Board Doc #22 – Young Adult Library Services (YALS) Sustainability

YALSA’s award-winning journal, YALS, is a free journal (available in print and electronic format) for members to ensure that YALSA librarians stay at the forefront of teens, libraries, and learning. Published quarterly, YALS features excellent articles that are often themed around current trends and concepts that are important to teen librarians. In the recent years, due to rising printing costs, YALS has been experiencing an average net loss of approximately $14,000 per year. 

On Saturday, the Board will be reviewing a document as a result of some investigative work that has been done by the YALS Advisory Board members. YALS Advisory Board examined literature weighing the cost and benefits of having digital and print versions of a journal, surveyed YALS readers for the opinions, collected current information about YALS readership, and consulted individuals that are part of the YALS publication cycle. By examining information from these multiple sources, we will be examining if YALS print version is sustainable in the future.

For more information check out board document #22 located here. You might also want to review board document #11 which is YALS recent semi-annual report. Have questions? Post your comments here.

If you are traveling to Annual, make sure to stop by the YALSA booth!

As always, thanks for all you do for YALSA and for teens!

Mega Subramaniam, YALSA Board of Directors, 2016-2019

Council Happenings at ALA Annual ’17

Greetings from your YALSA Division Councilor. Here are the ALA Council highlights since the 2017 Midwinter meeting in Atlanta:

1. Most of the discussion on the ALA Council list has revolved around the Federal administration’s proposed FY18 Budget which includes the elimination of the Institute for Library and Museum Services (IMLS). The #SaveIMLS campaign was launched and ALA President Julie Todaro led the charge to support the continuation of the agency. Many efforts have been suggested to contact congressional representatives to inform and encourage them to retain funding for IMLS. A concurrent drive, #saveIAL, encouraged representatives to retain funding for the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL), a Department of Education program focusing on literacy, which is also set to be defunded.

2. Kathi Kromer has been named the new head of the ALA Washington Office, effective June 5. She had previously served with the ALS Association for the past 11 years. https://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/blogs/the-scoop/kathi-kromer-new-head-alawashington-office/

3. Loida Garcia-Febo was elected ALA President-Elect: http://www.ala.org/news/member-news/2017/04/garcia-febo-wins-2018-2019-alapresidency

4. Net Neutrality has been discussed and it would not be surprising if a resolution was brought forward on this topic by councilors in Chicago. The new head of the FCC, Ajit Pai, announced plans to roll back Net Neutrality: http://thehill.com/policy/technology/330703-fcc-head-unveils-plan-to-roll-back-netneutrality

This resulted in ALA and ACRL releasing a joint statement opposing any changes: http://www.ala.org/news/press-releases/2017/04/ala-acrl-oppose-fcc-plans-roll-backnet-neutrality

The Youth Council Caucus (led by the Councilors of AASL, ALSC, and YALSA) continue to work jointly to focus on issues specifically affecting youth in libraries and library workers who support youth in their communities. It is key to remember that all library issues affect youth.

It promises to be an interesting Council session in Chicago with much to discuss. Discussions online in advance of the conference have so far been quiet, but many topics, particularly those that involve the current federal administration, could bring forth resolutions.

All YALSA Board documents and the agenda can be found at http://www.ala.org/yalsa/2017-annual-conference-agenda-and-documents

Respectfully submitted,

Todd Krueger | YALSA Division Councilor 

BOARD DOC # 21: Review Materials for Book Awards & Selected List Groups

At ALA Midwinter 2017, YALSA’s Board of Directors discussed and accepted item # 29 Selected List Transition board document. Besides defining the plan for transition of Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults, Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults, and Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers to the Hub, it also required future lists to note when titles are available in Spanish and use e-versions when reviewing nominations.

In an effort to expand this procedure and make it consistent across all Selected Lists and Awards Committees, the Board will discuss piloting the use of digital titles for all selection groups as well as including availability of non-English translations and other formats (e.g. Braille, large print) in annotations for winner/nominees.

The use of digital versions allow inclusion of books from smaller or independent publishers that may not be able to print and ship physical copies of their titles, broadening the pool of nominations and promoting diverse selections. Since eBooks are easily available and accessible, committee members will receive titles promptly and directly.

Adding availability in other languages and formats to winner/honoree annotations will greatly assist those working with non-native English speaking or visually impaired communities.

For more information, see board document # 21 to be discussed on Saturday and the agenda for 2017 Annual Conference. Have questions? Post them here or contact any of the Board members.

Hope to see you at conference!

Trixie Dantis, 2016-2017 Board Fellow

YALSA Board @ Annual: Measuring the Impact of YALSA Groups

Many exciting changes have taken place to YALSA’s structure since our new Organizational Plan went into effect in 2016. As things continue to change, Organization & Bylaws must investigate new ways to adequately measure the success and impact of the committees, juries task forces, and advisory boards.

To that end, O&B has put together a proposal to investigate industry standards and best practices related to measuring the outcomes and impact of members and volunteers. O&B will present their findings and make a list of recommendations at the Midwinter Meeting in February 2018.

At the same time that O&B is researching best practices, they will be working with the YALSA Board and YALSA staff to institute an exit survey for group members to complete as they finish their terms. Survey results will be made available to Standing Board Committees for review. The exit survey will be instituted on a trial basis, beginning in July 2017 and ending June 2018.

This effort supports the following areas of the Learning Agenda, which is included in the Organizational Plan:

  • An exit survey would provide additional information about the appointed group experience beyond the quarterly chair report. Feedback from individual group members can give insight into the efficacy of intra-group communication, clarity of a group’s assigned charge, evaluation of virtual environments, and more.
  • Leveraging research into industry best practices to develop recommendations for an outcomes measurement plan for YALSA will allow the Board to ensure the goals outlined in the Organizational Plan are being met.

If the Board accepts the proposal from the Organization & Bylaws Committee, work would begin immediately following Annual.

Organization and Bylaws has submitted the following board doc, http://www.ala.org/yalsa/sites/ala.org.yalsa/files/content/MeasuringImpact_AN17.pdf which will be discussed at Board I Sat. June 24 from 1:00-5:30 pm, convention center room W176c. If you have any questions about this board document or any others, please contact YALSA President Sarah Hill at gsarahthelibrarian@gmail.com or Executive Director Beth Yoke at ​byoke@ala.org

Melissa McBride is the Chair of Organization & Bylaws and a Board Member. She is a librarian at Southold Elementary School on the North Fork of Long Island.

Get Involved in YALSA!

2017 marks a milestone in my career. It’s been 10 years since I worked in a library! I started working in my local library in high school, shelving books and preparing materials for circulation, working my way through different positions before becoming a YA Librarian in 2003. Without knowing it, I landed my dream job! The library climate was very different then…there were far fewer YA librarian positions and even less that were dedicated YA positions (mine was half YA half Volunteer Coordinator). Finding a place to ask questions, gain support, and foster my excitement about serving this great population became a critical part of my career. I became a YALSA member because I needed what YALSA provided. In 2007, my career took a turn and I became a Consultant for Youth Services in a regional library system in MA. YALSA continued to provide me with opportunities and resources that helped me become a resource to my members. Now, I’m the Consulting and Training Services (CATS) Director for the MA Library System. I haven’t worked directly with youth in ten years, but YALSA is still as important as ever to me.

I’m sure your story is similar to mine. Working with teens is a unique and wonderful experience that fulfils many of us. Many librarians I’ve spoken with say they have “found their calling” when describing why they are YA librarians.

As a member of YALSA, I wanted to give back to the organization that had given me so much. I gained teamwork, leadership, and project management skills as I volunteered and participated in in-person and online committee work. Toward the end of 2009, I saw that YALSA was re-committing itself to not only providing opportunities for librarians serving teens, but to the teens themselves. I wanted to be a part of that conversation. After talking with a few trusted colleagues, I ran for the YALSA board and won a seat on the Board of Directors.

What’s YALSA committee and Board of Director work like?  It’s amazing. To be an active member of the organization gives you a new sense of understanding. You’ll gain critical leadership skills (public speaking, project and financial management, working with people of differing viewpoints, time management and more) and be an integral part of the organization. There’s a lot of work, though. Meetings (online and in person), self-directed assignments like reviewing board reports, connecting with other YALSA members, acting as a YALSA rep in your region/district/state, bringing ideas to the table, and balancing big picture thinking with practical library implementation. Library and family support of your role is critical, as travel to conferences is often (but not always) required. You’ll need to manage your work to ensure ample time for committee/board work. Board work is generally 5 hours a month, and more during the months of Midwinter and Annual. Committee work time varies by committee. Conferences will become work time, not session attending time. But you won’t miss out on the learning aspect. What you will learn in a role like this cannot be taught in any session or workshop.

Are you hesitant about this? Good…that means you are thinking seriously about it! But with some support and planning, board work can fit and enhance your professional life. Don’t agree with the votes or thoughts of others? A difference of opinion is welcome, provided that it is done with respect to colleagues as we all move forward to ensure the mission and vision of YALSA is fulfilled.

Being an active member of an organization like YALSA will give you the opportunity to learn more about yourself, while giving back to an organization that is so critical to many of our colleagues working with young adults.

I encourage you to contact me with any questions or concerns about considering a role as a YALSA Leader. And join us on June 20 for our Open Q and A to learn more about YALSA Governance

Sarah Sogigian is the Consulting and Training Services Director at the Massachusetts Library System. She has been an active member of YALSA for over 10 years, including serving a 3 year term on the YALSA Board of Directors. She is currently Chair of the Governance Nominating Committee.

ALA Annual: Chicago Pride

Pride balloons

While you prepare for ALA Annual this summer (or any summer), it’s always worth taking a look to see what other events are going on in the city that you can enjoy before, during, and after.  This year, the conference will overlap with one of my favorite annual events in the city, the Chicago Pride Parade.  The parade will kick off for the 48th year on Chicago’s north side, where it will wind its way through Chicago’s famous Boystown neighborhood and out towards Lake Michigan.  For less mainstream festivities, you can also check out the Chicago Dyke March, taking place on Saturday the 24th in the Little Village neighborhood.  Whether or not you attend one of these events, this is the perfect weekend to enjoy LGBTQ Chicago.

If you do plan on attending the Pride Parade, you can find a map and more information at Chicago Pride Parade website, and should keep a few things in mind.  First, the middle of the parade in Boystown (along Halsted and Belmont) will have the biggest crowds – up to six or seven people deep on the sidewalks.  If you prefer a more laid-back viewing experience, try Broadway near the beginning of the parade route or Diversey near the end.  Second, it’s long!  Be prepared for about two and a half hours of fun, and another half an hour or hour of staking out a spot before the parade.  For me, this usually means bringing a camp chair, cold drinks, snacks, and lots of sunscreen.  Lastly, this is always a joyous event, so be prepared with smiles, cheers, and a camera.

Pride flag

If you want to skip the parade crowds but still enjoy the LGBTQ scene in Chicago, there are a few ways to do that.  Chicago’s Center on Halsted offers critical services as well as fun events for the city’s LGBTQ population, and will be celebrating Pride weekend with a party.  Or get busy thrifting at one of the Brown Elephant locations – proceeds support the Howard Brown Health Center, which provides crucial health services for LGBTQ individuals.  If you’re looking to avoid the Boystown crowds entirely, head north to Andersonville, where you can get a great meal at Hamburger Mary’s and enjoy their Dining with the Divas drag queen performances.  And of course, there’s always Chicago’s various flavors of LGBTQ bars, in Boystown or throughout the city.

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Secrets of Grant Success: Give Your Community The Chance To “Unleash Your Story”

Serving on the Teen Read Week committee has given its members the opportunity to read numerous applications submitted for the TRW mini-grants. This valuable experience has provided us with handy tips to improve our own future grant writing endeavors, and we wish to share our insights with you for the purpose of strengthening your own 2017 YALSA/Dollar General Teen Read Week Grant application.

First, align your concept with YALSA’s Teen Read Week theme “Unleash Your Story”. Be sure to demonstrate how the funds will support teens as they write, tell, and share their own stories. Will the grant help connect teens with the numerous stories, biographies, autobiographies, and folktales in your library? If not, what purpose will it serve? Refresh yourself with The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: A Call to Action to ensure or adjust your proposal to better align with it.

Be sure your purchases meet the grant requirements. Funds must be used to enhance activities and services for teens. Seek alternate funding in your community to purchase snacks, decor, or signage for the event. Be specific in your application about your purchases, as the grant reviewers will want a complete breakdown of fund allotments. Explore other YALSA grants, such as Baker & Taylor/YALSA Collection Development Grant or YALSA’s Great Books Giveaway, for the purchase of collection development materials.

Consider your community. Gather statistics from credible sources like the United Census Bureau or your state’s Department of Education. Use the data to illustrate the need the grant funded program will fill for your teens. Include under-served teens in your idea as well. How many teens live locally? What are their interests? Contact a local local organization and partner up on the project. A clear narrative of your activity must be provided. Explain your vision and define your purpose. Break down the steps of preparation and implementation. Incorporate best practices as outlined in YALSA’s Teen Programming Guidelines. Perhaps most important is to know and communicate the knowledge or skills teen participants will gain by participating in your event or activity.

Wrapping up and evaluating your program is as important as the preparation for it. Determine which indicator is most appropriate to measure the impact of your project. Will you ask teens to complete a survey? Are you going to take attendance? Will teens be required to successfully complete a task? Will you tally return visits or circulation increases? Providing examples or briefly describing your method for measuring the impact of your program will show that you know your teen patrons and understand how a grant-funded program will serve them.

You can find other well-thought out TRW mini-grant award recipients on the YALSA Programming HQ. Check out a few examples of successful past grant awardees, such as those listed below, to compare and improve your proposal.

Co-written by Amanda Barnhart (2016-2017 Teen Read Week chair), Aimee Haslam (2016-2017 Teen Read Week committee member) and Melissa West (2016-2017 Teen Read Week committee chair and 2017 Emerging Leader).

“Who Doesn’t Like Libraries?”

Washington, D.C. is a dream location for librarians: books, libraries, galleries, museums, history, monuments, culture, and food. At the beginning of May, I had the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C. to participate in National Library Legislative Day along with over 500 other librarians. My trip was funded by a generous travel stipend from the Young Adult Library Services Association. Although I have been a librarian for 23 years and have advocated for libraries in my school district and community, this was my first opportunity to advocate on the national level. I am hopeful that my experience will encourage you to become a national advocate as well.

Alex Simons, Liaison Librarian at the University of Houston, is the Texas coordinator for NLLD. She and Letitia Smith from YALSA prepared me for the visits on Capitol Hill by sending information about library advocacy and about how to conduct successful meetings with Members of Congress. In addition to Alex Simons, the other members of the Texas delegation were Jeanne Standley, Executive Director of Libraries at the University of Texas at Tyler, and Carlyn Gray, retired Director of Library Services at Round Rock ISD and currently Librarian at Austin Community College. Gloria Meraz, Assistant State Librarian at Texas State Library and Archives, attended as a resource person and was instrumental in providing information on the impact of federal funds for Texas libraries and the Texas State Library.

This event is exceptionally well-planned and organized. ALA hosts NLLD events and training for registered participants at a local hotel on Monday and plans office visits on Tuesday. Folders with information about important library issues are prepared for each of the 435 Representative’s offices and 100 Senator’s offices. The Texas delegation generally meets on Sunday night to divide up visits, and Monday they arrive early at the House office buildings. With current threats to eliminate funding for critical federal library programs, the folders were filled with data showing how libraries truly do change lives. Alex Simons suggested that we focus on a maximum of three issues to clarify at each office to get the most out of our time during visits. Armed with our data and our stories, we hit the halls.

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A New YALSA Toolkit on Partnerships and Funding

On May 9th, YALSA published a new toolkit called Partnering to Increase Your Impact.

Six members and one chair worked since July 2016 in the Community Connections Taskforce to pull together ideas and resources about how libraries can partner with other organizations and locate funding opportunities.  Pictured are Adrienne Strock, Rachael Bohn, Bill Stea, Dina Schuldner (chair), and Billie Moffett.  Not pictured are Derrick Burton and Markita Dawson.

We worked virtually, through email, phone, and video chats to develop this resource that is invaluable to librarians and libraries in finding partnerships and funding that increase the impact Teen Services can have on the Young Adult population.

There are ten steps that should be taken in order to get the most out of a partnership.  They include identifying a teen need, making an inventory of the library’s assets, choosing assets that would come from another organization, and then identifying and vetting potential partners.  Once that initial research is done, it’s all about the relationship you build with your chosen partner.  Together, you can co-develop a program or service and implement it for the teens you serve.  Maintaining that relationship you’ve built will allow you to evaluate the impact of your program or service and either stick with it, or adjust it.  You may even discover that your partner isn’t the best fit, in which case you can move on to other potential partners you’ve already identified in the earlier steps.

We included some great commentary about some libraries’ experiences with partnerships.

There is also an invaluable section on funding opportunities that was developed in part through a survey conducted with libraries around the country.  You will find these ideas helpful in your own quest to increase funding for teen services at your library.

I appreciate the opportunity to serve YALSA as chair of the Community Connections Taskforce, and am grateful to have worked with such fine people in developing this resource.  Please share this toolkit with other members of your library who can help you make your partnership and funding dreams come true!

Dina Schuldner was a Young Adult Librarian at the Gold Coast Public Library in New York, where she developed the Teen Entrepreneurial Academy by partnering with local business owners.  She now lives in Virginia Beach, VA. 

Representing Pennsylvania Librarians at National Library Legislative Day – A Dream Come True!

Sara Huff at NLLDOn Monday, May 1st and 2nd 2017, National Library Legislative Day took place in Washington, D.C. Hundreds of librarians and library workers from all over the country represented their state’s delegation at this event. Thanks to YALSA, I was one of the lucky librarians able to attend.

I grew up with my local public library being a very big part of my life. My mother took me to storytimes as a child, I volunteered there during my summer breaks in high school and college, and I was even employed there right after I graduated college. I know first-hand the importance of public libraries. With the recent threats to library funding, it is now crucial for library workers and library-users to show their support for libraries. 

Several months ago I read about an award available to first-time NLLD attendees on YALSA’s website. I knew immediately that I wanted to apply for this award. I currently am employed as the Teen Librarian at William Jeanes Memorial Library, a public library outside of Philadelphia in Montgomery County. I work with teens on a daily basis, and I see how public libraries have impacted them. From providing books, programming, and a place to hang out after school, public libraries can have an incredible influence on teens. I was ecstatic when I got the email telling me that I had been one of the few selected to receive the award to attend National Library Legislative Day in our nation’s capital.

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