Board Document – Committee Impact Report

The YALSA Board discussed the Committee Impact Report produced by the Organization & Bylaws Committee in September 2018.  A key recommendation of the report is to revamp the Quarterly Chair Report to do two things: 1. Better measure the work of committees and taskforces.  2.  Yield more information on how our committees and taskforces implement the strategic plan and their progress on achieving the Equity Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) goals of the association.

To complement the changes to the Quarterly Chair Report, the board also considered adding a dashboard- a visual tool to give information at a glance so that it can quickly track the work of a committee or taskforce, identify patterns and irregularities, and also potential problems so that they can be solved in a swift manner.

Another key recommendation is to create an End of Term Report for committees, juries and taskforces. This report will capture committee accomplishments. It will also identify YALSA Stars so that they can be encouraged to be YALSA leaders in the future.

These changes will assist the board making decisions for the association so that it better serves the membership and will help provide a clear picture to the membership of how we are working to achieve plans and goals now and into the future.

The Board passed this document on October 10th. The document can be viewed here.

Get to Know YALSA Board Members: 5 Questions with Financial Advancement Committee Chair Kate Denier

Ever wanted to get to know the YALSA Board of Directors more? Here’s your chance! All month long, we’ll be posting fun mini interviews with each board member so you can get to know them a little better. Here’s the next Director:

What does YALSA mean to you?
I have been an active YALSA member for several years now. I’ve been on many different types of committees and have been chair of committees and a taskforce. I’m really thankful to be on the Board now. Not only has YALSA helped build my leadership skills, being on Board allows me to give back to an organization that has done a lot for me and the teens I have served. I think I have used just about every resource YALSA has to offer and I try and encourage others to do the same. YALSA has directly impacted my ability to serve teens at my organization and my ability to lead.

What are your hopes for the future of teen services?
My hope is that ALL teens have a space to go to in their local library (wherever that library may be) where they can be safe, be themselves, be heard and get the resources and information they need without judgment. I hope teen services staff are given the support they need to provide the highest level of service to teens. I also hope that people who work with teens continue to advocate for teen services, both locally and nationally.

Which city is your favorite to travel to and why?
London. I did a study abroad program in London while getting my undergraduate degree. I loved it so much that I did an independent study during my MLIS graduate program on public libraries in London. It is my favorite place in the world (other than home!).

What show do you like to binge watch?
Friday Night Lights. “Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose!”

What are the top 3 things on your bucket list?
Travel to Santorini
Go to the Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque
Hold a koala bear

Get to Know YALSA Board Members: 5 Questions with President-Elect Todd Krueger

Ever wanted to get to know the YALSA Board of Directors more? Here’s your chance! All month long, we’ll be posting fun mini interviews with each board member so you can get to know them a little better. Here’s the next Director:

What does YALSA mean to you?
I love how it brings together so many people from diverse and disparate backgrounds to focus on making the lives of teens better. Helping to carry out the mission and vision of YALSA has provided me with a meaningful complement to my professional life. #teensfirst

What are your hopes for the future of teen services?
More communication, connection and collaboration. Bringing teens together and including them in decision-making. Finding ways to measure our successes, pivot when needed, and learn from (and not dwell on) our failures.

What are the top 3 things on your bucket list?
Three places to travel to: Alaska, Australia, and Portugal (planning to check this one off in 2020!)

What was your favorite band as a teen?
Oh gosh. I’m dating myself with this one. The Smiths because they were about as angsty as can be. Probably why I still relate so well to teens today!

What’s your ultimate comfort food?
A wilted kale salad, topped with roasted vegetables. Possibly a bag of Cheetos as a chaser. With a slice of lemon meringue pie. And iced tea, a lot of iced tea.

Content Needed! Collection Development in Light of #MeToo

In October of 2017, the hashtag #MeToo started trending on Twitter as a result of women and some men speaking out against abusers and harassers from all areas of public and private life. Then, in a January 2018 School Library Journal (SLJ) article, “Children’s Publishing Reckons with Sexual Harassment in its Ranks,” (an article that is no longer available on SLJ’s website) #MeToo came to young adult publishing when hundreds of comments were left on the online article identifying authors and publishers in the YA community as harassers and abusers. As a result of this, concern and hesitation was expressed from YALSA’s committee members in regards to evaluating works from authors who have reportedly been accused of harassment.

We all know how important library staff can be to the teens who frequent our buildings, utilize our collections, and see their library as a safe space.  Often, these teens have few supportive adults in their lives who can take the time to talk through difficult and nuanced topics that our teens are seeing discussed on social media, in magazines, on television and through conversations with friends.  They are experiencing firsthand the impact of the #MeToo movement as it relates to their favorite artists, authors, actors, and celebrities, and since libraries are often repositories of the physical and digital forms of all of this media, those who work directly with teens will often be the ones that will be having these discussions, be it on a reference desk, in programming, during book groups or just when we’re chatting with our teens after school.  We see the teens in our lives and our libraries take in all this change that is happening in real time, but how can we be supportive advocates for our teens when this topic is relatively new and unchartered territory?

In response to this need for support, YALSA has put together a Collection Development in Light of #MeToo Workgroup who has been tasked to collect, organize, and provide access to information that will help staff balance important intellectual freedom principals with the need to consider the impact of the #Metoo movement on teens, and the materials they are encountering at their libraries.

How can you help? Please submit articles, blog posts, research, reports, continuing education materials, and sample library policies for possible inclusion on the soon to come wiki page. This content will be reviewed, organized and made available for library staff to utilize in their daily interactions with teens, as well as serve as supplemental material to help with collection development and intellectual freedom principles. After the page is crowdsourced, the group will evaluate the content on the wiki page and make recommendations for the development of any resources that are missing but would be helpful to library staff who serve teens. We are really trying to find out what’s already available that can help staff, and what will need to be created.

The gathering and creation of this material will hopefully help library staff in a variety of ways including best practices around how to talk to our teens and library patrons about the materials that we choose to carry in our libraries.  There might be books on library shelves that make us or our teens uncomfortable. Does having a book by an accused or proven harasser or abuser indicate endorsement? How can we talk to our teens about the importance of intellectual freedom in a way that supports and validates the very important #MeToo movement?  These are all questions and thoughts that we hope to address with the curation and development of specific materials to help library staff.

Please send any information or content you think would be informative or helpful to have to emily.m.townsend@gmail.com by December 1.

Get to Know YALSA Board Members: 5 Questions with YALSA Board Fellow Josie Watanabe

Ever wanted to get to know the YALSA Board of Directors more? Here’s your chance! All month long, we’ll be posting fun mini interviews with each board member so you can get to know them a little better. Here’s the next Director:

What does YALSA mean to me?
I really like how YALSA is focusing on continuing education. I think it’s so important for practitioners, like librarians, to continue to grow and improve the way we work with youth. To me YALSA is at the forefront of this work in the library world and I am excited to be part of it!

What are your hopes for the future of teen services?
My hopes and dreams for the future of teen services includes a profession that is inclusive. A profession that puts teens first by reducing unnecessary barriers which would help develop a staff that is diverse, can speak multiple languages and mirrors the teens we currently serve.

What’s your ultimate comfort food?
My ultimate comfort food is homemade macaroni and cheese. But alas, I am lactose intolerant now! :/

What movie have you seen multiple times in theaters?
A movie that I have seen many times in the theater and will see many more times at home is Guardians of the Galaxy.

What is your favorite fairy tale?
My favorite fairy tale is the Chinese version of Cinderella because Cinderella actually gets her feet cut off and I loved gore and blood as a child. At least, I I think that’s what happens… I just remember it being very violent— I didn’t have cable growing up!

Get to Know YALSA Board Members: 5 Questions with YALSA Immediate Past President Sandra Hughes-Hassell

Ever wanted to get to know the YALSA Board of Directors more? Here’s your chance! All month long, we’ll be posting fun mini interviews with each board member so you can get to know them a little better. Here’s the next Director:

What does YALSA mean to you?
I’ve always viewed YALSA as the division of ALA with its finger on the pulse of teens – their passions, their development, their needs, and their wants. By placing teens at the center of the work, I believe YALSA is able to provide library staff who work with teens a vision for their work, as well as tools (professional development, resources, booklists, etc.) they can use to develop inclusive programs for the teens in their communities. I see YALSA members as passionate, risk takers – pushing the field and the organization to recognize and tackle the big issues that teens in our country face

What are your hopes for the future of teen services?
I hope all library directors will understand the importance of providing services to teens and will thus, 1) hire dedicated and passionate staff to work with teens; 2) provide a dedicated space for teens – one that supports formal and informal learning; 3) provide funding that allows teen library staff to develop inclusive services/programs in collaboration with teens and community partners; and 4) apply an equity lens to all of the library’s work with teens.

What’s your ultimate comfort food?
Mashed potatoes! My grandmother made the best mashed potatoes – full of butter, cream, and lumps!

What show do you like to binge watch?
As a family we watch NCIS, NCIS Los Angeles, and NCIS New Orleans whenever they are on!

What song can always make you dance, regardless of your mood?
September by Earth Wind and Fire

An Academic Librarian Crashes YALSA’s Symposium

This weekend, I ventured to Salt Lake City, Utah to hang out with YA librarian crowd and I was not disappointed. Why would an academic librarian want to attend a conference geared toward YA librarians? Well, because I am the Education and Teaching Librarian at my university and a large percentage of my collection supports the curriculum for future educators, including children’s and young adult literature classes.

If I am honest, the main reason I registered for this symposium was the session Disability in YA: Representing All Teens. As a person with Cerebral Palsy, I have seen many books with token characters or books where the character’s disability seems to be the only interesting thing about them. After listening to this panel, I realized I was not the only one who felt this way. It was great to hear from the authors and librarians on this panel about their own experiences as people with disabilities or loved ones with disabilities. I especially related with author Leigh Burdugo when she talked about her hesitancy to begin using an assistive device, in her case a cane. In my case, a few years ago, crutches. I am excited to explore the world she created in Six of Crows and just as thrilled to see librarians across the country tackle the subject of disability with their teens.

I also liked hearing from Karen Keys, Coordinator of Young Adult Services in Brooklyn, NY in her session Later Literacy: Engaging Teens in Books and Stories. She argued for the need to focus on teen literacy as much as we do early literacy and I agree! I believe that literacy at all stages and reading helps students develop students’ ability to think critically—something that we all need for “adulting” in general, not to mention academic coursework. So many students come to college unprepared to use these necessary skills. More emphasis on teen literacy and reading broadly can only help. I loved the practical tips in this session for including teens in readers’ advisory. I can see this translating easily to the student workers in my library. I also appreciated Karen’s slightly sarcastic sense of humor, which definitely kept the audience engaged. I loved her statement: “Read, read anything, everything counts, read whatever you like.” It is definitely a mantra to live by.

No post about the YALSA Symposium would be complete without mentioning the craziness that is Book Blitz. This is the librarian equivalent of Black Friday.  A few hundred librarians with four tickets each, twenty-seven top YA authors–a book signing free for all. Being a first-time attendee with limited luggage space, I found my four books and got out of there! I traded my tickets for signed books from Shane Burcaw, Julie Berry, Brenden Keily, and Vince Vawter, and who doesn’t love meeting authors?

I came away with something useful from each session I attended. For me, the most fun at the symposium were the dine-around dinners. It was simple to sign up and be able to go out with a group. I want to be more involved with YALSA and this gave me a chance to informally network. I met a few people that I hope will become good friends. Since most of the day was spent in sessions, I liked being able to explore the local restaurant options in the evenings. By the way, if you are ever in Salt Lake, I recommend Café Molise—the Crème Brule is amazing!

Rebecca Weber is an Assistant Professor of the Education and Teaching Library at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

Get to Know YALSA Board Members: 5 Questions with BWI Award Jury and School & Public Library Cooperation Committee Director Melissa McBride

Ever wanted to get to know the YALSA Board of Directors more? Here’s your chance! All month long, we’ll be posting fun mini interviews with each board member so you can get to know them a little better. Here’s the next Director.

Melissa McBride is a K-6 elementary school librarian at Southold Elementary on the North Fork of Long Island. She has also worked in Teen Services and as a high school librarian. Her favorite things, in no particular order, are: her husband, her cat, the NY Islanders, Mets, and Jets, reading, Jack Johnson, and paddleboarding.

YALSA: What does YALSA mean to you?

MM: For me, YALSA is the reason why I am where I am professionally. It means a lot on so many levels! In grad school, one of my professors told us that we should all join our professional organizations while students. She explained that it would be a wonderful resource to us, as well as save money with the student rate! I took her advice and immediately felt at home with YALSA. My work on committees, and now with the board, has enabled me to become a leader in my school district. Working with YALSA has given me the confidence to present at conferences, lead committees in my district and given me so many resources to use with my students and staff. I was recently named the Suffolk County (NY) School Librarian of the Year and I really don’t think I would have developed the program I have without the skills I learned through YALSA. Now I have the opportunity to give back to the organization by serving on the board, and that really couldn’t mean more to me. I really don’t think I would be where I am today without YALSA.

YALSA: What are your hopes for the future of teen services?

MM: At the most basic level, I want everyone to understand the need for year round teen services provided by dedicated teen services staff, and to understand why that need is so important. Beyond that, I want teens to know that they have allies in the library world and to take advantage of the wonderful resources that they have access to. I want teens to learn how to advocate for themselves and to understand that the library should be a place where they can go to learn how to do just that. I want dedicated teen services staff in every high school, middle school, public library, and any other space that serves the needs of our diverse teens!

YALSA: What are the top 3 things on your bucket list?

MM:

  • Paddleboard in the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, and Southern Ocean, no way am I going in the Arctic Ocean. One down, three to go!
  • See Jack Johnson in his home state of HI
  • Travel the world with my husband

YALSA: What’s your Hogwarts House?

MM: Ravenclaw!

YALSA: Which city is your favorite to travel to and why?

MM: Probably New Orleans – I’ve been there six times. There is no better place to see live music and eat some of the best meals of your life.

Call for Editor: Teen Services Competencies Publication

YALSA is seeking an experienced editor for an upcoming publication based on its Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff guideline. The tentative publication deadline is September 2019. The editor will be given a one-time stipend to compile, edit, and write content as needed and work with a group of contributors to produce a cohesive publication.

Applications are due December 1, 2018.

Working Title

Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff: A Practical Guide

Project Description

In public libraries, everyone needs the skills and knowledge to serve teens. According to a recent report from IMLS, nearly 7,000 of the nation’s 17,000+ public libraries have a staff of only 1.5 full time employee. Most libraries do not have the luxury of having a dedicated, full time staff person who focuses solely on serving teens.

In 2017, YALSA published an update to its competencies document, “Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff.” These competencies are meant to help libraries of all sizes and capacities provide quality library service in collaboration with teens. Merely having a list of competencies, however, is not enough. Library staff and their supervisors and administrators need help in knowing how to embed the competencies in the work of library staff and how to measure their success in achieving them. This book will examine each of the ten competencies and provide practical examples, suggestions, and resources aimed at front line library staff. The rationale behind the competencies will be addressed as well, to demonstrate how each one contributes to providing excellent service for and with teens.

Predetermined current experts and practitioners in the field of young adult librarianship in both school and public libraries will contribute practical examples, anecdotes, and success stories to illustrate how the competencies work at the building level. These contributions will appear in the body of the text (credited to the contributors). The editor may also have the opportunity to suggest potential contributors/experts if it is determined by both the editor and YALSA that there is a lack of content or expertise for a specific competencies area.

View full project details (manuscript length, table of contents, tentative timeline, etc) here.

Responsibilities

  • Work and liaise with a group of contributors and YALSA staff to meet deadlines and expectations
  • Make revisions based on YALSA feedback
  • Proofreading
  • Write content to fill gaps and build a cohesive document (introductions, sections, headings, table of content, appendices, etc) as needed
  • Compile content from contributors, provide feedback, and keep contributors committed to deadlines
  • Identify and include helpful, practical resources as needed to fill gaps
  • Edit several drafts of manuscript for overall consistency (focus, tone, structure/organization, pacing, language, etc.) and readability
  • Other responsibilities not listed may also be required that will be discussed as they occur

Requirements

  • Must have past editor and/or writing experience for book length (or similar) publications
  • Knowledge of recent developments and trends in library services for and with young adults
  • Read and become familiar with YALSA’s Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff resource
  • Be familiar with YALSA’s mission and organizational plan
  • Have an eye for detail
  • Strong project management and organizational skills
  • Excellent verbal and written communications skills to manage content and communicate with contributors and YALSA Staff
  • Dynamic, self-motivated individual
  • Ability to delegate work and to manage and motivate contributors
  • Ability to set and meet deadlines
  • Ability to work well in a team environment
  • High ethical standards
  • Other requirements may also apply and will be discussed

A full list of responsibilities and requirements will be discussed and provided prior to contractual agreements.

Candidates must send a cover letter and resume via email to Anna Lam at alam@ala.org by December 1, 2018.

Get to Know YALSA Board Members: 5 Questions with Organization & Bylaws Chair Valerie Tagoe

Ever wanted to get to know the YALSA Board of Directors more? Here’s your chance! All month long, we’ll be posting fun mini interviews with each board member so you can get to know them a little better. Here’s the next Director.

Valerie Tagoe is a high school librarian in Texas. She is the immediate past president of the Dallas Association of School Librarians and currently serves on the YALSA Board as the Organization & Bylaws chair. In addition to serving on the board, she is also active in the Texas Library Association as a member of its legislative committee. She holds a B. A. in French with a minor in History from the University of Oklahoma, a Master of Bilingual Education from Southern Methodist University and an MLS from Texas Woman’s University.

YALSA: What does YALSA mean to you?

VT: To me, YALSA means innovation and information for those who serve teens. YALSA provides a means to learn about innovative ways to serve teens along with issues and trends in librarianship. As a high school librarian, I can put into practice what I learn from YALSA webinars and at conferences to help my students meet their educational and personal goals as they move into adulthood and pursue college, career. YALSA also provides insight into current trends and issues in librarianship across the country.

YALSA: What are your hopes for the future of teen services?

VT: My hope is that even with all the budget changes we are seeing in public, academic and school libraries that teens, no matter where they live, have access to teen services at schools and in public libraries, and access to a librarian who can provide instruction, assistance, and programming.

YALSA: What movie have you seen multiple times in theaters?

VT: Black Panther.

YALSA: Name one cool fact about yourself.

VT: I have been to four countries outside the US.

YALSA: Which city is your favorite to travel to and why?

VT: Paris, France is my favorite city. I traveled there for a summer study abroad program at the Sorbonne and just loved all aspects of the city. I wanted to finish my last year of college there then return for graduation.