ALA Midwinter is just next week, and I am looking forward to seeing my colleagues, talking with YALSA members, check out the best of YA Literature and non-fiction at the Morris / Non-fiction reception, and more. Check out the YALSA Wiki for dates and times of all YALSA events if you'll be attending Midwinter. If you won’t be in Chicago, follow Midwinter activities with the Midwinter hashtag, #alamw15.

The YALSA board will start off Midwinter with a strategic planning session. Board members, using an outcomes based approach, will explore the results of YALSA’s member survey, the Futures report, and YALSA’s current strategic plan, with an eye on capacity and the long term vision for YALSA. The goal with this is to develop a focused and responsive strategic plan which will help YALSA meet the needs of members and advance teen services in libraries across the country.

While the planning discussion will take up the whole Board Agenda on Saturday, there are still other topics that the board will be discussing. Those topics include:

Check out the board agenda and documents online to get the details of what the board will be discussing. You can also read the accompanying blog posts on the YALSA Blog.  If you have a comment, the first 5 minutes of each of the board meetings is set aside for visitors to ask questions. You can also send me an e-mail with comments if you are not able to make it to a session to share your feedback. Feel free to follow Executive Director Beth Yoke (@yalsa_director), myself (@doseofsnark), and/or other YALSA boardies for live tweets of adopted actions and discussion highlights. We'll also be sharing post conference round-ups over the coming weeks so stay tuned.

It’s time to start schedule planning for Midwinter, marking off the chunks of time in your calendar or conference planner, factoring in coat buttoning, hunting for scarves and gloves, and all those other winter weather factors!

While YALSA’s Board of Directors will be meeting at the ALA Midwinter Meeting Jan. 30 – Feb. 2, we’ll be using some of our sessions a bit differently this year. Instead of three separate sessions to meet to discuss association business, the first board session on Saturday will be a facilitated strategic planning session for board members.  This session is part of a months’ long effort to develop a new strategic plan for YALSA.  There will also be a strategic planning session for YALSA members at Midwinter from 1:00 – 2:30 on Sunday in room W192b of the convention center.  During the spring we’ll also host virtual feedback sessions for members, and we hope to have a new plan finalized by no later than June.

The board will meet on Sunday and Monday at Midwinter to address current governance matters.  All board sessions are open, and any registered conference attendee is welcome to sit in.
For the Sunday and Monday meetings, the board will be addressing a wide variety of topics, including: adopting best practices in change management, bringing more diversity to the YALSA leadership, year two of rolling out activities that support the recommendations in the report “The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: a Call to Action,” prioritizing use of YALSA endowments funds for 2015, and more.

Right now, YALSA’s Board members are working hard to finalize the agenda and develop the related documents.  Our goal is to post them online in the Governance section of the web site on January 16th.

To learn more about what YALSA and the Board have going on at ALA’s Midwinter Meeting, visit http://tinyurl.com/YALSAmw15.
If you’re not attending the Midwinter Meeting, be sure to follow YALSA on Twitter, as Board members will be Tweeting news and board actions.

Have questions?  Feel free to contact me: @doseofsnark or cinf0master@gmail.com.  I’m excited about the work that has been done since Annual and Fall exec, and look forward to working with the board and members to keep moving YALSA forward!

It’s been a bit busy since October, but I still wanted to get this posted, especially since it impacts a lot of what the YALSA Board does at Midwinter, and Midwinter is fast approaching!

In October YALSA’s Executive Committee gathered in Chicago for two and a half days of meetings. The first day was a great chance to work across divisions, roundtables and ALA with presidents, president-elects, and past presidents, as well as ALA staff. Like YALSA, ALA is currently doing strategic planning, and that was the focus of our work together. The new plan from ALA will focus on three areas: advocacy, information policy and professional development. You can learn more and join the discussion in ALA Connect.

Once that was done, the Executive Committee focused on issues impacting YALSA. That included:

  • Moving to an outcomes based approach to planning and assessment in YALSA
  • Getting the new Margaret Edwards Trust up and running and discussing its potential for funding literacy related projects
  • Prioritizing next steps for the association based on the recommendations in the report, “The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: a Call to Action
  • Talking about best practices in change management and how to incorporate them into the work of the Board
  • Reviewing a report from the Student Member Engagement Taskforce
  • Analyzing YALSA member survey results and discussing implications the results have on YALSA’s next round of strategic planning
  • Reviewing a draft of YALSA’s upcoming Programming Guidelines, which we anticipate will be finalized by February
  • Making preliminary plans for strategic planning activities for the Board and for members at the ALA Midwinter Meeting

The full agenda and accompanying documents are available in the Governance section of the web site for you to review. No final decisions were made, as the Executive Committee isn’t a decision making body, but these discussions will help inform future Board meetings and decision making. Many of these same topics will be on the Board’s agenda for Midwinter. In some cases the Executive Committee might choose to write up a request for Board action about an issue or idea that came out of the October discussions.

Right now, YALSA’s Board is developing the agenda for our meetings at Midwinter, and I’m busy asking Board members to complete documents or help address agenda items. If you have any ideas for agenda items or requests for board action, please contact me by the end of December. Once the agenda is finalized in January, I’ll share a blog post with you highlighting some of the issues and topics on the agenda.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or comments.

Are you interested in getting more involved with YALSA? Maybe you’re curious about the appointments process or other service opportunities?

Join me (@doseofsnark) for a Twitter chat on November 20th, starting at 8 pm Eastern. I’ll be answering questions about various ways that you can get involved with YALSA, from just joining to blogging to serving on a committee. This is a fantastic way to discover what opportunities are the right fit for you.

Get involved and follow the conversation with the hashtag #yalsachat. See you 11/20 at 8 pm EST!

Greetings YALSA members! I hope all your back to school activities have gone well, and that you're enjoying busy libraries and packed programs. I'm sending along a combined July / August President's report this time around, but will be back to monthly reports after this.
Activities:

  • Attended ALA inauguration brunch following Annual 2014 closing Session
  • Conducted board orientation session for new board members
  • Conducted Board Development conversation regarding activities and duties of board standing committees
  • Finished appointments to 2016 Printz, Edwards, and Non-fiction committees
  • With executive Director, identified YALSA members to serve as liaisons or representatives to ALA Committees and Affiliate groups.
  • With YALSA Board, nominated YALSA representative for IFLA

Outreach and Media:

  • Spoke with Booklist, Christian Science Monitor, and Forbes about YA literature and genre trends.
  • Presented Future of Library services for and with Teens to Suffolk Cooperative Library System administrators .

Thank yous:

  • Thanks to all the chairs, committee members, and board members who completed their terms on June 30th, 2014.
  • Thanks to all the members who attended the “Deciding” what's next for YALSA” program at ALA Annual and provided feedback to help shape the next strategic plan.
  • An enormous thanks to Dollar General for funding the new Android Teen Book Finder app and additional literacy projects. See a video of the projects here.

Statistics:

  • At the end of July, YALSA membership was at 5,130, up 0.9% over July 2013.
  • In June, YALSA raised $7,306.50. In July, YALSA raised $180.

Upcoming events

Greetings, all! For those of you who traveled to Annual, I'm hoping you've recovered from the high temperatures, the hot winds, the pervasive smoke, and the ding-ding-ding of casino machines. If you didn't travel to Las Vegas, just remember the YA Symposium is coming up in November, and Austin is not a desert, presents more opportunities to mingle with colleagues passionate about youth services, and doesn't require as much walking around in a convention center. Plus, migas!

I wanted to call your attention to a couple of significant policies that will impact your work as committee members and leaders. At Annual 2014, the Board confirmed an update to the YALSA Social Media Policy, and adopted an Ethical Behavior Policy which sets expectations for YALSA committee members and leaders, as well as providing information about what those leaders and members can expect from YALSA. Both documents recognize the increasing impact social media has on both professional identity and networking, and helps set standards which ensure the integrity and enjoyment of all the work both members and YALSA perform. Read More →

YALSA members dedicate an enormous amount of time and energy to serving on task forces, juries, advisory boards, committees, and the Board of Directors; as well as acting as editors, member managers and bloggers. YALSA's board has been discussing ways to ensure that members have a successful committee experience, both in terms of personal skill building and accomplishing the tasks of the committee.

One piece of that discussion was the interest in setting minimum guidelines for member participation via a policy on ethical behavior, so that members interested in service have a better sense of the time commitment and behaviors expected of them, while also seeing the resources and support YALSA makes available. The goal is to inform members of what is expected of them, while also letting them know what to expect from YALSA. Having clear expectations communicated to all those involved in the work of the association makes for a better experience, opens access to support, and benefits all the volunteers involved as well as those who use YALSA products and YALSA as an association.

Take a look at the document once it goes live on June 13th, and then let us know what you think. You can reach out to any of the document creators. Our contact information is listed below.

 

Shannon Peterson
Shannon.peterson at gmail.com

Chris Shoemaker
Cinf0master at gmail.com

Jack Martin
Hillias at gmail.com

Wow, just a little over a month to go until Vegas! Frankly, I need more time – especially as the board continues to refine the agenda and topics we've been discussing. One topic that the board will be discussing prior to Annual comes from the Spring Executive Committee meeting, and relates to the YALSA social media policy and the conflict of interest guidelines. Based on feedback from chairs, as well as conversations with other division leaders, the board is considering an update to the social media policy and conflict of interest guidelines.

YALSA members are big users of social media, and it's only grown since the policy was first adopted. With the continued blending of online presence with personal and professional identities, updating the social media policy ensures that YALSA and YALSA members are able to meet a high standard of integrity and avoid conflicts of interest. These impact award committees, as all parts of those committee conversations are confidential. Selection committees that have open meetings and discussions are not impacted by these changes.

There are two changes proposed to the social media policy.
1. YALSA modify the existing social media policy to state “Committee appointees must not discuss books on social media that are eligible for their award in any way that could lead to a conflict or lack of confidentiality in regards to their committee. This includes posting personal reviews in spaces such as social review sites, blogs, or other platforms that are not closed YALSA forums.”
2. YALSA adopt a review policy related to award committee service that states “Committee members may not publish signed reviews of titles that are eligible for their particular award during their term of service in professional journals (print and/or electronic) or other professional and personal outlets.” YALSA's Conflict of Interest guidelines will also be updated to reflect this information.

Please send any feedback on the proposed changes to Chris Shoemaker or any current board member.