About Sarah Hill

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

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

ACT NOW for LSTA and IAL! #saveIMLS

If you care about teens and how library services improve their lives, I need you to contact your House Representative to sign the House “Dear Appropriator” letters supporting LSTA and the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL).  There are only two business days left, and in the last update received from ALA Washington, we don’t even have the same amount of supporters that we had last year! And we need so many more signers than that!

Check out the online tracking tool to see who needs contacted.  Historically, Democrats are more likely to sign onto the letters, but, as you can see from the tracker, many of them haven’t yet this year. Is your representative supporting LSTA? If not, call!  If so, call and thank him or her! We only have until April 3, so you need to contact them TODAY!

What do you do? Call. On this website, click on the red “Make a Call” box and then send a tweet and an email while you’re at it! Customize the provided messages.   Leave voice mails when you have to, but try to keep calling until you reach a staff member.

What do you say? Ask them to sign the LSTA Dear Appropriator letters TODAY. And you can even refer them to the staff of Rep. Raul Grijalva to add their name to the letter.

Why? Because we can’t provide quality services to teens without LSTA funds.

LSTA funding is close to my heart–you can see the proof in my resume.  My students have benefited from almost $70,000 of LSTA funding since FY05.  Grants doubled my high school budget in some years, while providing new technologies (back then) like a SmartBoard and wifi for my kids. I was able to provide internet safety workshops in my community–something I probably wouldn’t have initiated if it weren’t for the grant opportunity.   One year LSTA funds allowed me to bring in a reading specialist to provide professional development to my fellow high school teachers (because secondary education degrees didn’t prepare us to teach reading), and another year my collection grew to support AP History students.  Even now that I’m at a community college, my students have benefited from LSTA funds.  In 2014, my library purchased children’s and teen nonfiction books in the areas of science, technology, engineering, arts, and math and I gave presentations about using quality literature to meet the new Illinois learning standards (Common Core).  It’s impossible to list all the outcomes of the above grants in my community.  I still remember when I taught students about privacy on MySpace (yes, I’m old) and they were spurred into action to go straight home and change their settings (remember the days before smartphones?).

Please remember though that LSTA is more than just competitive grants.  In my state, LSTA funds provide the Illinois State Library Talking Book and Braille Service to over 12,000 residents who cannot read print because of physical or visual limitations. LSTA funds also supplement material delivery services in the state.  Total statewide delivery in FY16 was over 14 million items to patrons in need.  It’s a joy to see my college’s items being loaned to high school students in small towns hours away.  In FY17, Project Next Generation funded 19 grants to Illinois public libraries to encourage personal growth and the educational development of at risk students through the use of mentors, technology, and library based group projects. While the program helped to bridge the digital divide, students became more college and career ready, established relationships with positive role models, had fun, and learned new technologies.

Please gather your friends, family members, coworkers, and patrons, and send as many calls, emails and tweets that you possibly can today, Friday, and Monday.

In the words of Emily Sheketoff from the ALA Washington office, “We’re almost out of time and failure in this effort may well mean deep cuts in, or even the elimination of, LSTA funding for FY 2018. WE CANNOT AND MUST NOT FAIL.”

President’s Report – February 2017

Accomplishments

  • Participated in many phone calls and email conversations with YALSA staff, board members, and committee members
  • The February monthly chat with the YALSA Board was facilitated by Rob Johnson, who also co-led the 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.
  • Appointed chairs and members of three new task forces that were created by the Board at Midwinter
  • Filled vacancies on various strategic committees as they occurred
  • Held a YALSA Member Town Hall about Social Action on Feb. 28.  Read more about it here.
  • The Board moved to accept this proposal to move to a short-term, point-of-need mentoring effort, and directs the Executive Director to work with the CE Consultant to create an implementation plan and submit a progress report to the board for its June 2017 meeting.
  • Communicated with ALA President Julie Todaro, YALSA’s representative to the ALA Executive Board, with followup from Midwinter
  • More than 50 YALSA members volunteered to serve as bloggers for Quick Picks and Amazing Audiobooks this year!
  • The Board’s three standing committees reviewed the quarterly reporting forms from chairs and board members should have responded where necessary to chairs.
  • ALSC endorsed  YALSA’s Position Paper – The Library’s Role in Protecting Teen Privacy
  • Worked the exhibit booth at the Illinois Youth Services Institute in Springfield, Illinois, and hosted an energizing meetup conversation about College, Career, and Adulting for Teens

Works in Progress

  • Working with the Executive Committee to plan the YALSA Executive Committee virtual meeting in April
  • 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

  • January member stats:  4,847 members (down 6.9% from this time last year)
  • Fundraising: $620 in February

Don’t Forget!

  • I voted in the ALA /YALSA election yesterday, did you? Check your email for your ballot because the ALA/YALSA election is now open! See the sample ballot here, and let me know if you have any questions.
  • Register now for the webinar on March 16: STEM Impact Through Youth Voice.
  • Don’t forget to check out the Current Projects page to stay updated on what’s going on!

THANK YOU

  • to our Executive Director Beth Yoke! She recently submitted the new YALSA Research Agenda to the Issuelab, a service of Foundation Center.  The website collects, connects, and shares knowledge about critical social issues in an easy-to-use database.  You can also find the The Futures of Library Services for & With Teens: A Call to Action and the Executive Summary in the database. It’s awesome that non-library organization can find our important publications easily!
  • 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

Yesterday’s YALSA Member Town Hall

During yesterday’s YALSA town hall, members discussed  the different actions we can take as library staff and as private citizens to support teens, especially those who are the most vulnerable in this current social and political climate.

We discussed how to take social action for teens at the local level, and ways to engage teens in community events to help them become better citizens. We talked about how to welcome conversations on diverse issues, display and purchase diverse materials, and teach youth how to be kind, compassionate human beings. We talked about registering voters in the library, holding town halls, community archiving, interviewing local civil rights activists, and taking teens to legislative events at the state capitol building. Many excellent ideas were shared and we invite you to share yours on the Teen Programming HQ!

We shared many resources, like YALSA’s Advocacy webpage with the recently updated 2017 Advocacy Toolkit, as well as the Advocating for Teen Services in Libraries YALSA wiki page.  We reminded everyone of the Supporting Youth in the Post-Election Climate page that was created before last November’s town hall, as well as the Youth Activists’ Toolkit, that can be adapted for use in all types of libraries.  We talked about how communities of all sizes could benefit from a library having a resource like Los Angeles Public Library’s Citizenship webpage, A blogpost can’t list or describe all the great ideas that were shared during the town hall.  If you’d like to hear more, please listen and read the chat conversation.

Did you know that YALSA has a Legislation Committee? The Legislation Committee, chaired by Heather Dickerson, is currently evaluating advocacy and social action resources for YALSA members and teens to ensure that YALSA has the best information to serve our users in the current political climate. They’re also gearing up for National Library Legislative Day, and are seeking stories of how members have advocated for teens and libraries at the local, state, and national levels. The committee will send out a call for stories in the coming weeks. The committee is also reaching out to individuals from each state who will attend NLLD in Washington to ask for their help in delivering YALSA specific materials to our elected officials, with a particular emphasis on reaching out to members of Congress who serve on education-related committees.

Thanks for all you do to support teens in your community!

 

President’s Report – January 2017

Accomplishments

  • The board was very busy at Midwinter!  Check out my summary blog post, as well as individual blog posts about the Leadership Fundraising Campaign, Protecting Teen Privacy, Bylaw Changes, the Executive Committee, and the changes being made to YALSA’s selection lists.
  • Participated in many phone calls and email conversations with YALSA staff, board members, and committee members
  • The January monthly chat with the YALSA Board was about having strategic and successful conversations–former YALSA board member Maureen Sullivan facilitated the conversation.
  • Wrote quarterly YALS column about Advocacy for the Spring issue
  • Sent letters of thanks to supervisors of award and selection chairs
  • Filled vacancies on various strategic committees as they occurred
  • The Board invited Heather Sparks to serve as the YALSA Board Fellow for the 2017-2018 year. Congrats, Heather!
  • The Board adopted the updated version of their scope and responsibilities as presented in this board document, and directed the Executive Director to work with staff to ensure the statement is updated on the website.

Works in Progress

  • The next YALSA member town hall (Theme: Social Action) will be on Feb. 28 at 2 pm ET.  Look for login information in your YALSA enews.
  • Through Feb. 15, I’m accepting volunteer forms for three new YALSA strategic task forces: Leadership Fundraising, Member Achievements Recognition, and Member Grants and Awards Evaluation.  Please read this blog post to find out more and to volunteer.
  • The YALSA Board is discussing Board Document #43 Re-Envisioning the Mentoring Program virtually since we ran out of time at Midwinter.
  • Planning the YALSA Executive Committee virtual meeting in April and already planning ahead for #alaac17!

Stats and Data

  • December member stats: 4,887 members (down 5.3% from this time last year)
  • December fundraising: $2,575

Don’t Forget!

THANK YOU

  • to the YALSA Staff and Midwinter Marketing Committee for making sure that the #alamw17 ran smoothly!
  • to all the YALSA board members and committee members who were prepared for in-person meetings at #alamw17!
  • 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

Volunteer Opportunities: Three New YALSA Taskforces

Have you ever benefited from YALSA grants or awards? How would you like to be recognized if you did win a YALSA scholarship or award? Want to help YALSA raise funds to support leadership initiatives for members? Then we need your help! I’m accepting volunteer forms for three new taskforces that were established by the Board last week–Leadership Fundraising, Member Achievements Recognition, and Member Grants and Awards Evaluation taskforces.  Volunteer now through Feb. 15! Please email me with any questions and read on to learn more about the volunteer opportunities.

Continue reading

YALSA Board @ Midwinter – an Overview

View of Atlanta from the Omni Hotel

Happy post-Midwinter!

The YALSA board started off Midwinter on Friday with a training session about cultural competency in order to start the process of implementing cultural objectives of YALSA’s new organizational plan.  With the help of two facilitators, board members used the world cafe discussion method to discuss culture, what it means to our members, and what components are needed from YALSA to help our members and teens be successful with cultural competency.

Also on Friday, the awesome Future Ready with the Library group finished their second day in Atlanta–learning more about their grant program and expanding their professional learning networks.

The Board was very busy over the weekend! Since the adoption of the organizational plan in April, the Board and YALSA staff have been aligning the current structure of the organization (see the Current Projects page) to better fit its needs. At Midwinter, the following documents were discussed and approved:

Fiscally, a new fundraising plan for leadership celebrating YALSA’s 60th anniversary will be enacted, as well as a new plan for the Friends of YALSA.

The Board doesn’t always approve board documents as is.  In Atlanta, the Board sent two documents back to the standing board committees for more work–the Interest Group Support & Build-Out and the Proposal to Create ALA Liaison. The revised documents should be brought before the board virtually before ALA Annual.  Other documents were approved with modifications, like the Selected List Implementation Plan and the Position Paper on Teen Privacy.

The YALSA board is excited about a new document that will have great impact in the library world–a new research agenda. It notes five forward-thinking priority areas:

  1. The Impact of Libraries as Teen Formal and Informal Learning Environments
  2. Library Staff Training, Skills and Knowledge
  3. Equity of Access
  4. Cultural Competence, Social Justice and Equity
  5. Community Engagement

Unfortunately, the Board ran out of time and didn’t get to two of the agenda items–Measuring the Impact of Volunteers and Re-Envisioning the Mentoring Program. These will be discussed virtually by the board in the next few months.

Check out the full board agenda and documents online to get the details of what the board talked about. We will also be posting meeting minutes there in the next week or so. You can also read the upcoming blog posts from board members about some of the actions taken at Midwinter.

If you have question about a particular agenda item or issue or would like more details about it, feel free to e-mail me or any of YALSA’s Board members. Also, feel free to follow Executive Director Beth Yoke (@yalsa_director), myself (@glibrarian), and/or other YALSA Board members for tweets about the work of the board!

YALSA Board @ Midwinter 2017: Preview and Governance Update

A new year means a new conference is right around the corner!  ALA Midwinter is January 20-24, 2017, in Atlanta, Georgia, and I’m hoping for balmy temperatures and sunshine! If you’re able to attend, check out the YALSA Wiki for dates and times of all YALSA events, as well as other important happenings like the Atlanta March for Social Justice and Women.

If you aren’t able to travel to Georgia, please follow Midwinter activities with the Midwinter hashtag #alamw17.

Throughout the conference, the YALSA Board will focus on continuing the reorganization and realignment of the organization after adopting the Organizational Plan in April 2016.  The Board will kick off Midwinter on Friday with a board member training session about cultural competency. On Saturday during Board I, many items will be approved in the consent agenda–these were items acted upon virtually by the board between Annual 2016 and Midwinter 2017.  Most of the agenda’s actionable items will be discussed during Board I also, including the creation of two interest groups (Teens are Not Alone and Picture Books for YAs), bylaws changes to awards committees, updating board assessments, changing the governance nominating committee into a board development committee, and the proposed plan of action for the Selected Lists Transition. Board II and III on Sunday and Monday will consist of many discussion items, like a leadership fundraising proposal, a proposal to extend Symposium events, and a proposal to create an ALA Liaison.

Please check the 2017 Midwinter Meeting Agenda and Documents page for updates with links to the board documents as they become available, and look for more blog posts coming soon from board members about agenda items.

If you have a comment, idea or question for the Board, the first 5 minutes of each of the board meetings is set aside for visitors to ask questions. Feel free to chat with me or any of the board members at YALSA events at ALA Midwinter, too! You can also email me with comments if you are not able to make it to a session to share your feedback.

On Twitter, please follow YALSA (@YALSA), Executive Director Beth Yoke (@yalsa_director), myself (@glibrarian), and/or other YALSA Board members for live tweets of adopted actions and discussion highlights.

We’ll also be sharing post-conference round-ups over the coming weeks so stay tuned!