Write for YALSA!

Are you a writer or blogger? YALSA offers several opportunities for members and non-members to contribute to YALSA. One of them is writing for our publications, which includes our blogs and journals, and is a year-round opportunity. See below for descriptions of each publication, along with information regarding the type of content each publication seeks.

  • *The Hub: YALSA’s teen collections blog is looking for diverse voices to blog about issues related to working for/with teens to develop and curate materials in all formats for teen collections.
  • The Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults (JRLYA): YALSA’s open-access research journal seeks research concerning the informational and developmental needs of young adults; the management, implementation, and evaluation of library services for young adults; and other critical issues relevant to librarians and library staff who work with young adults.
  • *YALSAblog: YALSA’s teen services blog is looking for diverse, forward-thinking, and innovative voices in teen services to blog about challenges, successes, and failures relating to teens, learning and libraries.
  • Young Adult Library Services (YALS): YALSA’s official journal serves as a vehicle for continuing education for librarians serving young adults, ages 12-18. Each issue is themed and calls for article proposals are made each quarter. Articles should be of current interest to the profession, showcase best practices, provide news from related fields, spotlight significant events of the organization or offer in-depth reviews of professional literature.

*indicates members’ only opportunity, but there is also an opportunity for individuals to guest blog. Those who write for YALSA also have the opportunity to be selected as a recipient for our annual Writing Award.

YALSA continuously strives to uphold its commitment of featuring content and contributions from a diverse range of voices, experiences, interests, backgrounds, and more. If you’re interested in writing for YALSA, please fill out the interest form. This opportunity is open on a rolling basis.

3 reasons to be the next ALA Liaison

We’re looking for the next ALA Liaison to serve a term from July 2021-June 2022 and you may be the perfect candidate to apply

1. Jump on the fast-track in learning about the work of ALA groups and how they operate within the current structure of ALA.

For instance, the Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) does not fall directly under ALA as a division, but shares a relationship with ALA that is akin to the affiliates. Regardless, this powerhouse organization is staffed by a team of dedicated and fierce advocates and their meetings are truly fascinating. As the liaison, you’ll receive free access to hearing the inside scoop on litigation cases that are being fought by FTRF and realize the big picture in their connection to libraries. 

2. Become familiar with current trends in the field for each group’s area of expertise. 

The Intellectual Freedom Committee is one of the busiest and most active ALA groups I’ve seen in action. They are on top of their game when it comes to intellectual freedom issues in libraries. As liaison, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in volunteer work, if you wish. During my experience, I was able to assist a few sub-committees in the updating of documents for the latest edition of the Intellectual Freedom Manual.

3. Networking and meeting many people! 

I know, you’re probably thinking “Not another Zoom meeting!” But these meetings feature all kinds of people that you don’t yet know. New professionals, life-long librarians, and even ALA Past-Presidents. Hear about what’s happening all over the country from the individuals themselves. There are in-person meeting requirements for the ALA Conferences whenever they begin occurring in-person again, but YALSA grants a stipend to assist in your participation. 

So what does the YALSA ALA Liaison do? In a nutshell, the appointed individual will:

  • Attend as many virtual meetings as available for each of the eight appointed groups. Some groups are more active than others, meaning that some only meet at conferences.
  • Take notes at meetings to share important updates with YALSA leadership related to teens or opportunities for collaboration with YALSA.
  • Meet virtually with YALSA leadership who will support you in sharing new information from YALSA. 
  • Write two reports for the YALSA Board, each to be submitted before Midwinter and Annual conferences.

If you’re still reading this, what are you waiting for? Submit your application today and get involved! Feel free to check out this page for more info or reach out to me at AmandaBarnhart@kclibrary.org. Deadline for application submission is March 1, 2021. 

Wishing you well in your professional endeavors,

Amanda Barnhart (she/hers)
YALSA President 2020-2021
YALSA ALA Liaison 2017-2019

Peeking Behind the Curtain: YALSA Board Fellow Program

I’ve been involved in YALSA in one way or another for much of my professional librarian life. My YALSA journey began with an impulse visit to a New Member session at a long ago ALA which led to submitting volunteer applications to serve on a selection committee. I guess you could say I jumped straight into YALSA’s labyrinth of service, networking, learning, and support. Over the years I’ve served on multiple committees, attended countless YALSA sessions at conferences and online, presented at the YALSA Symposium, and now serve as this year’s YALSA Board Fellow. 

What is the YALSA Board Fellow Program? It’s a peek behind the curtain. Prior to being appointed the Board Fellow, I had a very limited understanding of how the Board worked. I’d attended YALSA Board sessions at conference a few times, but freely admit to being somewhat confused by what I observed. The Board Fellow position is a chance to dip a toe into the waters of YALSA’s governing body and a chance to grow your leadership potential. The Board Fellow serves a one-year term and becomes a full, non-voting member of the YALSA Board. You’ll attend the monthly YALSA Board chats, the twice a year meetings, and participating in ongoing projects and discussions via ALA Connect. During my time as the Board Fellow I’ve learned a great deal about the inner workings of YALSA. 

Being surrounded by people as passionate about Teen Services and providing the best possible support to Teen Services library workers has been a blessing in this year of COVID upheaval. An added benefit of being selected as the YALSA Board Fellow is a stipend of up to $1,500 total to attend the 2 Annual Conferences (which is another blessing as library budgets are tight). I’ll be using this stipend to cover the cost of ALA’s Annual Conference which is to be held virtually due to the pandemic. If you are looking for opportunities to grow your leadership potential, get involved with YALSA, and make your voice heard, then the YALSA Board Fellow Program is the opportunity you need! For more information on YALSA’s Board Fellow Program visit  http://www.ala.org/yalsa/awardsandgrants/yalsa_fellows_program.

The application window for next year’s YALSA Board Fellow has been extended and I encourage anyone who is interested to submit their application here:  https://www.emailmeform.com/builder/form/4bes9ZdudTy. If you have questions about the program I’m happy to chat about my experience, please email me HPL.Teen@houstontx.gov.

This post was submitted by Rebecca Denham, Teen Services Coordinator at Houston Public Library.

YALSA Leadership Opportunity! Seeking a Member Manager for Teen Programming HQ

YALSA is seeking a Member Manager for its programming database, Teen Programming HQ for a one year term starting around March 1. The Member Manager will receive an honorarium of $500 per year. Apply by sending a resume and cover letter to Anna Lam at alam@ala.org by February 15.

Visit this previous YALSA Blog post from December to learn more about what the Teen Programming HQ manager is responsible for.

This position is a fantastic opportunity for a member that is specializing or wants to grow their experience in teen programming. The Teen Programming HQ is a free YALSA resource and the goal is for the site to connect with others who plan, implement, and evaluate teen library programs by sharing and discussing programming ideas. It’s YALSA’s Teen Programming Database (who doesn’t love a database!).

Some of the feature of Teen Programming HQ are:

Our previous Teen Programming HQ manager, Dawn Abron, worked very hard for the last few years to populate the site with some fantastic programming ideas and promote YALSA’s Teen Programming HQ as the number one YALSA resource for programming ideas. YALSA is looking for a new member manager that will be able to keep up the work and continue to make Teen Programming HQ as our members’ first choice for finding programming ideas, work to establish an advisory board for the Teen Programming HQ, and take the data from the current Teen Programming HQ feedback survey we are running to find improvements that can be made to the site.

To fill out the YALSA Teen Programming HQ Survey, please navigate to: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HFCQWC9. The feedback you provide will help us assess and improve the database. Please complete the survey by February 22.

Members looking to gain experience improving their programming expertise, working with different groups, and stepping up their leadership experience should apply now! To apply, send your cover letter and resume to Anna Lam, YALSA Communications Specialist at alam@ala.org by February 15.

 

Posted by YALSA Board Director at Large, Colleen Seisser

2021 Nonfiction Award Finalists Selection Process

With the recent release of the 2021 Nonfiction Award Finalists, we want to be transparent (while respecting confidentiality) about the award’s criteria and selection process. The process for the Nonfiction Award selection is a rigorous task.  The Nonfiction Award Committee is charged with recognizing the best in the field of nonfiction books. With that in mind, each meeting is conducted with a thorough review of the purpose and eligibility requirements, with a particular emphasis on excellent writing, research, presentation, and readability for young adults. All finalists are vetted through a year-long process following YALSA’s protocol.

For the past several years, YALSA has been utilizing an EDI (Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) lens to transform the foundation upon which YALSA’s policies and procedures are built. As part of the year-round virtual work undertaken by the board, they recently identified the need to re-evaluate all volunteer groups’ charge, including all book awards’ and selection lists’ evaluation criteria for nominated titles according to YALSA’s EDI Statement and EDI Plan, which is embedded within YALSA’s current interim strategic plan. The YALSA Board’s interim strategic plan’s goal is that “100% of all programs, products, events, and education will support YALSA’s statement on EDI.”

New Volunteer Opportunities

Greetings, youth advocates—

We’re winding down our seventh month of life since the coronavirus disease initially changed our environments. With the start of the school year underway, many of us have a better understanding of our new work patterns and responsibilities than even a month ago. Things will continue to be hectic more so for some than others and we will continue to rise to these challenges and support our communities.

YALSA has two new volunteer opportunities available to members, opportunities that serve as a path to develop new relationships with peers from across the nation. For me, hearing of others’ experiences, from anecdotes of the air quality and staying indoors in California to the struggles of finding opportunities for MLIS practicum students in Texas, keeps me connected to the work we do in a positive and meaningful way that right now especially supports my psychological well being. I trust that you will consider these opportunities, the Joann Sweetland Lum Memorial Grant Jury and the Social Media Marketing Taskforce, in light of our new landscapes.

The Joann Sweetland Lum Memorial Grant Jury
This short-term virtual opportunity – beginning Nov. 1 and running through January 31 – seeks two members willing to honor the late teacher and library advocate Joann Sweetland Lum by serving on this jury. Responsibilities include evaluating applications through a blind review process and selecting a candidate based on their creative and innovative project that support literacy. The selected project will be awarded funds for their project. You’ll find more information about the jury and the responsibilities here. You’ll find more information about the grant opportunity currently available to members and non-members here (deadline for application is December 1).

Social Media Marketing Taskforce
This long-term virtual opportunity – beginning Nov. 2020 and running through June 2021 – seeks seven to nine member volunteers skilled in utilizing social media platforms, in particular Instagram and Twitter. This group will be responsible for using social media to widely market three foci of YALSA activities. In brief, they will collaborate their efforts into:

  • Support for YALSA selection lists and the Teens’ Top Ten list.
  • Member Recognition of volunteer efforts.
  • Support for the YALSA Symposium and the Youth Media Awards events.

Additionally, this group will monitor members engagement with YALSA social media channels to evaluate success as well as communicate member concerns to YALSA leadership.

If you are interested in volunteering for one of the above opportunities, please submit the volunteer form (must sign into ALA account) by Oct. 28.

—Amanda
YALSA President 2020-2021

August 2020 President’s Report

Greetings YALSA members and youth advocates,

When I began the path to run for this position, there were several areas I was looking forward to contributing towards, namely in the areas of representation, as I identify as Hispanic and as a library staff who has spent more years as a library paraprofessional (17) than as a librarian (5). While I had not anticipated the challenges we would encounter this leadership term, I do feel that my experience has prepared me to create pathways of support for YALSA, its volunteers, and its members, during this extraordinary year of transition.

I may not have a product to show off to you right now, but I am undertaking the pre-work that is required to support YALSA in both short-term and long-term projects. I know that hardly describes what exactly is being done behind the curtain. However, successful projects involve teamwork which means the final product will continue to evolve until it is completed. Once such projects take on their final form, I will readily release that information through one of YALSA’s communication channels.

August Tasks (listed by date, oldest first)

  • Held a discussion and orientation with our ALA Liaison, Liz Nebeker to support their work in collaboration with ALA groups.
  • Participated on the hiring panel alongside the immediate past HUB manager, the YALSA Executive Director, and the YALSA Communications Specialist for The Hub Manager position. I was particularly interested to hear how candidates define diversity in literature and on their ideas for monitoring and evaluating for inclusive practices. Stay tuned for the press release of the selected HUB manager.
  • Held a valuable conversation with two YALSA members who were open and gracious to discuss supporting inclusive environments and members’ diverse needs. During this conversation, proactive next steps the association might explore on this issue were brainstormed.
  • Began conversations with Cindy Hohl, American Indian Library Association’s President, to explore collaboration opportunities with YALSA. Cindy has been tremendously helpful in sharing local and indigenous communities’ traditional ways of knowing as well as providing resources for learning.
  • Representatives from YALSA staff and leadership debriefed the past year’s efforts of the Social Media Taskforce and planned for its restart and expansion. These ideas are being crafted into a board document and will be presented to the YALSA board later this month.

Mark Your Calendars

  • I’m looking forward to our next Member webinar scheduled for September 10, 2020 Thursday, 2PM Eastern. Virtual Dungeons and Dragons Games: A How-To Guide will be facilitated by Michael Rogowski. For more information on the webinar, including non-member pricing, follow this link. (Currently, I’m relishing in playing a Tabaxi monk character with local librarians.)
  • Have you heard that the YALSA’s Young Adult Services Symposium’s virtual schedule has been posted?! Check it out and join us if you are able. We hope to see you this year or next.

Relevant Stats & Data

  • Donation and Membership information continues to remain unavailable at this time.

 

Respectfully submitted,
Amanda Barnhart
YALSA President 2020-2021

Volunteer on a YALSA Group!

This fall, President-Elect Kelly Czarnecki will appoint members to the following volunteer groups:

Blogging Teams – Term: 12/1 to 1/1

  • Amazing Audiobooks Blogging Team
  • Best Fiction for Young Adults Blogging Team
  • Graphic Novels Blogging Team
  • Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Readers Blogging Team

Book Awards – Term: 2/1 to 1/31

  • Alex Awards
  • Margaret A. Edwards 2022 Award
  • Michael L. Printz 2022 Award
  • Morris Award 2022
  • Non-Fiction 2022 Award
  • Odyssey Award

Juries – Term: members – 3 month appointment, starting 11/1; chairs – 4 month appointment starting 10/1

  • Conference Travel Scholarships Jury
  • Collection Development Grant Jury
  • Great Books Giveaway Award Jury
  • Henne Research Award Jury
  • Best Literacies Program Award Jury
  • Writing Award Jury
  • Innovation Award Jury
  • Volunteer of the Year Award Jury

Other Groups:

  • Advocacy Resources Community Listening Taskforce (Term 9/15 to 3/31)
  • Board Development Committee (Term 1/1 to 12/31)
  • Book Awards Oversight Committee (Term 2/1 to 1/31)
  • Midwinter Paper Presentation Planning Committee (Term 9/15 to 2/1)
  • Selection Lists Oversight Committee (Term 12/1 to 1/1)
  • Symposium Planning and Marketing Taskforce (Term 11/1 -10/31)

If you are interested in volunteering on any of the above groups, please submit a volunteer form by September 15 the September 23 extended date. You must sign into your ALA account in order to access the form. Learn more about each group at http://www.ala.org/yalsa/workingwithyalsa/yalsacommittee. Questions? Contact Kelly Czarnecki, YALSA President-Elect at kellyczarnecki1@gmail.com.

A Note from the President

Greetings, YALSA members and youth advocates, 

If you can’t believe it’s already the second week of August, I can’t believe I’ve one full month under my belt as YALSA President. For the month of July, several of YALSA staff including myself took a short break to regroup upon the completion of the YALSA board meetings in June. For July YALSA activities, I have the following items to report:

Completed Tasks

  • Met with Tammy Dillards-Steel, YALSA ED, and Sarah Evans, Education Advisory Committee chair, to provide support and direction for the new group’s initial work.
  • Facilitated YALSA’s annual Membership meeting via Zoom. I compiled links to the topics that were discussed which were sent out with the archived recording via Connect. A few members had additional concerns that are currently being followed up by the President.
  • Participated in a meeting with the always delightful Shauntee Simpson-Burns, BCALA President, to discuss potential future projects.

Mark your Calendars

  • YALSA Staff have furlough dates in August and will be unable to respond to email or complete any YALSA activities. Please be aware when reaching out to them that they will be unavailable starting Sunday, August 16 – Saturday, August 22, 2020.
  • August 13 at 2pm Eastern, School Librarians and School Counselors: Computing Together webinar
  • 2020 YALSA Symposium, now virtual, November 6-8, 2020. Follow the link to sign-up for the latest news concerning the virtual event.

Special Appreciation for:

  • Tina Lerno, YALSA Volunteer of the Year, reminded the board that this recognition is usually announced at the Membership meeting. I sincerely apologize for this oversight and applaud Tina’s self-advocacy. The board will pilot the opportunity for the Volunteer of the Year to be included in one of the future YALSA Board monthly chats as a way to further support members’ growth and interests in leadership.
  • M’issa, YALSA Member, reminded the board of YALSA’s EDI commitment. The request included an evaluation of the events that occurred at the 2019 Symposium so that strategies and solutions may be developed for handling similar situations that are supportive of inclusive environments. For YALSA to truly embrace EDI, it will require not only the continued work of the board, but the direction from voices willing to make some noise. I appreciate M’issa’s commitment to make some noise.

Relevant Stats & Data

  • It is unfortunate that due to the pandemic’s impact, membership statistics and donations received are currently unavailable to report for July.

Respectfully Submitted,

Amanda Barnhart
YALSA President 2020-2021

 

Volunteers Needed for Advocacy Resources Community Listening Taskforce

Greetings, YALSA members!

All of us are advocates. When we are promoting books and resources to our teens, staff, and community, we are advocating. When we are supporting a cause or group by speaking and/or writing about it, or donating to it, we are advocating.  When we are urging, championing, advancing, and pleading for our teens, communities, library, programs, services, and funding, we are advocating..  Advocacy utilizes many ways, styles, forms, and people.  Now, more than ever, we need to increase our advocacy, and at the same time, be more diligent and strategic in our advocacy efforts.

We need you! We need writers, talkers, listeners, researchers, doers, planners, organizers, analyzers and critics, Whatever your strength and skillset, we need you!  Individually we need your skills, knowledge, and resources, collectively we need many of you to serve on a task force to learn more about the advocacy needs of library staff and teens in preparation of accessible and relevant YALSA resources. 

For more information about the task force, click here:  YALSA Advocacy Resources: Community Listening Task Force

Volunteers will be working on a timeline.  The timeline is listed below:

  • Taskforce is formed and work begins: September 1, 2020
  • Taskforce reports results to YALSA board March 15, 2021 
  • YALSA Board Advocacy strategic committee develops next steps for implementation April 15, 2021

If you have additional questions, please contact: YALSA President, Amanda Barnhart at AmandaBarnhart@kclibrary.org.

If you are interested in serving on this task force, please  contact Letitia Smith at lsmith@ala.org by Friday, August 21.

Thank you for volunteering and your service to YALSA!
Sincerely,
Your YALSA Board