An Interview with Sean Gilmartin, Dorothy Broderick Scholarship Recipient

Claire Moore, from YALSA’s Leadership Initiatives Fundraising Taskforce recently interviewed Sean Gilmartin.  He was the 2017 recipient of the Dorothy Broderick Student Scholarship, which is funded through YALSA’s Leadership Endowment.  The taskforce’s goal is to raise $20,000 by the end of January 2018 to grow the endowment so that there’s enough interest to fund other leadership initiatives, like scholarships for a leadership e-course series that’s coming in 2018.  So far, the taskforce has raised approximately $12,500.  Any donation made now through Jan. 15th will be matched dollar for dollar by ALA.  Please consider making a gift–any size helps, and ALA will double your impact!

Dorothy Broderick Student Scholarship Recipient

Sean Gilmartin, Teen Services Librarian at Elmwood Park Public Library

How long have you been a YALSA member?

2 years

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YALSA Councilor Report post-ALA Annual ’17

Hello YALSA members and other interested parties!  As your representative to the ALA Council, I am pleased to bring you this report of Council activities and actions from the 2017 Annual Conference in Chicago.

My conference roommate, Intellectual Freedom Round Table (IFRT) Councilor Martin Garnar, provided a large percentage of this report and I must credit him with much of the following:

Council I: 

After the usual opening business, including finalizing the slate of nominees for the Council Committee on Committees (which assists the president-elect with committee appointments) and the Council representatives to the Planning & Budget Assembly, Courtney Young, ALA Past President and chair of the search committee for the new ALA executive director, gave her report on the committee’s progress.  The search firm of Isaacson Miller has been engaged to assist with the search, and they hope to have interviews in October to coincide with the October Executive Board meeting in Chicago.  The goal is to have a new executive director in place by Midwinter 2018.  In the meantime, Mary Ghikas will serve as interim executive director. ALA President Julie Todaro gave a report on her activities and ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels gave updates on Executive Board actions since Midwinter 2017 and on implementation of Council Actions taken at Midwinter 2017.  Under new business, Council took up a resolution on global climate change passed at the virtual membership meeting on June 8th. The IFRT board voted to endorse in principle, and this resolution was debated on the floor of Council for almost an hour, with some of the time devoted to attempts to refer or postpone the resolution until some changes could be suggested.  Instead, changes were made on the floor and the resolution was adopted as amended.  Kathi Kromer, the new director of the ALA Washington Office, and Adam Eisgrau, director of the Office for Government Relations, gave a report on the office’s advocacy efforts.  At the close of Council, the elections for the Committee on Committees and the Planning & Budget Assembly opened for the afternoon. 

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Proposing a Program at ALA Annual

ALA’s Annual Conference is over for this year, and library workers are back home, energized and ready to dive into summer learning or planning for the coming school year.  It’s also time to sit back and reflect on what made a good annual conference this year, besides the obvious things (IMHO) like hearing Hillary Clinton as the closing speaker. What panels spoke out to you? Which ones did you feel gave you the most actionable know-how to take home and try out that very next week? And things we like to think less about here at YALSA, but what didn’t work so well? Why didn’t you like a certain panel? Were the panelists too rote? Too unimaginative?

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YALSA Intellectual Freedom Liaison Report

As the YALSA Liaison to the Intellectual Freedom Committee (IFC), I’d like to  highlight several issues that were discussed by the IFC at ALA annual that are particularly pertinent to YALSA members.

First, hate crimes and materials challenges have increased this past year. The Office of Intellectual Freedom (OIF) staff is always ready to help librarians and libraries work through these issues, as desired by the local institution.  The Office is urging any library that experiences a hate crime or a challenge to report it to the Office. The more complete the reporting is the better the profession and ALA can work to combat these issues.  To report challenges use this link: http://www.ala.org/tools/challengesupport/report

Second, there are two new initiatives from OIF that YALSA members will want to know about.

Our Voices – Founded in 2016 by OIF and ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services, Our Voices continues to work to build a foundation of publishers, authors, and partnerships to bring diverse, quality content to library shelves. The goal of Our Voices is to provide librarians with “diverse content with one click.” It will connect libraries with electronic and in-print content from small, independent publisher and authors. The Our Voices Council will use BiblioLabs as the platform to submit, review, and gather metadata on diverse literature. The books will be distributed through Independent Publisher’s Group. Our Voices is now recruiting librarians to review small, independent publisher and author content.

Intellectual Freedom Boot Camp – First piloted in the fall of 2016, the Office for Intellectual Freedom and the Office for Library Advocacy continue to offer Intellectual Freedom and Advocacy Boot Camp at pre-conferences around the country in cooperation with library chapters. Four Advocacy Boot Camps took place in 2017, and five are slotted for the fall of 2017. Led by OIF Director James LaRue and OLA Director Marci Merola, the training sessions address the four new, key messages of ALA:

  1. Libraries transform lives.
  2. Libraries transform communities.
  3. Librarians are passionate advocates for lifelong learning.
  4. Libraries are a smart investment.

Attendees craft the beginning of an advocacy plan and are given practical tips on messaging, networking, community engagement, and Intellectual Freedom as the core value and brand of librarianship.

Finally, two new Interpretations to the Library Bill of Rights were passed by Council at the last session:  “Politics in American Libraries: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights” and  “Equity, Diversity, Inclusion: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights.”

To find out about all the issues IFC discussed, read IFC Chair Pam Klipsch’s report to ALA Council  Council. http://connect.ala.org/node/268218

Ma’lis Wendt

mwendt@nyc.rr.com

 

 

Followup from YALSA Board @ #alaac17

If you attended ALA’s Annual Conference, I hope you’re safely home and recovering from all that is conference! If you have never been to this event, members can apply by December 1st for a travel grant from YALSA to go to the next one in New Orleans!

The YALSA Board was very productive in Chicago, and you can see the actions of the board on this page.  Some highlights include:

The board will continue to explore:

Look for the official minutes from our Annual meetings coming soon. At the conclusion of our board meetings, I officially handed the gavel over to the awesome YALSA President Sandra Hughes-Hassell, and the new board members were seated.  Check out our current roster for some new and familiar faces.

The Board’s next meeting will be at the 2018 ALA Midwinter Meeting from February 9-13, 2018. We’re looking forward to seeing YALSA members in Denver!

And remember, YALSA’s YA Services Symposium will be in Louisville, Kentucky, November 3-5, 2017. Early bird registration is going on now!

Thanks for all that you do to make YALSA an amazing association and thank you for the tremendous opportunity to serve as the association’s President. It was an honor and a privilege to work with you all this past year!

Evaluation of 2016 Jury Format Pilot: One year out

After 1 year of piloting a new jury appointment format (Board Document #30), the Board analyzed member survey feedback to evaluate how well the change from a 1-year to a 3-month jury appointment structure is going. Overall, it appears to be working and members like the new structure, finding it efficient and easier to keep on task. The Leading the Transformation of Teen Services Standing Board Committee (Crystle Martin, Trixie Dantis, Melissa McBride, Candice Mack, Jessica Snow, Mega Subramaniam) shared that twenty of the 30 jury members responded to the survey.

Going forward, the chairs will become the only appointed member while other members will function on an opt in basis. Several chairs had previously operated under the year round structure, and found that the new structure helped keep the energy of the group and the pacing of the work up. These small tweaks that were made also removed the onerous form requirement for appointments, using an opt in volunteer form instead.

As a reminder to jury members, please keep private who is nominated for the committee. Also, guidelines will be shared for what criteria are used to be a part of the selection committee.

We thank the jury members for all of your hard work!

Kafi D. Kumasi is an associate professor of library and information science (LIS) at Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, where she teaches in the areas of school library media, urban librarianship, multicultural services and resources and research methods.

Council Happenings at ALA Annual ’17

Greetings from your YALSA Division Councilor. Here are the ALA Council highlights since the 2017 Midwinter meeting in Atlanta:

1. Most of the discussion on the ALA Council list has revolved around the Federal administration’s proposed FY18 Budget which includes the elimination of the Institute for Library and Museum Services (IMLS). The #SaveIMLS campaign was launched and ALA President Julie Todaro led the charge to support the continuation of the agency. Many efforts have been suggested to contact congressional representatives to inform and encourage them to retain funding for IMLS. A concurrent drive, #saveIAL, encouraged representatives to retain funding for the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL), a Department of Education program focusing on literacy, which is also set to be defunded.

2. Kathi Kromer has been named the new head of the ALA Washington Office, effective June 5. She had previously served with the ALS Association for the past 11 years. https://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/blogs/the-scoop/kathi-kromer-new-head-alawashington-office/

3. Loida Garcia-Febo was elected ALA President-Elect: http://www.ala.org/news/member-news/2017/04/garcia-febo-wins-2018-2019-alapresidency

4. Net Neutrality has been discussed and it would not be surprising if a resolution was brought forward on this topic by councilors in Chicago. The new head of the FCC, Ajit Pai, announced plans to roll back Net Neutrality: http://thehill.com/policy/technology/330703-fcc-head-unveils-plan-to-roll-back-netneutrality

This resulted in ALA and ACRL releasing a joint statement opposing any changes: http://www.ala.org/news/press-releases/2017/04/ala-acrl-oppose-fcc-plans-roll-backnet-neutrality

The Youth Council Caucus (led by the Councilors of AASL, ALSC, and YALSA) continue to work jointly to focus on issues specifically affecting youth in libraries and library workers who support youth in their communities. It is key to remember that all library issues affect youth.

It promises to be an interesting Council session in Chicago with much to discuss. Discussions online in advance of the conference have so far been quiet, but many topics, particularly those that involve the current federal administration, could bring forth resolutions.

All YALSA Board documents and the agenda can be found at http://www.ala.org/yalsa/2017-annual-conference-agenda-and-documents

Respectfully submitted,

Todd Krueger | YALSA Division Councilor 

Board Doc #25: Board and Board Member Assessment

As I enter the final year of my board term, I have been reflecting back on how much I have learned and thinking ahead to how much I have to grow. I am proud of the diverse range of experiences that we have on the YALSA Board, we have board members in school libraries, public libraries, state libraries and academia. We have board members that are still pretty new to their career and those who have cultivated their experience to positions in administration. We have board members who have served on other non-profit boards and associations and those who are new to governance. And we support our board members with the best tools to help them succeed.

Last fall, the board began discussing how we wanted to grow and improve as a board as part of the Organizational Plan re-alignment. We wanted to understand our performance as a whole board, as well as our strengths and weaknesses as individual board members. At Midwinter 2017, the board voted to transition our Governance Nominating Committee (which, in the past, cultivated a list of qualified volunteers for governance positions) into a Board Development Committee (which would also care for the professional development of the sitting board members).

I am very excited for the prospects of how our board will improve with the careful shepherding of the new Board Development Committee. At Annual this week, the board will be discussing improvements to the Board Member Self-Assessment and a new board assessment which will help the new Board Development Committee see, holistically, the boards strengths and weaknesses.

If you are wondering what the board is up to at Annual,  you can see the schedule of board meetings and agenda. If you are attending ALA Midwinter and you see a board member (look for our YALSA Board Member ribbons) please come up and say hello! We would love to hear from you!

Kate McNair is a YALSA Board Member. Come see her at the YALSA booth #2731 on Sunday, June 25 12-1pm.

BOARD DOC # 21: Review Materials for Book Awards & Selected List Groups

At ALA Midwinter 2017, YALSA’s Board of Directors discussed and accepted item # 29 Selected List Transition board document. Besides defining the plan for transition of Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults, Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults, and Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers to the Hub, it also required future lists to note when titles are available in Spanish and use e-versions when reviewing nominations.

In an effort to expand this procedure and make it consistent across all Selected Lists and Awards Committees, the Board will discuss piloting the use of digital titles for all selection groups as well as including availability of non-English translations and other formats (e.g. Braille, large print) in annotations for winner/nominees.

The use of digital versions allow inclusion of books from smaller or independent publishers that may not be able to print and ship physical copies of their titles, broadening the pool of nominations and promoting diverse selections. Since eBooks are easily available and accessible, committee members will receive titles promptly and directly.

Adding availability in other languages and formats to winner/honoree annotations will greatly assist those working with non-native English speaking or visually impaired communities.

For more information, see board document # 21 to be discussed on Saturday and the agenda for 2017 Annual Conference. Have questions? Post them here or contact any of the Board members.

Hope to see you at conference!

Trixie Dantis, 2016-2017 Board Fellow

Board Doc #18: Creating a YALSA Liaison to ALA Groups

Networking is a vital part of our work.  One way that YALSA has been able to network is by assigning liaisons to the various 18 ALA Groups that meet throughout the year and at conferences. This allows YALSA to share information and find out what everyone else in ALA is doing.  It’s how I got involved with YALSA.  However, the assigning of members and keeping track of their work has been a difficult task for the YALSA Board.

During the latest round of strategic planning, the Board was in general agreement that YALSA would benefit from cultivating stronger ties with ALA. One strategy for achieving that is refocusing the work of the Executive Committee to allow for this group to devote more of its time to relationship building within ALA. Another possible strategy for YALSA to pursue is better leveraging YALSA’s representative role on 18 specific ALA committees, assemblies, and other groups.

Thus the Board Standing Committee on Advocacy has brought forth the proposal of creating a Liaison position that would be tasked with being YALSA’s liaison to a small number of groups that didn’t correspond with the YALSA Executive Committee’s traditional counterparts in larger ALA activities.

In a nutshell, the position that will be created will be someone who attends both annual and midwinter conferences and will liaison with a few different groups.  To help relieve the cost of conferences YALSA will help defray some of the cost of attending conferences which will create greater accountability for the Liaison.  Current liaison positions don’t require conference attendance, yet most of the groups do the bulk of their work at the conference.  For more information check out Board Doc #18.

Being a liaison is a great way to find out about another division or groups and how their work aligns with ours.  Like I said, I started off as a Liaison from the GLBT-RT to YALSA, it was a great way to discover how the YALSA Board worked.  And I was able to share with the GLBT-RT what YALSA was doing for GLBT youth and how we could work better together.  I encourage you to read the Board Doc and if you’re interested in a becoming a Liaison or volunteering in general for YALSA let us know.

If you’re in Chicago stop by the YALSA Booth or come by a YALSA Board meeting to see what else is happening in our division!

Franklin EscobedoYALSA Board of Directors, 2016-2017