With direction from the board President Sandra Hughes Hassell, the board has recently set out to explore the possible tangible steps that YALSA can take to better engage current and future Spectrum Scholars. Since 2009 YALSA has sponsored 10 spectrum scholars.
The Spectrum Scholars programs affirms ALA’s commitment to diversity and inclusion by seeking the broadest participation of new generations of racially and ethnically diverse librarians to position ALA to provide leadership in the transformation of libraries and library services.
Board document item #29 Building Stronger Ties with Spectrum Scholars focuses on how to get both current and past Spectrum scholars more involved in YALSA’s activities, and in taking leadership professions in the field. Some of the broad questions that will be explored in this board discussion include:
· Can we engage current YALSA-sponsored Spectrum Scholars to be mentors to other YALSA members who are aspiring to apply for Spectrum scholars? How do we do this?
· How might Spectrum Scholars be engaged in help us implement YALSA’s Organizational Plan, especially EDI related activities, such as our goal of diversifying the membership by 20% over three years?
· Across the association industry, what are other organizations doing to support and engage scholarship recipients?
The board is seeking feedback on item #29 from its members and others interested and in attendance on this important equity and inclusion effort. Thank you in advance for your consideration and input!
Kafi Kumasi & Mega Subramaniam
YALSA Board Members
At Annual 2017, the Board directed the O&B Committee to investigate ways to measure outcomes and make the work of the organization more efficient and effective (board document #29). To that end, Organization & Bylaws is bringing Board Document #30 and Board Document #32 up for discussion at ALA Midwinter 2018.
Board document #30 focuses on YALSA’s existing chair manual and it’s need for updating. As chair of the Organization & Bylaws Committee, Melissa McBride is seeking feedback from the Board to guide the Committee’s work on updating the document. O & B would like to update the Chair manual to:
- Reflect the Organizational Plan
- Include more big-picture information
- Add outcomes focused content
- Update the virtual resources content
- Update the selection committee content
- Expand the responsibilities, communication, ethics and policies sections
- Change the language of the document so it can be used for Chairs, Conveners and Blogging Team Leads
- Add turn-key materials, like sample messages as well as examples of completed forms and documents that are thorough and well-written
Organization & Bylaws is also seeking feedback from the Board (document #32) on the role of the YALSA Board Liaisons, including seeing how the role can evolve to support YALSA’s more outcomes focused approach. A Board Liaison is a member of the Board who maintains a critical connection between the Board of Directors and a designated committee, jury, advisory board or task force. Board Liaisons are appointed by the President-Elect and assignments begin annually in July. The primary purpose is to facilitate communication between the Board and appointed member groups. The Board Liaison is the Chair’s primary contact for all governance related issues and supports the Chair with leadership of the appointed group as necessary.
Additional information can be found in the board documents. Please email Melissa McBride email@example.com with any questions. Looking forward to seeing you in Denver!
In order to maintain a robust and timely organization, an occasional evaluation of the awards, grants and fellowships presented to membership must be undertaken. A member survey done in 2017 indicated that members were interested in having the governing body re-evaluate some of the awards, grants and fellowships to suit the current needs of the organization. With this information in mind, a task force was set up to distill the findings of the survey and make recommendations to the Board at the 2017 Annual Conference in Chicago.
The Fund and Partner Development Standing Committee of the YALSA Board then looked at those recommendations to determine the feasibility of them based on what YALSA finances would allow and to determine if any of the awards, grants and fellowships needed to be discontinued or others to be added. The committee also looked at concerns about how the awards were marketed to the membership and if the eligibility language of the awards was clearly spelled out so that those members who could apply would. The Fund and Partner Development Standing Committee brings forth the recommendations in Board Document #22.
The Fund and Partner Development Standing Committee was given the task to appraise the findings of the Member Awards Evaluation Taskforce for YALSA and its members. Based on this information, the FPD Standing Committee has issued the proposals below for each of the existing YALSA Awards.
Recommended Board Actions
• The YALSA Board Directs the President to appoint two short term member groups to develop a proposal for each of the two new awards, and to submit them to the Board for review for their June 2018 meeting.
• The YALSA Board directs the Executive Director to work with staff to expand the focus of the MAE Award and Collection Development Grant.
• The YALSA Board directs the Fund and Partner Development Committee to work with the Executive Director to identify potential award sponsors and reach out to them.
• The YALSA Board approves the recommendation to discontinue the Midwinter Paper Presentation and directs the Executive Director to work with staff to carry out the necessary work to sunset the grant.
See the full report here.
YALSA Division Councilor
1. Educational requirements for the next ALA Executive Director
Council has been preoccupied with discussion and voting on the educational requirements for the next ALA Executive Director. As was outlined in the YALSA blog post, making a decision whether or not this position requires the MLIS or CAEP-equivalent has been an ongoing battle. Currently the petition that asked the decision to be put in the hands in the membership as a whole has received enough signatures to put the measure on the spring ALA ballot.
2. Resolutions & Youth Council Caucus
There have not yet been any resolutions brought forward as of January 15. The Councilor will keep the Board apprised if and as resolutions are submitted. There have been no resolutions discussed among the members of the Youth Council Caucus at this time, aside from a couple memorial resolutions.
3. Moving Meetings out of Texas
A Councilor inquired about the possibility of moving the 2022 MW meeting out of San Antonio due to “bathroom bill” legislation before the Texas assembly. The American Association of Law Libraries had announced that they would no longer hold conferences in Texas for this reason. A robust online discussion followed, which included some providing reasons for maintaining the MW22 site and others decrying it. California’s law prohibiting state-funded travel to eight states, including Texas, was discussed. PLA’s 2020 conference in Nashville, Tennessee, slated to occur in another of those eight states, was also mentioned. Jim Neal and the Executive Board were to discuss this matter, but there has been no announcement about a decision at this time.
This post was written by Amanda Barnhart. Amanda is a teen librarian for the Kansas City Mo. Public Library and began her career as an undefined teen library services member in 2003. She serves as the YALSA ALA Liaison.
By its very definition, the journey of a Continuous Learner is never complete. The skill attainment levels within YALSA’s Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff are set out vertically in order to illustrate how the initial skills build upon the next, much like Maslow’s hierarchy. Yet, the way in which we navigate through “developing, practicing and transforming” may not necessarily lead us straight down the list. Once we start becoming competent in one area, we more fully begin to understand how far we still have to go treading up and down along the scale as we deepen our knowledge of a topic.
A couple of years ago, I was awarded an LSTA grant to utilize tabletop games for the development of young adults’ job readiness skills. I established a small, four person learning cohort that was made up of both teen and children’s professionals within the Kansas City Mo. Public Library organization. At our branch libraries, we already had several teen groups that enjoyed video games. However, we wanted to offer a different type of gaming experience, one that more strongly connected with specific skills. The cohort met 1-2 times per month, for a couple of hours around these topics of Tabletop Games, job readiness skills and youth programs.
Do you dream of traveling to exciting places like Cape Town, Columbus, and Wrocław? Have you considered becoming involved with an energetic and passionate group of international library workers? International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) is in full swing for its annual World Library and Information Congress (WLIC). This year the conference takes place in Kuala Lumpur.
You can, of course, get involved by merely attending the conference in Malaysia in late August. For those looking to present, I have highlighted some opportunities with particular appeal to those who work with youth.
Satellite Meeting in Singapore: Inclusive Library Services for Children and Young Adults
IFLA calls them satellite meetings, but satellite meeting is just a fancy name for pre-conference. Usually they are held in a city close to the conference site. The focus of this meeting, sponsored by Libraries for Children and Young Adults (my section!) and Library Services to People with Special Needs Section is inclusive library services. The deadline for the call for papers is February 15, 2018.
Through school-public library collaboration, librarians support one another in expanding and nurturing their communities’ literacy ecosystems. Patricia Jimenez is the school librarian at Sunnyslope High School (SHS) in the Glendale (Arizona) Union High School District. At the time of their collaborative work, Emily Howard was the young adult librarian at the Cholla Branch of the Phoenix Public Library (PPL); she is now the assistant branch manager at Desert Sage. Together, Patricia and Emily developed a series of programs based on their determination to take literacy “where teens are.”
School librarian Patricia and public librarian Emily’s partnership began when Emily reached out about visiting the Sunnyslope campus to discuss what the Desert Sage Branch had to offer SHS students. Patricia was thrilled because she had been meaning to do exactly the same thing.
After their initial meeting, Patricia arranged for Emily and a colleague to visit SHS’s library during lunch periods, helping students sign up for PPL library cards when they are most frequently in and out of the media center. The visits offered a low-key way for the collaborators to get to know one another better. They chatted during the set-up, the time between lunches, and during the tear-down as well.
The collaborators learned they had a great deal in common. Patricia showed Emily some typical SHS library programming, sparking the idea of having Patricia bring that programming to the Cholla Branch. A month later, Patricia boxed up her FebROARary activities and headed to Emily’s PPL branch. Participants in the joint program made dinosaur buttons, colored dinosaur bookmarks, and applied dinosaur tattoos. While the PPL teens were not as excited to participate as SHS students usually are, parents with their younger children stopped in and got involved. Patricia was able to work with a different audience, which was truly fun for her.
My dad always says, only fools and newcomers predict the weather in Colorado, and I’ve been here too long to be a newcomer. Since he was born here, we always accepted that as gospel and take every weather prediction with a grain of salt. In February, the weather in Denver can range between a high of 10 and 70 degrees without causing the natives to blink. It can be sunny, cloudy, rainy, snowy or windy and usually at some time during the day it will change. Packing for a visit can be a challenge.
It’s true that weather forecasting has improved since my father’s day, but be prepared for surprises. Layers are the answer – and lots of them. Something for a sunny day and something for a cold day with everything in between. The Convention Center will have food of course, but there are dozens of more interesting restaurants a short walk away. Even walking two blocks to the Sixteenth Street Free Mall Ride can be a quick way to get up and down to many destinations, and you’ll want the right gear for those short jaunts. I recommend wool socks, shoes with some tread, cardigans that can tie around the waist if it’s warm and button up tight if it’s cold. Scarves or pashminas are another protective layer to add when it turns nippy but shed easily when the sun shines. Don’t forget a hat and gloves. The hat is useful if it’s sunny and a real bonus if it’s cold. Evenings are almost always cool to downright cold. If you plan to be out and about, that’s the time to be sure you have your warmest layers with you.
When you come to Denver you are arriving at a mile above sea level, and this has an effect on your body that is not always immediately noticeable. Drink water! This is the single thing that everyone advises. Also, it’s important to eat regular meals and cut back on caffeine and alcohol. Many people complain of headaches, and while aspirin or Advil can help, the best advice is to hydrate and eat regularly. Your body will need fuel. You may also notice that you are tired and yawning. Given the conference schedule, it is hard to get enough rest, but a catnap or two will be of great benefit. The first day is the hardest; be extra gentle with yourself and give your body time to adjust. A few days into the schedule will be better than when you first arrive.
Denver’s a great city with lots to do. There’s a ice skating rink downtown, wonderful museums, a fabulous library. I’m sure you’ll enjoy my home town! We offer a western welcome and don’t be surprised if people say hello as you walk down the street. Enjoy your visit and ALA Midwinter 2018!
Recently retired from Denver Public Library, Carol Edwards grew up in Denver and is a second generation native. Her home is known to extended family as Chez Carol and she’s heard a great deal of discussion of how hard it is to pack for a visit to Colorado and the impact of high altitude. Carol doesn’t claim to be an expert, just someone who wants everyone to have a great visit for ALA Midwinter.
Rachel McDonald has been a Teen Services Librarian for King County Library System in Washington state since 2007. Her primary interests are incorporating youth voice and bridging the digital divide through library programs. Rachel has been a member of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) since 2004, serving on the Board of Directors and multiple task forces and award committees, including the Alex Awards and the Michael L. Printz Award. She was a recipient of YALSA’s 2013 Excellence in Library Services to Young Adults award and is a student in the University of Maryland College of Information Studies YX certificate program.. She is currently reading The Newcomers: Finding Refuge, Friendship, and Hope in an American Classroom by Helen Thorpe.
In this YALSAblog post Rachel McDonald highlights how skills in YALSA Competency areas related to Community Engagement and Cultural Competence and Responsiveness enable her to meet the needs of non-dominant youth.
For the past five years I’ve worked as a Teen Services Librarian in Tukwila and Seatac, two communities that are a part of the King County (WA) Library System. Due to their close proximity to Seattle, and cheaper housing costs, both cities are popular with newcomers to the United States. In fact, over 40% of the population of Tukwila is foreign-born. At the high school down the street from the Tukwila Library, students speak over 45 world languages. Since the 1990s, local refugee resettlement agencies have resettled thousands of refugees from countries such as Afghanistan, Burma, Eritrea, Iraq, Nepal, Somalia, Syria, and Ukraine in South King County.
The longer I work in these communities, the more I understand how important cultural competence and responsiveness are to effectively serving my entire community, and teens in particular. While awareness of one’s own cultural beliefs and cultural differences within the community is an important first step, truly transforming services to teens involves building relationships with other community organizations in order to better engage with different cultural groups, especially those who may experience barriers to using the public library. In Tukwila and Seatac, that means working with partners such as the International Rescue Committee and New Futures.
As a young librarian, it can be difficult to find your footing. After receiving my degree and being a teen services librarian for a little over a year, I was thrilled to embark on the journey to Louisville in early November for this year’s YALSA Symposium, made possible by YALSA’s travel stipend. I was expecting a weekend full of information and new ideas, but I wasn’t expecting to come home with a new outlook on teen services and a reinvigorated passion for my job, which is exactly what happened!
Teens often feel like no one understands or cares about them, and I hear
this often from the teens that frequent my library. At the Symposium I realized that bringing them into the library wasn’t enough – I had to build a community of teens that supported one another and could make changes within their own communities, as adults are separate from the lives of teens in so many ways. Nearly every session I attended in Louisville focused on communities in some way, through either building a community of teens or drawing the surrounding community into the library through partnerships and local resources.