On July 21, Forbes magazine published a piece on its website called “Amazon Should Replace Local Libraries to Save Taxpayers Money,” which was written by contributor Panos Mourdoukoutas, Chair of the Department of Economics at Long Island University. The piece was removed from their site today, but you can read it here. The author’s reasoning behind shuttering the nation’s 17,000+ public libraries and replacing them with Amazon bookstores was narrowly focused on his perception that libraries are just about two things: stuff and places. Mourdoukoutas manages to overlook the oodles of reasons why libraries are vital, including but not limited to their role in defending free speech, protecting the privacy of users, supporting lifelong learning, and creating an informed citizenry who can participate in the democratic process. But perhaps what is most disturbing about his suggestion is that he completely ignores the fact that there are millions of Americans living in poverty who cannot afford to purchase books and other materials, and who do not have access in their homes to current digital tools or high speed Internet.
YALSA has two new volunteer opportunities that I am looking for members to appoint to.
- Taskforce for 2019 Teen Summit: This taskforce will be responsible for planning and implementing a 1-day teen summit in Washington DC in conjunction with ALA Annual. The summit will bring together 50 teens from the greater Washington DC area to learn their vision of how libraries can evolve to better support their needs and interests. More information can be found here: http://www.ala.org/yalsa/sites/ala.org.yalsa/files/content/Endowments_AN18.pdf Potential tasks for the include:
- Identify Washington DC area partners who can help get teen participation
- Select a summit facilitator who can build the agenda for the day and oversee its
- Select small group facilitators and speakers
- Identify an individual(s) to write the report
- Select the teen participants and handle transportation logistics
- Carry out the event
- Send thanks to teens and partners
- Write and distribute the report
- Implement evaluation measures
- Workgroup to Provide Resources and Tools for Evaluating Materials and Intellectual Freedom in Light of #MeToo: This workgroup will gather resources to help library staff serving teens evaluate materials and balance intellectual freedom. The group will also determine gaps in the information available and create tools to support members in this area. For more information on the discussion that led to the formation of this work group, see Board Item 34 from Annual 2018: http://www.ala.org/yalsa/sites/ala.org.yalsa/files/content/MeToo_AN18.pdf
If you have interest in serving on either of these groups please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
In New Orleans at the 2018 Annual Conference, the YALSA Board discussed several documents related to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. YALSA is committed to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, and to make this commitment a reality the Board took several steps.
First, the Board approved the prioritization of the recommendations made by the Advancing Diversity Taskforce, which completed its work earlier this Spring. The recommendations of the committee were ranked by the board as High, Medium, and Low. The items ranked High Priority are currently being implemented. Those ranked Medium Priority will be tackled during the 2018-2019 board. Those that are ranked Low Priority will be re-evaluated at the beginning of the 2019-2020 board to determine what still needs to be done.
One of the High Priority recommendations was to evaluate YALSA’s current Mission, Vision, Intended Impact Statement, and Statement on Diversity. Jane Gov and Kate Denier offered a board document that recommends changes:
It is energizing to begin my presidential work by building on the work of past-president Sandra Hughes-Hassell’s presidential theme and to collaborate with other division presidents’ creating presidential themes that compliment each other.
I have chosen Supporting Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion through Outcomes and Assessment as my presidential theme for 2018-2019. This theme furthers YALSA’s work of supporting library staff who serve teens in several ways. It highlights the need for a paradigm shift highlighted in YALSA’s Future’s Report that indicates the importance assessing programs for outcomes and not attendance. As well as, creating assessments that answer larger questions about teens interaction with your programming other than did they like it. This theme also supports the infographic Reimagined Library Services for and with Teens, which highlight the types of outcomes that can have impact on teens lives, and will help you figure out how to measure those outcomes. The theme also speaks directly to the Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff, which includes assessment as part of Content Areas 3, 4, 6, 9, and 10. All of this speaks to the needs of members who are looking for guidance on impactful outcomes and assessment, and moves YALSA closer to reaching the goals it laid out in its implementation plan.
This year the Division Presidents are aligning their theme and all will focus on different aspects of EDI that speak to their Division. My Presidential theme will focus on supporting Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) through assessment and outcomes by identifying, overseeing planning, and implementing activities. The theme will build on the ground work laid by the Advancing Diversity Taskforce and Sandra Hughes-Hassell’s Presidential Theme promoting youth advocacy. It also speaks to the needs of members who are looking for guidance on impactful outcomes and assessment, and moves YALSA closer to reaching the goals it laid out in its implementation plan. It is an ambitious plan, but has potential for impact.
The Taskforce will last for a year tackling a variety of activities throughout. Activities will include:
Advocacy & Activism
- Incorporate the theme into summer learning, Teen Read Week™ and Teen Tech Week™
- Create position and/or issue papers on the theme
Leading the Transformation of Teen Services
YALSA has been working to better recognize the work of our members. This started last year with the work of our Member Recognition Taskforce who presented the results of their work at YALSA’s Board of Directors meeting in June 2017 via Board Document 26. As part of their work, the Member Recognition Taskforce ran a survey to ask Member’s how they would like to be recognized for the work that they do for youth, libraries and YALSA. Board Document 26 compiled the results from the survey and made initial recommendations to the Board. To move these recommendations forward, an ad hoc group of Board members worked together between July and now to take the Taskforces recommendation and make them actionable. At the Board’s meeting on Saturday they will be discussing Board Document 21, “Furthering Member Recognition,” where the ad hoc group makes seven recommendations that focus on communication and information gathering.
- Get the word out more effectively, as many school library and non-MLIS members did not understand that they could apply for the awards based on the survey that the taskforce undertook (staff).
- Better leverage the blog to share out the word of who wins (YALSAblog manager).
- Reach members who are doing interesting things and encourage them to apply (staff, board).
- Rework awards applications, promotion, and information about awards to clarify eligiblity (staff).
- Continue with member spotlights (staff) in the newsletter and encourage chairs (board liaisons) to nominate committee members for the spotlight.
- Award winners should be asked by staff if they would like a letter sent to their supervisor notifying them of their accomplishment, this was the top selection for members who took the survey and the third highest selection by Award Winners. It is an easy and cost-effective way to recognize members to their communities outside of YALSA.
- YALSA staff should continue to give out certificates, in lieu of other physical awards, as recommended by the taskforce, because they were highly preferred by members and are also cost effective for the organization.
The document also offers avenues for continued evaluation of the Member Recognition as YALSA moves forward.
It is important for YALSA to hear from its members, so that the recognition that we give is meaningful for the members and so that all YALSA members know the awards they are eligible for. If you have suggestions or ideas relating to how YALSA can best recognize the contributions and achievements of members, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com and I will share them with the Board.
It’s that time of year again! As YALSA President-Elect, I’ll make appointments in February for the following virtual YALSA groups that will begin work in early to mid 2018.
- AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee on School/Public Library Cooperation (1 year term): This joint committee will design and conduct a project of mutual interest and benefit to the three participating ALA Divisions, working from a platform identified by the AASL/ALSC/YALSA Presidents-Elect.
- Division and Membership Promotion Committee (1 year term): To work with staff to develop and pursue an aggressive and continuous campaign to recruit and retain members for YALSA; to promote the association to colleagues and to key partners as defined in the YALSA Strategic Plan; to promote and maintain good relations with existing members through activities such as the member booth at conferences; recognition of member anniversaries and outreach to lapsed members.
- YALS/YALSAblog Editorial Advisory Board (1 year term): To serve as advisor to the co-chairs of the Advisory Board, the editor of YALS and the YALSAblog Member Manager, on the overall content of the print journal and the blog. To take an active role in determining content for both publications and an annual editorial calendar that identifies timely topics as well as authors for articles and blog posts. To create messages and content to promote the blog and the journal and to cross-populate each to highlight the content and focus of each publication. To work to ensure that key YALSA guidelines, resources, initiatives, etc. are integrated into the blog and the journal. To assist with the search process for a new editor or member manager, when appropriate.
- Financial Advancement Committee (1 year term): Provide oversight and continued enhancement of the Friends of YALSA program, including promotion, fundraising and donor recognition. Work with the Board year-round to create and implement virtual fundraising campaigns and fundraising efforts at conferences, aimed at both members and nonmembers, to support the $16,000 worth of scholarships and stipends YALSA gives out annually. Periodically review YALSA’s Fundraising Toolkit and make updates, as needed. Size – 1 chair, who sits ex-officio on the YALSA board, and a least one member from the previous year.
- JRLYA Advisory Board (1 year term): YALSA’s Research Journal Advisory Board oversees the peer reviewing process as outlined in the Refereeing Process Guidelines that were approved by the YALSA Board of Directors. The Board also serves in an advisory capacity to the Member Editor of the journal by assisting with the solicitation of contributors and articles as well as generating ideas for topical articles or themes, when requested from the Member Editor.
- Organization and Bylaws Committee (1 year term): To revise the Bylaws in order to clarify them and, when necessary, to recommend revision and amendment to improve them for the effective management of the division, for the achievement of its stated objectives, and to keep them in harmony with ALA Constitution and Bylaws; to study and review committee functions, recommending changes in committee structure; to advise on the organization handbook; and to make recommendations on other appropriate organizational matters.
- Research Committee (1 year term): To stimulate, encourage, guide, and direct the research needs of the field of young adult library services, and to regularly compile abstracts, disseminate research findings, update YALSA’s Research Agenda as needed and to liaise with ALA’s Committee on Research & Statistics.
- 2019 Summer Learning Taskforce (1 year term): To leverage state and local networks to promote the applications for summer learning grants. To vet the applicants for the grants and by February 12, 2018, choose the 20 applications that best meet the eligibility requirements as measured by their responses to questions on the application. To vet the applicants for the summer intern grants and choose the 20 best by February 26, 2017. To compile and/or create resources focused specifically on assisting library staff with implementing summer learning programs and activities and add them to YALSA’s wiki as they are developed. To seed discussions and share resources on the Summer Learning Ning.
- Teens’ Top Ten Committee (1 year term): To facilitate the exchange of information and galleys of books published within the current and previous publishing years among the voting teen group members as well as the non-voting members; to annually prepare the “Teens’ Top 10” list for Teen Read Week; and to coordinate the public electronic vote. To assist with the collection and vetting of applications from libraries who wish to host an official reading group.
- The Hub Advisory Board (1 year term): The Hub Advisory Board participates in the development and maintenance of the Hub and follows the guidelines for the site as set out by the YALSA Board of Directors. The Advisory Board also serves in an advisory capacity to the Member Manager of the site and assists with the collection of content for the site, generates ideas for content, works on getting teen and librarian input and feedback, facilitates marketing and PR as needed, and writes for the site as needed.
- YA Symposium Planning + Marketing Taskforces (6 month term): To assist YALSA’s Program Officer with the planning and marketing of the conference, including vetting papers and proposals, vetting scholarship applications, assisting the Program Officer with identifying authors and keynote speakers, and leveraging social media tools to promote the event and scholarship opportunities, and more. Members will regularly share content via social media and through their state and local networks to build excitement for and share information about the event. Members will work with YALSA’s Communications Specialist to assist with the implementation of a marketing plan.
Learn more about serving on advisory boards, committees, juries and taskforces via this FAQ. You can gain valuable YALSA and professional development experience by volunteering to be on YALSA group. You will also be helping YALSA achieve its mission 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.”
Fill out the Committee Volunteer Form by Feb. 1, 2018.
Thanks for all the time and talent you volunteer to YALSA! If you’re looking for other ways to get involved, visit the YALSA web site for more opportunities or check out this brand new video from Jack Martin and Kate McNair! If you have questions feel free to get in touch with me (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Crystle Martin, YALSA President-Elect
As President-Elect for YALSA, I am responsible for committee appointments. I wanted to post an update as to where we are in this year’s process. Appointment invitations are in the process of being sent out for short-term committees and juries. If you have received an invitation to serve on a jury or short-term committee be mindful of the date by which you need to reply!
The Award Committees and Selection List Teams volunteer form is open for just over two more week on October 1st. For information about these committees, check out the blog post of Awards Committees and Selection List Teams for more information.
If you are interested in Advocacy or Governance keep an eye out for the volunteer call for the District Days Committee and the Board Development Committee, which will be open after October 1st.
If you have questions contact me at email@example.com
-Crystle Martin, President-Elect
It’s that time of year again! As YALSA President-Elect, I’ll make appointments in October for the following YALSA committees that will begin work in early 2018. The committees below are one year terms starting Feb. 1, 2018 (even though ALA’s Midwinter Meeting is Feb. 9 – 12, these groups will not meet there)
Additionally, appointments will be made for the Selected Lists Teams (one year term starting Jan. 1, 2018):
- Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults
- Best Fiction for Young Adults
- Great Graphic Novels for Teens
- Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
As a reminder, all of the selected lists are tranisitioning from traditional committees which met in person, to 100% virtual groups who work year-round through The Hub. For more information, email the member manager of The Hub at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can gain valuable YALSA and professional development experience by volunteering to be on a Blogging Team or YALSA committee. You will also be helping YALSA achieve its mission 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.”
Teen Read Week and Teen Tech Week have done a great job of getting the word out about two specific areas of teen services. But feedback from these two celebrations demonstrates that there are needs of the community that are not being met. One of these needs is that for nearly a decade members have been asking for more examples of low-cost and no-cost programming that works with these and other topics for teen services. Another is to create more awareness and advocacy opportunities for teen services.
To meet these needs, this board doc offers a re-envisioning of TRW and TTW. It offers several options for thinking about the role TRW and TTW serve for YALSA members. One option is to combine TRW and TTW into one month long celebration of teen services, as a public awareness campaign to raise awareness about the value of teen services. The document outlines modeling it in part on the Lights on Afterschool celebration. It also emphasizes the importance of selecting a month that supports school and public libraries can celebrate. The month long celebration offers flexible participation, opportunities to try new things with the longer celebration time, and structure for celebrating in a way that best fits each libraries needs. It broadens the focus to cover all areas of teen services so that you can customize for your community and your teens.
Along with this month long celebration, the document also focuses on implementing teen services and programs year-round teen programs and services. This will support library staff in all sizes of libraries to more easily support teens in the library, no matter what their staffing situation.
For more information check out board document #32 located here! Have questions? Post your comments here!
Crystle Martin, YALSA Secretary, 2017-2018 President-Elect