YALSA President’s Report – November 2021

Greetings all! Sending some fall energy your way! The highlight of this month has definitely been the YALSA Symposium in Reno. So much hard work went into what was a phenomenal event. Thank you all for making this hybrid (virtual/in-person) learning and networking opportunity a huge success!

This time of year means different things to everyone depending on what traditions (if any) you may participate in. I know I typically feel the winter months gain speed though for others it might be ‘normal’-just a bit colder-again dependent on where one resides. At any rate, whatever your unique experience may be, thank you for your involvement with YALSA and your continued work to help teens have quality access to library programs and services!

Contributions I made this month as YALSA President:

  • Assisted with the YALSA Symposium; recorded several introductions, attended virtual sessions and participated in the virtual Board info session. Called to vote on Symposium 2022 location (Baltimore here we come!)
  • Connected over email with Sam Helmrick, YALSA Liaison for ALA Executive Board
  • Held meeting for Presidential Taskforce to re-build teen social capital! So excited to work with such great volunteers!
  • Extended the Hub Manager assignment for one more month. Grateful for Sara Beth!
  • Connected with the Chair, Melissa, and Board Liaison, Carrie, for the Teen Civic Engagement Committee
  • Met with AASL/ALSC Presidents to develop a charge for the Interdivisional Committee on School/Public Library Cooperation. Thank you Jennisen and Lucia!
  • Wrote an article for the Presidents Column for the upcoming YALS issue on Adulting
  • Contributed to updating the DMP charge along with Board Member Karen Lemmons and YALSA ED, Tammy Dillard-Steels
  • Created EDI timeline draft for the Board as a recommendation from ODLOS Director, Kevin Strowder, to see our progress
  • Appointed a new Chair, Rebecca Denham, for the Evaluating Volunteer Resources Taskforce
  • Supported the ALA Statement on Censorship

Any questions or comments, feel free to post below or email: kellyczarnecki1@gmail.com.

Kelly Czarnecki (she/her)
YALSA President
2021-2022

 

Photo Credit: “Deer” by Kelly Czarnecki

YALSA President’s Report – September 2021

The Rolling Stones performed a live concert in my town last month (September). The night before they played, Mick Jagger was captured in a photo standing outside a local (and quirky!) establishment completely unnoticed. The photo actually made national news because he looks so unassuming. Hiding in plain sight.  (Note-the photo in this post is not the photo discussed!) It made me think-if you were hanging out at the park with your pet, shopping for groceries down the street, or out to eat somewhere-which author would cause you to change expression if you saw them and recognized them? Jason Reynolds? Jacqueline Woodson? David Levithan? What about a YALSA member or a potential YALSA member? Those rock stars in their own right who’ve won a scholarship? Put together a program you’ve admired? Presented at a conference in a way that made you feel seen? We never know who we’re crossing paths with all the time but the potential for something-a connection, recognition-is always there.  That’s a bit how I felt with all the great interactions (albeit virtual) I’ve had with members in September. In addition to meeting regularly with the YALSA Executive Director, Board and Executive Board I also:

    • Made an appointment of  YALSA representative to the PLA Committee on Family Engagement
    • Appointed a Director-At-Large position to fill a gap on the YALSA Board
    • Speaking of rock stars – sent a request for a memorial resolution to YALSA’s ALA Liaison for Teri Lesesne
    • Responded to Board Liaisons regarding August Quarterly Chair reports
    • Appointed YALSA Liaison to ALA EDI Assembly
    • Participated with YALSA Staff in the ALA Virtual Volunteer Fair
    • Held first meeting of Implementing the President’s Theme Task Force (still seeking members!)
    • Connected with 2021 YALSA Spectrum Scholar, Cordiah Hayes
    • Along with Tammy Dillard-Steels, YALSA Executive Director, shared the YALSA 2022-2025 Strategic Plan with members and potential members (link coming soon!) in webinar format
    • Issued a statement supporting the selections from YALSA’s Great Graphic Novels for Teens list
    • Met with AASL President Jennisen Lucas
    • Appointed a YALSA representative with ALA for USBBY
    • Put a call out to members for participating on the Teen Programming HQ Advisory Board
    • Took a virtual tour of Reno with Carla Jamison, YALSA Program Officer, and representatives from the Nevada area (public, university library, etc.) for the YALSA Symposium (super excited!) in November

Any questions or comments, feel free to post below or email: kellyczarnecki1@gmail.com.

 

2020-2021 YALSA President-Elect Kelly Czarnecki

 

 

 

Kelly Czarnecki (she/her)
YALSA President
2021-2022

Photo credit: “Silhouette at a Sigur Ros Concert” by Tom Olliver

September’s ALA Liaison Report

Hi everyone!  My name is Kelsey Ford (she/her), and I am YALSA’s new ALA Liaison for 2021-2022.  I am representing YALSA on several ALA Committees, and I plan to share monthly updates on YALSA’s blog to keep you all posted about what is happening in ALA.  Below please find some important ALA updates for September.

Continue reading September’s ALA Liaison Report

COVID-19 : Guide to Handling Materials

Hi everyone,

Many of us have received questions about how, in this time of extreme uncertainty as the pandemic continues, are we going to work through the important topic of lending materials in school and public libraries. While we have e-materials that can be safely circulated by our users, the bulk of most collections in school and public libraries remains physical, tangible items.

The Maryland State Library Resource Center and Enoch Pratt Free Library (Baltimore) have put together a Guide to Handling Materials during COVID-19. This document, as stated, outlines the safest practices known updated March 30, 2020.  It includes references and links to associated information.

Another notable article from American Libraries, “How to Sanitize Materials in a Pandemic” (dated March 27, 2020), similarly outlines suggestions for handling library materials.

This quote from Jacob Nadal, Director for Preservation at the Library of Congress is included in the first document, and indicates that there are still many unknowns about the viability of the virus on various library materials:

“There are no studies that specifically answer the question of how transmissible COVID19 might be from the most common library materials – for example coated and uncoated paper, bookcloth, or polyester book jackets. Quarantine of materials for 72 or more hours seems to be the safest course.… There is very little research on the effects of medically effective sterilization and sanitization measures on the condition of library materials, another reason to favor quarantine.”

It should be noted that due to the national shortage of PPE (personal protective equipment), items such as gloves should be reserved for medical, health care, and first responders and not purchased or stockpiled by libraries at this time. Use your judgment about how many gloves currently on hand at your school or library would be needed for the safe handling of library materials, and if  large amounts of unopened boxes of gloves could be donated to more pressing needs in your community.

Thank you for your continuing work for and with both teens and everyone within your service populations,

Todd Krueger, YALSA President 2019-2020 | Twitter : @toddbcpl

COVID-19 : ALA Annual Conference canceled

Hi everyone,

As you have likely heard by now, the ALA Annual Conference scheduled for late June in Chicago has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. ALA Executive Director Tracie D. Hall, along with current ALA President Wanda K. Brown and ALA President-elect Julius C. Jefferson Jr. explain the reasoning in their press release.

Please note that I am investigating the many questions that I have received since the announcement was made late yesterday afternoon. I will update this blog post when I learn more about:

  • Registration and hotel refunds [Edit 3/27/20: On Peak (the company that ALA uses for hotel reservations) is going to cancel all hotel reservations for Annual made through them. They will send an e mail to the attendees. Obviously, if someone booked a room outside of the ALA block (did not use On Peak) they will need to cancel it themselves.]
  • If there will be any virtual component to the conference
  • YALSA programs that were to be presented at the 2020 Annual conference
  • How YALSA award committees will meet (the Board will be working through this in the coming days)
  • the Printz Celebration and honoring the 2020 authors and committee

 

While we are obviously saddened and disappointed that the ALA Annual conference had to be canceled, we are looking to the future and hopes for better days. With that in mind, please consider attending the YALSA Symposium, scheduled for November 6-8 in Reno, Nevada. Sign up to learn more and get updates about the symposium here.

Thanks as always for the work you do for and with teens,

Todd Krueger, YALSA President 2019-2020 | Twitter: @toddbcpl

 

YALSA and COVID-19 – A Message from the President

Hi everyone,

As we continue to adjust our lives to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, I wanted to send a short message of assurance that YALSA continues to support its members during this unprecedented crisis. Our mission states that we support library staff in alleviating challenges that teens face, and this may be the greatest challenge of our time. COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the United States, and as testing ramps up, it is a foregone conclusion that many, many more cases will be diagnosed in the coming days and weeks. Healthy teens and young people, thankfully, seem to be able to weather the virus themselves, but as we know, they also have a tendency to feel invincible. Young people sometimes do not realize the consequences of their actions; in this case, unknowingly spreading the virus throughout the community and to those who are immunocompromised, along with the elderly. These are two populations that have not had the same rate of success dealing with the lethal strain. If you are in communication with teens, please encourage them to stay at home with their families or guardians as they are able. Community spread must be tempered to prevent the virus from wreaking havoc with our lives.

Your YALSA virtual volunteer work is always appreciated; however, during this difficult time, we understand that committee, task force, and/or jury work has taken a backseat to your daily life. While there may be an opportunity to get things done, as many of us now have unexpected “downtime”, the YALSA Board and YALSA staff understand that not every volunteer has the same amount of time or mental energy to devote to these projects. We will continue to assess previously stated deadlines and goals as the days go on.

If you haven’t yet, please read the message from ALA Executive Director Tracie D. Hall about the ALA response to COVID-19, and check out the #LibrariesRespond information on the ALA site, which also addresses the xenophobia that sadly has already become associated with this outbreak.

The CDC has provided resources to deal with manage anxiety and stress as we work through this uncharted territory. Keeping yourself healthy and uncompromised is of paramount importance.

Something to consider, depending on your current work and life schedule: if you haven’t cast your ALA/YALSA ballot yet, this may be a good chance to do so. Virtual ballots arrived to your email on file with ALA last Monday through Wednesday, March 9-11. The election ends April 1, 2020, at 11:59pm. If you have not received an ALA ballot for the spring election, contact the ALA office for more information.

Edited to add, 12:15pm March 17, 2020: The ALA Executive Board has just released a statement, encouraging all libraries to be closed to the public.

Thank you as always for the work you do for and with teens, and please, stay safe and healthy.

Todd Krueger, YALSA President 2019-2020 | Twitter: @toddbcpl

Speaking up for teens & libraries during the federal budgeting process

Each year the federal budgeting process kicks off when the White House releases a draft budget.  This will happen sometime in February, and there’s talk that the FY19 draft budget may be released on February 12, 2018.  If you recall last year, the White House’s draft budget called for the elimination of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) as well as all of the federally earmarked funds that the nation’s libraries depend on to provide critical services to their community.    However, a grassroots advocacy effort led Congress to keep funding for IMLS and libraries for FY18.

Continue reading Speaking up for teens & libraries during the federal budgeting process

I Love My Librarian Award Spotlight: Sheikla Blount

I recently had the opportunity to talk to Sheikla Blount, library media specialist at Columbiana Middle School in Columbiana, Alabama. Ms. Blount was recently named one of the recipients of the I Love My Librarian Award.  The award is a collaborative program of Carnegie Corporation of New York, the New York Public Library, The New York Times and the American Library Association.  A graduate of Alabama State University in Montgomery, Alabama, Sheikla clearly has a passion for libraries and children. She’s involved in the middle school, even outside the library, and the sponsor for the Junior United Nations Assembly and yearbook club. Continue reading I Love My Librarian Award Spotlight: Sheikla Blount