YALSA @ ALA Annual 2016: More Than Colorful Post-Its

photo of post its from yalsa YOUmedia joint program at Annual Conference 2016 At Annual Conference in Orlando YALSA and YOUmedia co-sponsored a program titled, “The YOUmedia Network & YALSA Forum: Connecting around Connected Learning.” The focus of the event was to bring YALSA members and the YOUmedia community together to learn about each other and discover ways to connect and collaborate. K-Fai Steele, the point person for the YOUmedia Network at the National Writing Project, and Jack Martin, YALSA Past President, facilitated the conversation.

After a short introduction to the program the conversation began with participants talking about what skills they had that they would be able to share with others AND what they would want to learn from someone else. One of the things I loved about this conversation was that it quickly demonstrated that among the group there was a lot of knowledge and skill and there were many opportunities for learning together and from each other. To me this was a great example of one way that connected learning can manifest itself. Continue reading

Did I Do This Right? A First Time Attendee at ALA

When I first opened the schedule for ALA, I added at least five panels at the same time slots.

Photo by Rachel Weiss

Photo by Rachel Weiss

There was the need to be everywhere and to see everything. After all, Margaret Atwood would be there, and Diane Guerrero! But to see them, I would have to miss panels that I wanted to see. There was an overwhelming pressure not to miss anything, and I still needed to make time to see the exhibit hall.

I was scared to miss out on anything because I wanted to make sure that sending me to the conference instead of someone else was justified. YALSA offered me the Dorothy Broderick Scholarship to attend, and I wanted to make every minute count. I’ve been to the New Jersey Library Association conference before, so I thought I knew what this would be like, but I was wholly unprepared.

I tried a little bit of everything. I was fortunate enough to attend the Michael L. Printz Award Ceremony Friday night. It can be expensive to go to awards dinners, but it was the perfect kickoff to my conference. Laura Ruby got up to speak, and I was enchanted. One thing I definitely learned was that you’re never going to meet all the authors you want to, so seeing them accept an award means you hear more of their beautiful words. I’m ashamed to say I hadn’t read her book yet, but after hearing her talk about it, it’s moved up my list. It was just one of the many highlights of the conference.

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YALSA Board @ ALA 2016: YALSA Councilor Update

Greetings from your YALSA Councilor!

Here is an update of ALA Council highlights since the 2016 Midwinter meeting in Boston:

  • Jenna Nemec-Loise, ALSC Councilor, announced the cancellation of the ALSC Institute slated to take place in Charlotte NC in September. The background and details of this decision can be found at http://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/blogs/the-scoop/alsc-board-votes-cancelnational-institute-charlotte/
  • Diane Chen, AASL Councilor, has created an ALA Connect Member Community called Equity for All to School Libraries. Jenna Nemec-Loise, ALSC Councilor and Todd Krueger, YALSA Councilor, among a number of other Councilors and interested parties, are supporting Diane in this resolution. The Resolution in its current state can be found at http://connect.ala.org/node/254174 . We will be working together to bring this resolution to the floor of Council, with input from Councilors at Council Forum.
  • Andrew Hart, ALCTS Division Councilor, submitted a resolution titled “Resolution in Support of the Professional Cataloging Processes and Determinations of the Library of Congress.” A recent U.S. House of Representatives appropriations bill included an amendment to force the Library of Congress to return to the “aliens” and “illegal aliens” subject headings – headings ALA Council urged the Library of Congress to change (resolution 2015-2016 ALA CD#34_11216_FINAL). The legislation has not been embraced by the U.S. Senate but is nonetheless a disturbing YALSA Board of Directors – Annual 2016 Pre-Meeting Division Councilor Report action. This resolution calls on ALA to advocate on behalf of the Library of Congress and respect for the non-partisan professional work of librarianship. This resolution has been formally endorsed by ALCTS and reflects work by the Committee on Legislation and the ALA Washington Office.
  • Keri Cascio, Executive Director, ALCTS updated Council on the ongoing LCSH illegal aliens issue:

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YALSA Board @ Annual: Revitalizing Interest Groups

Would you like increased networking opportunities? What about member-driven knowledge and idea-sharing? How about opportunities to contribute to our profession’s growth and success on your own terms?  Did you know you can do all of this and more with YALSA’s Interest Groups?

YALSA interest groups are developed and led entirely by YALSA members and can cover any relevant topic without the formality of a Strategic Committee, Task Force, or Selection or Award committee. All members are welcome to opt in and opt out of Interest Groups as their capacity allows.  Interest Groups can be focused on teen service trends, academic research, and more. Or, Interest Groups can focus on particular populations or geographic regions.  Work is conducted virtually and informally.  Members can use the information gained in the way they best see fit. Maybe that’s implementing a new program at your work, or maybe it’s submitting a proposal to present at conference or writing a YALSA blog post! Interest Groups have incredible potential to support member needs and provide meaningful and achievable engagement opportunities, but they are currently underutilized.

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YALSA Board @ ALA Annual 2016: YALSA @ ALA Highlights

Happy LGBTQIA Pride Month & Happy National Week of Making!

YALSA’s Board has been hard at work since their last meeting in Boston: finalizing and adopting a new organizational plan, continuing the roll-out of activities related to the Futures Report, and planning for ALA Annual in Orlando!

Now, the Annual Conference is fast approaching, and I’m looking forward to the Printz Ceremony on Friday night, honoring David Levithan at the Edwards Award Brunch on Saturday morning, talking with members at Saturday’s Member Happy Hour and at our Membership Meeting and President’s Program and so much more! You can find the details about these events and many more YALSA activities on the YALSA wiki.

The Board agenda is up online, and nearly all of the documents have been posted. Members can check them out in advance and send comments or feedback to me at candice.yalsa@gmail.com. If you’ll be in Orlando for the conference, the first ten minutes of each of our board meetings are open to public comment. If you have a question for a particular board member about a document they’ve written, you can reach out to them here.

At Annual, the board will spend most of its time discussing how the Board needs to be re-envisioned in order to be well-positioned to achieve the work laid out in the new organizational plan. This is a first step in a bigger process of organizational realignment. It makes sense for the Board to get its own house in order before looking outward to the rest of YALSA.  The Board will be thinking about what needs to change about its own structure and processes, as well as what knowledge and skills will Board members need to gain in order to best lead YALSA and support its members.

Also on the agenda for Annual

You can stay up to date with all the conversations by following Executive Director Beth Yoke (@yalsa_director), myself (@tinylibrarian), and/or other YALSA board members for live tweets of adopted actions and discussion highlights. In addition, there will be follow-up blog posts explaining decisions and board actions once the conference is done.

Thanks for all that you do to make YALSA an awesome association, safe travels and hope to see you in Orlando!

YALSA Board @ Annual 2016: Communicating Change

Extra! Extra!You have been hearing about the new organizational plan for months and that is not by accident or happenstance. When the YALSA Board began working on the new organizational plan, we made a commitment to emphasize communicating that work out to YALSA members and stakeholders. In every step along the way, the Board has been carefully and intentionally planning the ways we can best reach members to ask, inform and engage them around the new plan.

As we reach the last step of the organizational planning process (not to be mistaken with the last step of the plan itself, we still have a long way to go!), we wanted to look back on the past few months and evaluate the ways we have reached out to members. Here are few highlights of what Board members and YALSA staff have done to spread the word about the new organizational plan.

  • 11 blog posts from Board members and YALSA Blog contributors with over 800 cumulative views
  • Over 1,000 unique page views on the organizational plan website
  • Mentions in YALS President’s Column, Editor’s Column and special highlights article from President-Elect, Sarah Hill, in the Spring issue
  • Engaging in conversations with stakeholders and committee chairs (95% of chairs surveyed were familiar with the plan by mid-May)
  • Too many social media posts to count!

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Garden Delights at ALA Annual

Florida has no shortage of beautiful gardens and vistas to experience.  Experience the true beauty of Florida.  If you enjoy lush gardens, beautiful sculptures, and tranquil settings, these gardens are sure to delight.

kraft-azalea-gardenKraft Azalea Gardens

136 S Alabama Drive, Winter Park, FL 32789

Open:  8am until dusk

Admission:  Free

Features:  5 acre public garden, dock, and Exedra Monument

mead botanical gardenMead Botanical Gardens

1300 S Denning Drive, Winter Park, FL 32789

Open:  7:30am until dusk

Admission Free

Features:  board walk, 20 minute jogging trail, Greenhouse, Butterfly Garden and Native Plant demonstrations

www.meadgarden.org

polasek gardenAlbin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens

633 Osceola Avenue, Winter Park, FL 32789

Open:  Tues-Sat 10am-4pm; Sun 1pm-4pm

Admission:  $5

Features:  museum and sculpture garden, gift shop

www.polasek.org

Leu gardens

Harry P. Leu Gardens

1920 N Forest Ave, Orlando, FL 32803

Open daily 9am-5pm

Admission:  $10

Features:  19th historic home museum, 50 acres of gardens,

https://www.facebook.com/leugardens

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Interview with Eric Meade

Last month, YALSA announced a new three-year organizational plan building from the Futures report and looking forward to 2018.  The YALSA Board has been working on this for over eight months, and consultant Eric Meade from Whole Mind Strategy Group has been an integral part of the process. I interviewed Meade to hear about the process so far, what has been rewarding about the process, and where YALSA is headed next.

Eric Meade will answer questions at ALA Annual in Orlando at a session titled “What’s New in YALSA & How You Can be a Part of It” from 8:30 – 10am EST at the Rosen Centre Hotel, Salon 03/04. Please attend to hear more about the new organizational plan, where YALSA is going from here and explore ways you can be a part of it.

Rethinking YALSA: What’s New in YALSA and How You Can Be a Part of It!

The YALSA Board has been hard at work throughout this year and last year looking at YALSA’s Future of Library Services for and with Teens: A Call to Action report, association capacity and sustainability, and incorporating member and stakeholder feedback to re-envision the organization’s Strategic Plan to create an association that is more nimble, more modern and more reflective of the needs of teens and our members both today and into the future.

The result is YALSA’s new Organizational Plan!

Please check it out: http://www.ala.org/yalsa/aboutyalsa/strategicplan

You can also find YALSA’s new Mission, Vision, and Impact Statements (http://www.ala.org/yalsa/aboutyalsa/mission%26vision/yalsamission) and the Implementation Plan (http://www.ala.org/yalsa/sites/ala.org.yalsa/files/content/ImplementationPlan.pdf)

Mission: Our mission is 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.

Vision: Our vision is that all teens have access to quality library programs and services ‒ no matter where they occur ‒ that link them to resources, connected learning opportunities, coaching, and mentoring that are tailored to the unique circumstances of the community and that create new opportunities for all teens’ personal growth, academic success, and career development

Intended Impact Statement: To meaningfully address the challenges teens face today and to put more teens on the path to a successful and fulfilling life, YALSA will support library staff who work for and with teens in the transformation of teen library services so that:

  • Libraries reach out to and serve ALL teens in the community no matter what their backgrounds, interests, needs, or abilities, and whether or not they frequent the library space.
  • The library “space” is at once both physical and virtual. It connects teens to other people, printed materials, technology, and digital content, not limiting teens to a designated teen area but rather inviting them into the full scope of the library’s assets and offerings.
  • Teens co-create, co-evaluate, and co-evolve library programs and activities with library staff and skilled volunteers (including mentors and coaches) based on their passions and interests. These programs and activities are connected to teens’ personal, work, or academic interests across multiple literacies; generate measurable outcomes for teens’ skills and knowledge; and are tailored to the unique circumstances of the community.

To achieve this impact, the YALSA Board identified the following priority areas:

  • Leading the transformation of teen library services (including a cultural competency component)
  • Advocacy to policy makers at all levels to increase support for teen library services
  • Funder and partner development

We’re really excited about the new plan and our #TeensFirst focus and we want to know what your thoughts and/or questions are!

To that end, we’ve put together an Organizational Plan FAQ: http://www.ala.org/yalsa/organizational-plan-faq-2016-2018

YALSA President-Elect Sarah Hill and I are also hosting a virtual video townhall on Monday, June 13th, from 2-3 p.m. Eastern via Zoom.  Please contact the YALSA Office at yalsa@ala.org for the access information.

And, if you’re attending ALA Annual in Orlando next month, we will also be hosting a face to face session on YALSA’s new Organizational Plan on Saturday, June 25th, from 8:30-10 a.m. at the Rosen Centre, Room Salon 03/04, called What’s New in YALSA and How You Can Be a Part of It!

If you have any other questions, comments, concerns and/or compliments, feel free to email me at candice. YALSA [at] gmail.com or reach me via Twitter @tinylibrarian! Hope to see you online and/or in person at our Townhall and at ALA Annual!

Secrets of the Orange County Convention Center and Surrounding Area

Conferences can be difficult to navigate.  Between arriving on time, knowing where to park, and finding a cup of coffee, one can easily miss that important session.  Don’t get lost trying to prepare for the day!  Here are a few tips to make your conference go smoother.

cup-of-coffee13There is a reason why all of the hotels around the convention center have coffee shops…the coffee offered in the convention center by the vendors, shall we say, leaves much to be desired.

Pro Tip:  Most hotels have K-cup coffee makers in room.  Bring your own K-cups and your own travel mug to make your morning coffee.

Desperate Measures:  Nearest Starbucks:  10725 International Drive #110

711-lunch-break-isolated-icon-on-light-brownLunch can be the most costly meal of the day if you are not careful.  Meals in the Convention Center Cafeteria are usually $20.00.  The vendors in the exhibit hall have a slightly lower price for a lunch plate, but remember it is fast food.

Pro Tip:  Purchase a ticket for one of the many author or other value added luncheons offered.  You will have a great meal and an experience.

Desperate Measures:  Option 1:  Remember, some of the vendors will be inviting you to a “lunch and learn”.  You will receive a free meal while you listen to their pitch.  Option2: Pack your own lunch. (Granola bar, trail mix, piece of fruit from breakfast.)  Option 3:  Optimize the snack breaks offered in the hall between sessions.

gasInternational Drive has numerous restaurants and attractions, but you won’t find a gas station.  Many folks find themselves on Sand Lake Road paying “tourist inflated” prices.  Don’t buy gasoline there.

Pro Tip:  Go to 7-Eleven @ 6026 Destination Parkway.  Grab a Big Gulp and a Lotto ticket while you fill up.

Desperate Measures:  Well, you did bring comfortable shoes, right?

parkingThe OCCC charges $15 per day for standard vehicles and $25 per day for oversized vehicles.

Pro Tip:  Arrive early as parking fills fast or leave car in hotel parking and take the ALA shuttle.

Desperate Measures:  If you are healthy, most hotels are within one mile of the convention center.  Watch for traffic and use the crosswalks.

drug-store-icon-vector-illustration-53855958Sunburned. Forgot your prescription.

Pro Tip:  Nearest drugstore: Walgreens @ 9858 International Drive

Desperate Measures:  Remember most hotels have a basic needs bodega or closet to assist their quests.  It never hurts to ask.

Vandy Pacetti-Donelson is a Library Media Specialist. She is a Florida Native, library advocate and Board Director for the Florida Association for Media in Education (FAME). Find her online at www.eliterateandlevelingup.com or follow her on Twitter @VandyPD.