YALSA Staff Appreciation Week

YALSA is a member driven organization and accomplishes amazing things through the dedication and hard work of volunteers. We celebrate this through National Volunteer Week, Volunteer(s) of the Year Awards, a Writing Award, grants, weekly shout-outs, and more.

In the background, staff ensure that all of these things happen and support members in a 1,000 different ways. From securing corporate sponsorships to planning logistics for the YA Literature Symposium, organizing a webinar series to crafting the perfect press release, managing hundreds of member appointments to supporting annual initiatives, the list of the hard (and great) work that they do goes on and on and on. Even if you’ve never met one of these dynamos, there’s no question that each of them has positively impacted your YALSA experience, so let’s celebrate them. The YALSA Board and I have unofficially resolved that this week shall be declared YALSA Staff Appreciation Week! Join us this week to write, tweet, or email your thanks and appreciation for all that they do on behalf of the organization each and every day.  Beth Yoke, Nicole Munguia, Nichole O’Connor, Letitia Smith, Jaclyn Finneke, and Anna Lam, we salute you!

President’s Report

March 2014 President’s Report
The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) is a national organization of librarians, library workers, and advocates whose mission is to expand and strengthen library services for teens, aged 12-18. Through its member-driven advocacy, research, and professional development initiatives YALSA builds the capacity of libraries and librarians to engage, serve, and empower teens.

Happy National Volunteer Week! YALSA is an innovative, dynamic, and generally awesome organization because of the enthusiasm and dedication of amazing volunteers. Thank you.

Activities
• Led the YALSA Board in a Spring Quarterly conference call meeting.
• With Executive Director Beth Yoke and the Executive Committee, finalized an agenda for the Spring Executive meeting.
• With President-elect Chris Shoemaker and Past President Jack Martin, participated in virtual discussions on topics related to YALSA’s report, The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: A Call to Action. Recordings of all sessions are available on the National Forum webpage.
• Participated in media interviews on Teen Tech Week with NPR, Huffington Post Live, and School Library Journal.
• Discussed candidates with the Executive Committee and held interviews for the YALSA Blog Manager position.
• Discussed virtual engagement needs and possible strategies with Division Presidents.

Updates
• National Library Legislative Day is right around the corner and YALSA wants YOU to participate. From organizing an event to tweeting your senator, there are a variety of ways to make an impact. Check out the YALSA NLLD wiki for links, ideas, and talking points.
• Registration for YALSA’s YA Literature Symposium is open! Join us this November in Austin to learn, connect, and have an amazing weekend with teen librarians, educators, and YA authors from all over the country.
• Gearing up for summer? Join YALSA’s Summer Reading and Learning Ning to check out free webinars, resources, recommending lists and more.
• Looking for some professional development on your lunch break? YALSA has over 40 on-demand webinars that are free to members.
• Share your Teen Tech Week feedback via a brief online survey. We’re looking to get your input by April 15th so we can use it to improve and expand this initiative for next year.
• Our Making in the Library Toolkit has been launched! Thanks to Erica Compton and the Maker Committee for their hard work in creating this amazing resource.
Polls for ALA and Division Elections close April 25th. Don’t forget to cast your vote!

Gratitude
• Thank you to YALSA Membership guru Letitia Smith for her patience and expertise in helping me to coordinate and complete Spring Taskforce appointments.
• Thank you again to all of the fab panelists who participated in the Mondays in March Future of Teens and Libraries series, I’ve learned so much from you! Crystle Martin, Mimi Ito, Renee Hobbs, Ernie Cox, Marijke Visser, Maureen Hartman, Peter Kirschmann, K-Fai Steele, Kafi Kumasi, Vanessa Irvin Morris, Linda Braun, Jan Chapmen, and Sarah Ludwig.
• Thank you to the Summer Reading and Learning Taskforce for selecting this year’s grant recipients. Cheers to the grantees and huge thanks to the Dollar General Literacy Foundation for making these member grants possible.

In Feb. membership was at 5,131, which off -1.3% over this time last year. Donations for Feb. totaled $200.

January President’s Report

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) is a national organization of librarians, library workers, and advocates whose mission is to expand and strengthen library services for teens, aged 12-18. Through its member-driven advocacy, research, and professional development initiatives YALSA builds the capacity of libraries and librarians to engage, serve, and empower teens.

Activities

YALSA Virtual Town Hall

77% of public libraries do not have a dedicated teen services librarian. On average, there is only one librarian for every 953 students in an average school setting. Alarming in their own right, these statistics are especially problematic because as documented in The Future of Library Services for and with Teens report and elsewhere, today’s teens face an ever-expanding menu of challenges. Not only are demographics changing, but the skills that that they need in order to be successful in school and in life are as well. As librarians, we are poised to address these issues but with marked decreases in our ranks, the task becomes all the more urgent.

YALSA is the only non-profit organization dedicated to advocating for teens and libraries. As a member driven association, we’re all “YALSA,” so what action can we take to reverse these trends on both on local and national levels? Join me for a virtual town hall this Friday, February 7th from 2-3 EST. We’ll talk about some of the current projects that the Board has put into place to help you advocate and to amplify the message that all teens deserve access to strong and engaging school and public libraries. I also look forward to discussing the challenges, successes, and conundrums that you’ve faced in your careers as teen services advocates, whether as enthusiastic newbies or seasoned pros.

Thanks for reading and I hope to connect with you on Friday!

YALSA at ALA Midwinter 2014 Round-Up

The dust is just beginning to settle on another successful Midwinter conference. The primary purpose of this conference is dedicated work time for the board and committees and my goodness, YALSA was able to accomplish A LOT. If you weren’t around to follow the #alamw14 twitter feed, here’s a few highlights (and for the record, I’m making an effort not to include an exclamation point for each bullet):

  • YALSA members served as liaisons to various ALA committees and attended meetings to represent the organization and to report back updates or decisions that may interest or impact the division.
  • The Youth Media Awards were announced.
  • YALSA Selection committees finalized their annual lists.
  • The YALSA Board and Executive Committee met for a number of meetings.
  • Members presented at a number of well-attended sessions ion topics such as trends impacting YA services, digital badges, advocacy benchmarks, The Future of Teens and Libraries report, and transforming schools.
  • All ten award winners and finalists attended an amazing Morris/Nonfiction event.
  • Teens charmed and dazzled at the BFYA feedback session.
  • AASL, YALSA, and ALSC co-sponsored a successful United States Board on Books for Young People program.
  • YALSA members and friends served on other book committees such as the Amelia Bloomer Project and Rainbow List..
  • YALSA Executive Committee members attended budget and finance meetings with other leaders within ALA.
  • President-Elect Chris Shoemaker and myself spent time getting to know and have discussions with other division leaders.

I’m sure I’m missing a slew of other amazing happenings, but thank you thank you to Continue reading

YALSA Board at ALA Midwinter Preview

ALA Midwinter is just days (hours?) away and my anticipation to see colleagues, have great conversations with the board, celebrate at the Morris/Nonfiction reception, and connect over something delicious at YALSA happy hour is mounting by the minute! Check out the YALSA Wiki for dates and times of all YALSA events if you’ll be braving an alarming forecast to attend Midwinter.

Over the past few weeks, board members have received a lot of thoughtful feedback and had good discussions about upcoming midwinter conversations. YALSA members staying actively abreast of board topics truly demonstrates the level of passion and engagement that I know we are known for. If you would like to add to the conversation in any way, please feel free to send your thoughts to me at shannon.peterson@gmail.com and I will create a compilation for the board. The first ten minutes of each of our meetings is also open to public comment if you will be attending Midwinter and have the flexibility to stop by. And finally, please also keep in mind that the YALSA Board works hard all year round, so you can ask questions, share feedback, read governance docs, or simply connect with us anytime from the comfort of wherever you are. We love to hear from you! Even if it’s just for a virtual high five.

Your board will be kicking off the Midwinter meetings with a planning session on Friday. During this session, board members will strategize priority directions in a new governance framework that has been recently adopted: board standing committees related to each of the goals in YALSA’s strategic plan. Through this, we hope to become more proactive and nimble in supporting advocacy and activism, research and documentation of best practice, membership recruitment and engagement, capacity building and organizational development, and continuous learning and professional development. Continue reading

December 2013 President’s Report

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) is a national organization of librarians, library workers, and advocates whose mission is to expand and strengthen library services for teens, aged 12-18. Through its member-driven advocacy, research, and professional development initiatives YALSA builds the capacity of libraries and librarians to engage, serve, and empower teens.

Activities

  • Worked with the board to approve The Future of Libraries Services for and with Teens: A Call to Action, the project report which resulted from a rich year-long discussion on the topic.
  • Led a board chat on the implications of the Future of Teens and Libraries report and potential next steps for YALSA and YALSA’s members.
  • Led a quarterly conference call with the YALSA Board to discuss chair reports, a request for board action, and new standing board committees dedicated to the five goals in the strategic plan: Advocacy and Activism, Research and Documentation of Best Practice, Continuous Learning and Professional Development, Member Recruitment and Engagement, and Capacity Building and Organizational Development. Check out our agenda and documents for additional detail.
  • Worked with the board to approve Carrie Kausch to fill the remainder of a vacated board position. Many thanks to Carrie, a former Board Fellow, for stepping in to lend useful perspective, valuable experience, and mad tweeting skills.
  • Discussed a stellar slate of Board Fellow Applicants and worked with the board to approve a finalist for 2014-2015. Congratulations Nicola McDonald, we look forward to working with you! Continue reading

November President’s Report

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) is a national organization of librarians, library workers, and advocates whose mission is to expand and strengthen library services for teens, aged 12-18. Through its member-driven advocacy, research, and professional development initiatives YALSA builds the capacity of libraries and librarians to engage, serve, and empower teens.

Activities

  • With Executive Director Beth Yoke, prepared an agenda and documents for the quarterly YALSA Board conference call.

  • Supported several YALSA Board members in liaison duties.

  • Strategized priority areas and provided support to several new and continuing Chairs.

  • Participated in an interview with Salt Lake’s the Deseret News.

  • Held virtual discussion with the YALSA Executive Board on various committee drafts and Board exit interview findings.

  • Shared feedback with YALSA’s Executive Board Liaison and BARC Liaison regarding recent changes to joint Division meetings.

  • Prepared for a Board discussion on implications of the Future of Teens and Libraries report.

  • Appointed members to fill vacancies on various committees and taskforces.

Updates

  • I can’t wait for YALSA presentations and events at ALA MW in Philadelphia; so much to learn, celebrate,  and discuss! Purchase your Morris and Nonfiction Award presentation program tickets in advance at the ALA MW site for just $19.

  • YALSA is the recipient of a grant from the Best Buy Children’s Foundation to support Teen Tech Week! Look forward to exciting announcements to support your upcoming Teen Tech activities.

    Continue reading

October President’s Report

October 2013 President’s Report

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) is a national organization of librarians, library workers, and advocates whose mission is to expand and strengthen library services for teens, aged 12-18. Through its member-driven advocacy, research, and professional development initiatives YALSA builds the capacity of libraries and librarians to engage, serve, and empower teens.

Activities

  • With the YALSA Executive Board and Beth Yoke, met with ALA Executive Director Keith Fiels and YALSA’s liaison to the ALA Executive Board, Rob Banks, to discuss current challenges, possible solutions, and strategies for working more closely with ALA and division colleagues.
  • Authored a column for the Winter issue of YALS.
  • Led YALSA Executive Board meetings during ALA Fall Exec.
  • Worked with Beth Yoke to plan a facilitated session with the YALSA Executive Board on organizational mission. Thanks to Davidoff Communications for leading an engaging discussion.
  • Participated in the annual Division Leadership session at ALA Fall Exec.
  • Met with leaders from AASL to discuss current initiatives and advocacy efforts.
  • Held a discussion and called a vote with the YALSA Board to decide upon a location for the 2015 Young Adult Literature Symposium. Portland, Oregon, you’re next!
  • Discussed Teen Read Week and the importance of YA Literature with reporter Ashley Strickland at CNN.com.

Updates

  • There’s an award or grant for every YALSA member and the deadline is approaching fast! Be sure to visit this page for more information and submit your form by December 1st.
  • Giving Tuesday is right around the corner! To learn more about how you can support your colleagues in ensuring that libraries remain awesome for teens, check out our giving page.
  • The dust is settling on fall appointments, are you still looking for ways to get more involved? YALSA has a plethora of ideas to suit your talents.
  • YALSA wants to collect stories to better communicate the amazing work that you do to support, educate, and entertain teens! Submit YOURstory or sent YALSA a tweet with hashtag #yadvocacy.
  • Best Buy has stepped up to partner with YALSA on Teen Tech Week 2014! Join the TTW Ning for updates and great member-driven ideas and resources.
  • Congrats to the winners of this year’s Teens Top Ten and thanks to the hard-working TT book groups for creating a fantastic nomination list.

Gratitude

  • Thank you to the YALSA Executive Board and Executive Director for meaty discussions, thought provoking ideas, and altogether too much fun at the ALA Executive meetings.
  • Thanks to those that provided feedback on the Future of Teens and Libraries white paper. Haven’t seen it yet? The draft is still available.
  • Three cheers to Chris Shoemaker, Candice Mack, Beth Yoke, Lalitha Nataraj, and Allison Tran for enthusiastically helping out at the California Library Association’s YALSA booth.
  • Thanks to Monique Delatte Starkey and Sarah Flowers for fantabulous webinars! Weren’t able to attend? Check out the YALSA E-Learning Library for free on-demand training.
  • Thanks to our friends at AASL for making time during a busy meeting schedule to  chat.
  • Mega props to Courtney Lewis and the Teen Read Week committee for fabulous planning and implementation of TRW 2013!

YALSA membership for September 2013 stood at 5,113 (down 1.2% from that month in 2012)

Donations for September: $260

 

 

September President’s Report


September 2013 President’s Report

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) is a national organization of librarians, library workers, and advocates whose mission is to expand and strengthen library services for teens, aged 12-18. Through its member-driven advocacy, research, and professional development initiatives YALSA builds the capacity of libraries and librarians to engage, serve, and empower teens.

Activities

  • Worked with the Board to appoint current YALSA Legislation Chair and past Popular Paperbacks Chair Jennifer Korn to fill an unexpected Board vacancy through June 2014. Many thanks to Jennifer for agreeing to lend her talents to the association in this capacity.

  • Continued to appoint members to serve on various taskforces and committees and finalized the rosters of others. Many thanks to incoming taskforce Chairs Mary Anne Nichols (Student Engagement), Erica Compton (Maker Spaces), and Sara Ryan (Administrator Resources) for valiantly agreeing to serve on these newly formed groups. Continue reading