, a video conferencing platform, use this URL on March 6:  To participate via phone, call 408.638.0968.  The meeting ID is 543 777 816.   Voting for YALSA and ALA elections opens on March 12 and runs through April 4.  A link to your ballot will be emailed to you from ALA.  Learn more on ALA’s web site.

#FundLibraries: Advocacy Season is Upon Us & We Need YOU!

The proposed White House budget for FY19 that was released February 12, 2018 calls for eliminating federal funds for libraries and the Institute of Museum & Library Services (IMLS), the only federal agency charged with providing support to the nation’s hundreds of thousands of libraries and museums. Now it’s up to Congress to decide whether or not they want to change that.  ALA and YALSA need your help to ensure that IMLS and federal funds for libraries are saved, because without libraries teens will not have the resources and support they need to succeed in school and prepare for college, careers, and life.  Here’s what you can do right now:

  1. Send an email or Tweet to your members of Congress.  ALA has ready-to-use messages waiting for you in their Action Center.
  2. Sign up via the ALA site to receive action alerts so you can easily email or call the offices of your Congress members at critical times during the budget process between now and Sept.
  3. Read and subscribe to District Dispatch, the ALA Washington Office’s blog, to stay up to date on the issues.
  4. Encourage your library users to share their stories about what their local library means to them.  ALA will use these with their advocacy efforts.  Direct patrons to this quick and easy form.
  5. Brush up on your advocacy knowledge and skills by checking out the resources on ALA’s shiny, new site and YALSA’s web site.
  6. Sign up to participate in National Library Legislative Day on May 8, online, at your library, or in Washington DC, and check out YALSA’s NLLD resources.
  7. Connect with your members of Congress when they’re in their home districts to keep them informed about the many ways the library helps community members.  Congress is typically not in session the week of a national holiday, like Presidents’ Day.  Schedule a meeting at their local office, and/or invite them to your library.  YALSA has free resources and tips to make this an easy task!
  8. Join YALSA, or make a donation, because together we’re stronger.  YALSA’s the only national organization that focuses its support and advocacy on teen library services. Dues start at $63 per year.  Your support will build our capacity to advocate for teens and libraries.
  9. Encourage your patrons, advocates groups, friends, family, and colleagues to do the above as well.

Don’t know much about IMLS?  Here’s a quick overview: through IMLS, every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. territories receive funding to support their state or territory’s libraries and museums.  In FY17 the total funding IMLS distributed to states and territories was $156,103,000.  In addition, IMLS offers competitive grant opportunities that individual libraries and museums can apply for.  In FY17 they awarded competitive grants to libraries and library-supporting institutions totaling more than $27,469,000.  Visit the IMLS site to see how much funding your state receives from them.

Want to take further action to support teens and libraries?  We salute you!  Check out the free online resources we have to make speaking up for teens and libraries easy.

Speaking up for teens & libraries during the federal budgeting process

Each year the federal budgeting process kicks off when the White House releases a draft budget.  This will happen sometime in February, and there’s talk that the FY19 draft budget may be released on February 12, 2018.  If you recall last year, the White House’s draft budget called for the elimination of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) as well as all of the federally earmarked funds that the nation’s libraries depend on to provide critical services to their community.    However, a grassroots advocacy effort led Congress to keep funding for IMLS and libraries for FY18.

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YALSA Seeks New Editor for Research Journal, JRLYA

YALSA seeks a new member editor for its research journal, The Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults (JRLYA). The member editor will serve a one-year term starting July 1, 2018, with an opportunity for extension based on performance. The member editor will receive an honorarium of $1,000 per year plus up to $1,000 total in travel support for attending the ALA Midwinter Meeting, ALA Annual Conference, and/or YALSA Symposium during the term of contract.

The Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults is an open-access, peer-reviewed online research journal. Its purpose is to enhance the development of theory, research, and practices to support young adult library services, as emphasized in YALSA’s National Research Agenda.

Responsibilities of the member editor include, but are not limited to:

  • Set and maintain the scope and tone of the journal both textually and visually
  • Solicit and gather content for the journal with the help of the journal’s Advisory Board
  • Manage and review work of contributors and communicate with them on a regular basis
  • Supervise the editing of manuscripts according to the Chicago Manual of Style (including rewriting, reorganizing, validating information in content, etc. as needed).
  • Serve as spokesperson for the journal
  • Maintain the highest degree of integrity and ethical standards as member editor
  • Attend YALSA’s Symposium, ALA’s Annual Conference, and/or Midwinter Meeting to assist YALSA with promoting the publication and also to solicit contributors
    • Prepare reports for YALSA’s Board of Directors, to be turned in one month before ALA’s Annual Conferences and Midwinter Meetings
    • Attend programs relevant to young adult library services at the ALA Annual Conference and recruit strong presenters to submit their work
  • Work with YALSA’s Communications Specialist to determine schedules for publication and help maintain an appropriate web and social media presence for the journal
  • Perform other duties as needed

Submit resume and cover letter to Anna Lam at by April 1, 2018.

Content Experts Sought for YALSA’s Teen Programming Database

YALSA seeks up to fifteen members to volunteer their time as teen programming Content Experts, especially those with expertise in STEAM, school libraries, ESL, community engagement, outcomes/evaluation, teen-led programming, and serving underserved youth, for its online database, Teen Programming HQ.

Content Experts will work with the site’s Member Manager to vet all incoming program submissions and determine which meet the necessary criteria for being featured on the site. As part of this effort, Content Experts will be expected to give timely, constructive feedback to individuals regarding their program submissions. Content Experts will also provide advice and drive discussion in the HQ’s Q & A forum.

New this year, Content Experts will also participate as “content creators” and submit new content (programs) to the site. Content Experts will be expected to submit one program per month. Content Experts should also feel comfortable with social media and have an understanding that marketing the website will be a crucial part of their role in order to solicit content submissions to the site.

List of Qualifications for Content Experts:

  • Membership in YALSA and a passion for YALSA’s mission
  • Thorough knowledge of best practices in teen programming, especially as outlined in YALSA’s Teen Programming Guidelines and report, “The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: a Call to Action”
  • Strong background in engaging teens and community partners to plan, implement and evaluate innovative and impactful programs for and with teens that meet their developmental, educational and recreational interests
  • Expertise in STEAM, school libraries, ESL, community engagement, outcomes/evaluation, teen-led programming, and serving underserved youth, is a plus
  • Ability to devote a minimum of 1-2 hours per week for 6 continuous months to the HQ
  • Excellent written communications skills and good netiquette
  • Respond to Member Manager inquiries and vet programs in a timely manner
  • Successful experience in coaching, mentoring and/or teaching other adults
  • Ability to work well in a team environment
  • Ability to work well in a virtual setting, including using tools such as Google Drive, Google Calendar, Skype, etc. to coordinate work and communicate with others
  • Ability to navigate social media tools to promote the HQ
  • High ethical standards and no real or perceived conflict of interest with YALSA or its portfolio of print and web publications
  • Dynamic and self-motivated

Up to fifteen Content Experts will be selected. Candidates must complete the online application form by no later than March 1, 2018. Eligibility requirements apply. Please note this is a volunteer opportunity. The term of appointment is six months beginning April 1, 2018.

The mission of the site is to provide a one-stop-shop for finding and sharing information about programs of all kinds designed for and with teens. The site promotes best practices in programming by featuring user-submitted programs that align with YALSA’s Teen Programming Guidelines and Futures Report.

The site also enables dissemination of timely information about emerging and new practices for teen programming; raise awareness about appropriate YALSA tools to facilitate innovation in teen programming; and provide a means for members and others interested in teen programs to connect with one another to support and share their efforts to continuously improve their teen programs. Learn more about the Teen Programming HQ at

Contact Your US Senators to Support Library Funding

In an effort to strengthen library and museum services across the nation, Senator Jack Reed introduced the Museum and Library Services Act of 2017 (MSLA) along with Senators Collins, Cochran, Gillibrand and Murkowski.   This legislation, introduced on Dec. 22nd, would reauthorize the Institute of Museum and Library Services.  For this legislation to succeed, there needs to be a grassroots effort from citizens to encourage their Senators to support it.  Please take a minute to email or call your Senators and ask them to cosponsor S. 2271, and encourage your friends, family, colleagues, and library’s advocates to do the same. Ready to use talking points and email templates available on the ALA siteContinue reading

Year-End Activities for Library Staff

Recently there was a discussion on the listserv for the Association of Rural and Small Libraries about what activities are good to undertake at the end of the year.  It seemed like a good topic for the YALSAblog, too, so I’ve adapted my answers to make them more focused on serving youth:

Reflecting on this year

  • Send thank you notes to volunteers, supporters, and anyone who gave a helping hand or moral support.
  • Do a post-mortem of your overall efforts to serve teens in 2017. What was successful? What failed and why?  What will you do differently next year?  For more about taking the time to reflect, read this article, Time to Reflect: why does it matter in the workplace?
  • Conduct a review library policies and procedures to see if they need updating. Some useful information is on the ALA site and YALSA’s wiki.
  • Conduct a review the teen pages on your school or library’s web site and social media sites to see what needs updating or improving. Check out ASCLA’s web accessibility resources.  Review content and style for inclusive language, professional content versus personal beliefs, and potential sexist, discriminatory, or similarly insensitive language or images.  Ensure graphics do not show people in stereotypical roles.

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