What Your Manager Wishes You Knew – Part 3

Do you sometimes wonder what you could do to get more administrative support for teen services in your library? There are some relatively simple steps you can take to win friends and influence managers! This is a six-part series that shares some tips from managers that you can integrate into your work life and maybe make some positive changes in your library.

In the first two weeks, I talked about presenting yourself as a professional and about speaking the language. This week I’m going to get even more practical and talk about:

Collecting Data

As I noted last week, teen librarians can sometimes get too focused on the teen point of view: we think it should be obvious that teens need our services, collections, and programs, because they’re important for the teens. But your manager needs to know more than that. Your manager needs to know the value of the services, programs, and collections that the library is providing, and whether the money allocated to teen services is well spent. Continue reading What Your Manager Wishes You Knew – Part 3

What Your Manager Wishes You Knew – Part 2

Do you sometimes wonder what you could do to get more administrative support for teen services in your library? There are some relatively simple steps you can take to win friends and influence managers! This is a six-part series that shares some tips from managers that you can integrate into your work life and maybe make some positive changes in your library.

Last week I talked about presenting yourself as a professional. This week, the topic is:

Speaking the Language

When YA librarians talk about teen services they often–naturally enough–focus on the teens. They are likely to describe programs and activities in terms of the benefits to teens. Talking about how much fun a program or service will be, or how it’s the latest rage may be what’s on the top of your mind, or that of your teens, but it’s not necessarily what your library’s director thinks is important. Generally, upper-level managers are more interested in big-picture issues. In YALSA’s recent survey of members who are identified as supervisors or managers, several of the respondents commented that the upper-level administrators at their libraries want to hear about programs in terms of issues like community engagement, community health, collaboration, purpose, sustainability, partnerships, and return on investment (ROI). Continue reading What Your Manager Wishes You Knew – Part 2

What Your Manager Wishes You Knew – Part 1

Do you sometimes wonder what you could do to get more administrative support for teen services in your library? There are some relatively simple steps you can take to win friends and influence managers! Over the next six weeks, I’ll be sharing some tips from managers that you can integrate into your work life and maybe make some positive changes in your library.

In March, YALSA surveyed members whose job titles identified them as supervisors or managers. We asked them some questions about administrative support for teen services in their libraries, and what would improve that support. There were some common threads, and today I’m going to start with a big one:

Presenting Yourself as a Professional

In the comments to our survey, one manager said that YA librarians need to learn how to “code-switch” between being “hip” and being “professional.” It’s true that a lot of YA librarians have a lot invested in their look and style–and that works with teens. But sometimes the style doesn’t come across with the people who are making decisions–especially the ones who are of a different generation.’  Continue reading What Your Manager Wishes You Knew – Part 1

YA Lit Symposium Changes

At the YALSA Board’s Midwinter Meetings, the Board discussed the YA Literature Symposium and voted to make some changes, on a trial basis. After the next Symposium (Fall 2014), it will become an annual event. Then, after three consecutive years, it will be re-evaluated. In addition to being held yearly, the Symposium will expand its offerings beyond a strict focus on literature to include programming and other teen-focused topics.

There were several considerations for changing the Symposium to an annual event. The Symposium tends to draw people who are not able to attend ALA Annual and Midwinter. Many YA professionals have the opportunity only to attend one conference per year, and in that case, they prefer to attend something that is specifically YA-focused. In addition, statistics have shown that by having the Symposium in smaller venues, and moving it around the country, different people have the opportunity to attend. In St. Louis, 50% of attendees drove to the Symposium. Many of these were first-time attendees who don’t normally go to major national conferences. Holding the Symposium annually is one way to meet a need expressed by members to have more regional face-to-face opportunities to meet and engage with other YA professionals. Continue reading YA Lit Symposium Changes

It’s All About the Connections

I’m just back from YALSA’s 2012 YA Lit Symposium in St. Louis. It’s YALSA’s third Symposium, but—for a variety of reasons—my first. There will be much discussion over at The Hub about the actual programs and presentations, but I wanted to say a few words about something else that I observed over the course of three days.

I’ve been going to ALA Annual and Midwinter for over 15 years, and they are great. But a Symposium like this is something really special, and it’s all about the connections. Let me just give you a few examples that I observed:

  • I was chatting with someone at a break who works at the library in the area where I grew up. We knew people in common from the library, but then I found out where she had gone to high school, and immediately took her over to introduce her to another YALSA member who went to that same high school—turned out they had overlapped by a year or two.
  • A librarian told me that she was rooming at this Symposium with someone she had first met at the 2008 Lit Symposium.
  • At the closing session, I was asked to take a picture of four librarians who had met and bonded at the symposium. They told me they were all “orphans” who had come alone, but met and had a great time together.
  • At the Morris Lunch, a librarian who wanted to know more about staff development models happened to be seated with another librarian who does staff development as a full-time job.
  • At the same table, a person who is interested in library apps like Boopsie was put in touch with someone in her local area who was involved in getting the app for her library.
  • The symposium Twitter hashtag (#yalit12) was trending on Saturday afternoon, as attendees live-tweeted their sessions and got into back-and-forth discussions about what was being presented.
  • I found new people to follow on Twitter, and new people followed me.
  • Attendees had opportunities to have real conversations with authors at the Book Blitz on Saturday night, and at the networking breaks. Continue reading It’s All About the Connections

YALSA Board Major Actions at ALA Annual

The YALSA Board met three times at ALA Annual in Anaheim. Over those three meetings, the Board had some substantial discussions, set up some new task forces and ad hoc Board committees, approved two new committee manuals, and moved forward on several other items. For more details on these items, see the official Board documents at http://www.ala.org/yalsa/workingwithyalsa/governance/board/annual2012. The official minutes will also be posted in the Governance section of the website in the near future. The summary is below:

New Task Forces

  • A president-elect advisory task force to work with president-elect Shannon Peterson on defining her presidential theme and setting her goals.
  • An appointments task force to work with president-elect Shannon Peterson to help her make committee appointments during the coming year.
  • A 365 Days of YA task force to create and disseminate a calendar of easy to implement teen services resources aimed at new teens services librarians, library generalists, and paraprofessionals.
  • A state library association outreach task force to reach out to YA sections and roundtables of state library associations and school library associations to strengthen ties with these like-minded organizations.
  • A youth engagement task force to find ways to involve teens in the work of the YALSA Board by identifying and implementing projects in conjunction with Teen Advisory Groups.
  • A capacity-building task force to focus on the capacity-building goal of YALSA’s strategic plan.
  • A task force to create a manual for virtual selection committees.
  • A YALSA/ALSC/AASL task force to look at issues around the Common Core Standards.

Continue reading YALSA Board Major Actions at ALA Annual

YALSA Board at Annual

Although the YALSA Board of Directors does a lot of work online and on the telephone throughout the year, our face-to-face meetings at ALA Midwinter and ALA Annual are big occasions for us to have some weighty discussions and make some major decisions. The agenda and board documents for Annual are now available online at www.ala.org/yalsa/workingwithyalsa/governance/board/annual2012. All members are welcome to attend any Board meeting.

The YALSA Board meeting at Annual is actually three separate meetings:

  • Saturday, from 2:30-5:30, in the Convention Center, Room 211A
  • Sunday, from 4-5:30, in the Convention Center, Room 211B
  • Monday, from 1:30-3:30, in the Convention Center, Room 212 B

Continue reading YALSA Board at Annual

YALSA President’s Report – May 2012

Monthly President’s Report – May 2012

May is all about getting ready for ALA Annual. Also, I’m very excited that YALSA’s free Teen Book Finder iPhone/iPad app is now available in Apple’s App Store. (An Android version will be coming later this year.) If you have an iPhone or iPad, download it and check it out!

Below is a summary of activities that I have completed or am working on.

Committees

  • Committee Chairs:
    • I had phone conversations with several YALSA committee chairs about the work of their committees.
  • Committee/Jury/Taskforce Appointments:
    • I appointed members to fill vacancies on several committees.
    • I continued appointing members to fill new task forces created by Board action at Midwinter

‘ Board Activities

  • I participated, with other Board members, in an online chat about YALSA’s relationship with “Big ALA.”
  • I worked with Board members on their self-assessments.
  • I worked with Executive Committee members to create an agenda for the ALA Annual and for the Board Meeting by Conference call on June 1.

Partnerships. ‘ 

  • Mary Fellows, ALSC President, and I, along with our Presidents’ Program co-chairs, Sarah Couri and Tessa Michaelson, had a conference call to make the final arrangements for our combined Presidents’ Program at ALA Annual. ‘ I hope many of you will be able to join us bright and early Monday morning to hear Dr. Michelle Poris of SmartyPants and Stephen Abram of GaleCengage share their insights on the Digital Lives of Tweens and Young Teens. If you can’t be there, follow us on Twitter by following the hashtag #tweentech.
  • I continue to participate in the School Libraries Task Force with members of other ALA divisions.
  • I am working with Carl Harvey, AASL President, and Mary Fellows, ALSC President, to plan for the joint AASL/ALSC/YALSA Executive Committee meeting to be held at ALA Annual.

Writing.

  • I wrote a post for the YALSA Blog on access to YALSA’s selected lists and awards.
  • I wrote my final President’s Column for YALS, which will appear in the Summer issue.

‘ Media & Outreach.

  • I spoke with Linda Jacobsen, a freelance writer who is working on a piece for the Greatschools.org about boys and reading.
  • I contributed statements for YALSA press releases.

‘ 

Important YALSA News & Reminders

  • If you are going to Anaheim for ALA Annual, don’t forget to register for special events. If you did “bundled registration” last fall, you will need to go back in to your registration for to add special events, such as:
    • Two great half-day preconferences: Books We’ll Still Talk about 45 Years from Now and Source Code: Digital Youth Participation.
    • The Margaret Edwards Award luncheon, featuring author Susan Cooper.
    • The YA Author Coffee Klatch—your chance to get up close and personal with 35 YA authors, including Printz award and honor authors Corey Whaley, Maggie Stiefvater, Craig Silvey, Daniel Handler, Christine Hinwood, and more!
    • The Printz Award Program and Reception, with speeches from all of the honored authors.
    • To add these events if you’ve already registered through ALA registration: (1) By phone: Call ALA Registration at 1-800-974-3084 and ask to add a workshop or special event to your existing registration; (2) Online: Add an event to your existing registration by clicking this Annual Conference Registration link. Use your log in and password to access your existing registration and add events in the “Your Events” section (screen 6). Then simply check out and pay for the events you’ve added.
  • YALSA’s summer online course will be’ Making the Match: Finding the Right Book for the Right Teen at the Right Time. This six week course will take place in July 2 – August 13 2012.
  • Don’t miss June’s webinar: 10 Social Tools to Connect with Teens at your Library, with Joe Murphy.

Thank Yous and Congratulations

  • Thank you to all the YALSA members who ran for office or for awards committees. Congratulations to Shannon Peterson, who will become Vice President/President-Elect, and Vicki Emery, who will be our new Division Councilor; their terms start at the end of Annual. And congratulations to all the new members of YALSA award committees.
  • And also, thanks to the 2012 Nominating Committee for coming up with such a great slate of candidates!
  • Thanks to Katherine Trouern-Trend and her task force for developing the Teen Space Guidelines, which were just approved by the Board.
  • Thanks to Dollar General for funding the development of the Teen Book Finder app.

 

YALSA Membership: 5,228 ‘ (down 3.7% from last year): don’t forget to renew!

Friends of YALSA April donations: $300

Books for Teens/Booze for Books April donations: $1,164

Respectfully Submitted,

Sarah Flowers

YALSA President

Update to Changes on Website

In February, I posted about changes that were made to YALSA’s website that required a login to reach the selected lists and awards. I explained the rationale and indicated that there would be refinements in the process.

There have been refinements, but we haven’t done a very good job of sharing that information with you, so I want to apologize for that lack of timely communication and try to remedy it now.

First of all, I do apologize for the early glitches and for the unfriendliness of ALA’s web interface. It can be very discouraging to click on a link that says “login” and immediately get an “access denied” message. However, if you just click on the ALA login link in the upper right corner of the screen, all will be well. Continue reading Update to Changes on Website

YALSA President’s Report – April 2012

Monthly President’s Report – April 2012

April was a very interesting month for me on the YALSA front. I’m just back from a week in Washington, D.C. On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of last week, YALSA Executive Director Beth Yoke and I, along with several hundred other library supporters, attended National Library Legislative Day. Beth and I had eight separate meetings over two days, with legislators’ staff members, and with representatives from other organizations that have similar interests to YALSA, such as the Afterschool Alliance, the Center for Excellent Education, and the International Reading Association. We talked about how we could support one another’s missions.

Then on Friday and Saturday of the same week, I staffed the YALSA booth at the USA Science and Engineering Festival at the Washington Convention Center. Along with DC-area YALSA members, I handed out bookmarks and flyers, showed the demo of the YALSA Teen Book Finder App (available in May—we hope—from Apple’s App Store), chatted with teens, parents, teachers, and librarians, and did some on-the-fly readers’ advisory. We encouraged teens to participate in this year’s Teens’ Top Ten, and there was a lot of interest and enthusiasm.

Below is a summary of activities that I have completed or am working on. Continue reading YALSA President’s Report – April 2012