I hope you will join me from 8:00 – 9:00pm, eastern, on Thursday May 14th for the next YALSA Member Virtual Town Hall!

I’ll be providing an update on what YALSA leaders and staff have been doing to realign YALSA’s programs and services towards the Futures Report in order to better serve members.  Some exciting new resources are coming, so don’t miss the chance to get the inside scoop!  I’ll also build in lots of time so members can share their thoughts on other actions you’d like YALSA to take to better support you in your efforts to implement the recommendations in the report.

Advance registration is not required and the event will be held via YALSA’s webinar platform, Adobe Connect.  The event will be recorded for anyone who cannot attend some or all of the live session.

Looking forward to chatting with you soon!

On April 17th YALSA’s Executive Committee met by conference call for its semi-annual meeting to discuss several ongoing and two new issues.  The agenda and related documents for this meeting can be found in theGovernance section of YALSA’s web  site.  Some highlights from the meeting include:

  • Talking through possible next steps in order to advance YALSA’s strategic planning effort.  YALSA will be putting out an RFP to identify a consultant who can support YALSA leaders as we work to become more outcomes focused and to develop a new plan for YALSA that aligns with the Futures Report
  • Thinking about how the work of the relatively new board standing committees can be organized to best support the mission of YALSA and increase the impact of the great work that member committees, juries, taskforces and advisory boards do
  • Discussing the draft FY16 budget and talking about how best to prioritize activities and align resources in order to best support members in the coming fiscal year
  • Reviewing the recommendations from the Selection Committee Evaluation Taskforce, whose work has focused on examining the six award committees to look for opportunities to improve or streamline processes in order to make the work of these groups easier and more coordinated.

There were two items we did not have time to get to, but that we plan to explore in our virtual work space: determining an oversight process for YALSA’s upcoming teen programming database and thinking about targeted member recruitment.  The minutes of this meeting can be found in the Governance section of YALSA’s web site.  It’s important to note that YALSA’s Executive Committee is not the decision making body of the organization, and that no decisions were made during the meeting.  The Committee may, however, decide to advance some of the discussions and/or make some recommendations to the board for their meeting in June.  YALSA’s Board of Directors has just begun to explore the topics and issues they feel are a priority to discuss at their June meeting,  If you have any recommendations for areas of focus for the board, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.  It’s an exciting time for YALSA and I’m grateful to be able to work on behalf of such enthusiastic and creative members!

February President’s Report
Just a quick update from a short month! The Board has been having quite a number of conversations related to strategic planning, and I invite you to the next town hall – May 14th at 8pm EST to be part of the discussions!
Activities

  • Hosted YALSA member town hall to discuss member implementation of the recommendations from the Futures report.
  • Led a Board Planning Session which focused on outcomes training and ways to incorporate outcomes into YALSA’s strategic planning process.
  • Prepared board standing committees for revised quarterly chair report review process
  • Appointed members to fill vacancies on various committees.
  • Facilitated online discussion and voting for student engagement taskforce, programming guidelines, and the president’s program.
  • Spoke with Santa Rose Press about teens and library usage

Updates

  • Elections begin March 24 and run through May 1.
  • Congratulations to the winners of YALSA’s writing awards: Shari Lee, Sarah Ludwig, Jaina Shaw, and Anna Tschetter.
  • See you in San Francisco, Lisa Castellano, Lauren Lancaster, and Alicia Tate, the winners of YALSA’s Conference Travel Grants.
  • Happy collection development to Kay Hones, Christy James, and Joan Yarsa, whose libraries are receipts of materials from YALSA’s Great Books Giveaway
  • Special shout out to Sarah Hashimoto and Robin Fogle Kurz, the winners of YALSA’s Volunteer of the Year award.
  • Peggy Hendershot brought diversity to the forefront of her teen discussions and won the MAE award for best literature program
  • Smooth ordering to Brandt Ensor, Jean Forness, Graig Henshaw, Carolann MacMaster, Emma McCandless, Brooke Nelson, Emily Otis, and LaRaie Zimm, the winners of the MAE collection development grants.

Stats

  • Membership - 5,168 members in Jan, up 1% over this time last year
  • Donations - $2,029.21

Thanks again to all who braved the snowy weather to be part of the 2015 Midwinter Meetings, as well as those who chose to participate virtually with the board and other activities. It was a busy January, and I'm thrilled with all the work that members and the YALSA Board accomplished. Here's a peek at what I've been doing:

Activities

  • Currently appointing to the new Board Diversity Taskforce, which will look at and make recommendations regarding the selection and recruitment of YALSA leaders. If you’re interested in serving, please send me an e-mail and/or submit a volunteer form.
  • With Executive Director Beth Yoke and the board, finalized agendas for Midwinter YALSA Executive Committee and Board meetings.
  • Led discussions at YALSA Board meetings. Draft minutes of those discussions will be posted here.
  • Led discussions during two YALSA Executive Committee meetings. Draft minutes of those discussions will be posted here.
  • Led a Board Planning Session which focused on outcomes training and ways to incorporate outcomes into YALSA’s strategic planning process.
  • Attended formal and informal meetings with Division and ALA leaders at the Midwinter conference.
  • Highlighted the work of YALSA selection committees at the Youth Media Awards.
  • Hosted and celebrated Nonfiction and Morris award winners and finalists at the Midwinter reception.
  • Appointed members to fill vacancies on various committees.
  • Spoke with CNN regarding the importance of the Morris Award and recognizing new authors.
  • Spoke with U.S. News and World Report about teen library engagement.

Read More →

YALSA’s Board of Directors met last weekend at the ALA Midwinter Meeting. Between the blizzard and the member Happy Hour and the number of other YALSA programs, I'm pleased with the time and attention the Board spent on big issues that drive and guide YALSA and our members.

Key activities included participating in training about outcomes-based planning and assessment and strategic planning. The board also took action in some key areas, including:

Read More →

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!