YALSA President’s Program: Supporting Youth Activism in Your Library

Each year the YALSA president’s program serves a two-fold purpose: it is a membership meeting providing members with updates and highlighting YALSA’s accomplishments for the year under the leadership of its president, and it includes a session encompassing the theme the YALSA president has selected for the year.

During the membership meeting, YALSA President Sandra Hughes-Hassell, shared a long list of work put forth by YALSA this past year, much of which centered around equity, diversity and inclusion.

Some of the resources you can find through the YALSA website or created by YALSA around equity, diversity, and inclusion include:

During the panel presentation aligned with Sandra Hughes-Hassell’s theme of Youth Activism through Community Engagement, speakers presented on the social justice work being done for and with teens at their libraries. Presenters included Gabbie Barnes, YOUmedia Manager and Teen Services Librarian at Hartford Public Library (CT), Jose Cruz, Middle School Services Librarian at Oak Park Public Library (IL), and Julie Stivers, School Librarian at Mount Vernon Middle School (NC).

One of the projects that Gabbie highlighted was the teen-led “Tell ‘Em Why You Mad” unconference led by YOUmedia Hartford teens in partnership with Grow Hartford Youth Program and COMPASS Youth Peacebuilders. The teens heavily utilized the Black Panther’s 10-point plan. As Gabbie notes, “I’m most proud of the hard work that the teens who organized the event put forth. I’m proud of their desire to honor their elders with the 10-point plan. I’m proud that we were able to support their ideas and their goals with funds, space, and resources.”

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Be YALSA’s Next Rep to the International Federation of Library Associations

YALSA is seeking personal members who are interested in representing YALSA on the following:

  1. International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions’ (IFLA) Section on Libraries for Children & Young Adults
  2. International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions’ (IFLA) Section on Literacy & Reading

One representative for each section will be selected by the ALA Executive Board and recommended to IFLA to serve a four-year term from 2019-2023.  YALSA personal members who are interested in representing YALSA on either section must submit their resumes to YALSA at yalsa@ala.org no later than September 1, 2018.  Please be sure to put IFLA Applicant in the subject line and in your email message indicate what section you’re interested in serving on.

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ALA 2018 Annual Recap from a First-Time Attendee

Image courtesy of ALA 2018 Annual

Last month, I went to my first ALA Annual Convention. As a MMLIS graduate student at the University of Southern California, attending ALA Annual in New Orleans was an opportunity to meet fellow students, network with current librarians and library staff, and to learn more about how I can participate as a new member of ALA in the various divisions, roundtables, and chapters.

The ALA Annual Convention is a wonderful experience where you meet people with the same interest and same enthusiasm for books, advocacy, learning, and desire to help. The conference ran from June 21, 2018 through June 26, 2018, with the official opening general session on Friday, June 22nd.  The Opening General Session speaker was Former First Lady Michelle Obama! The line to be able to attend Mrs. Obama’s talk, led by Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden, started at 7:30am that morning though Mrs. Obama would not speak until 4:00pm that afternoon.  As a first-time attendee, I will admit to being daunted by the impressive line that formed, but ALA had it all under control. They had more than enough room to accommodate everyone.  What a way to kick off the convention!  Listening to Michelle Obama and Carla Hayden in conversation was a memorable experience. Not to mention listening to Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews perform with talented students from the Trombone Shorty Foundation beforehand.
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Teens participate in BFYA Teen Feedback Session @ ALA Annual

A group of teens from the New Orleans area participated in YALSA’S Best Fiction for Young Adults Teen Feedback Session during the ALA Annual Conference. They each read at least three books from this year’s list of BFYA nominations so far. The teens provided the BFYA blogging team with valuable insight about the “teen appeal” of the books. To reward the teens for their hard work and participation, YALSA generously provided them each with a pass to visit the exhibits and collect as many free books as they could carry! After visiting the exhibit hall, teens enjoyed a pizza lunch with nine popular YA authors. The event was a great success. But don’t take our word for it—here’s what some of the teens told us about their favorite part of the day!

We asked: “What was your favorite part of participating in the conference and what are you reading next?”

“I liked the part where you met the authors, because you got real insight on what they were thinking when they wrote the books.” –Sabian B.

What Sabian is reading next: What I Leave Behind by Alison McGhee

“I think it was seeing how many people are here and so passionate and [in the feedback session] seeing what books everyone chose to read and how they interpreted them.” –Abigail D.

What Abigail is reading next: “I have no idea, I going to lay them all out and decide!”

“My favorite part was getting to walk around and meet new people.” –Carissa W.

What Carissa is reading next: Dry by Neal Shusterman

“I really liked meeting the authors, because you got to see some aspects of an author’s career. I also thought it was really cool to receive books before they were out!” –Tiyasha C.

What Tiyasha is reading next: Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough or Orphaned by Eliot Schrefer

“The convention was exactly how I imagined heaven. Also, I expected the feedback session to be way more stressful, but it was actually really easy to just talk about the books. It’s so cool that we got the books before the Library of Congress got them!” –Laxmi J.

What Laxmi is reading next: “Well, I read The Schwa Was Here (by Neal Shusterman who I met yesterday!) for school summer reading, and I have to read Chains too, but after that I think I’m going to start Dry.”

This event was truly a team effort and would not have been possible without the collaboration and dedication of many people. Thanks to the teens who participated, the teachers, librarians and parents who prepared teens and arranged for them to come, the authors and publishers who sponsored and participated in the pizza lunch, and the BFYA blogging team for nominating thought-provoking titles and welcoming teen feedback.

Carolyn Vidmar is a Teen Services Librarian at the New Orleans Public Library.

YALSA 301 at ALA Annual 2018!

It’s almost time! ALA Annual is upon us and I’m so looking forward to seeing many of you at the awesome lineup of YALSA events.

It’s an exciting time to be a YALSA member! We’re released the New Teen Services Competencies, written a new report supporting librarians working with teens called Transforming Library Services through CE, and we’ve got so much more on the horizon.

This work could not be completed without the dedication of our members. Many of us volunteer our time to take on leadership roles within the organization. And serving in one is a win-win! YALSA benefits from your experiences and work on a common goal, and you gain leadership, team building, and career building skills.

Join us at our YALSA 301 session at ALA Annual to learn more about how you can take the next step in YALSA. YALSA 301 is on Saturday, June 23 at 9 a.m. in the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, Room 214.  

Can’t make it to conference? I encourage you to contact me and the rest of the Board Development Task Force to learn more. Even if you aren’t ready to run for Board right now, we’d love to share the exciting opportunities that are available!

The Board Development Committee is:

Sarah Hill, Chair, gsarahthelibrarian@gmail.com

Audra Caplan, audra.caplan@gmail.com

Frankin Escobedo, escobedo@ci.oceanside.ca.us

Mary Hastler, hastler@hcplonline.org

Sarah Sogigian, sarah@masslibsystem.org

YALSA Board at #alaac18: Book Awards and Lists in Light of #MeToo

The YALSA board will hold a discussion at #alaac18 about YALSA’s book awards and lists in light of #metoo. I have been a member of the Printz, Odyssey, and Alex Award committees and am bringing this topic to the YALSA board for discussion and possible action.

The #MeToo movement exploded in Fall 2017, when women and some men collectively began to speak out against abusers and harassers. The movement carried over to the young adult publishing world in February 2018 via an article in School Library Journal that led to hundreds of comments to the article indicating certain authors and publisher representatives as harassers or abusers.

YALSA and its board extend their compassion to those harmed by abusers and harassers and commends those for speaking up, while at the same time also extending support to those who were also harmed but remain silent.
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YALSA Board at #ALAAC18: Revised Chair Manual

At Midwinter 2018, the Board directed the Organization and Bylaws Committee to update and expand the existing Chair Manual. This update would:

• Reflect the Organizational Plan
• Include more big-picture information
• Add outcomes-focused content
• Update the virtual resources content
• Expand the responsibilities, communication, ethics and policies sections

The Organization and Bylaws Committee has made the requested changes, and has submitted board document #19 for review at ALA Annual in New Orleans. We are excited to receive feedback on this document, both from the Board and membership. Additional information can be found in the board document.

If you have any questions regarding the new Chair Manual, please contact Melissa McBride, Chair of Organization & Bylaws: mcbride.melissa@gmail.com

Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff: Putting the Competencies to Work

Looking for the best ways to align your work to the Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff? Join us for a free session Friday, June 22, from 1 to 4PM in room 343 of the Morial Convention Center, just prior to the ALA Annual Conference.

You will hear about how YALSA members have integrated the Competencies into their work and have the tools and resources you need to bring that transformation home. Bring a program plan, a job description, a policy, a staff and/or program evaluation tool, or another tool and workshop it along side library staff from around the country.

We’d like to know the types of projects people who plan to attend would like to discuss. That’s why we are asking those who think they will be there to submit our simple form.

If you have questions about the workshop contact YALSA’s CE Consultant, Linda W. Braun or Kate McNair, YALSA Board Member.

Don’t forget YALSA has developed an array of tools to help library staff use the Competencies. You’ll find them listed on the YALSA Competencies web page.

We’re Looking for You! Run for the YALSA Board.

We’re all members of YALSA, or should be, but you’re reading this blog for a variety of reasons. You love libraries. Or you love working with teens. Or you’re just trying to find out what’s happening in YALSA. But you’re here, reading this blog post. As members of YALSA we all participate in our association in a variety of ways, sometimes passively by donating to the scholarships or actively by volunteering to serve on committees, by volunteering to blog for a list, by contributing your programs to Programming HQ. 

In a recent YALSA survey many respondents voiced the opinion that their voices weren’t heard or weren’t acknowledged or they felt that their perspective wasn’t represented in YALSA. And I’d be the first to admit, yes it happens, it’s the reason I got involved. There was a time when I felt that my voice wasn’t being heard or felt in the list being created by the volunteers doing committee work weren’t representing my experience or worldview. So I stepped up and started volunteering. We make our association work; if you don’t volunteer or if you decide to drop your membership because you disagree, YALSA is going to fall apart and you know who will ultimately loses? Teens! The teens we support in our libraries, whether it be academic, public, or school; we serve the teens in our hometowns, whether it’s a big city or a small country town.
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Pre-ALA Annual Networking Refresher

The ALA Annual Conference is nearly upon us and that means it’s time to brush up on your networking skills. Whether you’re new to networking and conferencing or this is old hat, I hope there’s something here for everyone.

Keep Calm and Network On

Networking does not have to be forced and it’s often best when it’s not. Annual Conference is particularly easy because everyone is there to learn and to meet new people, so you don’t have to think of a clever opening line. “Hi, I’m _________ and I work at __________. Where are you from?” works perfectly. And sure, you might meet some folks who are really only there to learn and not to meet people, and that’s fine. Just keep meeting people and don’t let it get you down.
Business Cards

Though they’re terribly old technology, business cards are still the default for exchanging contact information. Be sure to keep a ballpoint pen (those inky ones smear) to write on the card how/where you met the person and any other info that might jog your memory. And as soon as you can, connect with that person via LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, an email, whatever works for you. As for your own business card, if you want to spend the time and money to come up with something creative, go ahead, but a basic card will do the job. Your time and money is probably better spent perfecting your website, web presence, or blog.
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