Hello YALSA members and friends ,

ALA sent a letter to WSJ on 6/10 in response to the Meghan Cox Gurdon article. The letter was a joint response from ALA, OIF and YALSA. However, it now appears that the Wall St. Journal isn't going to publish ALA's response to the YA lit article so I wanted to make sure and share it with all of you'  just so you could be aware that it was sent and so that it was available to use as a jumping off point if anyone needs it as they conduct interviews or answer questions that may continue to arise.'  Read More →

April was a month of celebrations as we acknowledged and celebrated School Library Month along with both National Library Week and National Volunteer Week during the week of April 10-16, 2011. And as always we celebrated Support Teen Literature Day on the Thursday of National Library week with the announcement of the 2011 Teens' Top Ten nominations and the launch of the ' Teen Read Weekâ„¢ website.

Along with thanking all of our hardworking members and library workers this month, I also want to send out a special thank you to the 2011 Summer Reading TF chaired by Charli Osborne. This newly appointed group, not only came together to begin their task, but quickly organized themselves, reviewed and judged the'  entries submitted for the Dollar General Summer Reading Grants. These $1,000 grants were given to 20 YALSA members who were recognized for an outstanding proposal of teen-focused summer reading programs.' ' '  Read More →

At the request of ALSC, I had a conference call with their President, Julie Corsaro, along with the ALSC and YALSA Executive Directors on Feb. 9.'  ALSC wanted to discuss the possibility of a mediated discussion between the leadership of the two divisions at the October 2011' Fall Executive Committee meeting. This request came about because of a 2011 Midwinter discussion ALSC's board had regarding their Board' motion to change the age range that ALSC serves. ' During the February conversation, I' told Julie that I would be happy to take this idea to the YALSA Executive Committee to explore during our meeting, via conference call, on April 19.'  YALSA's Executive Committee did discuss this during their call last month and determined' that talking with ALSC about opportunities for the two divisions to work together to better serve members and promote the profession would be beneficial.

In the year or so that ALSC has been reviewing and discussing its age range, YALSA's board had a conversation on a similar topic.'  At its 2009 Midwinter Meeting, the YALSA board, during a “mega issue” discussion, explored the question “How should YALSA address the expanding adolescent years?”'  You can read the board document on the mega issue (PDF).

During YALSA Board mega issue discussions, decisions are not typically made, and they weren't in this case, either.'  There were no board actions or official motions that came out of the discussion.' However, the discussion did spur a grassroots effort to establish YALSA's Serving New Adults Interest Group (http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/yalsa/aboutyalsab/discussion.cfm)

While ALSC and YALSA do already partner on a few projects, such as the Odyssey Award and the Interdivisional Committee on School & Public Library Cooperation, I, the Executive Committee, and Board look forward to exploring other opportunities for the two divisions to work together to better serve members and advance the profession.

Respectfully submitted, Kim Patton, YALSA President

Teen Tech Week kept us all busy in March as we explored and shared the joys of technology with our teens. Thank you to all the YALSA members who participated in Teen Tech Week activities with the teens in your libraries!' â€¦and speaking of YALSA members, have you ever wondered just who it is that makes up the YALSA membership? Here is a' snapshot that shows just who your fellow members are:

Total membership: 5,416 (1.3% increase over this time last year)

11% are academics

24% are students

26% are school librarians

37% are public librarians

2% are other (retirees, friends, etc.) Read More →

Happy Teen Tech Weekâ„¢, YALSA members! Thanks go out to the Margaret Edwards Trust for funding the TTW mini grants, and thanks to the TTW Committee for the great e-resources they created.'  Many thanks also to Stephanie Kuenn, who submitted the application for a Carnegie Whitney Grant. Our application was successful and we received an ALA Carnegie Whitney Grant to self-publish a book focused on summer reading programs to be edited by Kat Kan. Thank you also to the WrestleMania Reading Challenge Jury for judging submissions and announcing the regional winners of the WrestleMania Reading Challenge. Details on the contest, winners and the next round of the challenge can be found here.'  Thanks to the Mattel Foundation and WWE for funding the program. Read More →

January brought a busy start to the year with ALA's Midwinter Meeting beginning shortly after the New Year. Board members were kept busy attending board planning, governance meetings and many other activities to show support to our leaders and membership. The Division and Membership Planning Committee put a tremendous amount of work into planning YALSA 201 and I would like to thank Melissa McBride and her committee for the hard work they all did. The Financial Advancement Committee, headed by Pam Spencer Holley also put an enormous amount of work into the Not so Silent Auction that YALSA hosted to raise money for The development of resources for librarians so they can promote award winning books to their teens. This was a wonderful event that could not have happened without the dedication of Pam and her entire committee. I would also like to thank all of the committee chairs and their members; members at large; authors; businesses and everyone else who so generously gave of their time, services and materials to come up with such creative baskets to auction off! It was a fun-filled night full of YALSAtinis, laughter and fun and we raised about $4,000 through it all!

December is always such a busy month and this one was no exception. As soon as the holidays were over and done with, many of us were all off and running (or flying as the case may be) to San Diego for the ALA Midwinter Meeting in January. ' Most of December was so busy with Midwinter prep work that there wasn't much time for anything else, but we did see one fantabulous new edition that kicked off just before the holidays.'  The Hub, ' YALSA's new blog specifically dedicated to young adult literature was launched by blog Member Manager Sarah Debraski! Many thanks Sarah for leading YALSA's successful new blog venture!

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YALSA's Board of Directors met recently at ALA's Midwinter Meeting. Listed below are just some of the key decisions the Board made. A draft of the full minutes of the meeting will be posted on the Governance section of YALSA's web site by the end of the month.

  • At both Annual Conference and Midwinter Meeting, the YALSA Board receives an update on the Association's financial health. This update is provided by YALSA's Fiscal Officer, Mary Hastler, and Executive Director, Beth Yoke. The report at Midwinter included suggestions that help guarantee that during financially difficult times, YALSA remains financially secure. The YALSA Board will continue to consider ways to control expenses and maximize revenues while meeting member needs. The full financial report is available from the Governance section of the YALSA web site (Midwinter board document #21).
  • The Board approved a set of policies and procedures for YALSA's new Readers' Choice Committee. They can be found at http://tinyurl.com/2fdugut Read More →

YALSA celebrated the diversity of teen literature by hosting our biennial Young Adult Lit Symposium in beautiful Albuquerque, NM. Many, Many thanks to all of the members of the YA Lit Symposium Task Force and their chair, Heather Booth for all of their hard work.

COMPLETED:

  • Attended YA Lit Symposium in Albuquerque, NM.
  • Shared information and feedback from the Executive committee with various committees to move their work forward.
  • Opened a discussion with board members on retiring the stand-alone youth participation guidelines and ensuring that youth participation principles are integrated throughout all of YALSA's guidelines on teen services.' '  YALSA will continue to maintain a policy on teen participation at conferences.
  • Opened a discussion with board members on policies and procedures for the new Readers' Choice List, which will debut in Feb. 2011.
  • Facilitated an online Chair Chat on Nov. 29 and Dec. 1, 2010 for Chairs of YALSA committees, taskforces, advisory boards and juries.
  • Assisted the Research Committee in making plans to move work forward for an updated research agenda and to plan for a poster session at annual 2011
  • Selected a Guest Editor for the Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults Read More →