Those of you looking to network with fellow YALSA members can meet for dinner at Grottos www.grottosrestaurant.com Saturday January 16th @ 7:00. Reservations have been made for a large YALSA group. This is an opportunity for those people not invited to publisher dinners to still have an excellent meal. Sign up at Friday’s Happy Hour and meet other people who may be joining for dinner before that night.

Tell YALSA your great ideas! It’s time to think about programs for ALA’s 2011 Annual Conference in New Orleans June 23 – 28, 2011. If you think you would like to present a program for YALSA at Annual 2011 you need to complete an online form at:

http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/yalsa/aboutyalsa/yalsaform.cfm

You can turn in a form for any program idea you have, but YALSA’s Program Clearinghouse Committee is specifically looking for programs that address the following topics: 1) Engaging the after school crowd, 2) Promoting reading with web 2.0 tools, 3) Innovative teen programming, 4) Programming for older teens and 5) Managing your teen advisory group.

Other desirable traits in programs are: 1) those that include speakers or presenters from outside the library community, 2) those that offer practical information attendees can take back home and implement ASAP and 3) programs that are interactive.

Anyone can submit a proposal. You don’t have to be affiliated with a YALSA Committee/jury/taskforce. Only one proposal per person and/or group is permitted. Proposals that advertise or promote only one particular product or author will not be considered. If your proposal is accepted, you will be expected to fund your own travel and related expenses at the conference. All proposals must be turned in by January 19th 2010.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at cleman@hcplonline.info. Thank you!

While reviewing the responses to YALSA’s Future Topics 2009 survey, the Program Clearinghouse Committee noted the many questions about ticketed conference events. There were many questions about what the ticket price paid for (i.e. did the ticket price only cover food). The answer is that your ticket money goes directly to YALSA. YALSA gets 26% of its revenue from ticketed conference events.

One of the things we (the Program Clearinghouse Committee) saw a lot on the ALA Annual conference survey results was a wish that there was a “conference buddy” type program for first time conference attendees and new YALSA members. There is an ALA program in place.

When people register for conference, they are asked if they are first time attendees. If they say yes, they are automatically contacted by an ALA Ambassador, who is a veteran conference attendee. Each Ambassador has three to five contacts to make, which includes sending an welcome email to the attendee to check and see if they have any questions, or if the Ambassador can help in some way to make the conference experience a good one.

Each Ambassador spends at least two hours at either the Membership Pavillion on the Exhibit Floor or at the Registration Desk. Ambassadors wear an ALA Ambassador ribbon on their badges so as to be easily identifiable. There was also a “Text an Ambassador” service for the first time in Chicago.

Information about the program is sent out in email blasts to all conference attendees and is available on the conference wiki.