During the Annual 2014 Conference, the YALSA Board approved an agenda item that proposed a new framework to formally include the voices of professionals in related fields with similar goals and objectives. The Advocates Advisory Panel will be charged with tackling a specific area of focus related to the Strategic Plan, the Future of Library Services for and with Teens report, or other topics as identified by the Board each year. The hope is that through this process, YALSA will gain valuable outside perspective on topics that are important for teens, expand its reach through new and/or strengthened relationships, and model the kind of collaborative, collective work that is called out in the Future report.

Because the Board approved the proposal in concept, as the author, I’ve been tasked with working with the Board Standing Committee on Capacity Building to create an inaugural focus and to hammer out some of the logistics. Although there’s obviously any number of topics that might be interesting to pursue with this, we decided that one viable option would be for the panel to consider strategies that YALSA might pursue in order to connect key principles and guidelines (such as the those presented in the Future report) to LIS education. We determined that this might be a sensible place to start because:

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Last fall, YALSA conducted a survey to get member input on the next strategic plan. The Strategic Planning Taskforce’s official report is now available as part of the YALSA Board’s 2015 Midwinter Meeting Board Documents. You can find it at item #26 on the agenda. If you have any responses to share on the survey, we would love to hear from you!

There are lots of strategic planning activities happening at Midwinter! The Board will be dedicating its Board Planning and Board I meetings to strategic planning sessions with consultant Alan Brickman (item #1 on the agenda). Like all Board meetings, these are open to all conference attendees, and you are welcome to drop in and observe. We’ll also be live tweeting from board meetings, so please follow @yalsa for more details.

Member involvement is a key part of successful strategic planning, so YALSA’s also hosting a member planning session at Midwinter: Moving YALSA Forward on Sunday, February 1, from 1-2:30 pm. This session will be facilitated by Alan Brickman as well. Advocacy emerged as an important theme in our member survey results, and it will be the main topic explored here. We hope you’ll come and participate in this session: we need to hear from as many members as possible to make it a success! Light refreshments will be available.

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ALA Midwinter is just next week, and I am looking forward to seeing my colleagues, talking with YALSA members, check out the best of YA Literature and non-fiction at the Morris / Non-fiction reception, and more. Check out the YALSA Wiki for dates and times of all YALSA events if you'll be attending Midwinter. If you won’t be in Chicago, follow Midwinter activities with the Midwinter hashtag, #alamw15.

The YALSA board will start off Midwinter with a strategic planning session. Board members, using an outcomes based approach, will explore the results of YALSA’s member survey, the Futures report, and YALSA’s current strategic plan, with an eye on capacity and the long term vision for YALSA. The goal with this is to develop a focused and responsive strategic plan which will help YALSA meet the needs of members and advance teen services in libraries across the country.

While the planning discussion will take up the whole Board Agenda on Saturday, there are still other topics that the board will be discussing. Those topics include:

Check out the board agenda and documents online to get the details of what the board will be discussing. You can also read the accompanying blog posts on the YALSA Blog.  If you have a comment, the first 5 minutes of each of the board meetings is set aside for visitors to ask questions. You can also send me an e-mail with comments if you are not able to make it to a session to share your feedback. Feel free to follow Executive Director Beth Yoke (@yalsa_director), myself (@doseofsnark), and/or other YALSA boardies for live tweets of adopted actions and discussion highlights. We'll also be sharing post conference round-ups over the coming weeks so stay tuned.

I know I know for some, maybe many, YALSA members learning about the YALSA budget and the fiscal priorities of the Association seems like incredibly dry stuff. But, in order for YALSA to provide members with the services they need in order to work with teens successfully, the YALSA Board and the Association's members have to think what monies are spent on, and where funding is coming from. That's why there are three documents on the YALSA Board Midwinter Meeting agenda that are important to look at:

  • Item 17 on the agenda is titled Prioritizing Endowment Funds. The document explains the current state of YALSA's endowments and includes recommendations of how the funds generated from the endowments should be spent over the next year. Take a look to find out what initiatives the Board is going to look at funding in this way - maybe you'll find there is a grant coming up that you'd like to apply for if these funds are used as suggested. This agenda item is an action item which means that the YALSA Board needs to make decisions at the 2015 Midwinter Meeting in order move the process forward. Read More →

We have all been in a situation where a manager or someone in a decision-making position makes a change that leaves everyone else saying, “What were they thinking? This is a mistake!” However, once the details of the decision process are learned, everyone usually agrees that it makes sense. The lack of information shared upfront when the change is announced can cause lots of unnecessary stress.

Change management was a phrase I have heard before and thought was corporate jargon. I started reading up on it to discuss it at the recent YALSA Exec Board fall meeting and realized how important it can be to lay a foundation for success. Change management is all about creating a well-thought out plan to see a change to fruition. One important part of that plan is communication. If the decision maker not only tells you what the change is, but also why it is happening, how it will be a positive change, the potential hazards of not making the change, and what everyone can do to help make the change happen smoothly, it can iron out the speed bumps created by misunderstanding and frustration.

In an effort to spread the idea of effective change management at a time when YALSA members are working to implement the ideas in The Future of Library Services For and With Teens report, the YALSA Board at Midwinter 2015 will be discussing a proposal to establish communication best practices. You can read the full document and all additional board docs on the YALSA governance page. If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions about this topic, please feel free to contact me, Carrie Kausch, at ckausch@gmail.com, or any other board member. If you will be attending Midwinter in Chicago, find us at the Saturday YALSA happy hour at Tavern Tap Pub at the Congress Plaza Hotel located at 520 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60605. Drop in any time between 5:30 and 7pm Saturday night!

Have you wanted to serve on a selection committee, but couldn’t manage to attend both Midwinter and Annual conferences? You’re not alone! In the 2014 Member Survey, several members stated they were looking for ways to get involved with YALSA virtually. For the past two years, YALSA has piloted the Margaret A. Edwards Award committee and the Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults committee as virtual committees. Virtual committees allow members who are not able to attend conferences to participate in selection committees, thereby making the organization stronger as more members are engaged in YALSA’s mission and work. Members of both committees were surveyed in April 2014 and their comments were mostly positive. Some members mentioned that communication on their virtual committees was more frequent than was their experience on traditional face-to-face committees. Board document #15 recommends that going forward, Margaret A. Edwards and PPYA should be virtual committees. The document also explores what other committees might be candidates for a future pilot and what additional support or training members of virtual committees might need. Remember, we’ll be live tweeting from board meetings, so please follow @yalsa for more details.

Questions, concerns or suggestions? Please send them to the following members of the YALSA Board Standing Committee on Membership:

Krista McKenzie (Chair)

Carla Land

Nicola McDonald

Rachel McDonald

http://www.ala.org/yalsa/board-directors

A brief look at 'grams of interest to engage teens and librarians navigating this social media platform.

It's Martin Luther King Jr. Day and many libraries that serve teens are closed. Whether public, school or other, it is often not possible for librarians to connect with teens on MLK day. Libraries in communities directly impacted by Dr. King, such as Birmingham, not only provide great resources ALL teens can access, they also model good programming ideas. Instagram photo hunts, round table readings of landmark primary sources, or simply sharing relevant artifacts and other materials housed in their libraries can inspire our own outreach to teens. Although Black History month quickly follows, how can libraries find an opportunity to have conversations with teens about Dr. King, his legacy, and how it is relevant to their own lives? Diplays? Movie nights? Round table discussions? Could the #weneeddiversebooks campaign be used in your library to connect wider issues of diversity to MLK day? How does your library use MLK day to kick-start ongoing interactions about race, civil rights, and diversity? Read More →

By Nicola McDonald

My role as YALSA Board Fellow has been such a rewarding learning and sharing experience! This Midwinter will be my first official full meeting as a board member and I’m looking forward to it.

Over the past six months, in addition to some wonderful things I’ve been able to do like work with specific chairs to help their committee work run smoothly and participating in various board and topic discussions, I was also able to write a board proposal around diversity on the YALSA board. All recent board documents will be presented during the YALSA Board meeting in Chicago at ALA Midwinter.

Originating as a Mega Issue that was discussed during ALA's 2014 conference, I decided to continue with the topic as a part of my YALSA board project. I'm proposing that YALSA focuses on taking steps to increase and maintain diversity on the board.

If you're heading to Chicago, be sure to stop in and check out this and other topics that will be discussed and decided on. Check out YALSA events in Chicago during Midwinter. Even if you won't be joining us in Chicago, you can follow @YALSA for updates on board actions as there will be live Tweets from the meetings.