YALSA Executive Committee & Board Work Virtually

Hello, YALSA Colleagues-

Did you know that the YALSA Executive Committee and the Board work year round?  We do! Virtually – just like many of YALSA’s committees and taskforces.

As part of YALSA’s new organizational plan we decided to hold our Fall Quarterly Executive Committee meeting virtually. This shift allowed us to save money & time (both for YALSA and for individual executive committee members) and to take advantage of 21st Century technologies. At our September 25th meeting, we discussed YALSA finances and building stronger relationships with ALA offices and divisions.

The YALSA Board also works virtually. This allows us to continue our work throughout the year and to be able to address topics that impact teens and our members in a more timely and efficient manner. To see what we’ve been discussing since Annual, take a look at the 2018 Midwinter Meeting Agenda and Documents. Here you will see the items we have discussed or acted on so far this Fall, including items related to the ALA Executive Director Search and Advancing Diversity within YALSA, one component of our organizational plan.

If you have questions about the work of the Executive Committee or the Board please leave them in the comments! Or send them directly to me.

Thanks for all you do for YALSA and for teens!

Best,
Sandra Hughes-Hassell
YALSA President 2017-2018
@Bridge2Lit

YALSA President’s Report – September 2017

Colleagues-

Here are a few of the things I’ve been up to this month as YALSA president.

Accomplishments

  • Appointed Amanda Barnhart to be YALSA’s ALA liaison to various ALA groups and committees
  • Reached out to YALSA members in Puerto Rico and Houston who were impacted by recent hurricanes
  • Communicated with YALSA leaders, chairs, members, and ALSC & AASL presidents
  • Prepared and lead YALSA Executive Committee meeting
  • Lead Joint AASL/ALSC/YALA Executive Committee meeting
  • Prepared for October Board chat and monthly President’s phone call with Past and Incoming Presidents

Media and Outreach

Stats and Data

  • Funds raised in Aug. = $1,631
  • Member stats for Aug. = 4,765 (down 4.2% over this time last year)

Don’t Forget!

Thank You!

  • To the members of the YALSA Nominating Governance committee (Sarah Sogigian, Vicki Emery, Jennifer Korn, Candace Mack, & Abigail Philips) for developing the YALSA 2018 Election Slate
  • To the YALSA members who have agreed to be on the YALSA 2018 Election Slate
  • To all our members for all that you do to support teens and teen library services in your communities.

Respectfully submitted,

Sandra Hughes-Hassell, YALSA President 2017-2018

Follow me on twitter @Bridge2Lit

 

Teens Successfully Fighting for their First Amendment Freedoms

By: Julie Stivers, Chair YALSA Presidential Taskforce

Banned Books Week is a powerful platform to highlight how libraries advocate for teens’ rights. As library staff working with and for teens, we can also find inspiration in the work that youth engage in themselves to protect and fight for their First Amendment freedoms.

Youth civic engagement is not new. Many of the cases detailed on ALA’s Notable First Amendment Court Cases page feature the civic efforts of teens. Two of the most famous—Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District (ICSD) and Island Trees Board of Education v. Pico—resulted in rulings with language that can galvanize library staff and teens today.

  • In Tinker v. Des Moines ICSD, the Supreme Court stated that “students ‘do not shed their constitutional rights at the schoolhouse gate’ and that the First Amendment protects public school students’ rights to express political and social views.”
  • In Board of Education, Island Trees Union Free School District No. 26 v. Pico, the Supreme Court upheld the rights of students to challenge school boards’ removal of library titles. The ruling states that “local school boards may not remove books from school library shelves simply because they dislike the ideas contained in those books.”

Read more on these cases and many others at http://www.ala.org/advocacy/intfreedom/censorship/courtcases.

Teens today are successfully fighting for their rights in varied and dynamic ways. A recent victory powered by teens occurred in Arizona where students and their parents had been fighting against the removal of Mexican-American Studies curriculum from their schools. In late August, Judge A. Wallace Tashima wrote that the First Amendment rights of Tucson students had been violated as they were denied the “right to receive information and ideas.” Furthermore, the court concluded that the students had proven their First Amendment claim “because both enactment and enforcement were motivated by racial animus.” [Washington Post, August 23, 2017]

This powerful triumph is a victory for culturally sustaining pedagogy, diverse and reflective resources, and First Amendment rights. Impressively, it is a victory not only beneficial for teens, but also powered by teens. They organized rallies, created community groups—including U.N.I.D.O.S., United Non-Discriminatory Individuals Demanding Our Studies, coordinated peaceful protests, and even gathered support from teens in other states. [The Daily Wildcat, June 28, 2017]

Our libraries—public, school, academic—can serve as crucial incubators for youth activism and social justice. In addition to sharing these stories with our teens—what else are we doing in our libraries today to support our teens’ activism and fight for justice?

This post is part of the YALSA Presidential Theme: Youth Activism through Community Engagement

YALSA Draft Competencies for Review & Comment

Colleagues-

A taskforce of YALSA members and staff have been at work updating YALSA’s “Competencies for Librarians Serving Youth” (last updated in 2010), with particular emphasis on aligning the document with the principles in the following YALSA documents: the 2014 Future of Library Services for and with Teens: A Call to Action report, the 2016 Organizational Plan  and Implementation Plan, and the 2017 Research Agenda.

I am happy to announce the taskforce has completed a draft set of competencies for member review and comment. The goal of the competencies document is to create a framework that:

  • Applies to library staff working in a variety of settings and positions;
  • Focuses on teen services for/with ages 12-18;
  • Is based on current research; and
  • Reflects emerging trends and issues in the Library and Information Science and Youth Development fields.

The draft competencies include a set of dispositions and ten core knowledge content areas which collectively define what library staff need to know and be able to do to provide quality teen library programs and services.  Recognizing that professional practice develops over time with experience, training, and higher education, the draft competencies are grouped by level in each core knowledge content area. Each level is a prerequisite to the next, with knowledge and skill in one level required before moving to the next.

YALSA would like feedback from the library community and beyond to help strengthen this draft document.  A draft of the updated version (pdf) is available for your review.  To provide your comments, use this online form. The review period will run from Sept. 18, 2017 to Oct. 18, 2017.  The taskforce will use your feedback to refine and finalize the document. The taskforce will also be adding an introductory statement for the document and for each of the ten competency areas.

We are looking forward to your feedback and comments on this very important document.

Best,
Sandra Hughes-Hassell, YALSA President

smhughes@email.unc.edu
@Bridge2Lit

YALSA’s President’s Report – August 2017

Colleagues-

August has been a busy month. Here are some highlights.

Accomplishments

  • Appointed Stephen Ashley as member manager of the HUB
  • Filled committee vacancies and finalized appointments to the Ready to Code grant review committee and Advancing Diversity Taskforce
  • Wrote a blog post entitled In The Aftermath of Charlottesville
  • Wrote President’s message for Fall issue of YALS
  • Participated in call with IMLS staff about their proposed strategic framework
  • Reviewed committee task lists
  • Attended ALSC Community Forum: Social Justice Practices in Youth Librarianship
  • Communicated with YALSA leaders, chairs, members, and ALSC & AASL presidents
  • Prepared for September Board chat, Standing Board Committee chair meeting, and monthly President’s phone call with Past and Incoming Presidents

Works in Progress

  • With a $500,000 sponsorship from Google, YALSA is administering Libraries Ready to Code – a grant program for libraries to design computational thinking and computer science programs for and with underrepresented youth. Almost 400 applications were received!
  • YALSA’s Competencies document is currently being updated and a draft will be available in Sept. for public comment

Stats and Data

  • Funds raised in July: $834.34
  • Member stats for July: 4,774 (down 4.7% over this time last year)

Don’t Forget!

Thank you

  • To Molly Wetta for serving as our fabulous Hub Member Manager for the past two years!
  • To Linda Braun, Kafi Kumasi, Satia Orange, Crystle Martin, Mega Subramaniam, and others for helping to staff booths at IASL and NCAALX!
  • To Hailley Fargo, Kristin Fontichiaro, Jennifer Luetkemeyer, Trent McLees, Renee McGrath, Allison Renner, and Julie Stivers for participating in the creation of YALSA’s Teen Literacies Toolkit.
  • To all our members for all that you do to support teens and teen library services in your communities.
  • To Beth Yoke and Linda Braun for their work on a YALSA preliminary IMLS grant proposal.

Respectfully submitted,

Sandra Hughes-Hassell, YALSA President 2017-2018

Follow me on twitter @Bridge2Lit

 

In the Aftermath of Charlottesville

Colleagues-

It has been a week since the Unite the Right white supremacists rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, my hometown. I am sure by now all of you have seen ALA’s statement on Charlottesville: http://www.ala.org/news/press-releases/2017/08/ala-condemns-racism-and-violence-charlottesville

My colleague Amelia Gibson and I recently wrote an article for Library Quarterly entitled “We Will Not Be Silent: Amplifying Marginalized Voices in LIS Education and Research” in which we outlined four roles LIS faculty must assume as we stand in solidarity with people of color, LGBTQ+ individuals, women, people with disabilities, immigrants, and others whose very existence is under attack. The article will be published in the Fall.

As I reflect on the events that unfolded in Charlottesville and continue to unfold across our country, I believe these four roles also apply to library staff who work with and for teens – in all libraries, not just in libraries that serve teens who belong to marginalized groups.  If we want to create a more just and equitable world, library staff must not only support teens facing racism and oppression, but also show teens who come from a place of power and privilege how and why they must embrace diversity and respect others who do not look like them. So what can we do?

  1. Be aware of how the history of our field is shaped by power and privilege and learn from those who have done the work before us.
  2. Engage in discussions about institutionalized racism, sexism, ableism, classism, and other forms of structural oppression with our colleagues. Provide a space for teens to have these discussions.
  3. Amplify the voices of the marginalized in more than just our collectionsConsider also: programs, visiting authors, services, and staff/volunteers.
  4. Speak out about how racism and oppression are counter to the core values of the LIS field such as access, democracy, intellectual freedom, representation, diversity, and social responsibility.  For some of us this may be difficult, especially if were taught to believe libraries are neutral places. However, libraries are not neutral and never have been neutral.

I want to thank you for your efforts to support all teens. I especially want to thank you for supporting teens and their familes who are confronting racism and hate. As a field, we must use our privilege to challenge social and institutional systems that silence, marginalize, and threaten teens. It is important.

Best,

Sandra Hughes-Hassell, YALSA President

President’s Report – July 2017

Colleagues-

I am honored to submit my first YALSA President’s report. My goal with this monthly report is to keep you up to date on the work I’m doing in my role as YALSA president and to highlight key association activities in which I am involved.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

Accomplishments

  • Filled various openings on committees and task forces
  • Welcomed incoming committee & taskforce chairs
  • Answered questions from YALSA members about committees, task forces, and various other topics
  • Wrote a blog post and email message about District Days
  • Appointed and met with President’s Advisory Taskforce
  • Inviting members to join the Advancing Diversity Taskforce that the Board approved
  • Communicated with ALSC, AASL, & ALA presidents
  • Prepared for August Board chat, check in with New Board Members, and monthly President’s phone call with Past and Incoming Presidents

Works in Progress

  • With a $500,000 sponsorship from Google, YALSA is administering Libraries Ready to Code – a grant program for libraries to design computational thinking and computer science programs for and with underrepresented youth.
  • Advocating!  District Days are here and your congresspersons are home on break. Now is your opportunity to advocate for federal library funding (#saveIMLS) and speak up for teens!  Find out how here. I made an appointment with my Congressman – I’ll keep you posted.
  • Applications being reviewed for member manager for the HUB
  • Working with the board and YALSA Staff on the 2017-2018 Implementation Plan for our Strategic Plan

Stats and Data

  • Funds raised in June = $1,461
  • YALSA Membership in June = 4,807 (down 5.3% over this time last year)

Don’t Forget!

  • Registration is open for the 2017 YA Services Symposium, Nov. 3-5 in Louisville, KY. Register through Sept. 15 and save with early bird rates! Housing is also open now through Oct. 1.
  • Applications are being accepted for Libraries Ready to Code through August 31, 2017.
  • Don’t forget to check out the Current Projects page to stay updated on what’s going on!
  • All chairs should submit their Quarterly Report by August 15!

THANK YOU

  • To all our members for all that you do to support teens and teen library services in your communities, and especially for all of the out-going committee chairs and members whose work finished at the end of June.
  • To outgoing board members Candace Mack, Nick Buron, Jennifer Korn, Gretchen Kolderup, and Trixie Dantis for their contributions to the YALSA board and for all they do to support teens!
  • To Past President Sarah Hill and Executive Director Beth Yoke for their guidance in my first month as YALSA President!

Respectfully submitted,

Sandra Hughes-Hassell, YALSA President 2017-2018

Follow me on twitter @Bridge2Lit

 

District Days are Here. Time to Act!

Colleagues-

Right now is your opportunity to advocate for federal library funding (#saveIMLS) and speak up for teens!  These “District Days” [the weeks when Congresspersons are home in their districts] are a unique opportunity to use summer programs and back to school efforts as a way for local representatives to see firsthand how libraries prepare teens for college, careers, and life.

What can you do over the next five weeks?

  • Invite your local representative to your library and show them how you are serving teens. Adapt this sample invitation (.docx) from YALSA. Make sure to incorporate teen voices in the visit.
  • Schedule a meeting with your representative and/or their staff in their local office.  This is a great alternative for you, if you don’t work in a library (like me), if your summer programs have already wound down, or if your school library isn’t open yet.  You can read on the YALSAblog about YALSA Executive Director Beth Yoke’s meeting with her representative and get tips for your own meeting. You can get additional ideas for preparing for your own meeting with your representative by also exploring the resources on the District Days page on YALSA’s wiki.
  • Write a letter to the editor for your local newspaper urging your members of Congress to support library funding. Even better, encourage teens to write letters or op-ed pieces about their experiences with libraries.
  • Invite friends to sign up for alerts and join the fight.

While we have made progress in the fight to save federal funding for libraries, the fight is far from over. As teen advocates we must continue to engage with our elected officials and remind them why federal funding is important to libraries and the teens they serve.

Make sure to share your District Days successes and challenges on Twitter with the #act4teens hashtag. Together, we can show Congress the power of libraries to create bright futures for all teens!

Best,

Sandra Hughes-Hassell, YALSA President

 

 

 

YALSA Intellectual Freedom Liaison Report

As the YALSA Liaison to the Intellectual Freedom Committee (IFC), I’d like to  highlight several issues that were discussed by the IFC at ALA annual that are particularly pertinent to YALSA members.

First, hate crimes and materials challenges have increased this past year. The Office of Intellectual Freedom (OIF) staff is always ready to help librarians and libraries work through these issues, as desired by the local institution.  The Office is urging any library that experiences a hate crime or a challenge to report it to the Office. The more complete the reporting is the better the profession and ALA can work to combat these issues.  To report challenges use this link: http://www.ala.org/tools/challengesupport/report

Second, there are two new initiatives from OIF that YALSA members will want to know about.

Our Voices – Founded in 2016 by OIF and ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services, Our Voices continues to work to build a foundation of publishers, authors, and partnerships to bring diverse, quality content to library shelves. The goal of Our Voices is to provide librarians with “diverse content with one click.” It will connect libraries with electronic and in-print content from small, independent publisher and authors. The Our Voices Council will use BiblioLabs as the platform to submit, review, and gather metadata on diverse literature. The books will be distributed through Independent Publisher’s Group. Our Voices is now recruiting librarians to review small, independent publisher and author content.

Intellectual Freedom Boot Camp – First piloted in the fall of 2016, the Office for Intellectual Freedom and the Office for Library Advocacy continue to offer Intellectual Freedom and Advocacy Boot Camp at pre-conferences around the country in cooperation with library chapters. Four Advocacy Boot Camps took place in 2017, and five are slotted for the fall of 2017. Led by OIF Director James LaRue and OLA Director Marci Merola, the training sessions address the four new, key messages of ALA:

  1. Libraries transform lives.
  2. Libraries transform communities.
  3. Librarians are passionate advocates for lifelong learning.
  4. Libraries are a smart investment.

Attendees craft the beginning of an advocacy plan and are given practical tips on messaging, networking, community engagement, and Intellectual Freedom as the core value and brand of librarianship.

Finally, two new Interpretations to the Library Bill of Rights were passed by Council at the last session:  “Politics in American Libraries: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights” and  “Equity, Diversity, Inclusion: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights.”

To find out about all the issues IFC discussed, read IFC Chair Pam Klipsch’s report to ALA Council  Council. http://connect.ala.org/node/268218

Ma’lis Wendt

mwendt@nyc.rr.com

 

 

Presidential Theme for 2017-2018

I am excited to begin my presidential year and to continue the work begun by past-president Sarah Hill!

Youth Activism through Community Engagement is the theme for my 2017-2018 YALSA Presidential year. I selected this theme for several reasons. The theme reflects a number of the paradigm shifts identified in YALSA’s Future’s Report and promotes teen involvement in their communities, thus building teens’ leadership skills and amplifying their voices. The theme strongly aligns with YALSA’s vision, mission, and impact statements by supporting library staff in working with teens to address the unique challenges they face in their communities and creating opportunities for teens’ personal growth, academic success, and career development.  The theme also demonstrates YALSA’s commitment to an asset-based and youth-centered approach to the transformation of libraries and teen services, and will help library staff focus on developing many of the teen outcomes described in the Reimagined Library Services for and with Teens infographic.

But, perhaps most importantly, I selected Youth Activism through Community Engagement as my theme because teens are experts on the issues facing them and their communities because they are living the issues. This is especially true for youth who are experiencing marginalization due to racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, classism, ableism, or other forms of oppression. Teens want to make a difference in their communities but often lack the skills to take action. I believe library staff have the ability and the responsibility to help teens develop the skills they need to become agents of positive change in their schools and communities.

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