“The Claudia Kishi Club” kicks off Media Literacy Week, Oct 26-30!

Hello members!

I wanted to draw your attention to an event that’s taking place next Monday, Oct 26 at 8pm ET/5pm PT to help kick off Media Literacy Week. YALSA is a member of the Media Literacy Alliance, created by NAMLE, the National Association for Media Literacy Education. The free event is a conversation with Sue Ding, filmmaker of “The Claudia Kishi Club”, along with cast members Sarah Khan and Phil Yu. The documentary is currently airing on Netflix.

This looks to be a really cool experience for people who grew up with The Baby Sitters Club and those who have engaged with it for the first time with the recent streaming series. The event is co-sponsored by YALSA, AASL, and the California Film Institute.


Todd Krueger, YALSA Immediate Past-President

Volunteers Needed for Advocacy Resources Community Listening Taskforce

Greetings, YALSA members!

All of us are advocates. When we are promoting books and resources to our teens, staff, and community, we are advocating. When we are supporting a cause or group by speaking and/or writing about it, or donating to it, we are advocating.  When we are urging, championing, advancing, and pleading for our teens, communities, library, programs, services, and funding, we are advocating..  Advocacy utilizes many ways, styles, forms, and people.  Now, more than ever, we need to increase our advocacy, and at the same time, be more diligent and strategic in our advocacy efforts.

We need you! We need writers, talkers, listeners, researchers, doers, planners, organizers, analyzers and critics, Whatever your strength and skillset, we need you!  Individually we need your skills, knowledge, and resources, collectively we need many of you to serve on a task force to learn more about the advocacy needs of library staff and teens in preparation of accessible and relevant YALSA resources. 

For more information about the task force, click here:  YALSA Advocacy Resources: Community Listening Task Force

Volunteers will be working on a timeline.  The timeline is listed below:

  • Taskforce is formed and work begins: September 1, 2020
  • Taskforce reports results to YALSA board March 15, 2021 
  • YALSA Board Advocacy strategic committee develops next steps for implementation April 15, 2021

If you have additional questions, please contact: YALSA President, Amanda Barnhart at AmandaBarnhart@kclibrary.org.

If you are interested in serving on this task force, please  contact Letitia Smith at lsmith@ala.org by Friday, August 21.

Thank you for volunteering and your service to YALSA!
Your YALSA Board

Spring Appointments Update

Greetings, all—

I am pleased to report to you that the Spring appointments for the 2020-2021 strategic committees have been completed. Spring appointments include member volunteers who submitted an application(s) over the period of December 2019 through February 2020. After the application form closed in February, I rolled up my sleeves to begin. Yet I was hardly aware of what lay ahead for us all nor did I suspect how quickly I would find myself navigating new aspects of what was clearly no longer a simple task. It will likely not surprise you to hear that I was thrown off course in several attempts to appoint members due to the unanticipated effects of COVID-19. 

Each year the YALSA President-Elect strives to complete all Spring appointments by the end of May. As we are now into the month of July, I want to offer my sincere regret for any YALSA member that has not received an update about their submitted application until now. I am grateful and inspired by all of you who have chosen to commit their time and efforts to support YALSA activities, especially given the challenges we face as a nation and a community, because your help is much needed. I thank each of you for the passion you bring to the field in finding solutions, maintaining relationships, and spearheading new methods for connecting teens to libraries, information, and resources. 

Stay tuned for more volunteer opportunities (a few brand new ones) advertised on the YALSAblog. Also, the Fall application cycle opens soon for all YALSA Award Selection Committees, Selected Lists Blogging Teams, and Juries. Please consider throwing in your name to be considered by the YALSA President-Elect Kelly Czarnecki. Much information on volunteering can be found on the YALSA site, but more Outreach efforts will be forthcoming in the following months. Should you have any questions about this upcoming application cycle, please feel free to reach out to Kelly via kellyczarnecki1@gmail.com

Thank You… and Welcome, Amanda!

Hi everyone,

I want to thank YALSA members, the Board, and Staff for all of the assistance provided over the course of my presidential year. Every challenge has presented a new opportunity for us, and change has always been a great motivator for me. I hope that these past few months have energized you in ways never before considered. The pandemic continues to affect all of us, and presented the need to pivot from what we thought was normal. The fight for racial justice has rallied people together like never before to correct the ills of the past and present and work together for a better future for everyone. In so many instances, seeing and reading that teens are leading the charge for change tells me that the work that we do is important. Black Lives Matter.

I want to take this opportunity to welcome YALSA’s new President, Amanda Barnhart! Amanda and I have worked together over the course of this past year and did our best to serve you, our members. I look forward to helping her to ensure that her presidential year is a successful one. At our recent Board meetings, we approved a Short-term Strategic Plan focused specifically on the needs of members for this coming year. I also want to welcome Kelly Czarnecki as YALSA’s President-Elect. I have one more year on the Board, as Immediate Past-President, and will work to serve as a sort of institutional memory and mentor, among other key roles. The three of us do our best, along with the rest of the YALSA Board, to lead the association as we look to the future!

Thank you again for your support, and for all you do for and with teens.

Todd Krueger, YALSA President 2019-2020

YALSA Joins National Media Literacy Alliance

Hi everyone,

YALSA has accepted an invitation from NAMLE, the National Association for Media Literacy Education, to be a founding member of the National Media Literacy Alliance.

This coalition brings together educational and library associations from across the country to “advance media literacy education as a necessary element of a complete 21st-century education in America. At a time when misinformation threatens civil discourse and the very nature of our democracy, the Alliance will work to ensure that students across our nation have the critical thinking skills necessary to navigate our ever-expanding modern media landscape.”

Other groups joining the 12-member Alliance include the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), and the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).

This fits YALSA’s mission statement that puts all teens on the path to successful and fulfilling lives. “Alliance members will work together to support their network of educators in integrating media literacy education into their classrooms, reference media literacy in their instructional standards, include media literacy content in their respective national and regional conferences.” Tenets from YALSA’s Teen Literacies Toolkit and Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff are being included in producing these standards. Twitter has provided initial funding for the Alliance.

Additionally, NAMLE has announced its International Research Initiative which will map and assess the current state of media literacy education in the United States and Australia. With the advent of social media in the past two decades, the importance of understanding its influence on teens’ literacy is paramount.

Please reach out to me if you have any questions.

Thanks as always for your work for and with teens!

Todd Krueger, YALSA President 2019-2020 

Incoming YALSA President Seeks Taskforce Members

The incoming YALSA President 2020-2021, Amanda Barnhart, seeks member volunteers to serve on the Presidential Taskforce. This role is for a one-year virtual appointment whereby the taskforce will focus on developing activities that support the President’s theme, Representation in Recruitment and Retention: Further Supporting YALSA’s EDI Plan. Three outcomes will guide the taskforce work,

  1. From such examples of how to start an affinity group to understanding intersectional identities, the Presidential Taskforce will work with YALSA staff to develop and provide the membership with quarterly continuing education strategies and ideas that support and celebrate the diversity of library staff and the teens they serve.
  2. The taskforce will identify and engage in efforts that aim to study the value of YALSA resources amongst library staff who work with teens that are seen as “non-members.” There are many non-member library staff whose actions adhere to the YALSA mission or support the YALSA vision and who utilize YALSA resources regardless of having purchased a YALSA membership.
  3. Finally, the taskforce will develop a report that includes findings from the aforementioned study, as well as provide recommendations on strategies for engaging non-members.

Consider applying for this taskforce as an opportunity to further develop your network with fellow advocates invested in EDI work. At the same time, please consider your capacity and knowledge to valuably contribute to conversations on equity, diversity, and inclusion. Interested members should contact Amanda via email AmandaBarnhart@kclibrary.org with a reply to the prompt: Explain which outcome you feel is most important and why. Applicants may also include relevant education or experience. Deadline for volunteering is Monday, June 22nd.

The direction of this taskforce was also influenced by recent work from the YALSA Division and Membership Promotion Committee 2019-2020. YALSA appreciates their efforts in engaging with LIS students and their ideas on reaching out to affiliates.

YALSA reacts to racial injustice

Hi everyone,

I want to ensure that YALSA members and other interested parties are aware of the discussions that have taken place by the YALSA Board and throughout ALA with regard to racial injustice.

YALSA’s mission focuses on ways to alleviate the challenges that teens face. The YALSA Board strongly condemns police brutality and racism in all its forms and stands with the work of organizations throughout the country and world such as Black Lives Matter and the NAACP that spotlight the injustices faced by Black communities. We seek to partner with these groups in ways that are in keeping with our mission. We call on elected officials to provide better funding for community programs and institutions that support Black teens.

The many peaceful youth-led protests for change and justice, in cities throughout the United States, show that teens have agency and can make a difference in their communities. The Board has taken action to embed elements of equity, diversity and inclusion in all of the work that YALSA does. In 2018 YALSA’s EDI Statement was issued and the Board began the implementation of the EDI Plan. School’s Out Washington provided training on structural racism to the Board at ALA Midwinter 2020. We are working on creating and implementing professional development on this and other vital issues for our members. We have not yet done enough, but going forward we will continue to strive to work toward a more equitable association, profession, and library services for young adults.

Affirmed by the YALSA Board, June 8, 2020

Additionally, YALSA Executive Director Tammy Dillard-Steels has included her thoughts in American Libraries‘ “Reflections on Race and Racism

Finally, YALSA had previously affirmed the BCALA statement which was also affirmed by the ALA Executive Board and many other ALA units that condemns increasing violence towards Black Americans and people of color.

As always, thank you for your work for and with teens,

Todd Krueger, YALSA President 2019-2020

YALSA Seeks Member Volunteers

Have you ever presented at a local or national conference? Or are you a long-time participant at YALSA webinars or conference and Symposium sessions? YALSA is currently seeking member volunteers, including a committee chair, for the newly created Education Advisory Committee (EAC). The date to apply has been extended to June 10, 2020. 

The role of the Education Advisory Committee is to assist with providing appropriate and timely topics for continuing education offerings and identifying qualified individuals to facilitate continuing education sessions. Our communities are quickly changing and evolving in response to current issues which requires library staff to remain up to date on information and skills if libraries are to remain relevant in the 21st century. 

Providing your voice and direction to the EAC will help guide YALSA in its educational endeavors. Becoming a member volunteer of the EAC is an excellent opportunity to collaborate with your peers and make a difference in continuing education by assuring YALSA is offering relevant and timely content. YALSA needs your leadership in promoting CE opportunities and recognizing the contribution of facilitators and presenters, which is crucial for the growth of our profession and the teens that we impact.

The chair for the EAC serves in an Ex-Officio position on the Board of Directors and attends two board meetings a year. The EAC is a virtual committee with a one year (12 months) term beginning July 1 and is renewable. Complete this form by June 10th to apply.

YALSA Board created the Education Advisory Committee (EAC) to assist with identifying and providing feedback on Continuing Education topics to YALSA’s Executive Director and the newly created position of Program Officer for Continuing Education and Development. You may find more information about the board document here.

Brief update on current YALSA activities

Hi everyone,

I hope you’re all hanging in there. I want to inform YALSA members about a few recent and upcoming pieces of information, in particular with regard to the canceled ALA Annual Conference scheduled for next month.

  1. The YALSA Board has voted to allow virtual meetings of the Board in place of the in-person ones that normally take place in conjunction with the ALA Annual Conference. These will take place on Saturday, June 27 and, as always, will be open to the membership (aside from any periods the Board calls for an executive session). More details about exact times and a link to the meeting will be forthcoming.
  2. Because the ALA Annual Conference has been canceled, YALSA 101, the Membership Meeting, and the YALSA President’s Program will not take place. Look for the return of all of these events at the 2021 ALA Annual Conference.
  3. The next Lunch & Learn is set for Tuesday, May 26 at 2pm ET / 11am PT. This session will focus on: 1) Summer Learning/Reading during the pandemic and 2) How teen services might look in your institution upon reopening your physical facility. As was the case for the first Lunch & Learn session late last month, this is an opportunity to connect, to hear from other library staff serving teens nationwide, and to discuss the possibilities during these unusual times.
  4. I sincerely want to thank all of the selection list, award, and process committees, along with task forces and other groups that are continuing to focus on their charges. Your volunteering propels the work of YALSA forward, and for that we are all grateful.
  5. Finally, I encourage you to consider registering for the ALA Virtual Conference event “Community Through Connection”, especially now that generous sponsors have greatly reduced the cost of the three-day event from $175 to only $60. Registration is due by Wednesday, June 17.

Please, do your best to stay safe and healthy.

Thanks again for all the work you do for and with teens!

Todd Krueger, YALSA President 2019-2020 | Twitter: @toddbcpl

YALSA Plans for Fiscal Challenges 

Last month, your YALSA Executive Committee moved forward with budgeting plans for the next fiscal year and in setting a priority to fund strategic planning activities. We’ve also been keyed into finding solutions for the programs and activities that were scheduled for the 2020 ALA Annual conference. In doing so, your YALSA Board is moving these pieces along with special attention to our fiduciary obligations given the current ALA financial environment.

During fiscal year 2020, YALSA’s budget plans were substantially impacted as current funds were utilized to cover ALA expenses. Furthermore, not just YALSA funds, but all other ALA division budgets were also impacted. The utilization of division funds is fully within ALA authority and is a strategy all divisions agreed upon, as is stated in the ALA operating agreement. With these current financial challenges in mind, your YALSA board is planning the next fiscal year’s activities from the seat of a zero-based budget to address our overall YALSA financial health. Perhaps you may wonder “but what does that really mean?” In a nutshell, this means:

  • The YALSA Board continues to fully support that we are ALL ALA and maintains shared ALA values.
  • The YALSA Board values the flexibility of the ALA operating agreement that provides us the opportunity to achieve our mission: to support library staff in alleviating the challenges teens face, and in putting all teens – especially those with the greatest need – on the path to successful and fulfilling lives.
  • The YALSA Board is interested in addressing solutions for improving the operating agreement’s policy strategies. One such strategy may be supporting a more efficient and targeted communication within the internal ALA structure on such matters. In other words, the YALSA Board is more interested in moving forward together, rather than dwelling on any errors of yesterday.

This also means that, as we move through these opportunities and challenges, we welcome your questions, comments, or concerns you may have regarding our financial situation. While we may have our own perspectives, your voice is vitally important in guiding the YALSA Board and focusing our efforts in better collaboration with our ALA Executive Board on YALSA members’ priorities.

We appreciate your time in sharing your thoughts regarding the future of YALSA’s financial health and, in doing so, the financial health of ALA.

Todd Krueger, YALSA President, and Amanda Barnhart, YALSA President-Elect