I am the 2014-2015 chair of the Strategic Planning Taskforce and serve on YALSA's Board of Directors. I manage the Gig Harbor branch of the Pierce County Library System in Washington.

YALSA Board @ Annual Preview: Selection & Award Committee Participation Policy

Have you ever submitted a volunteer application to express interest in serving on a YALSA selection or award committee–only to hear back that the President-Elect and Appointments Task Force were not able to find a spot for you this year? If so, you’re not alone. YALSA is fortunate to have many talented members who are eager to serve on our selection and award committees–nearly 600 applications were submitted for spots on 2015-2016 committees!–but each year, of course, there are only a limited number of committee spots available.

This is one of several reasons why the Board will be discussing the possible creation of a selection and award committee participation policy that would open up the committees for broader participation by the YALSA Membership at ALA Annual in San Francisco. The official Board doc is Item #29 on the YALSA Board’s Annual Conference Agenda.

The proposed policy outlined in the document would institute uniform guidelines for participation in selection and award committees, addressing topics such as as term lengths, maximum years of consecutive service, and frequency of award committee service. As you’ll see when you read the Board doc, this proposal follows up on a recommendation from the Selection Committee Evaluation Task Force that such a policy be explored and created. The proposal is also data-driven, based on an analysis of ten years of committee service records.

Take a look at the document and let the Board know if you have comments, questions, or concerns. We know that this is a proposal that, if adopted, could potentially impact many of our member volunteers, so we value your thoughts and input. There are lots of ways to share your feedback with us!

Thank you!

YALSA Board @ Midwinter Preview: Member Survey Report and Strategic Planning

Last fall, YALSA conducted a survey to get member input on the next strategic plan. The Strategic Planning Taskforce’s official report is now available as part of the YALSA Board’s 2015 Midwinter Meeting Board Documents. You can find it at item #26 on the agenda. If you have any responses to share on the survey, we would love to hear from you!

There are lots of strategic planning activities happening at Midwinter! The Board will be dedicating its Board Planning and Board I meetings to strategic planning sessions with consultant Alan Brickman (item #1 on the agenda). Like all Board meetings, these are open to all conference attendees, and you are welcome to drop in and observe. We’ll also be live tweeting from board meetings, so please follow @yalsa for more details.

Member involvement is a key part of successful strategic planning, so YALSA’s also hosting a member planning session at Midwinter: Moving YALSA Forward on Sunday, February 1, from 1-2:30 pm. This session will be facilitated by Alan Brickman as well. Advocacy emerged as an important theme in our member survey results, and it will be the main topic explored here. We hope you’ll come and participate in this session: we need to hear from as many members as possible to make it a success! Light refreshments will be available.

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Strategic Planning: Member Survey Closes Tomorrow

As you’ve no doubt heard, YALSA is currently conducting a survey to get member input on the next strategic plan. If you want to share your opinions with the Strategic Planning Task Force and YALSA’s Board of Directors, now is the time! Tomorrow (Wednesday, September 17) is the last day to fill out the 2014 member survey.

We can’t develop a strong strategic plan without hearing from as much of our membership as possible. Help YALSA help you by completing the survey online today. If you’ve already filled it out, take a moment to remind your YALSA peers to follow your awesome example by sharing the link with your network via email or social media.

And don’t forget, if you choose, you can enter your email address at the end of the survey for a chance to win a free teens and technology training kit (a $199 value).

Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with us!

The YALSA Strategic Planning Task Force

Strategic Planning: Your Opinion Matters

Utter the phrase “Strategic Planning” and many of us cringe a little at the daunting process these words imply. YALSA is at the beginning stages of this task and needs your feedback in our member survey. The information you provide will be used to help the YALSA Board of Directors develop the association’s next strategic plan.

Being a member driven organization, your opinion matters! What services, tools, or resources do you need to be best librarian you can be? Are there challenges you are encountering in serving teens and young adults in your library? How can YALSA continue to be relevant to you and the profession? Help us answer these questions and more, by taking a few minutes to answer a few questions in our member survey.

The member survey will be open for just one more week, until September 17, so take time now to complete it. Also, if you choose, you can enter your email address at the end of the survey for a chance to win a free teens and technology training kit (a $199 value).

We look forward to your feedback and your awesome ideas!

The YALSA Strategic Planning Task Force

YALSA Strategic Planning: Member Survey is Open!

In January 2014, YALSA issued the report, The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: A Call to Action, based on a yearlong national forum of research, interviews, and stakeholder discussions. The Call to Action looks at how teens are now using libraries and recommends ways for libraries to provide new and more relevant services to teens, and the report will definitely be a starting point as the YALSA Board of Directors begins to craft the next strategic plan.

For the next step, we are seeking member comments about the services YALSA provides to its members, to librarians working with teens, and to the library world at large. Everything YALSA produces originates with the membership, and your input is vital for the Board to plan for the next direction in teen services.

Please take the opportunity now to add your voice and let the Board know where you see teen services headed, what you need as a teen librarian, and which of the services YALSA provides that you value. Our member survey is now open and will be taking responses until September 17.

As a bonus, if you choose, you can enter your email address at the end of the survey for a chance to win a free teens and technology training kit (a $199 value).

We look forward to hearing from you!

The YALSA Strategic Planning Task Force

YALSA Board Midwinter Update: Strategic Planning Committee Proposal

One of the many topics that the Board discussed at Midwinter was the status of the Strategic Planning Committee (.pdf). The’ Strategic Planning Committee is established by YALSA’s bylaws as one of our standing process committees. Its current charge is to work with the Board throughout the planning process and between planning cycles on developing, monitoring, and promoting the strategic plan.

While all these activities remain important, the Strategic Planning Committee’s role in them has decreased in years when a new strategic plan is not being developed. In particular, the Board’s recent decision to implement standing Board committees (.pdf) to monitor each of the five strategic plan goals negates the need for additional monitoring work by the Strategic Planning Committee. We know that members are volunteering valuable time when they serve on YALSA committees. We want to make sure that time and energy is being directed to activities that are productive, not redundant.

After discussing this agenda item at Midwinter, the Board voted to put the proposed bylaws change (.pdf)–which would remove Strategic Planning from YALSA’s list of standing committees–on the spring election ballot for the consideration of the membership. If this bylaws change is approved, Strategic Planning will be sunset as a standing committee on June 30, 2014, and the committee will become a task force that will exist only in the years when a new strategic plan is being developed.

The 2014 election will open on March 19 and close April 25, so look for this proposed bylaws change affecting Strategic Planning on your ballot. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the proposed change, I encourage you to comment below or to email me or any other member of the YALSA Board. We’d love to hear from you.