YALSA Board @ ALA 2016: YALSA Councilor Update

Greetings from your YALSA Councilor!

Here is an update of ALA Council highlights since the 2016 Midwinter meeting in Boston:

  • Jenna Nemec-Loise, ALSC Councilor, announced the cancellation of the ALSC Institute slated to take place in Charlotte NC in September. The background and details of this decision can be found at http://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/blogs/the-scoop/alsc-board-votes-cancelnational-institute-charlotte/
  • Diane Chen, AASL Councilor, has created an ALA Connect Member Community called Equity for All to School Libraries. Jenna Nemec-Loise, ALSC Councilor and Todd Krueger, YALSA Councilor, among a number of other Councilors and interested parties, are supporting Diane in this resolution. The Resolution in its current state can be found at http://connect.ala.org/node/254174 . We will be working together to bring this resolution to the floor of Council, with input from Councilors at Council Forum.
  • Andrew Hart, ALCTS Division Councilor, submitted a resolution titled “Resolution in Support of the Professional Cataloging Processes and Determinations of the Library of Congress.” A recent U.S. House of Representatives appropriations bill included an amendment to force the Library of Congress to return to the “aliens” and “illegal aliens” subject headings – headings ALA Council urged the Library of Congress to change (resolution 2015-2016 ALA CD#34_11216_FINAL). The legislation has not been embraced by the U.S. Senate but is nonetheless a disturbing YALSA Board of Directors – Annual 2016 Pre-Meeting Division Councilor Report action. This resolution calls on ALA to advocate on behalf of the Library of Congress and respect for the non-partisan professional work of librarianship. This resolution has been formally endorsed by ALCTS and reflects work by the Committee on Legislation and the ALA Washington Office.
  • Keri Cascio, Executive Director, ALCTS updated Council on the ongoing LCSH illegal aliens issue:

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YALSA Board @ ALA Annual 2016: YALSA @ ALA Highlights

Happy LGBTQIA Pride Month & Happy National Week of Making!

YALSA’s Board has been hard at work since their last meeting in Boston: finalizing and adopting a new organizational plan, continuing the roll-out of activities related to the Futures Report, and planning for ALA Annual in Orlando!

Now, the Annual Conference is fast approaching, and I’m looking forward to the Printz Ceremony on Friday night, honoring David Levithan at the Edwards Award Brunch on Saturday morning, talking with members at Saturday’s Member Happy Hour and 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.

The Board agenda is up online, and nearly all of the documents have been posted. Members can check them out in advance and send comments or feedback to me at candice.yalsa@gmail.com. If you’ll be in Orlando 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.

At Annual, the board will spend most of its time discussing how the Board needs to be re-envisioned in order to be well-positioned to achieve the work laid out in the new organizational plan. This is a first step in a bigger process of organizational realignment. It makes sense for the Board to get its own house in order before looking outward to the rest of YALSA.  The Board will be thinking about what needs to change about its own structure and processes, as well as what knowledge and skills will Board members need to gain in order to best lead YALSA and support its members.

Also on the agenda for Annual

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

YALSA Board @ Annual 2016 – Board Self-Assessment

#alaannual16 is almost here!  YALSA leaders have been busy preparing for Annual Conference–you can find the agenda and documents here. On Saturday, June 24, at YALSA Board I, the Board will discuss the future of board self-assessments. Not sure what a board self-assessment is? Take a look at the Board Document–the currently approved Self-Assessment starts on Page 2.  The objective of board self-assessment is to help board members build a stronger understanding of their roles and responsibilities and to gain skills to increase their effectiveness as leaders in association governance.  Often, the feedback received from first-year board members is that they are overwhelmed and don’t know where to start.  The self-assessment was intended to give new board members a focus for their professional development throughout the year. Then, after new board members take the self-assessment, they complete the Learning Plan (found on Page 12 of the Board Document) to map out activities to strengthen their role in association leadership.

The Board hasn’t used the Self-Assessment and Learning Plan in a few years, but after attending ASAE’s Symposium for Chief Executive & Chief Elected Officers with YALSA’s Executive Director Beth Yoke earlier this year, I understand the importance of reinstating the process.  I’m a firm believer in using assessment results to instigate positive institutional change, so I wanted to bring this document to the Board. At the meeting, Board members will discuss the Questions to Consider (listed in the Board Document) and determine the next steps.  I’m looking forward to the discussion! And don’t forget that you are welcome to attend any of the YALSA Board meetings at conference–find out all the details at the YALSA wiki.

YALSA Board @ Annual 2016: Communicating Change

Extra! Extra!You have been hearing about the new organizational plan for months and that is not by accident or happenstance. When the YALSA Board began working on the new organizational plan, we made a commitment to emphasize communicating that work out to YALSA members and stakeholders. In every step along the way, the Board has been carefully and intentionally planning the ways we can best reach members to ask, inform and engage them around the new plan.

As we reach the last step of the organizational planning process (not to be mistaken with the last step of the plan itself, we still have a long way to go!), we wanted to look back on the past few months and evaluate the ways we have reached out to members. Here are few highlights of what Board members and YALSA staff have done to spread the word about the new organizational plan.

  • 11 blog posts from Board members and YALSA Blog contributors with over 800 cumulative views
  • Over 1,000 unique page views on the organizational plan website
  • Mentions in YALS President’s Column, Editor’s Column and special highlights article from President-Elect, Sarah Hill, in the Spring issue
  • Engaging in conversations with stakeholders and committee chairs (95% of chairs surveyed were familiar with the plan by mid-May)
  • Too many social media posts to count!

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Interview with Eric Meade

Last month, YALSA announced a new three-year organizational plan building from the Futures report and looking forward to 2018.  The YALSA Board has been working on this for over eight months, and consultant Eric Meade from Whole Mind Strategy Group has been an integral part of the process. I interviewed Meade to hear about the process so far, what has been rewarding about the process, and where YALSA is headed next.

Eric Meade will answer questions at ALA Annual in Orlando at a session titled “What’s New in YALSA & How You Can be a Part of It” from 8:30 – 10am EST at the Rosen Centre Hotel, Salon 03/04. Please attend to hear more about the new organizational plan, where YALSA is going from here and explore ways you can be a part of it.

Rethinking YALSA — Member Engagement

If you haven’t heard, the YALSA Board just approved the association’s new 3-year organizational plan. If you haven’t read it yet, you’re seriously missing out on some exciting news, not to mention a great advocacy piece. It’ll invigorate you to take action and empower change in teen services nationally and in your community.

Read it here:  http://www.ala.org/yalsa/aboutyalsa/strategicplan

During the planning sessions for the Board, YALSA’s top priorities were structured into three categories:  (1) Leading the Transformation of Teen Services, (2) Advocacy, and (3) Funder and Partner Development.

When reading the new plan, you’ll notice an emphasis placed on leveraging relationships and building a field of knowledge.  A strategy of “Leading the Transformation” is to leverage relationships with state and regional associations to promote the transformation of teen library services. Part of this member engagement strategy is to take a look at YALSA’s presence at state and regional conferences.  This is not to say that YALSA will be confined to only state conferences (or conferences for that matter), but other related associations and local library group meetups as well. The purpose of this strategy is to engage teen library leaders at the local level so that we can not only learn what members and potential members want and need from YALSA, but to better help carry out the work of the association.  

While YALSA currently exhibits at some conferences other than ALA, there hasn’t been an official plan to connect with state and regional associations.  These are essential assets and gateways to member engagement. State and regional associations are other avenues to engage with members outside of ALA sponsored events and rally together on issues relating to teen services.  Through this, we’ll hopefully answer the question, “What do state associations want, and how can YALSA help?”

Apart from being physically present at state conferences, YALSA is also looking for ways to highlight the great work being done locally. This could be something shared through YALSA communications (such as a publication or a virtual honoring), or at local events where attendees may personally recognize teen service leaders and staff from those highlighted libraries. One of the ways we’ll try to approach this is to develop a 50-state engagement strategy, with specific offerings and focus on specific leaders at the state level, including but not limited to state library association leaders and state library agency youth services consultants.

Of course, we’ll also consider YALSA’s capacity. We will seek ways to identify state and local library leaders and leverage existing member resources to state and regional associations. These strategies will help engage members, spread the word about YALSA’s resources, encourage local conversations and sharing of resources, and increase member growth. If this plan is successful, by the year 2018, we estimate there would be YALSA presence at a minimum of 10 state or regional conferences per year and YALSA membership will grow by at least 15%.

Why is this important?  

Membership growth + capacity & knowledge growth = achieve more things for teens!

To view a full list of YALSA’s presence at State and Regional Conferences, see

http://wikis.ala.org/yalsa/index.php/YALSA_at_State_%26_Regional_Conferences

If you would like to get involved or have questions about the plan implementation, please share your thoughts via this short survey https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/R7MMRSG.

What meetups or conferences do you attend?

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Jane Gov is a Youth Services Librarian at Pasadena Public Library, California. She is currently Financial Advancement Committee Chair and serving on the YALSA Board. You can tweet her @missjanegov.

Rethinking YALSA: What’s New in YALSA and How You Can Be a Part of It!

The YALSA Board has been hard at work throughout this year and last year looking at YALSA’s Future of Library Services for and with Teens: A Call to Action report, association capacity and sustainability, and incorporating member and stakeholder feedback to re-envision the organization’s Strategic Plan to create an association that is more nimble, more modern and more reflective of the needs of teens and our members both today and into the future.

The result is YALSA’s new Organizational Plan!

Please check it out: http://www.ala.org/yalsa/aboutyalsa/strategicplan

You can also find YALSA’s new Mission, Vision, and Impact Statements (http://www.ala.org/yalsa/aboutyalsa/mission%26vision/yalsamission) and the Implementation Plan (http://www.ala.org/yalsa/sites/ala.org.yalsa/files/content/ImplementationPlan.pdf)

Mission: Our mission is to support library staff in alleviating the challenges teens face, and in putting all teens ‒ especially those with the greatest needs ‒ on the path to successful and fulfilling lives.

Vision: Our vision is that all teens have access to quality library programs and services ‒ no matter where they occur ‒ that link them to resources, connected learning opportunities, coaching, and mentoring that are tailored to the unique circumstances of the community and that create new opportunities for all teens’ personal growth, academic success, and career development

Intended Impact Statement: To meaningfully address the challenges teens face today and to put more teens on the path to a successful and fulfilling life, YALSA will support library staff who work for and with teens in the transformation of teen library services so that:

  • Libraries reach out to and serve ALL teens in the community no matter what their backgrounds, interests, needs, or abilities, and whether or not they frequent the library space.
  • The library “space” is at once both physical and virtual. It connects teens to other people, printed materials, technology, and digital content, not limiting teens to a designated teen area but rather inviting them into the full scope of the library’s assets and offerings.
  • Teens co-create, co-evaluate, and co-evolve library programs and activities with library staff and skilled volunteers (including mentors and coaches) based on their passions and interests. These programs and activities are connected to teens’ personal, work, or academic interests across multiple literacies; generate measurable outcomes for teens’ skills and knowledge; and are tailored to the unique circumstances of the community.

To achieve this impact, the YALSA Board identified the following priority areas:

  • Leading the transformation of teen library services (including a cultural competency component)
  • Advocacy to policy makers at all levels to increase support for teen library services
  • Funder and partner development

We’re really excited about the new plan and our #TeensFirst focus and we want to know what your thoughts and/or questions are!

To that end, we’ve put together an Organizational Plan FAQ: http://www.ala.org/yalsa/organizational-plan-faq-2016-2018

YALSA President-Elect Sarah Hill and I are also hosting a virtual video townhall on Monday, June 13th, from 2-3 p.m. Eastern via Zoom.  Please contact the YALSA Office at yalsa@ala.org for the access information.

And, if you’re attending ALA Annual in Orlando next month, we will also be hosting a face to face session on YALSA’s new Organizational Plan on Saturday, June 25th, from 8:30-10 a.m. at the Rosen Centre, Room Salon 03/04, called What’s New in YALSA and How You Can Be a Part of It!

If you have any other questions, comments, concerns and/or compliments, feel free to email me at candice. YALSA [at] gmail.com or reach me via Twitter @tinylibrarian! Hope to see you online and/or in person at our Townhall and at ALA Annual!

Rethinking YALSA–Juries

During the organizational planning session at the 2016 Midwinter Meeting, the consultants encouraged the Board to embrace newer member engagement models that would allow YALSA to be faster and more flexible, while at the same time better meet member needs.

The YALSA Volunteer Form for strategic committees, juries, and task forces closed on March 1, and so I’ve been busy appointing chairs and members to fill the empty spots. The most important thing I’ve learned? We have awesomely qualified volunteers and too many committees! And so I was more than willing to bring a proposal to the board last week to improve the volunteer process for YALSA juries.

YALSA has 7 juries:

  • Collection Development Grant Jury
  • Conference Travel Scholarships Jury
  • Frances Henne Research Grant Jury
  • Great Books Giveaway Jury
  • MAE Award for Best YA Literature Program for Teens Jury
  • Volunteer of the Year Award Jury
  • Writing Award Jury

The Board approved the proposal as stated: “For 2016, the Board will experiment for one year with a new model for juries wherein they are only assembled for 3 months (Nov. – Jan.) and that jury members opt-in to participating instead of being appointed. Chairs will be the only appointed members, and will continue to be appointed by the President-Elect. This proposal is specifically for those juries that vet the member grant and award applications that have a Dec. 1 due date.”

Look for a call for jury volunteers in the YALSA eNews in September! If you already volunteered for a jury through the volunteer form, you’ll be given the first opportunity to opt-in to serve. Jury members will be selected on a first-come, first-serve basis and begin work on Nov. 1. Volunteers will still need to comply with existing eligibility requirements, such as current personal membership in YALSA and concurrent service on three or fewer appointed groups.

The Membership Engagement standing board committee will review the process in early 2017 and submit a recommendation to the Board for moving forward with juries. Of course, we anticipate that the process will go smoothly and that YALSA members will appreciate the short three-month term!

Over the next year, we’re hoping to find more ways to streamline YALSA procedures, while improving member experiences with the organization. Please let me know if you have any ideas! If you have any concerns or questions, feel free to comment below or email me at gsarahthelibrarian at gmail.com.

The YALSA Election: CPI Ballot Measure and More

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ALA/YALSA elections open today. On the YALSA ballot (a sample ballot is available), along with candidates for elected positions, there is also a ballot measure about dues. This is a proposal to determine dues rates according to the Consumer Price Index. If you want to know more about the YALSA Board decision-making process that led to this proposal, check out the document discussed by the YALSA Board at ALA Annual 2015.

We expect that some YALSA members probably have questions about this measure so the Capacity Building Committee of the YALSA Board put together a set of Frequently Asked Questions.
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YALSA Division Councilor’s Report – 2016 Midwinter Conference, Boston

Before I provide a short wrap-up of the ALA Council proceedings at the 2016 Midwinter conference in Boston, please let me start by sharing what an honor it is to begin service as the YALSA Division Councilor. Previous YALSA Division Councilor Vicki Emery (who continues to serve as an at-large member of Council) is a tough act to follow, but I will do my best to continue to bring the issues that affect YALSA members to ALA Council, and communicate any “big ALA” issues that are of interest to the YALSA Board and membership as appropriate.

Resolutions

At the 2016 Boston Midwinter Council meetings, the first resolution brought before the body was a resolution that condemned Islamophobia. This measure was taken as staff and patrons who appear to be Muslim have been victims of Islamophobia. Council passed the resolution unanimously.

The next topic discussed was a resolution concerning accessibility to ALA conferences and meetings by people with disabilities. This received a resounding approval, and a task force (appointed by ALA President Sari Feldman) to has quickly been formed since the Boston conference. The Conference Accessibility Task Force will:

  •       Collect data from ALA members and conference attendees with disabilities;
  •       Establish a process for reviewing and addressing accessibility problems;
  •       Draft accessibility guidelines to be used by ALA in reviewing contracts, to ensure ADA and WCAG compliance;
  •       Research best practices for accessibility training and make a recommendation for implementation;
  •       Report progress to Council during the ALA Annual Conference 2016 in Orlando and ALA Midwinter Meeting 2017 in Atlanta; and,
  •       Make a final report, with recommendations, to Council at the ALA Annual Conference 2017 in Chicago.

The Library of Congress subject heading “illegal aliens” was decried in another resolution, with those supporting a resolution favoring the term “undocumented immigrants”. This also easily passed.

A resolution supporting the 2015 Advocacy Implementation Plan was discussed and passed. This recommends communication among all bodies of ALA when making advocacy efforts so that there is a consistent message to lawmakers and constituents when it comes to library issues.

Among the Memorial resolutions was one in honor of former YALSA Deputy Executive Director Linda Waddle, moved by the Division Councilor and seconded by past president Kim Patton.

All of the Council actions taken at Midwinter can be found here.

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