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

YALSA Board @ #alaac17: Membership Meeting & President’s Program

If you’re attending Annual, I hope you can join us Monday, June 26, from 10:30-noon, in the Convention Center, room W184bc, for the Annual YALSA Membership Meeting and President’s Program!

During the membership meeting, you’ll meet the current YALSA Board of Directors, as well as next year’s Board.  We’ll recognize grant and award winners, as well as donors.  I’ll give a brief update of board actions over the past year, and the incoming president-elect, Sandra Hughes-Hassell, will discuss her initiative for next year.

Directly after the membership meeting, my presidential program task force chair, Valerie Davis, will lead a panel discussion on the theme of “Real Teens, Real Ready” about college/career readiness and adulting.  She had great help finding these speakers–her task force members were Lisa Borten, Lisa Dettling, Jeremy Dunn, Katie Guzan, and Ellen Popit.

Panelists include:

  • Tiffany Boeglen and Britni Cherrington-Stoddart, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library – Non-Traditional Career Paths
  • Laurel Johnson, Skokie Public Library – Neutral Zone/Peer Guided Conversations
  • Lisa Borten, Brooklyn Public Library – Youth Council/Urban Art Jamm
  • Jennifer Steele, Chicago Public Library – (PRO)jectUS, creative workforce development/partnerships
  • Emmanuel Pratt, Sweet Water Foundation, Chicago – Neighborhood Development for Youth

The presentations are going to be awesome, so be prepared to find ideas that you can implement in your community!  See you there!

YALSA Board @ Annual: Measuring the Impact of YALSA Groups

Many exciting changes have taken place to YALSA’s structure since our new Organizational Plan went into effect in 2016. As things continue to change, Organization & Bylaws must investigate new ways to adequately measure the success and impact of the committees, juries task forces, and advisory boards.

To that end, O&B has put together a proposal to investigate industry standards and best practices related to measuring the outcomes and impact of members and volunteers. O&B will present their findings and make a list of recommendations at the Midwinter Meeting in February 2018.

At the same time that O&B is researching best practices, they will be working with the YALSA Board and YALSA staff to institute an exit survey for group members to complete as they finish their terms. Survey results will be made available to Standing Board Committees for review. The exit survey will be instituted on a trial basis, beginning in July 2017 and ending June 2018.

This effort supports the following areas of the Learning Agenda, which is included in the Organizational Plan:

  • An exit survey would provide additional information about the appointed group experience beyond the quarterly chair report. Feedback from individual group members can give insight into the efficacy of intra-group communication, clarity of a group’s assigned charge, evaluation of virtual environments, and more.
  • Leveraging research into industry best practices to develop recommendations for an outcomes measurement plan for YALSA will allow the Board to ensure the goals outlined in the Organizational Plan are being met.

If the Board accepts the proposal from the Organization & Bylaws Committee, work would begin immediately following Annual.

Organization and Bylaws has submitted the following board doc, http://www.ala.org/yalsa/sites/ala.org.yalsa/files/content/MeasuringImpact_AN17.pdf which will be discussed at Board I Sat. June 24 from 1:00-5:30 pm, convention center room W176c. If you have any questions about this board document or any others, please contact YALSA President Sarah Hill at gsarahthelibrarian@gmail.com or Executive Director Beth Yoke at ​byoke@ala.org

Melissa McBride is the Chair of Organization & Bylaws and a Board Member. She is a librarian at Southold Elementary School on the North Fork of Long Island.

Board Doc #20: FY18 Implementation Plan

YALSA’s Board of Directors adopted a new, three year Organizational Plan in April 2016. The Organizational Plan is supplemented by an Implementation Plan, which outlines the specific tasks YALSA will undertake each year to achieve the goals outlined in the Organizational Plan. The Implementation Plan also designates the resources (financial, human, and organizational) needed for each activity and describes how the Board will measure and monitor progress.

The Board will be reviewing the FY18 Implementation Plan at our Saturday Board meeting during Annual. In our discussion we will be considering major projects in progress that support the plan, changes in the library landscape or larger environment within in which teens and libraries function which might impact the plan, as well as YALSA’s capacity to carry out the activities in the plan. We will also be looking at how the FY18 Implementation Plan builds on the 2016-2017 Implementation Plan.

For more information check out board document #20 located here. You might also want to review board document #28 located here which focuses specifically on building YALSA’s capacity to support the Implementation Plan. Have questions? Post your comments here.

If you are traveling to Annual, make sure to stop by the YALSA booth!

As always, thanks for all you do for YALSA and for teens!

Sandra Hughes-Hassell, President-Elect

Get Involved in YALSA!

2017 marks a milestone in my career. It’s been 10 years since I worked in a library! I started working in my local library in high school, shelving books and preparing materials for circulation, working my way through different positions before becoming a YA Librarian in 2003. Without knowing it, I landed my dream job! The library climate was very different then…there were far fewer YA librarian positions and even less that were dedicated YA positions (mine was half YA half Volunteer Coordinator). Finding a place to ask questions, gain support, and foster my excitement about serving this great population became a critical part of my career. I became a YALSA member because I needed what YALSA provided. In 2007, my career took a turn and I became a Consultant for Youth Services in a regional library system in MA. YALSA continued to provide me with opportunities and resources that helped me become a resource to my members. Now, I’m the Consulting and Training Services (CATS) Director for the MA Library System. I haven’t worked directly with youth in ten years, but YALSA is still as important as ever to me.

I’m sure your story is similar to mine. Working with teens is a unique and wonderful experience that fulfils many of us. Many librarians I’ve spoken with say they have “found their calling” when describing why they are YA librarians.

As a member of YALSA, I wanted to give back to the organization that had given me so much. I gained teamwork, leadership, and project management skills as I volunteered and participated in in-person and online committee work. Toward the end of 2009, I saw that YALSA was re-committing itself to not only providing opportunities for librarians serving teens, but to the teens themselves. I wanted to be a part of that conversation. After talking with a few trusted colleagues, I ran for the YALSA board and won a seat on the Board of Directors.

What’s YALSA committee and Board of Director work like?  It’s amazing. To be an active member of the organization gives you a new sense of understanding. You’ll gain critical leadership skills (public speaking, project and financial management, working with people of differing viewpoints, time management and more) and be an integral part of the organization. There’s a lot of work, though. Meetings (online and in person), self-directed assignments like reviewing board reports, connecting with other YALSA members, acting as a YALSA rep in your region/district/state, bringing ideas to the table, and balancing big picture thinking with practical library implementation. Library and family support of your role is critical, as travel to conferences is often (but not always) required. You’ll need to manage your work to ensure ample time for committee/board work. Board work is generally 5 hours a month, and more during the months of Midwinter and Annual. Committee work time varies by committee. Conferences will become work time, not session attending time. But you won’t miss out on the learning aspect. What you will learn in a role like this cannot be taught in any session or workshop.

Are you hesitant about this? Good…that means you are thinking seriously about it! But with some support and planning, board work can fit and enhance your professional life. Don’t agree with the votes or thoughts of others? A difference of opinion is welcome, provided that it is done with respect to colleagues as we all move forward to ensure the mission and vision of YALSA is fulfilled.

Being an active member of an organization like YALSA will give you the opportunity to learn more about yourself, while giving back to an organization that is so critical to many of our colleagues working with young adults.

I encourage you to contact me with any questions or concerns about considering a role as a YALSA Leader. And join us on June 20 for our Open Q and A to learn more about YALSA Governance

Sarah Sogigian is the Consulting and Training Services Director at the Massachusetts Library System. She has been an active member of YALSA for over 10 years, including serving a 3 year term on the YALSA Board of Directors. She is currently Chair of the Governance Nominating Committee.

Board Doc # 32: Teen Tech Week and Teen Read Week

Teen Read Week and Teen Tech Week have done a great job of getting the word out about two specific areas of teen services. But feedback from these two celebrations demonstrates that there are needs of the community that are not being met. One of these needs is that for nearly a decade members have been asking for more examples of low-cost and no-cost programming that works with these and other topics for teen services.  Another is to create more awareness and advocacy opportunities for teen services.

To meet these needs, this board doc offers a re-envisioning of TRW and TTW. It offers several options for thinking about the role TRW and TTW serve for YALSA members. One option is to combine TRW and TTW into one month long celebration of teen services, as a public awareness campaign to raise awareness about the value of teen services. The document outlines modeling it in part on the Lights on Afterschool celebration.  It also emphasizes the importance of selecting a month that supports school and public libraries can celebrate.  The month long celebration offers flexible participation, opportunities to try new things with the longer celebration time, and  structure for celebrating in a way that best fits each libraries needs. It broadens the focus to cover all areas of teen services so that you can customize for your community and your teens.

Along with this month long celebration, the document also focuses on implementing teen services and programs year-round teen programs and services. This will support library staff in all sizes of libraries to more easily support teens in the library, no matter what their staffing situation.

For more information check out board document #32 located here! Have questions? Post your comments here!

Crystle Martin, YALSA Secretary, 2017-2018 President-Elect

 

YALSA Board @ #alaac17

Happy LGBTQIA Pride Month!

YALSA’s Board has been hard at work since their last face-to-face meeting in Atlanta: continuing the work of the organizational plan, working on these projects, and planning for ALA Annual in Chicago!

Now, the Annual Conference is fast approaching, and I’m looking forward to the Printz Ceremony on Friday night, honoring Sarah Dessen at the Edwards Award Brunch on Saturday morning, talking with members 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.

In lieu of a happy hour this conference, YALSA is co-sponsoring The Other (Invisible) Refugees – Supporting Central American Children in Crisis on Saturday, June 24, from 4:30-6:30 pm in McCormick Place, W178a.  Join us for viewing a film from IBBY & REFORMA, and learn about the Children in Crisis Project, which seeks to raise awareness about these vulnerable youth and to provide resources to them. Donations are accepted at the door.

The Board agenda is up online, and more documents will be posted soon. Members can check them out in advance and send comments or feedback to me at gsarahthelibrarian @gmail.com. If you’ll be in Chicago 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.

Be on the lookout for more blog posts in the two weeks from fellow Board members about the topics up for discussion and action.

You can stay up to date with all the conversations by following Executive Director Beth Yoke (@yalsa_director), myself (@glibrarian), 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 Chicago!