3 reasons to be the next ALA Liaison

We’re looking for the next ALA Liaison to serve a term from July 2021-June 2022 and you may be the perfect candidate to apply

1. Jump on the fast-track in learning about the work of ALA groups and how they operate within the current structure of ALA.

For instance, the Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) does not fall directly under ALA as a division, but shares a relationship with ALA that is akin to the affiliates. Regardless, this powerhouse organization is staffed by a team of dedicated and fierce advocates and their meetings are truly fascinating. As the liaison, you’ll receive free access to hearing the inside scoop on litigation cases that are being fought by FTRF and realize the big picture in their connection to libraries. 

2. Become familiar with current trends in the field for each group’s area of expertise. 

The Intellectual Freedom Committee is one of the busiest and most active ALA groups I’ve seen in action. They are on top of their game when it comes to intellectual freedom issues in libraries. As liaison, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in volunteer work, if you wish. During my experience, I was able to assist a few sub-committees in the updating of documents for the latest edition of the Intellectual Freedom Manual.

3. Networking and meeting many people! 

I know, you’re probably thinking “Not another Zoom meeting!” But these meetings feature all kinds of people that you don’t yet know. New professionals, life-long librarians, and even ALA Past-Presidents. Hear about what’s happening all over the country from the individuals themselves. There are in-person meeting requirements for the ALA Conferences whenever they begin occurring in-person again, but YALSA grants a stipend to assist in your participation. 

So what does the YALSA ALA Liaison do? In a nutshell, the appointed individual will:

  • Attend as many virtual meetings as available for each of the eight appointed groups. Some groups are more active than others, meaning that some only meet at conferences.
  • Take notes at meetings to share important updates with YALSA leadership related to teens or opportunities for collaboration with YALSA.
  • Meet virtually with YALSA leadership who will support you in sharing new information from YALSA. 
  • Write two reports for the YALSA Board, each to be submitted before Midwinter and Annual conferences.

If you’re still reading this, what are you waiting for? Submit your application today and get involved! Feel free to check out this page for more info or reach out to me at AmandaBarnhart@kclibrary.org. Deadline for application submission is March 1, 2021.  March 10, 2021.

Wishing you well in your professional endeavors,

Amanda Barnhart (she/hers)
YALSA President 2020-2021
YALSA ALA Liaison 2017-2019

President’s Report – October & November 2020

Greetings YALSA members and youth advocates,

Your YALSA Board spent the past two months discussing, editing, and approving a Short Term Leave Plan for YALSA volunteers. The conception for this plan originated as a direct response to support member volunteers, who may become impacted by the coronavirus. Rather than have member volunteers worry or feel guilt over their work contributions when needing to attend to emergency issues, the YALSA board wanted all volunteers to be supported when personal events may need to supersede professional matters, and not just those associated with the coronavirus disease. Within this document are efforts to provide alternative options over a one size fits all approach. 

Currently, the board liaisons are connecting with volunteer group chairs to begin its implementation. This document will be kept in the appropriate locations on the YALSA website as will be determined by the Organization and Bylaws committee. Until then, you may find and read it here. We hope this will support many current and future members, especially those considering volunteer opportunities. If you are considering volunteer opportunities and have questions about the Short Term Leave Plan, please feel free to reach out to me and/or Kelly Czarnecki, YALSA President-Elect. 

Additional Accomplishments

  • Participated in the first of two Fall meetings for BCALA’s IMLS Black History Month Taxonomy project (a planning grant). The National Advisory Committee will meet a second time in December. An invite for focus group participants was distributed to members via the YALSA eNews. 
  • Completed appointments for the following member volunteer groups
    • Joann Sweetland Lum Memorial Grant Jury (start date Jan 2021)
    • Advocacy Resources Community Listening Taskforce (start date Dec 2020)
    • Selection Lists Oversight Committee (start date Jan 2021)
  • Welcomed all 588 participants to the YALSA Symposium and made quick arrangements for alternative speech givers due to my family emergency. 
  • Participated on a panel for ALA President Julius Jefferson Jr.’s November webinar geared towards LIS students and focused on offering information related to the job market, resume and interview processes. 

Don’t Forget

Relevant Stats & Data

  • YALSA’s membership for March 2020 was 4,060. 
  • YALSA’s Friends of YALSA donations for March 2020 was $905.

Thank Yous!

  • Carol Phillips, Sharon Haupt, Janet Thompson, Heather Booth, Kim Dare, Rob Bittner for their arduous work in updating the Odyssey manual and providing due consideration for changes that involved the approval of two different association boards.
  • De Anza Williams, Keiko Sanders, Amelia Jenkins, Scot Smith for their outstanding planning and facilitation of the 2020 YALSA Symposium.

Respectfully submitted, 

Amanda Barnhart
YALSA President 2020-2021