Speaking up for teens & libraries during the federal budgeting process

Each year the federal budgeting process kicks off when the White House releases a draft budget.  This will happen sometime in February, and there’s talk that the FY19 draft budget may be released on February 12, 2018.  If you recall last year, the White House’s draft budget called for the elimination of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) as well as all of the federally earmarked funds that the nation’s libraries depend on to provide critical services to their community.    However, a grassroots advocacy effort led Congress to keep funding for IMLS and libraries for FY18.

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YALSA #alamw18 Board Document #22: Member Grants & Awards Next Steps

In order to maintain a robust and timely organization, an occasional evaluation of the awards, grants and fellowships presented to membership must be undertaken. A member survey done in 2017 indicated that members were interested in having the governing body re-evaluate some of the awards, grants and fellowships to suit the current needs of the organization. With this information in mind, a task force was set up to distill the findings of the survey and make recommendations to the Board at the 2017 Annual Conference in Chicago.

The Fund and Partner Development Standing Committee of the YALSA Board then looked at those recommendations to determine the feasibility of them based on what YALSA finances would allow and to determine if any of the awards, grants and fellowships needed to be discontinued or others to be added. The committee also looked at concerns about how the awards were marketed to the membership and if the eligibility language of the awards was clearly spelled out so that those members who could apply would. The Fund and Partner Development Standing Committee brings forth the recommendations in Board Document #22.

Overview

The Fund and Partner Development Standing Committee was given the task to appraise the findings of the Member Awards Evaluation Taskforce for YALSA and its members. Based on this information, the FPD Standing Committee has issued the proposals below for each of the existing YALSA Awards.

Recommended Board Actions

• The YALSA Board Directs the President to appoint two short term member groups to develop a proposal for each of the two new awards, and to submit them to the Board for review for their June 2018 meeting.
• The YALSA Board directs the Executive Director to work with staff to expand the focus of the MAE Award and Collection Development Grant.
• The YALSA Board directs the Fund and Partner Development Committee to work with the Executive Director to identify potential award sponsors and reach out to them.
• The YALSA Board approves the recommendation to discontinue the Midwinter Paper Presentation and directs the Executive Director to work with staff to carry out the necessary work to sunset the grant.

See the full report here.

Respectfully submitted,
Todd Krueger
YALSA Division Councilor

Catch Up With a Past Grant Winner — Part 2

Thinking of applying for a Dollar General summer grant? Hear firsthand from 2015 summer learning grant winner Emily Otis, in Q&A style, about her 2015 summer program for Anaheim Public Library in California and how receiving the grant helped her and her teen patrons. This is the second of a short series in which we catch up with previous grant winners.

1. Please tell us a little bit about your library and your 2015 summer reading program.

2015 was the first time in many years that the Teen SRP was run by a dedicated Teen Librarian. After budget cuts and layoffs about 5 years before, one librarian shared responsibility for adult and teen collections and services. I was hired as Teen Librarian in the fall of 2014, and saw right away that YA collection development and teen programs had languished (as would be expected). Our SRP numbers from the year before had been relatively low, and there had been no programming. The theme for 2015 was Read To the Rhythm, so I planned musically inspired programs, had teen volunteers create a musical mural to hang in the teen space, and went out to the high school to promote the program and drum up participation. See More

The summer learning grant applications are open now until January 1st, 2018. There are two types of grants available, valued at $1000 each, and 40 total grants will be awarded. Eligibility requirements apply. More information and applications can be found here.

Catch Up With a Past Summer Grant Winner

Want to hear firsthand the benefits of applying for a Dollar General summer grant? 2015 summer learning grant winner Bill Stea, in a Q&A style spoke about his summer program for Walford West Library in Maryland and how receiving the grant helped him and his teen patrons. This is the first of a short series in which we catch up with previous grant winners.

  1. Please tell us a little bit about your library and your 2015 summer reading program

Waldorf West Library is the largest and newest of the four branches in the Charles County Public Library system in Southern Maryland. Our library serves the citizens and community of Charles County, a suburban county below the Washington, DC beltway. According to the 2013 US Census American Community Survey, 8,818 county residents are currently enrolled in Grades 9 through 12 in public school and 8,475 of teens in that age range have library cards. See more.

The summer learning grant applications are open now until January 1st, 2018. There are two types of grants available, valued at $1000 each, and 40 total grants will be awarded. Eligibility requirements apply. More information and applications can be found here.

Support YALSA for #GivingTuesday

Today is #GivingTuesday – a movement that celebrates giving and encourages more, better and smarter giving during the holiday season.

Please consider making a donation to Friends of YALSA to support grants, scholarships and awards for members, and encourage your friends, family and colleagues to do the same. So far in 2017, Friends of YALSA has raised $9,802 towards its goal of $14,095 needed to provide our annual member grants, awards and scholarships. Our Giving Tuesday goal is to raise the remaining $4,293. This year, Giving Tuesday is extra special because you can double your impact! With every dollar that is donated, ALA will match it, dollar for dollar (up to a $1,000 individual gift)!

I am giving to Friends of YALSA to give back to an organization that has done so much for me. I have taken advantage of the awards, grants, and more leadership and learning opportunities than I could count. Now it is my turn to pay it forward.

Donate Today and help Friends of YALSA support our profession. Then, take an #UNselfie with a message explaining why you are giving, tag it #GivingTuesday and post it on our Facebook or tweet us!

Thank you – and Happy Giving Tuesday!

 

Kate Denier is the Chair of YALSA’s Financial Advancement Committee.

How YALSA Funds Member Services & Support for Library Staff

A common question that I get, especially from new board members, is about where funds come from to support YALSA and its members.  The answer is pretty straightforward, although not one many people expect.  Member dues make up only about a third of YALSA’s total funding.  The other two thirds comes from product sales (award seals, books & e-learning); events (YA Services Symposium & ticketed events at ALA conferences); grants; corporate sponsorships; interest from YALSA’s endowments; and individual donations.  Many people are surprised to learn that funds from ALA or the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) are not a part of YALSA’s annual budget.  Actually, YALSA receives important services from ALA, such as HR and legal counsel, but not regular financial support.  IMLS offers competitive grants that YALSA is eligible for, and we have been awarded two.  If you’re interested, you can learn more about YALSA finances in my latest annual report.

All the funds that come into YALSA, from whatever source, are used to

  1. Provide members with services and support, like free monthly webinars and the summer learning grants we now have available
  2. Create and share resources with the library community, at no cost to library staff, such as our short, informational videos and newest toolkit about teen literacies

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YALSA Fundraising Update

Thanks all to all who have donated to YALSA so far, especially those who have given since the challenge match was announced. We’re currently at $4,535 in money raised. Thanks to all who gave at the symposium – we raised $2,000 in Louisville! And that wasn’t from members writing big checks – it was from donations of $5 to $10 that added up quickly. So every dollar really counts!

Your donations to Friends of YALSA and the Leadership endowment advance the impact of teen services across the country. Thanks to you, YALSA is able to annually fund a Spectrum Scholar, an Emerging Leader, and so much more. And now, with the challenge match, your gift will go farther to help support an additional spectrum scholar, provide scholarships to a brand new leadership e-course, and help establish a PhD fellowship for teen services.

If you haven’t donated to YALSA this year, please make a gift today! And, if you have made a gift, please consider making a second one, to maximize this match opportunity! Your gift will go farther to help support an additional spectrum scholar, provide scholarships to a brand new leadership e-course, and help establish a PhD fellowship for teen services. This is a perfect opportunity to talk with friends and colleagues about the great work of the association you are a part of, and inspire them to make a contribution as well.

We only have until January 15th to take advantage of this $10,000 matching opportunity, so take advantage of this opportunity to double your impact!

Summer Teen Internship @ Laurel Public Library: Dollar General Grant Winner

We were fortunate enough to receive one of the 2016 YALSA Symposium Awards to implement a Summer Teen Internship. Thanks to YALSA and the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, we were able to successfully design and fund our program. We already have a very well established and recognized teen volunteer group, so this was a positive next step for us.

To be considered for an internship for the summer of 2017, teens were required to attend a mentoring program offered by a local community leader. Initially a fifteen-week program, the facilitator was able to design an eight-week program for the thirteen teens who signed up. Over the course of eight weeks, the teens learned many skills such as life skills, leadership skills, personal presentation, and public speaking. Guest speakers from the community were also brought in and the class concluded with each teen doing a videotaped presentation.

Upon completion of the mentor program, the teens could then apply for an internship position, where they would design and run their own program for the Youth Services Department. All applicants had to be a member of our Teen Ambassador Program and fill out an application and submit a short essay about the benefits that might be gained in a mentorship program by a mentee, mentor and community. After reviewing the applications and essays, we then scheduled interviews with the teens. The interviews covered their availability, their expectations, and how they saw their potential program running. After the interviews, we also got input from the facilitator of the mentor program and after which we selected five interns.

After their selection, we then held several meetings to finalize their programs, discuss budgets, time management and scheduling, and further expectations. Every intern was tasked with creating a supply list while working within their budget, creating a syllabus to cover their eight-week program, and working with us to create publicity material. One of the interns worked as a Youth Services Assistant while the other four held their own programs. One intern planned and carried out Story Times, another had a Comic Design Program, another did a Recycled Mini-House Program and one did a Basics of Photography and Videography Program for teens. All programs were very well attended and several had waiting lists. Every week the interns would evaluate their syllabuses and re-work anything that needed tweaking.

At the end of the eight weeks, we held a reception to recognize the interns and to showcase the work done by attendees of their programs. Families and members of the community gathered to see their displays and helped us to recognize the intern’s accomplishments. At the reception, the interns were given their certificates and received their stipends.

This was a very successful program for our library and our community and one we look forward to doing again. All the feedback we received was very positive, from the families and participants to the interns themselves and their families. The impact on the interns and our community was significant. In a community with one of the highest poverty rates in the state, we need programs like this to help propel our youth onto future success. By challenging them and giving them the skills they need to succeed and the confidence to step out, we are developing the future leaders that our community needs. If they are invested in our community as a teen, they will be invested as successful adults. It has been amazing to watch these teens really challenge themselves and step out of their comfort zones to successfully take on a task they never considered doing.

Gail Bruce is the Youth Services Librarian at the Laurel Public Library in Laurel, DE.

YALSA Fundraising – Double Your Impact!

Did you know that you have the chance to double the impact of your donation to YALSA?

From November 1st until January 15th, every dollar given to YALSA will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $10,000!

Your donations to Friends of YALSA and the Leadership endowment advance the impact of teen services across the country. Thanks to you, YALSA is able to annually fund a Spectrum Scholar, an Emerging Leader, and so much more. And now, with the challenge match, your gift will go farther to help support an additional spectrum scholar, provide scholarships to a brand new leadership e-course, and help establish a PhD fellowship for teen services.

If you haven’t donated to YALSA this year, please make a gift today! And, if you have made a gift, please consider making a second one, to maximize this match opportunity! This is a perfect opportunity to talk with friends and colleagues about the great work of the association you are a part of, and inspire them to make a contribution as well.

Take advantage of this opportunity to double your impact!

Thanks so much!

 

Chris Shoemaker

YALSA Past President

Member, Leadership Initiatives Fundraising Taskforce

One Week, One Story @ Jaffrey Public Library

Thanks to a Teen Read Week Activity grant by YALSA and the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, Jaffrey Public Library is collaborating with independent comic book store Escape Hatch to foster local teens’ writing and artistic talents for One Week, One Story as our primary Teen Read Week initiative. The purpose is to take the mystery out of the creative process and empower teens to cultivate their artistic skills with autonomy and confidence, providing the tools for them to continue to do so well beyond the end of the program. One Week, One Story involves participants attending a workshop to create their own comics for publication in a bound anthology.

The library will host graphic novelist Marek Bennett to teach a time-challenge comic workshop on October 9, which is also a school holiday. Marek has had a lot of success teaching time-challenge workshops, such as On your mark, get set, draw! during last year’s summer program, and can speak from experience about how time constraints can free artists from perfectionism. His nonfiction graphic novel The Civil War Diary of Freeman Colby is also on this year’s YALSA Great Graphic Novels for Teens list, so he is able to speak to the entire publication process from creation to marketing one’s work post-publication. After a 3-hour workshop (and pizza) with Marek to learn the basic process of creating a comic book, teens may opt to attend social write-ins in the evenings to polish their works and collaborate for feedback. A final reception at the end of the week gives teens the opportunity to share their work with the wider community and celebrate having completed their comics.

In preparation for the initiative, the library has purchased graphics tablets and editing software so that participants may learn to use the tools typically used by graphic novelists today. The library will also bolster its collection of graphic novels and books about creating graphic novels to provide further references for participants. Throughout Teen Read Week, participants may reserve a graphics tablet to digitize their stories. The library will host a workshop that covers the basics of how to use the hardware and software, or participants may set up a one-on-one tutorial with a librarian.

At the end of One Week, One Story, teens who choose to do so may submit their completed comics for publication. Escape Hatch recently launched an independent publishing venture and will publish the teens’ work in a bound anthology. All participants, regardless of whether they chose to submit their work, will receive a copy of the anthology. Escape Hatch will hold a book release party to launch the teens’ work and will make copies available to purchase.

By providing teens with the information and tools to create, as well putting the tangible results of their efforts in teens’ hands, we aim to strengthen literacy skills and inspire a genuine excitement in authorship. Furthermore, we hope that seeing their friends’ work published inspires teens who do not participate. We will harness the momentum generated by Teen Read Week to implement further programming and independent creative efforts using the tools and resources purchased for the program.

Julie Perrin is the director of the Jaffrey Public Library in Jaffrey, NH.  Andrea Connolly is the Youth Services Librarian.  Their library is a recipient of a Teen Read Week Activity grant from YALSA and the Dollar General Literacy Foundation.