Volunteer for the Board Development Committee or District Days Taskforce!

YALSA is now seeking volunteers for two virtual member groups:

  • Board Development Committee (formerly the Governance Nominating Committee): this group will work from January 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019, and will be responsible for identifying candidates for the 2019 slate, training and on-boarding individuals who serve on YALSA’s Board of Directors, and identifying and cultivating future leaders.  This is a great opportunity for someone who has board or governance experience, whether at the local, state or national level.  Committee size: 5-7 virtual members.
  • District Days Taskforce: If you enjoy marketing and have some experience with local-level advocacy, this opportunity is for you!  This group will work from April 1, 2018 through Sept. 30, 2018 to provide resources and support to members to engage locally with elected officials.  Learn ore about District Days on the wiki.  Taskforce size: 5 – 7 virtual members

Fill out the Committee Volunteer Form by December 1st, 2017

Thanks for all the time and talent you volunteer to YALSA!  If you’re looking for other ways to get involved, visit the YALSA web site for more opportunities or check out this brand new video from Jack Martin and Kate McNair!  If you have questions feel free to get in touch with me (cmartin@hri.uci.edu).

Crystle Martin,  YALSA President-Elect

YALSA Leadership and Volunteering

At ALA Annual this year, YALSA held information sessions on how to get involved with the organization, both as a new volunteer and as someone seeking leadership opportunities.  Here’s a recap of the event.

If you’re just starting out, volunteering for one of YALSA’s committees is an excellent first step.  All YALSA members are encouraged to fill out the Committee Volunteer Form once a year. Here is a list of committees and the link to the form. Continue reading

YALS Summer 2017 Companion: Research RoundUp: Learning To Lead The Organization

Are you a manager? A supervisor? Maybe, like me, you feel you are a great follower. I have been working in my current position, as the sole full-time library staff, for eight years; and I have developed my position as well as our library collections and the services we offer, and slowly but surely, my department is growing. I have also, over the last four years, been increasing my participation in local, state and national library associations and events.

As I keep thinking about how my Library Services department can best respond to my community’s needs and interests, as well as how I can grow professionally, I have been thinking about what leadership is. Through this exploration I started thinking: maybe I can be a leader. Maybe, in some small ways, I had already taken steps on the path to leadership. That was an intense moment for me, as I had never thought of myself as a leader. Here is what I gained from my research, which I hope will also provoke new ideas for you!

A LEADER’S ATTITUDE

Current research on library leadership agrees: library leaders know that a library is at the heart of their community, and that the emphasis should not be on what the library owns but on what the library does. Thus, library leaders need to focus on discovering, understanding and responding to the community needs.

The philosophy can be condensed to: “Books out, people in”. That is what Louise Berry, former director of the famous Darien Public Library in Connecticut, used to say. It is the work of library leadership to bring together the library (staff, collection and services) and its community. An example of that philosophy is what the Tuzzy Consortium Library (Barrow, AK) has been able to put together, thanks to their leadership’s focus on the community. They have partnered with the school districts, local public and private organizations, the State Library, local clubs, and many more, to channel their power into one goal: serving the community.

Leadership can be demonstrated through several characteristics, which I have been fortunate to observe in the leadership team at my school. Leaders:

  • hire people who fit well with our school culture and have the same vision and values;
  • trust them to do their job on their own;
  • hold themselves and others to high standards;
  • provide (internal and external) professional development for everyone within reach and even go beyond those standards;
  • listen to our community (staff, faculty, students and parents);
  • make decisions based on our community’s needs and interests.

Continue reading

Followup from YALSA Board @ #alaac17

If you attended ALA’s Annual Conference, I hope you’re safely home and recovering from all that is conference! If you have never been to this event, members can apply by December 1st for a travel grant from YALSA to go to the next one in New Orleans!

The YALSA Board was very productive in Chicago, and you can see the actions of the board on this page.  Some highlights include:

The board will continue to explore:

Look for the official minutes from our Annual meetings coming soon. At the conclusion of our board meetings, I officially handed the gavel over to the awesome YALSA President Sandra Hughes-Hassell, and the new board members were seated.  Check out our current roster for some new and familiar faces.

The Board’s next meeting will be at the 2018 ALA Midwinter Meeting from February 9-13, 2018. We’re looking forward to seeing YALSA members in Denver!

And remember, YALSA’s YA Services Symposium will be in Louisville, Kentucky, November 3-5, 2017. Early bird registration is going on now!

Thanks for all that you do to make YALSA an amazing association and thank you for the tremendous opportunity to serve as the association’s President. It was an honor and a privilege to work with you all this past year!

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!

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.

Continue reading

Log On to Learn about Leadership Opportunities in YALSA on June 20th!

Interested in learning more about YALSA Governance? What does the Call for Nominations really mean? What does taking a leadership role in YALSA look like? Members just like you volunteer their time and energies to help direct the organization and fulfill YALSA’s mission and goals. Learn more about what you can do for YALSA and what YALSA can do for you! This online session on June 20th will be an informal conversation led by members of the Governance Nominating Committee, and an opportunity for you to ask questions and gain some insight into becoming a leader in YALSA.

The Meeting ID is 315 416 674.  Join the session any time between 2:00 – 3:00pm, eastern, from any of the following:

The recording of the session will be made available for those who are unable to attend the live event.  To learn more about being a board member, check out YALSA’s web site.

YALSA Executive Committee Update

Tomorrow the YALSA Executive Committee will hold its virtual Spring meeting! I’m joined on this committee by President-Elect Sandra Hughes-Hassell, Past President Candice Mack, Division Councilor Todd Krueger, Fiscal Office Nick Buron, Secretary Crystle Martin, and Executive Director Beth Yoke.

The YALSA Board of Directors is the decision-making body of YALSA, so the meeting will be a discussion session. The Executive Committee focuses on strengthening YALSA’s relationship to ALA by fostering strong ties with ALA governance, as well as providing oversight and support for fiscal planning.  Take a look at the agenda and the committee documents.  If you have any questions about the Executive Committee’s meeting, please contact me at gsarahthelibrarian [at] gmail [dot] com.

Stay tuned for more posts about the Executive Committee’s meeting in the coming days that my colleagues will be writing!

Apply by April 10 for Funds to Attend National Library Legislative Day

Because the White House’s budget proposes eliminating all federal funds for libraries, YALSA’s Board of Directors has re-opened the travel stipend application in order to send an additional member to Washington DC to advocate for teens and libraries. The stipend, funded by Friends of YALSA, will enable one qualified recipient to receive up to $1,000 to attend ALA’s 2017 National Library Legislative Day, in Washington, DC, May 1-2, 2017. Apply online by April 10, 2017.  Applicants will be notified the week of April 17, 2017.  The Board is specifically seeking applicants from states other than Pennsylvania and Texas, as those are the two states being represented by other YALSA NLLD travel stipend winners.

-Beth Yoke

P.S. for other ways to stand up for teens and libraries, read this earlier YALSAblog post

ACT NOW for LSTA and IAL! #saveIMLS

If you care about teens and how library services improve their lives, I need you to contact your House Representative to sign the House “Dear Appropriator” letters supporting LSTA and the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL).  There are only two business days left, and in the last update received from ALA Washington, we don’t even have the same amount of supporters that we had last year! And we need so many more signers than that!

Check out the online tracking tool to see who needs contacted.  Historically, Democrats are more likely to sign onto the letters, but, as you can see from the tracker, many of them haven’t yet this year. Is your representative supporting LSTA? If not, call!  If so, call and thank him or her! We only have until April 3, so you need to contact them TODAY!

What do you do? Call. On this website, click on the red “Make a Call” box and then send a tweet and an email while you’re at it! Customize the provided messages.   Leave voice mails when you have to, but try to keep calling until you reach a staff member.

What do you say? Ask them to sign the LSTA Dear Appropriator letters TODAY. And you can even refer them to the staff of Rep. Raul Grijalva to add their name to the letter.

Why? Because we can’t provide quality services to teens without LSTA funds.

LSTA funding is close to my heart–you can see the proof in my resume.  My students have benefited from almost $70,000 of LSTA funding since FY05.  Grants doubled my high school budget in some years, while providing new technologies (back then) like a SmartBoard and wifi for my kids. I was able to provide internet safety workshops in my community–something I probably wouldn’t have initiated if it weren’t for the grant opportunity.   One year LSTA funds allowed me to bring in a reading specialist to provide professional development to my fellow high school teachers (because secondary education degrees didn’t prepare us to teach reading), and another year my collection grew to support AP History students.  Even now that I’m at a community college, my students have benefited from LSTA funds.  In 2014, my library purchased children’s and teen nonfiction books in the areas of science, technology, engineering, arts, and math and I gave presentations about using quality literature to meet the new Illinois learning standards (Common Core).  It’s impossible to list all the outcomes of the above grants in my community.  I still remember when I taught students about privacy on MySpace (yes, I’m old) and they were spurred into action to go straight home and change their settings (remember the days before smartphones?).

Please remember though that LSTA is more than just competitive grants.  In my state, LSTA funds provide the Illinois State Library Talking Book and Braille Service to over 12,000 residents who cannot read print because of physical or visual limitations. LSTA funds also supplement material delivery services in the state.  Total statewide delivery in FY16 was over 14 million items to patrons in need.  It’s a joy to see my college’s items being loaned to high school students in small towns hours away.  In FY17, Project Next Generation funded 19 grants to Illinois public libraries to encourage personal growth and the educational development of at risk students through the use of mentors, technology, and library based group projects. While the program helped to bridge the digital divide, students became more college and career ready, established relationships with positive role models, had fun, and learned new technologies.

Please gather your friends, family members, coworkers, and patrons, and send as many calls, emails and tweets that you possibly can today, Friday, and Monday.

In the words of Emily Sheketoff from the ALA Washington office, “We’re almost out of time and failure in this effort may well mean deep cuts in, or even the elimination of, LSTA funding for FY 2018. WE CANNOT AND MUST NOT FAIL.”