The neon lights and clinking machines of Annual are now behind us, but YALSA committees work year round to keep teen services moving forward and thriving. While in Las Vegas the Board voted to create two new taskforces, and I’m looking for members who are interested in volunteering!
Greetings, all! For those of you who traveled to Annual, I’m hoping you’ve recovered from the high temperatures, the hot winds, the pervasive smoke, and the ding-ding-ding of casino machines. If you didn’t travel to Las Vegas, just remember the YA Symposium is coming up in November, and Austin is not a desert, presents more opportunities to mingle with colleagues passionate about youth services, and doesn’t require as much walking around in a convention center. Plus, migas!
I wanted to call your attention to a couple of significant policies that will impact your work as committee members and leaders. At Annual 2014, the Board confirmed an update to the YALSA Social Media Policy, and adopted an Ethical Behavior Policy which sets expectations for YALSA committee members and leaders, as well as providing information about what those leaders and members can expect from YALSA. Both documents recognize the increasing impact social media has on both professional identity and networking, and helps set standards which ensure the integrity and enjoyment of all the work both members and YALSA perform. Continue reading
YOUNG ADULT LIBRARY SERVICES ASSOCIATION (YALSA)
In my career as a Youth Services Librarian and Manager, I’ve never worked in a branch with a staff of more than twenty people. Moving from a staff of four in Savannah to eighteen in the semi-rural beauty of Kitsap County in Washington, was a huge transition. To stay abreast of youth trends, find best practices, and well, just talk to someone who cared about the kinds of topics that I was interested in, YALSA was and is my lifeline.
It hasn’t always felt like it, but it turns out that there’s probably a lot of members out there just like me. According to an issue brief by the Institute of Museum and Library Services on Small and Rural Libraries, 77% of all public libraries are small, with a median staff of 2.5 FTE. 45% of all public libraries are rural, with a median staff of 1.5 FTE.
At the upcoming Annual meeting, the Board will be talking about strategies to support staff who work in these environments. The topic is made additionally complex in that many of these libraries probably don’t have a dedicated Teen Services Librarian (remember that 2012 PLDS study?). There are a lot of ideas on the table, but honestly, I’m still trying to wrap my mind around which ones might be best. I know you’re out there so take a look at the board document “Supporting Teens Services in Small and Rural Libraries” and share your thoughts in the comments field below or to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Better, yet, if you’ll be attending ALA Annual in Vegas, find me at the YALSA Happy Hour on Saturday night which will take place from 5-7 p.m. at the Peppermill (2985 Las Vegas Blvd) and we’ll connect on this important issue.
“The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: A Call to Action” report represents a much needed resource to address how libraries are serving teens and provides recommendations on how libraries will address the challenges to continue serving this growing population.
We know YALSA members are reading, sharing, and implementing the findings of the report in their libraries. Our Future of Teens and Libraries Taskforce is already hard at work creating promotions and talking points that we can all use. But the YALSA Board knows the importance of supporting and honoring members who have been inspired to rethink and remarket teen services. This proposal offers some suggestions on how YALSA can support and promote those implementing recommendations from the report.
Read more about this and other Board documents here.
Sarah Sogigian, @sarahatmls, email@example.com
Do you believe in teen library services?
The YALSA Board does, too, which is why we volunteer to do what we do, just as you as members, do.
As mentioned in The Future of Library Services for and with Teens report, it is imperative that YALSA continue to advocate for teens and libraries. Although discussions, projects, and groups are in place to support the general membership in their roles as advocates, the Board itself has not discussed what board members, as informed individuals, can do to support YALSA’s advocacy efforts.
In order to address this, the proposal that will be presented before the Board at ALA Annual consists of four components:
- a plan for YALSA as an organization and as individual board members to adopt advocacy best practices
- an update to the YALSA Board Member Responsibilities list to include advocacy efforts
- an update to the YALSA Board Member contract to include advocacy efforts
- a Board Member Advocacy checklist
Together, as a board, as an association, and with you, we want to amplify our voices to ensure that teens everywhere have access to the excellent teen library services that all communities deserve.
More information may be found in the board documents for ALA Annual that will be posted today and Monday, June 16th, 2014.
Questions, concerns or suggestions? Please send them to the following members of the YALSA Board Standing Committee on Advocacy:
Candice Mack (Chair)
Email: cmack [at] lapl.org
Thanks for all that you do for and with YALSA! Hope to see you at ALA Annual in Vegas!
According to YALSA’s The Future of Libraries for and with Teens report, libraries “must look to other organizations and individuals who share similar values about empowering and supporting teens in gaining the skills they need to be engaged citizens.” The library board will be considering how they may be able to accept that challenge at the Annual Conference in Las Vegas.
Up for discussion is the creation of an Advocates’ Advisory Panel. The Panel, made up of non-members in related fields (afterschool agencies, research, youth development, education), would serve as an ad-hoc group to advise the YALSA Board on various topics related the Future of Library Services for and with Teens Report, the 2015 strategic plan, and other topics as identified by the Board. They would also act as informed advocates in sharing news and updates related to YALSA and the teen library services community with their respective networks.
I look forward to further exploring how this might work in just a few weeks. Check out this and other Board docs to learn more. Questions? Ideas? Feel free to contact me: @shantasmagoria, firstname.lastname@example.org
YALSA members dedicate an enormous amount of time and energy to serving on task forces, juries, advisory boards, committees, and the Board of Directors; as well as acting as editors, member managers and bloggers. YALSA’s board has been discussing ways to ensure that members have a successful committee experience, both in terms of personal skill building and accomplishing the tasks of the committee.
One piece of that discussion was the interest in setting minimum guidelines for member participation via a policy on ethical behavior, so that members interested in service have a better sense of the time commitment and behaviors expected of them, while also seeing the resources and support YALSA makes available. The goal is to inform members of what is expected of them, while also letting them know what to expect from YALSA. Having clear expectations communicated to all those involved in the work of the association makes for a better experience, opens access to support, and benefits all the volunteers involved as well as those who use YALSA products and YALSA as an association.
Take a look at the document once it goes live on June 13th, and then let us know what you think. You can reach out to any of the document creators. Our contact information is listed below.
Shannon.peterson at gmail.com
Cinf0master at gmail.com
Hillias at gmail.com
Ensuring that YALSA is a transparent organization so that the whole membership is aware of what is happening and how it is happening has been at the forefront of many recent YALSA Board discussions. The Board has worked hard to maintain open lines of communication with the membership in several ways, including holding Town Hall meetings with the membership several times throughout the year, posting Twitter handles on the Board contact page, and posting blogs (like this one) about action items and decisions so that the membership can stay informed.
YALSA Board meetings are also open meetings at both Midwinter and Annual conferences, and any YALSA member is welcome to attend and see what is going on in them. But, did you know that the Board holds regular meetings and engages in ongoing discussion and voting throughout the year? To help members engage in the governance process and provide increased access to information, the YALSA Board will be discussing a proposal that would allow any YALSA member access to the YALSA Board’s ALA Connect space.
What does this even mean? It means that if the proposal passes non-Board YALSA members could log onto ALA Connect and see all the work that the YALSA Board does in between conferences in what has traditionally been a closed group. Some of the benefits to doing this include:
- Giving YALSA members who want more information about how decisions are made and tasks are accomplished that information in one convenient place,
- Allowing many more members than could fit in a face-to-face meeting the ability to see the Board in action,
- Keeping the majority of the YALSA Board’s work all in one place.
The Board has been doing a lot to make the organization as transparent as possible, and this could be another step in that process. To learn more about this proposal, visit the link for all the Board documents for ALA Annual in Las Vegas here (It goes live June 13th.)
To add your thoughts to the discussion or ask a question, please leave a blog comment post or contact us!
Carla Land- @AnimeGoddess or email@example.com
Shannon Peterson- @shantasmagoria and firstname.lastname@example.org
YALSA Board contact page: http://www.ala.org/yalsa/board-directors
Carla Land, YALSA Board Fellow 2013-14
This document is actually more interesting than one might think from the title as it provides a great overview of YALSA’s financial needs and accompanying revenue sources while also giving you a good idea of the many activities in which YALSA is involved.
After reading a brief executive summary [I] and YALSA’s mission [II], the Plan launches into some background about the division and its governance structure [III]. But then you reach some of the meat as all the YALSA products are listed and described from seals for award books to the continuing education items, including institutes, the dues structure [did you know that our dues pay for only 30% of YALSA’s needs?], periodicals, books and other publications, TRW and TTW products, event tickets and so on [IV].
My favorite parts were the market [V] and competitor analyses [VI]. It was interesting to read the demographics of our target audience for sales, which pretty much tells us the demographics for librarians. To read the competitor analysis piece of the plan makes you realize that there are others in a similar field, such as VOYA or School Library Journal, who also look for subscribers from the same small community. There are even competitors within ALA as PLA, ALSC, AASL and YALSA have some similar programs leaving our members always having to make decisions as to what event to attend or what publications to buy. Results of the actual sales are found in the section titled Marketing Sales [VII] with some of the problems and concerns of various items described. Most informative is a chart showing the trends in sales and, after looking at it, it becomes obvious that some products and services need to be removed or modified.
Take a look at ticket sales for events at conference and it will become very obvious, based on the decline in these sales, that there needed to be changes. Not as many people can attend conference and many of them go home late Sunday or early Monday morning, so why do we have the Printz program and reception on Monday night? Time for a change to see if the Friday night time works better. Meals at hotels are only going up, thus why not try the Edwards Award celebration as a brunch instead? This way the price of a ticket can be kept down.
The last three sections illustrate YALSA’s Operations [VIII] and staff structure as well as the interwoven relationship of ALA and YALSA. A look at YALSA’s finances beginning in 2007 is provided; 2007 finances do not show the effect of the 2008 recession that hit America[IX]. Financial information for both the Morris Endowment fund and the Leadership Endowment fund are also provided. And the final section of Evaluation and Assessment [X] cites YALSA’s financial goals and ways members can learn about the financial pieces through such documents as the Executive Director’s Monthly Reports.
I strongly recommend you read Board Document #20 Business Plan FY014 to FY017. It’s only 15 pages and reads very quickly. Learn about YALSA – you’ll appreciate our division even more.
Because my partial term as YALSA Fiscal Officer ends at the conclusion of this Annual Conference, I wanted to share some ideas for the Board of Directors to keep in mind as new projects arise. YALSA has a very ambitious agenda with new projects likely to arise based on the paradigm shift noted in The Future of Library Services for and with Teens. Knowing this, my report reminds the directors to be sure there are sufficient finances available to take on a new project, or grant money already promised, or decide the project is so important, they’re willing to take it on and fundraise as they go.
Although it is easy to find the revenue generated from different projects, it is harder to determine the expenses, especially the staff time involved with various activities, and it is suggested to try to determine staff time on some random projects.
Board members can help to “advertise” some of YALSA’s Continuing Education offerings by citing a specific product on their signature file. In addition, they should get in the habit of always bringing handouts about YALSA products to their local and state conferences.
This past year one of the Board conference calls was devoted to finances and I recommend that practice continue with one call per year devoted to YALSA’s financial picture. Although financial information is found in each Executive Director’s Report, it would also be useful to spend 10 to 15 minutes once a quarter to discuss these finances via conference call, being sure to allow time to answer questions.