Volunteer for an Award Committee or Selected Lists Team!

It’s that time of year again! As YALSA President-Elect, I’ll make appointments in October for the following YALSA committees that will begin work in early 2018. The committees below are one year terms starting Feb. 1, 2018 (even though ALA’s Midwinter Meeting is Feb. 9 – 12, these groups will not meet there)

Additionally, appointments will be made for the Selected Lists Teams (one year term starting Jan. 1, 2018):

As a reminder, all of the selected lists are tranisitioning from traditional committees which met in person, to 100% virtual groups who work year-round through The Hub.  For more information, email the member manager of The Hub at yalsahub@gmail.com.  You can gain valuable YALSA and professional development experience by volunteering to be on a Blogging Team or YALSA committee.  You will also be helping YALSA 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.”

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YALSA Councilor Report post-ALA Annual ’17

Hello YALSA members and other interested parties!  As your representative to the ALA Council, I am pleased to bring you this report of Council activities and actions from the 2017 Annual Conference in Chicago.

My conference roommate, Intellectual Freedom Round Table (IFRT) Councilor Martin Garnar, provided a large percentage of this report and I must credit him with much of the following:

Council I: 

After the usual opening business, including finalizing the slate of nominees for the Council Committee on Committees (which assists the president-elect with committee appointments) and the Council representatives to the Planning & Budget Assembly, Courtney Young, ALA Past President and chair of the search committee for the new ALA executive director, gave her report on the committee’s progress.  The search firm of Isaacson Miller has been engaged to assist with the search, and they hope to have interviews in October to coincide with the October Executive Board meeting in Chicago.  The goal is to have a new executive director in place by Midwinter 2018.  In the meantime, Mary Ghikas will serve as interim executive director. ALA President Julie Todaro gave a report on her activities and ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels gave updates on Executive Board actions since Midwinter 2017 and on implementation of Council Actions taken at Midwinter 2017.  Under new business, Council took up a resolution on global climate change passed at the virtual membership meeting on June 8th. The IFRT board voted to endorse in principle, and this resolution was debated on the floor of Council for almost an hour, with some of the time devoted to attempts to refer or postpone the resolution until some changes could be suggested.  Instead, changes were made on the floor and the resolution was adopted as amended.  Kathi Kromer, the new director of the ALA Washington Office, and Adam Eisgrau, director of the Office for Government Relations, gave a report on the office’s advocacy efforts.  At the close of Council, the elections for the Committee on Committees and the Planning & Budget Assembly opened for the afternoon. 

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YALSA Leadership and Volunteering

At ALA Annual this year, YALSA held information sessions on how to get involved with the organization, both as a new volunteer and as someone seeking leadership opportunities.  Here’s a recap of the event.

If you’re just starting out, volunteering for one of YALSA’s committees is an excellent first step.  All YALSA members are encouraged to fill out the Committee Volunteer Form once a year. Here is a list of committees and the link to the form. Continue reading

Evaluation of 2016 Jury Format Pilot: One year out

After 1 year of piloting a new jury appointment format (Board Document #30), the Board analyzed member survey feedback to evaluate how well the change from a 1-year to a 3-month jury appointment structure is going. Overall, it appears to be working and members like the new structure, finding it efficient and easier to keep on task. The Leading the Transformation of Teen Services Standing Board Committee (Crystle Martin, Trixie Dantis, Melissa McBride, Candice Mack, Jessica Snow, Mega Subramaniam) shared that twenty of the 30 jury members responded to the survey.

Going forward, the chairs will become the only appointed member while other members will function on an opt in basis. Several chairs had previously operated under the year round structure, and found that the new structure helped keep the energy of the group and the pacing of the work up. These small tweaks that were made also removed the onerous form requirement for appointments, using an opt in volunteer form instead.

As a reminder to jury members, please keep private who is nominated for the committee. Also, guidelines will be shared for what criteria are used to be a part of the selection committee.

We thank the jury members for all of your hard work!

Kafi D. Kumasi is an associate professor of library and information science (LIS) at Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, where she teaches in the areas of school library media, urban librarianship, multicultural services and resources and research methods.

Council Happenings at ALA Annual ’17

Greetings from your YALSA Division Councilor. Here are the ALA Council highlights since the 2017 Midwinter meeting in Atlanta:

1. Most of the discussion on the ALA Council list has revolved around the Federal administration’s proposed FY18 Budget which includes the elimination of the Institute for Library and Museum Services (IMLS). The #SaveIMLS campaign was launched and ALA President Julie Todaro led the charge to support the continuation of the agency. Many efforts have been suggested to contact congressional representatives to inform and encourage them to retain funding for IMLS. A concurrent drive, #saveIAL, encouraged representatives to retain funding for the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL), a Department of Education program focusing on literacy, which is also set to be defunded.

2. Kathi Kromer has been named the new head of the ALA Washington Office, effective June 5. She had previously served with the ALS Association for the past 11 years. https://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/blogs/the-scoop/kathi-kromer-new-head-alawashington-office/

3. Loida Garcia-Febo was elected ALA President-Elect: http://www.ala.org/news/member-news/2017/04/garcia-febo-wins-2018-2019-alapresidency

4. Net Neutrality has been discussed and it would not be surprising if a resolution was brought forward on this topic by councilors in Chicago. The new head of the FCC, Ajit Pai, announced plans to roll back Net Neutrality: http://thehill.com/policy/technology/330703-fcc-head-unveils-plan-to-roll-back-netneutrality

This resulted in ALA and ACRL releasing a joint statement opposing any changes: http://www.ala.org/news/press-releases/2017/04/ala-acrl-oppose-fcc-plans-roll-backnet-neutrality

The Youth Council Caucus (led by the Councilors of AASL, ALSC, and YALSA) continue to work jointly to focus on issues specifically affecting youth in libraries and library workers who support youth in their communities. It is key to remember that all library issues affect youth.

It promises to be an interesting Council session in Chicago with much to discuss. Discussions online in advance of the conference have so far been quiet, but many topics, particularly those that involve the current federal administration, could bring forth resolutions.

All YALSA Board documents and the agenda can be found at http://www.ala.org/yalsa/2017-annual-conference-agenda-and-documents

Respectfully submitted,

Todd Krueger | YALSA Division Councilor 

BOARD DOC # 21: Review Materials for Book Awards & Selected List Groups

At ALA Midwinter 2017, YALSA’s Board of Directors discussed and accepted item # 29 Selected List Transition board document. Besides defining the plan for transition of Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults, Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults, and Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers to the Hub, it also required future lists to note when titles are available in Spanish and use e-versions when reviewing nominations.

In an effort to expand this procedure and make it consistent across all Selected Lists and Awards Committees, the Board will discuss piloting the use of digital titles for all selection groups as well as including availability of non-English translations and other formats (e.g. Braille, large print) in annotations for winner/nominees.

The use of digital versions allow inclusion of books from smaller or independent publishers that may not be able to print and ship physical copies of their titles, broadening the pool of nominations and promoting diverse selections. Since eBooks are easily available and accessible, committee members will receive titles promptly and directly.

Adding availability in other languages and formats to winner/honoree annotations will greatly assist those working with non-native English speaking or visually impaired communities.

For more information, see board document # 21 to be discussed on Saturday and the agenda for 2017 Annual Conference. Have questions? Post them here or contact any of the Board members.

Hope to see you at conference!

Trixie Dantis, 2016-2017 Board Fellow

Board Doc #18: Creating a YALSA Liaison to ALA Groups

Networking is a vital part of our work.  One way that YALSA has been able to network is by assigning liaisons to the various 18 ALA Groups that meet throughout the year and at conferences. This allows YALSA to share information and find out what everyone else in ALA is doing.  It’s how I got involved with YALSA.  However, the assigning of members and keeping track of their work has been a difficult task for the YALSA Board.

During the latest round of strategic planning, the Board was in general agreement that YALSA would benefit from cultivating stronger ties with ALA. One strategy for achieving that is refocusing the work of the Executive Committee to allow for this group to devote more of its time to relationship building within ALA. Another possible strategy for YALSA to pursue is better leveraging YALSA’s representative role on 18 specific ALA committees, assemblies, and other groups.

Thus the Board Standing Committee on Advocacy has brought forth the proposal of creating a Liaison position that would be tasked with being YALSA’s liaison to a small number of groups that didn’t correspond with the YALSA Executive Committee’s traditional counterparts in larger ALA activities.

In a nutshell, the position that will be created will be someone who attends both annual and midwinter conferences and will liaison with a few different groups.  To help relieve the cost of conferences YALSA will help defray some of the cost of attending conferences which will create greater accountability for the Liaison.  Current liaison positions don’t require conference attendance, yet most of the groups do the bulk of their work at the conference.  For more information check out Board Doc #18.

Being a liaison is a great way to find out about another division or groups and how their work aligns with ours.  Like I said, I started off as a Liaison from the GLBT-RT to YALSA, it was a great way to discover how the YALSA Board worked.  And I was able to share with the GLBT-RT what YALSA was doing for GLBT youth and how we could work better together.  I encourage you to read the Board Doc and if you’re interested in a becoming a Liaison or volunteering in general for YALSA let us know.

If you’re in Chicago stop by the YALSA Booth or come by a YALSA Board meeting to see what else is happening in our division!

Franklin EscobedoYALSA Board of Directors, 2016-2017

YALSA Board @ #alaac17: Membership Meeting & President’s Program

If you’re attending Annual, I hope you can join us Monday, June 26, from 10:30-noon, in the Convention Center, room W184bc, for the Annual YALSA Membership Meeting and President’s Program!

During the membership meeting, you’ll meet the current YALSA Board of Directors, as well as next year’s Board.  We’ll recognize grant and award winners, as well as donors.  I’ll give a brief update of board actions over the past year, and the incoming president-elect, Sandra Hughes-Hassell, will discuss her initiative for next year.

Directly after the membership meeting, my presidential program task force chair, Valerie Davis, will lead a panel discussion on the theme of “Real Teens, Real Ready” about college/career readiness and adulting.  She had great help finding these speakers–her task force members were Lisa Borten, Lisa Dettling, Jeremy Dunn, Katie Guzan, and Ellen Popit.

Panelists include:

  • Tiffany Boeglen and Britni Cherrington-Stoddart, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library – Non-Traditional Career Paths
  • Laurel Johnson, Skokie Public Library – Neutral Zone/Peer Guided Conversations
  • Lisa Borten, Brooklyn Public Library – Youth Council/Urban Art Jamm
  • Jennifer Steele, Chicago Public Library – (PRO)jectUS, creative workforce development/partnerships
  • Emmanuel Pratt, Sweet Water Foundation, Chicago – Neighborhood Development for Youth

The presentations are going to be awesome, so be prepared to find ideas that you can implement in your community!  See you there!

Get Involved in YALSA!

2017 marks a milestone in my career. It’s been 10 years since I worked in a library! I started working in my local library in high school, shelving books and preparing materials for circulation, working my way through different positions before becoming a YA Librarian in 2003. Without knowing it, I landed my dream job! The library climate was very different then…there were far fewer YA librarian positions and even less that were dedicated YA positions (mine was half YA half Volunteer Coordinator). Finding a place to ask questions, gain support, and foster my excitement about serving this great population became a critical part of my career. I became a YALSA member because I needed what YALSA provided. In 2007, my career took a turn and I became a Consultant for Youth Services in a regional library system in MA. YALSA continued to provide me with opportunities and resources that helped me become a resource to my members. Now, I’m the Consulting and Training Services (CATS) Director for the MA Library System. I haven’t worked directly with youth in ten years, but YALSA is still as important as ever to me.

I’m sure your story is similar to mine. Working with teens is a unique and wonderful experience that fulfils many of us. Many librarians I’ve spoken with say they have “found their calling” when describing why they are YA librarians.

As a member of YALSA, I wanted to give back to the organization that had given me so much. I gained teamwork, leadership, and project management skills as I volunteered and participated in in-person and online committee work. Toward the end of 2009, I saw that YALSA was re-committing itself to not only providing opportunities for librarians serving teens, but to the teens themselves. I wanted to be a part of that conversation. After talking with a few trusted colleagues, I ran for the YALSA board and won a seat on the Board of Directors.

What’s YALSA committee and Board of Director work like?  It’s amazing. To be an active member of the organization gives you a new sense of understanding. You’ll gain critical leadership skills (public speaking, project and financial management, working with people of differing viewpoints, time management and more) and be an integral part of the organization. There’s a lot of work, though. Meetings (online and in person), self-directed assignments like reviewing board reports, connecting with other YALSA members, acting as a YALSA rep in your region/district/state, bringing ideas to the table, and balancing big picture thinking with practical library implementation. Library and family support of your role is critical, as travel to conferences is often (but not always) required. You’ll need to manage your work to ensure ample time for committee/board work. Board work is generally 5 hours a month, and more during the months of Midwinter and Annual. Committee work time varies by committee. Conferences will become work time, not session attending time. But you won’t miss out on the learning aspect. What you will learn in a role like this cannot be taught in any session or workshop.

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Want to get involved in YALSA? Volunteer for a Member Award Jury or Short Term Group

Have you wanted to get involved in YALSA but don’t know where to start? Are you a committee pro but don’t have the time to commit to a full year committee term? Are you a YALSA member who likes a shorter term volunteer opportunity?

Member award juries and short-term groups may be just what you are looking for! These opportunities range in length from 3 to 6 months.  What does a jury do?  They vet applications for a particular member grant or award and choose a winner.

Juries (3-month appointment, starting in Nov.1; 4-month appointment for chairs, starting Oct. 1)

Short Term Groups

The jury and short-term group volunteer window is open until July 14. Use this quick form to volunteer! Once you have been appointed to a committee or jury you will receive an email from the Membership Marketing Manager. Accept your place on the committee or jury by responding to the email and be ready to jump in when you here from the chair.

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