Thanks again to all who braved the snowy weather to be part of the 2015 Midwinter Meetings, as well as those who chose to participate virtually with the board and other activities. It was a busy January, and I'm thrilled with all the work that members and the YALSA Board accomplished. Here's a peek at what I've been doing:

Activities

  • Currently appointing to the new Board Diversity Taskforce, which will look at and make recommendations regarding the selection and recruitment of YALSA leaders. If you’re interested in serving, please send me an e-mail and/or submit a volunteer form.
  • With Executive Director Beth Yoke and the board, finalized agendas for Midwinter YALSA Executive Committee and Board meetings.
  • Led discussions at YALSA Board meetings. Draft minutes of those discussions will be posted here.
  • Led discussions during two YALSA Executive Committee meetings. Draft minutes of those discussions will be posted here.
  • Led a Board Planning Session which focused on outcomes training and ways to incorporate outcomes into YALSA’s strategic planning process.
  • Attended formal and informal meetings with Division and ALA leaders at the Midwinter conference.
  • Highlighted the work of YALSA selection committees at the Youth Media Awards.
  • Hosted and celebrated Nonfiction and Morris award winners and finalists at the Midwinter reception.
  • Appointed members to fill vacancies on various committees.
  • Spoke with CNN regarding the importance of the Morris Award and recognizing new authors.
  • Spoke with U.S. News and World Report about teen library engagement.

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Get ready to vote! The YALSA election runs from March 24 through May 1, and to help you be an informed voter, we're sharing interviews with each of the 2015 YALSA Governance and 2017 Selection Committee candidates as well as the ALA President-Elect Candidates.

Today we'll hear from a candidate for ALA President-Elect. The ALA President serves a one year term. The role of the ALA President is to be the Association's chief spokesperson and to work closely with the ALA's Executive Director in identifying and promoting library issues nationwide and internationally. A full description of ALA Presidential duties and responsibilities can be found here.

Full biographical information on all of the candidates can be found on the sample ballot.

Today we have an interview with James LaRue.
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YALSA’s Board of Directors met last weekend at the ALA Midwinter Meeting. Between the blizzard and the member Happy Hour and the number of other YALSA programs, I'm pleased with the time and attention the Board spent on big issues that drive and guide YALSA and our members.

Key activities included participating in training about outcomes-based planning and assessment and strategic planning. The board also took action in some key areas, including:

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The ALA Midwinter Meeting has ended, but the time to focus on YALSA's work has just begun. The YALSA Board of Directors voted at the Board II meeting to establish a YALSA Board Diversity Taskforce. This taskforce has a charge to analyze the current board recruitment and selection policies, procedures and resources, and recommend improvements in order to bring more ongoing diversity to the YALSA Board.

 

Chris Shoemaker, YALSA's President, is seeking members who are willing to serve on this new group.  As a virtual group, there are no travel requirements to serve on this taskforce, and the group will conduct its work between March 2015 and June 2016. Find out more about the task force from the board document.  If you're interested in serving, please fill out the volunteer form by no later than March 1st.

 

Have questions? Feel free to email me at nicolamcdonaldwriter@gmail.com or reach out to YALSA President, Christopher Shoemaker at cinf0master@gmail.com.

 

Do you have a passion for the future of teens services in libraries? Are you looking for ways to give back to the profession and to YALSA? Do you want to effect change, build new skills, and develop a killer resume in the process? If you answered yes to any of these questions, it’s time to seriously consider running for an elected position!
Over the course of the next seven months, the 2016 Governance Nominating Committee and I will be working towards developing a diverse slate of members to run for several Board positions including Director at-large, Secretary, and President. Successful candidates will run for election in the Spring of 2016 and begin their terms during YALSA’s Board III meeting at the Annual 2016 conference in Orlando.
For more information on the role of responsibilities of YALSA’s Board, please visit the Governance page which includes some handy FAQs to help get you started. There’s also a series of interviews and podcasts from past Board members in a series on this blog called “Life on the YALSA Board.”

As you ponder and check out these resources, please feel free to also connect with me anytime at shannon.peterson@gmail.com. I’ll also be at the Midwinter and Annual ALA Meetings if you’d like to schedule time for an in-person chat.

During the Annual 2014 Conference, the YALSA Board approved an agenda item that proposed a new framework to formally include the voices of professionals in related fields with similar goals and objectives. The Advocates Advisory Panel will be charged with tackling a specific area of focus related to the Strategic Plan, the Future of Library Services for and with Teens report, or other topics as identified by the Board each year. The hope is that through this process, YALSA will gain valuable outside perspective on topics that are important for teens, expand its reach through new and/or strengthened relationships, and model the kind of collaborative, collective work that is called out in the Future report.

Because the Board approved the proposal in concept, as the author, I’ve been tasked with working with the Board Standing Committee on Capacity Building to create an inaugural focus and to hammer out some of the logistics. Although there’s obviously any number of topics that might be interesting to pursue with this, we decided that one viable option would be for the panel to consider strategies that YALSA might pursue in order to connect key principles and guidelines (such as the those presented in the Future report) to LIS education. We determined that this might be a sensible place to start because:

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Last fall, YALSA conducted a survey to get member input on the next strategic plan. The Strategic Planning Taskforce’s official report is now available as part of the YALSA Board’s 2015 Midwinter Meeting Board Documents. You can find it at item #26 on the agenda. If you have any responses to share on the survey, we would love to hear from you!

There are lots of strategic planning activities happening at Midwinter! The Board will be dedicating its Board Planning and Board I meetings to strategic planning sessions with consultant Alan Brickman (item #1 on the agenda). Like all Board meetings, these are open to all conference attendees, and you are welcome to drop in and observe. We’ll also be live tweeting from board meetings, so please follow @yalsa for more details.

Member involvement is a key part of successful strategic planning, so YALSA’s also hosting a member planning session at Midwinter: Moving YALSA Forward on Sunday, February 1, from 1-2:30 pm. This session will be facilitated by Alan Brickman as well. Advocacy emerged as an important theme in our member survey results, and it will be the main topic explored here. We hope you’ll come and participate in this session: we need to hear from as many members as possible to make it a success! Light refreshments will be available.

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ALA Midwinter is just next week, and I am looking forward to seeing my colleagues, talking with YALSA members, check out the best of YA Literature and non-fiction at the Morris / Non-fiction reception, and more. Check out the YALSA Wiki for dates and times of all YALSA events if you'll be attending Midwinter. If you won’t be in Chicago, follow Midwinter activities with the Midwinter hashtag, #alamw15.

The YALSA board will start off Midwinter with a strategic planning session. Board members, using an outcomes based approach, will explore the results of YALSA’s member survey, the Futures report, and YALSA’s current strategic plan, with an eye on capacity and the long term vision for YALSA. The goal with this is to develop a focused and responsive strategic plan which will help YALSA meet the needs of members and advance teen services in libraries across the country.

While the planning discussion will take up the whole Board Agenda on Saturday, there are still other topics that the board will be discussing. Those topics include:

Check out the board agenda and documents online to get the details of what the board will be discussing. You can also read the accompanying blog posts on the YALSA Blog.  If you have a comment, the first 5 minutes of each of the board meetings is set aside for visitors to ask questions. You can also send me an e-mail with comments if you are not able to make it to a session to share your feedback. Feel free to follow Executive Director Beth Yoke (@yalsa_director), myself (@doseofsnark), and/or other YALSA boardies for live tweets of adopted actions and discussion highlights. We'll also be sharing post conference round-ups over the coming weeks so stay tuned.

I know I know for some, maybe many, YALSA members learning about the YALSA budget and the fiscal priorities of the Association seems like incredibly dry stuff. But, in order for YALSA to provide members with the services they need in order to work with teens successfully, the YALSA Board and the Association's members have to think what monies are spent on, and where funding is coming from. That's why there are three documents on the YALSA Board Midwinter Meeting agenda that are important to look at:

  • Item 17 on the agenda is titled Prioritizing Endowment Funds. The document explains the current state of YALSA's endowments and includes recommendations of how the funds generated from the endowments should be spent over the next year. Take a look to find out what initiatives the Board is going to look at funding in this way - maybe you'll find there is a grant coming up that you'd like to apply for if these funds are used as suggested. This agenda item is an action item which means that the YALSA Board needs to make decisions at the 2015 Midwinter Meeting in order move the process forward. Read More →

We have all been in a situation where a manager or someone in a decision-making position makes a change that leaves everyone else saying, “What were they thinking? This is a mistake!” However, once the details of the decision process are learned, everyone usually agrees that it makes sense. The lack of information shared upfront when the change is announced can cause lots of unnecessary stress.

Change management was a phrase I have heard before and thought was corporate jargon. I started reading up on it to discuss it at the recent YALSA Exec Board fall meeting and realized how important it can be to lay a foundation for success. Change management is all about creating a well-thought out plan to see a change to fruition. One important part of that plan is communication. If the decision maker not only tells you what the change is, but also why it is happening, how it will be a positive change, the potential hazards of not making the change, and what everyone can do to help make the change happen smoothly, it can iron out the speed bumps created by misunderstanding and frustration.

In an effort to spread the idea of effective change management at a time when YALSA members are working to implement the ideas in The Future of Library Services For and With Teens report, the YALSA Board at Midwinter 2015 will be discussing a proposal to establish communication best practices. You can read the full document and all additional board docs on the YALSA governance page. If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions about this topic, please feel free to contact me, Carrie Kausch, at ckausch@gmail.com, or any other board member. If you will be attending Midwinter in Chicago, find us at the Saturday YALSA happy hour at Tavern Tap Pub at the Congress Plaza Hotel located at 520 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60605. Drop in any time between 5:30 and 7pm Saturday night!