YALSA Board @ Midwinter 2019: Advocacy Board Position

At the 2016 ALA Annual Conference, YALSA Board directed the Leading the Transformation for Teen Services Board Standing Committee to explore the idea of changing or expanding the makeup of the YALSA Board of Directors to include board members who are from outside the organization. At the ALA Midwinter Conference the Board discussed document #27 to broaden the scope of the Board to accommodate advocates. The Board has had several follow up discussions regarding the makeup of the YALSA Board, most recently with Board document #12.

The Board has voted to create, with membership approval, an ex-officio (non-voting) board position for person with a non traditional background or experience who will act as an advocate for YALSA outside of the Library profession. This change was embraced by the Board as part of the 2015 – 2016 strategic planning process, and is included in the first-year Implementation Plan. It is also part of the current 2018-19 Implementation Plan. The inclusion of advocates to the Board who work beyond the library teen services space can bring a unique perspective and help broaden the organization’s outlook on serving youth. A more diverse Board can strengthen its capacity by bringing in relevant skills or knowledge from beyond the library community. By including advocates on the Board, YALSA is modeling the behavior it wants members to adopt at the local level in terms of reaching out into the community to forge partnerships that increase their ability to meet teen needs.

In order to make this change the number of At-Large Board members will decrease by one, and we will add an additional ex-officio position to the board. This member will be appointed by the President-Elect for a one year term, with the option to renew for a second term if so desired. This change will require a vote by membership (Board doc #13), so please look for more information closer to the March elections. Please feel free to contact Board member Melissa McBride, mcbride.melissa@gmail.com, with any questions.

Meet YALSA’s ED at Midwinter!

Anita Mechler, YALSA Executive Director

Can you believe the 2019 Midwinter Meeting is only a few weeks away? As the new Executive Director (ED) of YALSA, I am thrilled to take part in my first Midwinter Meeting!

Over the last 5 months as ED, I have traveled to cities such as Albuquerque to meet with attendees at the Joint Conference of Librarians of Color and to Salt Lake City for YALSA’s Young Adult Services Symposium and now I am prepping for my trip to Seattle this month. These gatherings provide me with the opportunity to meet with library staff who do the important day-to-day work of serving teens all around the country.

This is why I am excited to share that at Midwinter, I will be holding “ED Hour,” at YALSA Booth #2609 on Saturday, January 26 from 11:00am-12:00pm and Sunday, January 27 from 10:30am-11:30am. I welcome everyone to stop and say hello. I would also love to hear any feedback you might have on YALSA’s resources and services. I greatly enjoy getting to know the enthusiasm you have for the teens you serve. Your perspective guides me in directing the organization to move forward into a positive, dynamic, diverse, inclusive, and equitable future. If you have time, please stop by the booth. I look forward to meeting with and hearing from you!

At Midwinter, I’m also excited to work on YALSA’s forthcoming Strategic Plan for 2019-2021 during YALSA’s Board Meeting on Saturday, January 26, from 1:00pm-5:00pm. This is an open meeting where all are welcome to attend.

Stay tuned to more forthcoming news from me, as I plan to share with you what I have learned through the process of being YALSA’s new Executive Director for the first 100 days of the job and more.

Let’s build the future of teen services together!

With kind regards,

Anita Mechler

P.S. Don’t forget to check out YALSA’s 2019 Midwinter wiki page to download YALSA’s full Midwinter schedule, as well as find great local info and tips!


President’s Report – December 2018

Hello Colleagues,

As you may know, the YALSA Board works year round. In December the Board was very busy creating, discussing & voting on Board documents virtually. The Board has approved a change in the Board make up to replace a Member-at-Large for an Advocacy position. This will require a Bylaws Change, which will be available for the YALSA membership to vote on in March.

The Board has also created a new volunteer form. The new form will help the President-Elect appoint more diverse committees. The new form will also make it easier for members to select committees that are best suited for their interests.

The Board has also approved a change to the statement of the function of the Executive Committee. The change in statement aligns with the current function of the Executive Committee, creating transparency in the role of the Executive Committee.

The Organization and Bylaws committee created a new policy that establishes a process for rescinding awards. The policy has been approved by the Board and is now posted on YALSA’s website.

The final document that the Board has worked on has been to select a new site for the 2020 Symposium, which will take place in Reno, NV.

Thank You!

  • Thank you to Allison Renner for her two years of service as the YALSblog Member Manager!

Relevant Stats & Data

  • November Membership: 4,601 (-4.31% from October 2017)
  • Funds raised for November: $3,570
  • Funds raised at Symposium: over $3,000

Don’t Forget!

Best,
Crystle Martin
YALSA President 2018-2019

Strategic Planning: Exciting Things Happening in Seattle

Last Friday, the YALSA Board held its monthly informal call, and we were joined by Jonny Stax and Annette Rizzo from AdaptNation. AdaptNation is helping us create a new strategic plan to guide YALSA’s work for the next three-years. One of AdaptNation’s strengths is helping organizations integrate the principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) into their work which is a priority of the Board. The goal of our call was to clarify scope and intent, identify processes and protocols, and answer any follow-up concerns or questions. We are all looking forward to engaging and thought-provoking conversations in Seattle!

In Seattle, the Board will participate in discussions and activities that will lead to the development of draft documents, and ultimately a finalized strategic plan. Board members will spend Friday afternoon in a two-hour Board EDI training session to learn EDI-infused practices. On Saturday, Board I will be devoted to a strategic session that will include a generative discussion and ultimately lead to the development of an implementation plan for the organization.

Board meetings are always open to observers – please join us in WSCC 203 on Saturday from 1:00-5:00 if you are interested in learning more about the processes we will use to develop our new strategic plan. Board II will take place from 4:00-5:00 in WSCC 203 and will be a regular business meeting. Again, observers are welcome.

If you won’t be in Seattle, follow @yalsa for live-Tweets from the Board meetings. Also, look for regular strategic planning updates on the YALSAblog!

If you have questions, please reach out to me, Crystle Martin, YALSA President, or Todd Krueger, YALSA President-Elect.

The Boys in the Boat and Stuff Just Got Real at Midwinter

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics

By Daniel Brown

Penguin Books, 2014

ISBN: 9780143125471

Looking for some holiday reading that features protagonists overcoming adversity and challenge? The Boys in the Boat is a go-to title for my teens who are required to read narrative nonfiction in the thematic categories of community or sports. Written by a Seattle author, it is the true story of how nine young men from the Pacific Northwest went from obscurity to the Olympics. Set during the Great Depression it is a testament to grit and determination, and–best of all for my readers–it reads like fiction. It’s also a title that was featured on the YALSA Outstanding Books for the College Bound and Lifelong Learners 2014 list.

Achieving good results is rarely accomplished in a vacuum. Coaches Al Ulbrickson and Tom Bolles were key figures in the success of the UW rowing crew that took a different kind of battle all the way to Hitler. Like Joe Rantz and the other boys in that boat, I have been fortunate to have good mentors. One of the best pieces of advice I got when I attended my first conference came from Patti Tjomsland, retired librarian and book jury committee member extraordinaire: make sure you go to an awards session. Awards sessions represent hundreds of hours of reading and discussion on the part of committee members, and culminate with the Morris and Nonfiction Award Program and Presentation from 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. on Monday, January 28.  

For those who have never attended an awards session, they are pretty special. The mood is celebratory, filled with discussion of the titles that have won and acceptance speeches by the recipient and their publisher. (One of my most memorable awards sessions was at the Odyssey Awards in Las Vegas when Kirby Heyborne–amazing narrator of audiobooks–busted out a rap in homage to librarians–look it up on YouTube, it’s priceless!) The Morris and Nonfiction Award Program and Presentation will include some light refreshments and a copy of one of the finalist titles. Tickets are $25, and are well worth the opportunity to share good memories with fellow librarians, authors, and publishers, and come home with a great book.

Jodi Kruse is a Teacher Librarian at R.A. Long High School.

2018 YA Services Symposium – Wrap Up

This year YALSA had a very successful YA Services Symposium in Salt Lake City. It was well attended with 500 attendees from across the US and Canada. The Symposium had a great variety of talks and 33 authors attended across the conference, with 26 authors being part of the Book Blitz. YALSA raised over $3000 to benefit Friends of YALSA. Friends of YALSA supports $14, 095 in grants, awards, and scholarships. For a great description of the content of the Symposium check out this blog post by Rebecca Weber. The call for proposals is now open for the 2019 YA Services Symposiums. Submit a proposal by February 1st! Come join YALSA in Memphis next November!

YALSA President’s Report – October and November 2018

Hello Colleagues,

As you may know, the YALSA Board works year round. Since September we have been creating, discussing & voting on Board documents virtually. The Board made recommendations to change the Quarterly Report form for committees to a Committee Impact Report.

The Board approved revisions to the Mission and Vision and developing an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Plan, as recommended by the Advancing Diversity Taskforce. This document is posted in the Midwinter 2019 Meeting Agenda and the EDI Plan is published on Issues and Current Projects.

The Board is making progress with Strategic Planning and is in the final phase of hiring a strategic planning consultant.

The Board also created a taskforce for YALSA’s participation in the 22×20 Campaign.

The final document that the Board has worked on has been to appoint Dora Ho has YALSA’s new Fiscal Officer.

Thank You!

  • Thank you to Sharon Deeds, Joella Bagshaw, and Christina Walsh for their work as the Symposium Local Arrangement Committee in Salt Lake!
  • Thank you to Tess Wilson for guest editing the fall issue of YALS on Year Round Teen Services. It will be available to read very soon.

Relevant Stats & Data

  • October Membership: 4,638 (-3,23% from October 2017)
  • Funds raised for September and October: $5,335

 Don’t Forget!

Best,
Crystle Martin
YALSA President 2018-2019

22×20 National Campaign Taskforce

22×20 is a national campaign established by The Learning and Multimedia Project (LAMP) and CIRCLE, the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning & Engagement. Targeting the 22 million teens who will be eligible to vote in their first presidential election in 2020, this initiative seeks to build media literacy and civic engagement.

Since the project supports concepts central to YALSA’s vision and desired impact, the Board wanted to partner and support the initiative. Additionally, 22×20’s goals of equipping teens with the skills needed and connecting them with the resources and space to understand, evaluate, and respond to political messages support content areas of YALSA’s Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff.

In early-November, the YALSA Board discussed and voted on an in-kind contribution to support 22×20. Early this year, a taskforce will be appointed to create resources supporting the initiative. To learn more, read Item #11 on the Board’s 2019 Midwinter Meeting agenda.

Interested in serving on the taskforce? Watch the weekly YALSA e-News for taskforce volunteer opportunities.

Five Flavors of Dumb and the Best Fiction for Young Adults Teen Session at Midwinter

Five Flavors of Dumb

By Antony John

Dial Books, 2010

ISBN: 9780803734333

It’s hard for me to believe this book is almost a decade old because it’s still a personal favorite.

Piper is deaf, but she can still tell that the band named “Dumb” stinks despite its local popularity. Ever the determined teen, Piper suggests that she become their manager so she can lead them to success in a Battle of the Bands. Set in Seattle, author Antony John incorporated a path of musical history (including the home of the iconic Jimi Hendrix–though that has now been demolished) that readers can follow along with Piper. Aside from the obvious “feedback” pun connected to music, Dumb and Piper are gathering feedback from an audience in order to win a recording contract.

Content Area 2 of the YALSA Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff focuses on youth services librarians’ Interactions with Teens and emphasizes the need for librarians to listen to and value teen feedback. Midwinter Conference provides one of the best opportunities to hear what teens think about the Best Fiction for Young Adults (BFYA) nominees. I had the opportunity to chaperone a group of teens from a Washington high school the last time Midwinter was in Seattle, and it was a memorable experience. Students are given just a couple of minutes to advocate for their favorite titles, and their feedback has historically been integrated into the selection of the award winners. Students lined up–some of them conquering fears of public speaking–to eloquently argue for their top picks. It was truly a sight to behold. This year the Best Fiction for Young Adults Teen Session will be held on Saturday, January 26 from 1-2:30pm in the Metropolitan Ballroom of the Sheraton. Don’t miss this unique opportunity! Questions? Mike Fleming (mfleming@lwsd.org) is a great resource for this event.

Jodi Kruse is a Teacher Librarian at R.A. Long High School

2019 YA Services Symposium Program Proposals Open!

YALSA has opened the program proposals for its 2019 Young Adult Services Symposium. The theme of the symposium is “Show Up and Advocate: Supporting Teens in the Face of Adversity,” and is to be held Nov. 1-3, 2019, in Memphis, TN. Submit a program proposal by February 1.

As advocates for teens, school and public libraries must support and push for social change and provide access to library resources, services, and activities to help teens overcome adversity in their lives. Libraries are challenged to create more inclusive and welcoming teen spaces where adolescents are free to express themselves, learn, and grow, as well as to promote literature and offer programming that engages teens and encourages them to take leadership roles in their communities. At this symposium, school and public library staff, educators, researchers, young adult authors and other teen advocates will explore how libraries can best support teens to help them effectively navigate a challenging world.

YALSA is seeking program proposals that address the following questions:

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