The Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults (JRLYA), the official research journal of ALA’s Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), is currently accepting submissions for a special themed issue. The issue will highlight research related to LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) issues and public and school library services for teens. We also welcome research papers examining other diversity issues and the implications for teen library services. Researchers, librarians, graduate students, and others who conduct research related to young adults (ages 12 – 18) and libraries are invited to submit manuscripts. Papers describing both scholarly research (qualitative, quantitative, or theory development) as well as action research are welcome for peer review and consideration of publication. Papers that report library programs but lack an original research component will not be considered.

Writer’s guidelines are located at Email manuscripts by October 30, 2015, to editor Denise Agosto at:

JRLYA is an open-access, peer-reviewed journal located at: Its purpose is to enhance the development of theory, research, and practice to support young adult library services. JRLYA presents original research concerning: 1) the informational and developmental needs of teens; 2) the management, implementation, and evaluation of young adult library services; and 3) other critical issues relevant to librarians who work with this population.


A brief look at 'grams of interest to engage teens and librarians navigating this social media platform.
As of this year, the American Library Association (ALA) has designated June as GLBT Book Month to celebrate authors and books depicting the lives and experiences of members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community. While many libraries Instagrammed their GLBT displays earlier in the month, many more images were posted after last week's Supreme Court decision to legalize same-sex marriage. With photos of book spines arranged in rainbows, #bookfacefriday posts, and images of library booths at pride events, libraries showed their support for the GLBT community.
For resources on selecting materials for displays or collection development, the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table (GLBTRT) provides resources including the Stonewall Book Award recipients and lists of Rainbow Books and Over the Rainbow Books for youth and adults, respectively.

Read More →

Thursday-June 25

I arrived in San Francisco on Thursday and the first thing I was excited to do was to see The Mix at SFPL.  I received a tour from the awesome Teen Librarian, Erich Haddon.  The Mix is the new digital media and learning lab for teens ages 13-18 where teens can explore their passions.  The Mix is partnering with five San Francisco, Bay Area organizations that will be offering programs for teens in areas of STEM, video creating/editing, music making and more.  There is also a makerspace where teens can create, make and collaborate.  The Mix is offering roughly 15 programs per week for teens.


Saturday June 27

I spent a couple of hours at the YALSA table with the fabulous Stephanie Charlefour, Teen Librarian at the Wixom Public Library.  It was the first time for me tabling at YALSA and it was a great opportunity to connect with other teen librarians focused on the meeting the mission of YALSA as well as connecting with librarians interested in joining YALSA.

Voices of Youth: Community Partnerships for video production session featured a panel of six teens involved in the San Francisco Public Library (SFPL) Board of Advising Youth and they talked about their involvement in working with the library, architects and other advisors in building and creating the new teen space; The Mix.  The partnerships that SFPL has built with five Bay Area organizations will bolster teen programming and expose teens to areas of video creation and editing through the organization BAVC, music creation and editing, a makerspace that has endless possibilities and STEM programs by the California Academy of Sciences

Empower Your Teens! Civic Engagement Strategies that Work.  Five teens from the Youth Leadership Council of the Oakland Public Library presented on their work with the library.  The presentation was a phenomenal, completely youth led panel where each member talked about what the YLC does; building leaderships skills by engaging with members of civic institutions, improving library services by having this group be so imbedded in a number of decision making endeavors for teens and bridging the gap between youth and library staff.  Hands down the best session I went to!  The teens took the lead to share what they do and what they’ve learned from their experience with the YLC.


YALSA President’s Program: Taking a Deep Dive Into Digital Literacy:  Shark Tank for Library Staff

I’m one of the members of the YALSA President’s Program Task Force and it has been a great experience serving on a committee with such dedicated teen services librarians.  The Shark Bowl program is based off the reality show “Shark Tank” that features aspiring entrepreneurs pitching their ideas to business experts, the YALSA version features six teen librarians pitching their digital literacy ideas to a panel of sharks-Susan Del Rosario (, Crystle Martin (Digital Media and Learning Hub UC Irvine) K-Fai Steele (National Writing Project) and David ten Have (Makey Makey and JoyLabz).  The winners are; Ricah Quinto, Shanna Miles and Erin Durrett with their  projects.


Yalsa membership covers everything from free monthly webinars, to discounted online courses, to access to various grants, scholarships and stipends, to the award winning YALS journal and much more.

Current board practice is to engage in discussion about dues policy and structure approximately every five to ten years. These discussions include looking at membership categories along with the cost of membership. In 2010 the Board discussed these topics and decided to add categories - for example the non-salaried category - and revise its dues structure with regular member dues increasing from $50 to $60, student dues going from $20 to $25 and corporate dues being raised from $60 to $70.

In an effort to help YALSA to remain financially stable, the board will discuss board document #33 on Monday, June 29, 2015 at the ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco.  The document provides an overview of current YALSA dues policy and structure and outlines a way to create a more sustainable method for ensuring the financial stability of the association while at the same time supporting members.

If you will attend the conference remember that you are more than welcome and encouraged in fact, to sit in on YALSA Board meetings. And even if you won't be in San Francisco for the conference you can still read item #33 and all other board documents that will be discussed over the three days, Saturday through Monday. If you have any questions at all any board member would be happy to help you so just reach out.


Nicola McDonald, the 2014-2015 YALSA Board Fellow is the Chair of YALSA's Board Diversity Taskforce and a Library Manager at NYPL.

heading for YALS
One of the items on the agenda for the YALSA Board at Annual Conference in San Francisco is a discussion of YALS and how to make sure that the official journal of the association is in line with the findings and recommendations of YALSA's Future of Library Services for and with Teens: A Call to Action report. The Board document - under new business - presents some things for the YALSA Board to think about including:

  • A revised function statement for YALS that focuses on the YALS Advisory Board having an active role in developing an editorial calendar for the journal and to make sure that YALSA's resources and initiatives are successfully highlighted in the publication. Read More →

Annual is almost upon us! We in the Local Arrangements Committee have been working hard to provide you with information on eateries, activities, neighborhoods, and more. You can find all this information on YALSA's Annual Conference wiki:

Some highlights include:

  • Notes on nearby libraries and bookstores, since we know the exhibits hall is only the tip of the iceberg
  • Recommended eateries close to the conference or its hotels
  • All the terminology to know so that you don't get on Caltrain when you mean to get on MUNI
  • Places to go shopping for off-the-beaten-track items
  • See you in San Francisco in just a few short days!

    Summer is here and at least in Illinois, it’s heating up fast! With June halfway over, we know that ALA Annual is on the horizon. And what says summer better than San Francisco, California? The theme this year is “Transforming libraries, ourselves.” With 25,000 library affiliated folks coming to town, it’s an event you don’t want to miss!

    Unfortunately, I’ll be diligently working in Illinois during ALA Annual, but that doesn’t mean I have to miss out on the conversations. If you’re like me and won’t be in San Fransisco, here’s a guide to staying in touch, from a distance.

    Read More →

    Annual Conference is coming soon, and there are tons of cool YALSA programs happening there. We’ll hopefully be seeing a lot of you at the Michael L. Printz award event, the Margaret A. Edwards luncheon, the Coffee Klatch and many more! If you haven’t gotten your ticket for one of these events, there’s still time. Plus, you can get them at the door, too. So these events are not just a chance to see something cool, they’re a great opportunity to give back to YALSA.

    Proceeds from the sales go back to YALSA to support grants, awards and scholarships for members. Each year YALSA’s Financial Advancement Committee has a goal to raise $16,000 to support these grants, awards and scholarships.  So far this year we’ve raised $5,375.  Please consider giving to YALSA to help us stay on track to raise the $16,000 we need by this December.

    The Financial Advancement Committee is super passionate about supporting YALSA, and we think it's important to share that enthusiasm because we know it's one of the building blocks that helps YALSA achieve awesomeness. Here’s what some of our committee members have to say about why they give to YALSA:

    Melissa McBride:

    “Giving to YALSA is something I feel strongly about! I have been a member for 12 years and an active participant in the organization for the last seven. I'm not sure I would be where I am professionally without YALSA! My years of participating on committees have allowed me to meet fabulous people, help support a wonderful organization, and most importantly given me the confidence to take an active leadership role in my school district. I can't think of a better way of showing my appreciation than by giving to YALSA and allowing them to help out other librarians - just like me!”

    Dora Ho:

    “Giving to YALSA helps strengthen library services to teens through its programs and initiatives. YALSA empowers librarians to serve teens each and every day in the libraries where teens can enrich their literacy skills and engage with their community.”

    Gretchen Kolderup:

    “Every day, library staff change teens' lives in both big and small ways by giving them employment opportunities, by recommending books and turning them into lifelong readers, by providing them with access to technology, by helping them pursue their personal or academic interests, by bringing like-minded teens together and building community among them, or simply by being an adult who cares about them. YALSA supports that work with webinars, toolkits, national advocacy efforts, grants and scholarships, conferences, and more, so I support YALSA by donating and volunteering my time.”

    Franklin Escobedo:

    “I know it can be hard to give money, especially when a lot of us aren't rolling in the dough. But I feel that giving to YALSA doesn't only benefit me, but it benefits all YA Librarians out there, members and nonmembers.  YALSA mission is to advocate for teens and the librarians who work with teens. I believe even if you give just a little, that little bit will go a long way to help.  YALSA is investing in our future, through leadership programs, national advocacy days, as well as helping to promote YA Services in libraries. They continue to press the point that Young Adult/Teen Services are vital to the future of libraries across this nation. We have strength in numbers, so every little donation and every large donation is going to help their cause, my cause, our cause. None of us became librarians for a fame and fortune, we became librarians because we have a passion to better society and to advocate for teens who oftentimes get overlooked in their own communities. “

    Personally, I give to YALSA because I know YALSA will make something awesome out of it. That awesomeness comes out in many ways: the Future of Teens in Libraries report, the Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers list, new discoveries in the research journal, librarians and library workers who just learned something new on one of YALSA’s webinars, the look on a teen’s face when their teen services librarian gives them something fabulous to read they discovered on the Books for Teens app...I could go on.

    If you want to see proof of the awesome, just check @yalsa out on Twitter. I find myself inspired by dozens of awesome things YALSA is doing for and with teens in libraries every day. Check it out. Better yet, you could give to YALSA too, and make sure we continue to create the awesome. And remember, every amount helps, no matter how little or how large.

    See you in San Francisco!

    P.S. Want a super easy way to donate to YALSA?  Text ALA TEENALA to this number: 41518 to make a $10 donation


    Have you ever submitted a volunteer application to express interest in serving on a YALSA selection or award committee--only to hear back that the President-Elect and Appointments Task Force were not able to find a spot for you this year? If so, you’re not alone. YALSA is fortunate to have many talented members who are eager to serve on our selection and award committees--nearly 600 applications were submitted for spots on 2015-2016 committees!--but each year, of course, there are only a limited number of committee spots available.

    This is one of several reasons why the Board will be discussing the possible creation of a selection and award committee participation policy that would open up the committees for broader participation by the YALSA Membership at ALA Annual in San Francisco. The official Board doc is Item #29 on the YALSA Board’s Annual Conference Agenda.

    The proposed policy outlined in the document would institute uniform guidelines for participation in selection and award committees, addressing topics such as as term lengths, maximum years of consecutive service, and frequency of award committee service. As you’ll see when you read the Board doc, this proposal follows up on a recommendation from the Selection Committee Evaluation Task Force that such a policy be explored and created. The proposal is also data-driven, based on an analysis of ten years of committee service records.

    Take a look at the document and let the Board know if you have comments, questions, or concerns. We know that this is a proposal that, if adopted, could potentially impact many of our member volunteers, so we value your thoughts and input. There are lots of ways to share your feedback with us!

    Thank you!