Sarah is the Information Services Librarian at Lake Land College, a rural community college in Illinois. She is happily serving as YALSA Immediate Past President. You can follow her on Twitter at @glibrarian.

Celebrate Success! Advocating for Teens

Last month, YALSA members were asked to complete our annual membership survey.  We asked you mostly the same questions last year, too, because we, like you, want to show continuous improvement and to make data-driven decisions.  One question in the survey listed possible advocacy activities, and we were thrilled by your responses!  The #saveIMLS effort brought out the fantastic advocacy efforts of many in our profession at the national level.  But many of you are advocating for teens in your library and/or library system, too.  Here are some promising statistics that showed improvement from last year:

  • 40% of survey takers worked with coworkers, administration, and stakeholders to overcome barriers to teen services (up from 33%)
  • 64% of survey takers spoke up about teen issues in formal and formal settings (up from 61%)
  • 48% of survey takers implemented positive change in teen services by working with administration and coworkers (up from 46%)

The Advocacy Standing Board Committee (Chair Kate McNair, Derek Ivie, Heather Sparks, Sarah Hill) is hoping to capture some of your successes by hearing your stories–we want to know what you did! In the YALSA enews email, we’ll be asking for specific ideas about how you advocated.  It’s not all about contacting members of Congress–we want to hear about the time you helped your teens overcome a barrier in your library or about the time you advocated for teens to your library director or principal.

We’re trying to overcome barriers to advocate for teens, too.  One of our activities as a Board this year is to “become knowledgeable about Governors’ boards and the process for appointment to them.” How awesome would it be if all governors had at least one teen advocate from library services serving on their committees or boards?

As I researched how I would go about this in my state of Illinois, I realized that the process was as simple as completing an online form. Governor Bruce Rauner has a huge list of Boards, Commissions, Task Forces, and Councils.  I’m a certified English teacher, librarian and administrator and am now a community college librarian in a rural area, so I selected the councils where I thought I could do the most good for the teens in my community.  I volunteered for the following committees: Commission of Children and Youth, Illinois Community College Board, Education Commission of the States, Education Funding Advisory Board, State Board of Education, State Board of Higher Education, P-20 Council, and the Youth Development Council.  It would take a miracle to be appointed to some of those, but I figured it was worth a shot, right? I’ll keep you updated on if I actually am appointed–promise!

Do you have an example to share in the comments about when you spoke up for teens in or outside your library?

And don’t forget about our wiki of great resources about advocacy…..

 

YALSA Board – Advocating for Teens in Other Associations

YALSA Board Members – Other Associations

Earlier in October, the YALSA Board of Directors held a virtual discussion about what it means to serve as ambassadors for YALSA. We discussed our role in advocating with state and national elected officials and in fundraising, as well as how we actively support and advance YALSA’s positive reputation with members, within the profession, and within our own communities.  Ask any YALSA board member and we’ve got our “elevator speech” ready to go–I know I’m not the only board member with our mission statement memorized! Throughout our Board chat, we realized that we are very active in many organizations, not just YALSA.  Click on the graphic to see where else we spend our energy.  With every meeting, conference call, workshop or listserv message, YALSA Board members are advocating for teens in these organizations, too.  YALSA also has many sponsors and partners who are helping us advocate for teens–companies, foundations, nonprofits, and ALA partners.

What do we want to see?

YALSA’s vision is that all teens have access to quality library programs and services ‒ no matter where they occur ‒ that link them to resources, connected learning opportunities, coaching, and mentoring that are tailored to the unique circumstances of the community and that create new opportunities for all teens’ personal growth, academic success, and career development.

Think about the connections you have beyond the library. Where else do you spend your time and energy? How are those avenues that you can use to advocate for teens and your library?

We appreciate that you have chosen to be an ALA and YALSA member.  Thank you for your support and for believing in our vision!

Graphic Key

A-Association, IG-Interest Group, RT-Round Table

Followup from YALSA Board @ #alaac17

If you attended ALA’s Annual Conference, I hope you’re safely home and recovering from all that is conference! If you have never been to this event, members can apply by December 1st for a travel grant from YALSA to go to the next one in New Orleans!

The YALSA Board was very productive in Chicago, and you can see the actions of the board on this page.  Some highlights include:

The board will continue to explore:

Look for the official minutes from our Annual meetings coming soon. At the conclusion of our board meetings, I officially handed the gavel over to the awesome YALSA President Sandra Hughes-Hassell, and the new board members were seated.  Check out our current roster for some new and familiar faces.

The Board’s next meeting will be at the 2018 ALA Midwinter Meeting from February 9-13, 2018. We’re looking forward to seeing YALSA members in Denver!

And remember, YALSA’s YA Services Symposium will be in Louisville, Kentucky, November 3-5, 2017. Early bird registration is going on now!

Thanks for all that you do to make YALSA an amazing association and thank you for the tremendous opportunity to serve as the association’s President. It was an honor and a privilege to work with you all this past year!

YALSA Board @ #alaac17: Membership Meeting & President’s Program

If you’re attending Annual, I hope you can join us Monday, June 26, from 10:30-noon, in the Convention Center, room W184bc, for the Annual YALSA Membership Meeting and President’s Program!

During the membership meeting, you’ll meet the current YALSA Board of Directors, as well as next year’s Board.  We’ll recognize grant and award winners, as well as donors.  I’ll give a brief update of board actions over the past year, and the incoming president-elect, Sandra Hughes-Hassell, will discuss her initiative for next year.

Directly after the membership meeting, my presidential program task force chair, Valerie Davis, will lead a panel discussion on the theme of “Real Teens, Real Ready” about college/career readiness and adulting.  She had great help finding these speakers–her task force members were Lisa Borten, Lisa Dettling, Jeremy Dunn, Katie Guzan, and Ellen Popit.

Panelists include:

  • Tiffany Boeglen and Britni Cherrington-Stoddart, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library – Non-Traditional Career Paths
  • Laurel Johnson, Skokie Public Library – Neutral Zone/Peer Guided Conversations
  • Lisa Borten, Brooklyn Public Library – Youth Council/Urban Art Jamm
  • Jennifer Steele, Chicago Public Library – (PRO)jectUS, creative workforce development/partnerships
  • Emmanuel Pratt, Sweet Water Foundation, Chicago – Neighborhood Development for Youth

The presentations are going to be awesome, so be prepared to find ideas that you can implement in your community!  See you there!

YALSA Board @ #alaac17

Happy LGBTQIA Pride Month!

YALSA’s Board has been hard at work since their last face-to-face meeting in Atlanta: continuing the work of the organizational plan, working on these projects, and planning for ALA Annual in Chicago!

Now, the Annual Conference is fast approaching, and I’m looking forward to the Printz Ceremony on Friday night, honoring Sarah Dessen at the Edwards Award Brunch on Saturday morning, talking with members at our Membership Meeting and President’s Program and so much more! You can find the details about these events and many more YALSA activities on the YALSA wiki.

In lieu of a happy hour this conference, YALSA is co-sponsoring The Other (Invisible) Refugees – Supporting Central American Children in Crisis on Saturday, June 24, from 4:30-6:30 pm in McCormick Place, W178a.  Join us for viewing a film from IBBY & REFORMA, and learn about the Children in Crisis Project, which seeks to raise awareness about these vulnerable youth and to provide resources to them. Donations are accepted at the door.

The Board agenda is up online, and more documents will be posted soon. Members can check them out in advance and send comments or feedback to me at gsarahthelibrarian @gmail.com. If you’ll be in Chicago for the conference, the first ten minutes of each of our board meetings are open to public comment. If you have a question for a particular board member about a document they’ve written, you can reach out to them here.

Be on the lookout for more blog posts in the two weeks from fellow Board members about the topics up for discussion and action.

You can stay up to date with all the conversations by following Executive Director Beth Yoke (@yalsa_director), myself (@glibrarian), and/or other YALSA board members for live tweets of adopted actions and discussion highlights. In addition, there will be follow-up blog posts explaining decisions and board actions once the conference is done.

Thanks for all that you do to make YALSA an awesome association, safe travels and hope to see you in Chicago!

President’s Report – May

Annual 2017 is almost here!  It’s been a busy month preparing for conference, but I’m looking forward to a productive and exciting week in Chicago!

Accomplishments

  • Led the May board chat about the 2017-2018 draft implementation plan.  Look for an updated version coming soon!
  • Beth Yoke submitted these comments on behalf of the YALSA board about net neutrality to the FCC website, urging the FCC to neither alter nor eliminate the Open Internet Order.
  • The Board moved to approve the establishment of a President’s Advisory Taskforce for in-coming President Sandra Hughes-Hassell.
  • Traveled to DC for my very first National Library Legislative Day and went to 7 meetings on the Hill in 7 hours!  It was energetic and eye-opening and I enjoyed the conversations I had with committee and Congress representatives. Some of the meetings were held jointly with my colleagues from AASL, ALSC, PLA, and ACRL. You can read more about my day in DC in Beth Yoke’s blogpost.
  • Communicated with YALSA representatives to ALA Committees about their upcoming meetings in Chicago
  • Because Franklin Escobedo will be moving to secretary after Annual (due to Crystle Martin being elected to President-Elect in April), the Board filled the vacancy with Derek Ivie. Welcome, Derek!
  • Completed quarterly report for executive committee
  • Worked with the Executive Director on the first draft of the agendas for the meetings of the Executive Committee and Board at Annual
  • Prepared an annual report to the ALA Council about YALSA’s achievements during the year
  • Filled the opening on BFYA with Matthew Layne and the vacancy on GGN with Gail Tobin.  Thank you, Matthew and Gail!
  • Answered questions from YALSA members about committees, task forces, and various other topics

Works in Progress

  • The Board is currently virtually discussing how to best utilize endowment interest.
  • Finalizing documents and agenda for all meetings at Annual in Chicago. All Annual board docs will be posted here in the next few weeks.
  • Assisting Sandra Hughes-Hassell, incoming president, with Board Training at Annual
  • Finalizing agenda for Joint Executive Committee meeting at Annual with ALSC and AASL
  • Preparing for the Membership Meeting/President’s Program about college, career, and life readiness for teens that will be held Monday, June 26, at 10:30a in W184bc
  • Will attend PLA’s diversity-focused library internship training program next week in D.C.

Stats and Data

  • Funds raised in April = $845
  • YALSA Membership 4,813 (down 7.2% over April 2016)

Don’t Forget!

  • Visit the YALSA at ALA’s 2017 Annual Conference webpage to find out what’s happening in Chicago! Join Sarah Dessen at the Edwards brunch!  Or Rep. Lewis at the Printz reception!
  • Registration is now open for the 2017 YA Services Symposium, which will take place Nov. 3-5 in Louisville, KY. Register now through Sept. 15 and save with early bird rates! Housing is also open now through Oct. 1.
  • Log on to learn about YALSA leadership opportunities on June 20th at 2 pm ET! Check your e news email for the login info.
  • Members can reserve their free seat in the June 15 webinar: Creative Youth Development: Part One.
  • Don’t forget to check out the Current Projects page to stay updated on what’s going on!

THANK YOU

  • to all our members for all that you do to support teens and teen library services in your communities!
  • to YALSA staff and the YALSA board for your commitment to support our members!

Respectfully submitted,

Sarah Hill, YALSA President 2016-2017

YALSA Partners for Teen Success at Annual!

This week an awesome team of YALSA members (Chair Dina Schuldner, Rachael Bohn, Derrick Burton, Markita Dawson, Millie Moffett, Bill Stea, and Adrienne Strock) published a new toolkit, Partnering to Increase Your Impact, and I wanted to make sure you knew about some great partnerships that YALSA has formed for Annual conference this year in Chicago!

YALSA will partner with ALSC and AASL in the exhibit hall–visit us at #2731. And a shout out to these publishers for sponsoring the Best Fiction for Young Adults Teen Luncheon: Blink, Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Scholastic!

Continue reading

President’s Report – April

Accomplishments

Works in Progress

  • Advocating!  Please email, Tweet and/or call the offices of your two U.S. Senators and ask them to sign on to the “dear appropriator” letters for two critical pieces of library funding: the Library Services Technology Act (LSTA) and Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL). Ready to use messages are waiting for you at: http://cqrcengage.com/ala/home
  • Advocate for Net Neutrality, too!  Go to www.gofccyourself.com, choose New Filing, and tell the FCC why we need the current regulation to stay in place.
  • Working with the board to plan the agenda for ALA Annual
  • Working with the board and YALSA Staff on the 2017-2018 Implementation Plan for our Strategic Plan
  • Preparing for committee chair transition after Annual
  • Searching for a YALSA Member to be the next Member Manager for The Hub–apply by June 1!

Stats and Data

  • Funds raised in March = $280
  • YALSA Membership 4,838 (down 6.8% over March 2016)

Don’t Forget!

THANK YOU

  • to all our members for all that you do to support teens and teen library services in your communities!
  • Thanks to the Teen Read Week Committee for their contributions to the TRW site and Unleash Your Story Manual!

Respectfully submitted,

Sarah Hill, YALSA President 2016-2017

YALSA Executive Committee Update

Tomorrow the YALSA Executive Committee will hold its virtual Spring meeting! I’m joined on this committee by President-Elect Sandra Hughes-Hassell, Past President Candice Mack, Division Councilor Todd Krueger, Fiscal Office Nick Buron, Secretary Crystle Martin, and Executive Director Beth Yoke.

The YALSA Board of Directors is the decision-making body of YALSA, so the meeting will be a discussion session. The Executive Committee focuses on strengthening YALSA’s relationship to ALA by fostering strong ties with ALA governance, as well as providing oversight and support for fiscal planning.  Take a look at the agenda and the committee documents.  If you have any questions about the Executive Committee’s meeting, please contact me at gsarahthelibrarian [at] gmail [dot] com.

Stay tuned for more posts about the Executive Committee’s meeting in the coming days that my colleagues will be writing!

President’s Report – March 2017

Happy School Library Month, National Library Week, and National Volunteer Week!  April is a big month for libraries–celebrate with your co-workers and your patrons!

Accomplishments

  • As a result of the White House’s budget proposes eliminating all federal funds for libraries, YALSA‘s Board  voted to re-opened the travel stipend application in order to send an additional member to Washington D.C. to advocate for teens and libraries. The stipend, funded by Friends of YALSA, enables one qualified recipient to receive up to $1,000 to attend ALA’s 2017 National Library Legislative Day, in Washington, D.C., May 1-2, 2017. Apply online by April 10.  Applicants will be notified the week of April 17.
  • Wrote a blogpost addressing how IMLS funds help libraries in Illinois.
  • Participated in conference call with ALA President Julie Todaro, the ALA Washington Office, and other division presidents and leaders about strategies to #saveIMLS
  • Wrote a blogpost as a followup to Feb. 28’s YALSA Member Town Hall about taking social action
  • The March monthly chat with the YALSA Board was facilitated by Rob Johnson, who also co-led the Board’s Cultural Competency training at Midwinter.  Board members reviewed current YALSA products and services and discussed possible board actions: monitor, streamline, update, or sunset.  No actions were taken, but this initial conversation was necessary to gauge the possible actions over the next few months in order to initiate new projects aligned to the organizational plan. Look for more information coming soon in the exectuve committee documents and the YALSA board documents for Annual.
  • Checked in with the three new task forces that were created by the Board at Midwinter
  • Checked in with The Hub member manager Molly Wetta to see how the first year of blogging Amazing Audiobooks and Quick Picks was going

Works in Progress

  • YALSA Member Leah Weyand has submitted a petition to form a Teen Services Coordinators Interest Group. The Board is discussing the document this week and will vote on the proposal virtually next week.
  • Working with the Executive Committee to plan the YALSA Executive Committee virtual meeting April 18. Look for documents being posted here soon.
  • Working with board standing committees to prepare board documents for virtual discussion before Annual
  • Planning for National Volunteer Week, National Library Workers’ Day and School Library Month!
  • Preparing to attend National Library Legislative Day in May!

Stats and Data

  • Not yet available

Don’t Forget!

  • Registration is now open for the 2017 YA Services Symposium, which will take place Nov. 3-5 in Louisville, KY. Register now through Sept. 15 and save with early bird rates! Housing is also open now through Oct. 1.
  • Register for the webinar Building Their Own World: Teen Driven Community Engagement on Thurs., April 20 at 2PM EST.  In this upcoming webinar, discover how teen library initiatives, by providing a positive, open and creative environment, can encourage teen participation in activities like local elections and service learning projects, and provide exposure to experiences that boost cultural competence. Learn more or reserve your seat.
  • Don’t forget to check out the Current Projects page to stay updated on what’s going on!

THANK YOU

  • to all our members for all that you do to support teens and teen library services in your communities!

Respectfully submitted,

Sarah Hill, YALSA President 2016-2017