President-Elect Orientation

Part of my preparation for serving members as the 2017 – 2018 YALSA President is to participate in an orientation with all Division President-Elects and certain ALA leaders.   As YALSA’s representative at this event, I wanted to share with the YALSA membership what I learned about ALA, Divisions and association governance.

Last week the President-Elects of all the ALA divisions including me, Chris LeBeau (RUSA), Cheryl Middleton (ACRL), Pamela Smith (PLA), Steve Laird (United for Libraries), Nina Lindsay (ALSC), Pixey Mosely (LLAMA), Jeanette Smithee (ASCLA), Mary Beth Thomson (ALCTS), Andromeda Yelton (LITA), and Steven Yates (AASL) met in Chicago for orientation.  The executive directors for each division also attended the orientation.

The meeting agenda included a welcome by Keith Fiels (ALA Executive Director), an overview of ALA as an organization by Mary Ghikas (ALA Senior Associate Executive Director), a discussion of legal and ethical issues (Paula Goedert, ALA attorney), an overview of ALA finances (Susan Hildreth, ALA Treasurer, and Ann Martin, Chair of BARC), and media training (ALA Public Awareness Staff and Jeff Leshay, consultant).  Here are a few things that stood out to me from each presenter.

Welcome (Keith Fiels)

ALA is retooling how it, as the parent or umbrella organization, can work better with the 11 divisions to create a more harmonious, mutually supporting culture. This presents a great opportunity for YALSA to build capacity and advance its mission through collaboration with other divisions.

Overview ALA (Mary Ghikas)

Think “advocacy math!” Did you know there are:

  • 51,171 individual/personal members
  • 5,627 organizational members
  • 178 corporate members
  • 11 Divisions
  • 20 Round Tables
  • Approximately 5,000 ALA members actively involved with the Association
  • 57 ALA chapters
  • 26 ALA-affiliated organizations – plus more ALA Division affiliates

Legal/Ethical Issues (Paula Goedert)

WOW! Lots of new information in her presentation. One of the most important take aways…as Board members and division leaders our badge is ALWAYS on (even if we aren’t wearing it!).

ALA Finances (Susan Hildreth & Ann Martin)

For the FY17, the ALA approved a $64.4M budget. Did you know that all Divisions pay ALA overhead (i.e. business expenses) in exchange for services like HR, legal counsel and IT?  For FY 17 and FY 18 the overhead rate is set at 26.4%. Overhead is calculated on some, but not all products and services.   So, for example, divisions are not charged overhead on dues, but divisions are charged the full rate for event registrations, like YALSA’s YA Services Symposium.  That means that if YALSA brings in $100,000 in gross registration revenue for the symposium, $26,400 of that goes to ALA.  Now you know why Friends of YALSA, planned giving, and sponsorships are so important to the financial health of YALSA and our ability to support members.

Want to learn more about your “ALA dollar”- where it comes from and how it is spent? Check out this website:

Media Training (ALA Public Awareness Staff and Jeff Leshay, consultant)

These presentations were so informative (and a little scary!). Jeff provided key tips and techniques for successful interviews and for managing the media. I plan to put them on my office wall so when the media calls, I can review them!

One final note, before the orientation on Thursday, the division Presidents Elect had dinner with Jim Neal, ALA President Elect.  Jim shared his prospective priorities and actions during his 2017-2018 presidential year.  You can read them in his report to the ALA Executive Board. So many of his priorities align with YALSA priorities – it is going to be an exciting year! I am looking forward to working with Jim and with each of the Division President Elects to build capacity and advance YALSA’s mission and organizational plan.

If you want to know more, be sure to get in touch. or @bridge2lit

As always, thanks for all you do for YALSA and for putting teens first!

Sandra Hughes-Hassell
YALSA President-Elect



YALSA Member Award Juries

Announcing a new volunteer opportunity!

I will be making appointments to YALSA’s seven member award juries soon, including:

BWI/YALSA Collection Development Grant Jury

Conference Travel Scholarships Jury

Frances Henne/VOYA/YALSA Research Grant Jury

Great Books Giveaway Jury

MAE Award for Best Literature Program for Teens

Volunteer of the Year Award

Writing Award Jury

Jury appointments run from Nov. 1, 2016 to Feb. 1, 2017. All of the work will be conducted virtually with the bulk of it occurring in December and January. Want more information about the juries? Click on the links above.

This is a new approach to appointing committee members to our member award juries and is in direct response to the summer members’ survey which indicated that YALSA members want more short-term, opt-in, and virtual volunteer opportunities.

Requirements to Volunteer

  • Be a current YALSA member with the available time
  • Be interested in volunteering with YALSA
  • Have relevant experience
  • Have a high comfort level using digital tools such as Google Drive, Skype, etc.
  • Be concurrently serving on three or fewer appointed groups

That’s it!

To Apply

Simply complete the quick 4 question form below by no later than Nov. 1st.

Please free to contact me with any questions at

Thanks for volunteering with YALSA!


Volunteer for a YALSA Committee!

It’s that time of year again! As YALSA President-Elect, I’ll make appointments in November for the following YALSA committees that will begin work in early 2017.

You can gain valuable YALSA and professional development experience by volunteering to be on a YALSA committee.  You will also be helping YALSA achieve its mission to  “support library staff in alleviating the challenges teens face, and in putting all teens ‒ especially those with the greatest needs ‒ on the path to successful and fulfilling lives.”


  • To be considered for an appointment, you must be a current personal member of YALSA and submit a Committee Volunteer form by October 1, 2016. If you are appointed, service will begin on Feb. 1, 2017 (except for the nominating committees which will start January 1, 2017).
  • Individuals may not serve on more than one selection or award committee at the same time, nor may they serve on the board and a selection or award committee at the same time.
  • If you are currently serving on a committee and are eligible to and interested in serving for another term, you must fill out a volunteer form (so I know you’re still interested and want to do serve another term).

Important Points to Keep in Mind:

  • We strive to ensure a broad representation on all committees across diverse backgrounds, types of libraries, geographic location and more.
  • Serving on a committee or task force is a significant commitment. Please review the resources on this web page before you submit a form to make sure that committee work is a good fit for you at this point in time.
  • All selection and award committee members must attend every committee meeting during their term of appointment. If you cannot commit now, then please do not fill out a volunteer form.  The only exception is the Edwards.
  • When you fill out a form, you will receive an automated email response letting you know it was received. After that, you should not expect to hear about the status of your volunteer form until I contact you in November.

Want more information? Click on the links above. Check out the Committee FAQ.  Watch the Selection Committee Webinar.

Please free to contact me with any questions at

Thanks for volunteering with YALSA!


Reflections on the Future of Library Services for & with Teens Session at the ALA Annual Conference

by Adrienne L. Strock & Sandra Hughes-Hassell

The YALSA Future of Teens and Libraries taskforce led an interactive panel discussion at the ALA Annual Conference where we reflected on The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: A Call to Action report. The session was hosted and moderated by Adrienne Strock, taskforce Chair. Taskforce panelists included Sandra Hughes-Hassell, report co-author; Jack Martin, K-Fai Steele, and Margaret Sullivan. Special guest Traci Slater-Rigaud, Director of the National Arts & Humanities Youth Program Awards kicked off the session by encouraging libraries to get involved in the awards and noted the similarities in our work, particularly the focus on youth development.

As a way to collectively reflect on the report’s significance, the panel highlighted specific content from the report in the areas of demographic shifts, technology, and connected learning. The panel began by examining the demographic shifts presented in the report as well as observable shifts in our library communities. We discussed the importance of engaging non-dominant youth in library settings and debated the library’s role in learning and closing the growing achievement gap. We then considered the importance of technology as a tool, the way in which technology is changing how society interacts and learns, HOMAGO (hanging out, messing around, and geeking out) as a model for engagement, and the need for librarians to continue to keep up with technology as it relates to teen interests and needs. Lastly, we talked about the importance of connected learning, describing what it looks like, noting why it is so powerful and important in library spaces, and reflecting on how partnerships can leverage the strengths of connected learning for more powerful and meaningful growth opportunities for teens.

The main themes from the report that emerged in our conversation included the call for a paradigm shift in services to teens, the growing need for partnerships, and the importance of librarians embracing a facilitator, non-expert role in their work with teens. One specific aspect of the paradigm shift brought up by an attendee was shifting customer and staff expectations about noise. Panelists and audience participants shared excellent feedback that encouraged cultural shifts though catchy signage and designated noise times, educating staff and customers on new expectations while shifting their mindset about noise in the library, and getting staff and customers excited about the activities being introduced to teens by demoing them for staff and customers with opportunities for adults to partake in the fun and engaging learning opportunities.

Slides can be found on the taskforce’s ALA Connect page, and those unable to attend can still get involved!

  • If you haven’t already, check out the report!
  • Reflect, share, and talk to each other using #act4teens via Twitter, Tumblr, blogs, and your favorite social networks.
  • Dive into the actionable sections of the report. Start by following the recommendations (p. 25). Then dig into the questions and guide to local assessment and planning (p. 31) section.

Lastly, the taskforce would love to know what you think! Reflect by commenting on this post. Tell us what excites and frightens you about the report. Share what areas of the report you find the easiest and most challenging to implement locally. Let us know what tools and resources you would like YALSA to provide.

Libraries Responding to the Needs of African American Male Youth

Did you know that African American male youth are disproportionately affected by failing schools and a lack of quality educational opportunities?’  Did you know that consequently, their life outcomes and opportunities are disproportionately constrained compared to their peers in the dominant white cultural group?

Continue reading

Updated Annotated Bibliography of Current Research Related to YA Services

The YALSA Research Committee has completed an annotated bibliography entitled “Current Research Related to Young Adult Services, 2006-2009.” The articles included in the bibliography are listed under seven subject headings: 1) information seeking behavior, 2) intellectual freedom, 3) the Internet and other electronic resources, 4) public library services to teens, 5) school library services to teens, 6) young adult literature and teen’s reading, and 7) major non-LIS research studies related to teens.

The bibliography can be found at: