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

Spring Appointments Update

Greetings, all—

I am pleased to report to you that the Spring appointments for the 2020-2021 strategic committees have been completed. Spring appointments include member volunteers who submitted an application(s) over the period of December 2019 through February 2020. After the application form closed in February, I rolled up my sleeves to begin. Yet I was hardly aware of what lay ahead for us all nor did I suspect how quickly I would find myself navigating new aspects of what was clearly no longer a simple task. It will likely not surprise you to hear that I was thrown off course in several attempts to appoint members due to the unanticipated effects of COVID-19. 

Each year the YALSA President-Elect strives to complete all Spring appointments by the end of May. As we are now into the month of July, I want to offer my sincere regret for any YALSA member that has not received an update about their submitted application until now. I am grateful and inspired by all of you who have chosen to commit their time and efforts to support YALSA activities, especially given the challenges we face as a nation and a community, because your help is much needed. I thank each of you for the passion you bring to the field in finding solutions, maintaining relationships, and spearheading new methods for connecting teens to libraries, information, and resources. 

Stay tuned for more volunteer opportunities (a few brand new ones) advertised on the YALSAblog. Also, the Fall application cycle opens soon for all YALSA Award Selection Committees, Selected Lists Blogging Teams, and Juries. Please consider throwing in your name to be considered by the YALSA President-Elect Kelly Czarnecki. Much information on volunteering can be found on the YALSA site, but more Outreach efforts will be forthcoming in the following months. Should you have any questions about this upcoming application cycle, please feel free to reach out to Kelly via kellyczarnecki1@gmail.com

YALSA Seeks Board Candidates for 2021

Are you passionate about teens and teen services? Do you want to be an ambassador and advocate for YALSA? Then you should consider taking a leadership role in our organization. The Board Development Committee is looking for dedicated, committed volunteers with the skills and desire to run for several board positions: Director-at-Large, Division Councilor and Vice President/President-Elect.

YALSA’s volunteer members are the driving force behind our organization and make it the innovative, responsive organization it is. Dedicated volunteer leaders run the organization and influence its future.  You can find out more about the responsibilities of Vice-President/President-Elect and Division Councilor positions here and Director-at-Large position here. These positions are elected by the membership for a three-year term.

Each year, specific positions are available, and each opening has requirements based on its description and the current makeup of the Board. The Board Development Committee is looking for the most qualified individuals and broad representation. This includes a commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion. As the YALSA Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Plan states: “The vision for YALSA is to be a diverse, inclusive and equitable organization which flourishes on the exchange of ideas from different perspectives. We believe the diversity of viewpoints that comes from different life experiences, identities, cultural backgrounds, and more enables YALSA to better achieve its mission to support library staff in alleviating the challenges teens face, and in putting all teens ‒ especially those with the greatest needs ‒ on the path to successful and fulfilling lives.” Having this kind of representation on the Board allows YALSA to attract new members and retain long term ones, all the while making sure we are innovative, educational, professional and fun.

If you feel you have what it takes for one of these leadership roles, fill out the Governance Candidacy Form. The Board Development Committee reviews all the forms and looks for the best match of skills and background for the available positions. Submit the form by July 31.

Don’t wait to let us know you are interested! The Board Development Committee’s deadline is coming up fast. We only have until the end of the summer to present a slate of candidates to the YALSA board for approval. Successful candidates will run for election in the Spring of 2021 and begin their terms in June 2021 at the Annual Conference in Chicago.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Gail Tobin (gtobin@stdl.org) or Ritchie Momon (RMomon@mymcpl.org), the Board Development Committee Co-Chairs.

 

Incoming YALSA President Seeks Taskforce Members

The incoming YALSA President 2020-2021, Amanda Barnhart, seeks member volunteers to serve on the Presidential Taskforce. This role is for a one-year virtual appointment whereby the taskforce will focus on developing activities that support the President’s theme, Representation in Recruitment and Retention: Further Supporting YALSA’s EDI Plan. Three outcomes will guide the taskforce work,

  1. From such examples of how to start an affinity group to understanding intersectional identities, the Presidential Taskforce will work with YALSA staff to develop and provide the membership with quarterly continuing education strategies and ideas that support and celebrate the diversity of library staff and the teens they serve.
  2. The taskforce will identify and engage in efforts that aim to study the value of YALSA resources amongst library staff who work with teens that are seen as “non-members.” There are many non-member library staff whose actions adhere to the YALSA mission or support the YALSA vision and who utilize YALSA resources regardless of having purchased a YALSA membership.
  3. Finally, the taskforce will develop a report that includes findings from the aforementioned study, as well as provide recommendations on strategies for engaging non-members.

Consider applying for this taskforce as an opportunity to further develop your network with fellow advocates invested in EDI work. At the same time, please consider your capacity and knowledge to valuably contribute to conversations on equity, diversity, and inclusion. Interested members should contact Amanda via email AmandaBarnhart@kclibrary.org with a reply to the prompt: Explain which outcome you feel is most important and why. Applicants may also include relevant education or experience. Deadline for volunteering is Monday, June 22nd.

The direction of this taskforce was also influenced by recent work from the YALSA Division and Membership Promotion Committee 2019-2020. YALSA appreciates their efforts in engaging with LIS students and their ideas on reaching out to affiliates.

YALSA Seeks Member Volunteers

Have you ever presented at a local or national conference? Or are you a long-time participant at YALSA webinars or conference and Symposium sessions? YALSA is currently seeking member volunteers, including a committee chair, for the newly created Education Advisory Committee (EAC). The date to apply has been extended to June 10, 2020. 

The role of the Education Advisory Committee is to assist with providing appropriate and timely topics for continuing education offerings and identifying qualified individuals to facilitate continuing education sessions. Our communities are quickly changing and evolving in response to current issues which requires library staff to remain up to date on information and skills if libraries are to remain relevant in the 21st century. 

Providing your voice and direction to the EAC will help guide YALSA in its educational endeavors. Becoming a member volunteer of the EAC is an excellent opportunity to collaborate with your peers and make a difference in continuing education by assuring YALSA is offering relevant and timely content. YALSA needs your leadership in promoting CE opportunities and recognizing the contribution of facilitators and presenters, which is crucial for the growth of our profession and the teens that we impact.

The chair for the EAC serves in an Ex-Officio position on the Board of Directors and attends two board meetings a year. The EAC is a virtual committee with a one year (12 months) term beginning July 1 and is renewable. Complete this form by June 10th to apply.

YALSA Board created the Education Advisory Committee (EAC) to assist with identifying and providing feedback on Continuing Education topics to YALSA’s Executive Director and the newly created position of Program Officer for Continuing Education and Development. You may find more information about the board document here.

2020 YALSA Election: An Interview with Board of Directors Candidate Joel Shoemaker

Get ready to vote in this year’s YALSA election! To help you make informed decisions, we’re sharing interviews with each of the 2020 YALSA Governance candidates. Voting will take place from March 9 through April 1. To help you further prepare for the election, be sure to check out a sample ballot!

Serving three-year terms, YALSA Board members are responsible for jointly determining YALSA’s current and future programs, policies, and serving as liaisons to YALSA’s committees, juries, taskforces and advisory boards. Members work year round, and attend in-person meetings at ALA’s Midwinter and Annual Conferences. A full description of Board member duties and responsibilities can be found here. You can learn more about ALA elections here.

Name and current position: Joel Shoemaker, Director, Illinois Prairie District Public Library

What best qualifies you for being on the Board of Directors?
I suppose what best qualifies me is both my experience serving teens in rural communities as well as my administrative experience. I also have experience with governance which should support my role on the board of directors well. Finally, my enthusiasm for serving our teens and my desire to continue to best meet their needs in the library setting shouldn’t set me apart from other fine candidates, but absolutely can be considered a qualifying attribute for the position.

How do you envision furthering the mission of YALSA if elected to this position?
In addition to the mission of YALSA being to support library staff, the mission extends to putting teens on a path to success. I love that. As a former school librarian, I find this mission very appropriate. I want to do what I can, given my experience in rural settings to ensure that those in smaller libraries do not feel left out of this crucial mission. YALSA should work to extend its reach and market better to those of us with small staff and multiple responsibilities, even down to the one-person operation. All of us are serving teens. None of us need to feel alone in this important work.

What would be the most exciting aspect of this position? The most challenging?
An exciting aspect of this position, for me, would be to further YALSA’s reach, as indicated above. This acts as a sort of dual answer because it would indeed be a challenge as well. I’m up for the challenge of figuring it out, however. I will work hard for all of our members, current, former and prospective, with a goal towards increasing membership.

Share a recent example(s) where you made a shift to better focus on the current needs of teens.
Recently, we noticed a desire for more teen gaming after school. Much of this gaming included working with peers and there began to be some patron complaints regarding noise. I informed staff that we wouldn’t want to punish teenagers for coming into the library. That said, we do not have teen rooms in any of our branches at this time. As a result, we were able to move some computers around to make them friendlier for gaming and encouraged teens to use computers that were closer together. It has helped and they seem to enjoy the small updates to our layout. We are continuing to look into how better serve them in our current facilities.

What is the most pressing issue facing YALSA today?
I think one of the most pressing issues facing YALSA is similar to what is facing ALA in general. I believe the organizations are seeing less and less membership, and less involvement from members across the board. I would like to see YALSA market towards library workers in organizations with smaller budgets and find ways to make itself more attractive and relevant to the types of libraries indicated above.