COVID-19 : ALA Annual Conference canceled

Hi everyone,

As you have likely heard by now, the ALA Annual Conference scheduled for late June in Chicago has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. ALA Executive Director Tracie D. Hall, along with current ALA President Wanda K. Brown and ALA President-elect Julius C. Jefferson Jr. explain the reasoning in their press release.

Please note that I am investigating the many questions that I have received since the announcement was made late yesterday afternoon. I will update this blog post when I learn more about:

  • Registration and hotel refunds [Edit 3/27/20: On Peak (the company that ALA uses for hotel reservations) is going to cancel all hotel reservations for Annual made through them. They will send an e mail to the attendees. Obviously, if someone booked a room outside of the ALA block (did not use On Peak) they will need to cancel it themselves.]
  • If there will be any virtual component to the conference
  • YALSA programs that were to be presented at the 2020 Annual conference
  • How YALSA award committees will meet (the Board will be working through this in the coming days)
  • the Printz Celebration and honoring the 2020 authors and committee

 

While we are obviously saddened and disappointed that the ALA Annual conference had to be canceled, we are looking to the future and hopes for better days. With that in mind, please consider attending the YALSA Symposium, scheduled for November 6-8 in Reno, Nevada. Sign up to learn more and get updates about the symposium here.

Thanks as always for the work you do for and with teens,

Todd Krueger, YALSA President 2019-2020 | Twitter: @toddbcpl

 

YALSA Board Discussion at Midwinter 2020

The question of “Where will YALSA need to focus over the next five years so that it may best support its membership and, just as importantly, the youth they serve?” cannot be quickly determined. During the past several months, your YALSA board rebooted discussions regarding the strategic planning path. Board members embarked on a new road, now led by our experienced and seasoned President and our knowledgeable Executive Director. 

As a starting point, the board has examined and discussed our current guiding documents (EDI plan, strategic plan, implementation plan, and more), evaluated other existing strategic plans, and delved deeper into conversations on future members’ values, needs, etc. We continue these discussions at ALA Midwinter during Board I scheduled for Saturday, January 25 at 1:00 pm in the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Room 304.

In addition to these discussions, the board will also undertake professional development training to better understand and facilitate the integration of the EDI plan with our future strategic plan (more on this soon). Board meetings are open to all and we invite you to join us and lend your input as we continue the strategic planning process.

Should you have any questions or wish to offer comments via email, please reach out to Todd Krueger, YALSA President, or to me, Amanda Barnhart, YALSA President-Elect.

YALSA at the Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia

Hi everyone,

For those who are attending the Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia, I would like to direct you to some of the YALSA events taking place!

The YALSA Social will take place on Saturday, January 25 from 5:30pm-7pm at the Field House, 1150 Filbert St, very near the Pennsylvania Convention Center (PCC). All are welcome!

The Youth Media Awards are scheduled for Monday, January 27 from 8am-9:30am in the PCC, Ballroom A & B. Please join me as we learn the titles selected by the Alex Awards committee, the winner of the Edwards Award, the winner of the Morris Award and the Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Award, and winner and honor title(s) of the Printz Award. Many other awards, including those from affiliate organizations, EMIERT, REFORMA, the Rainbow Round Table, and ALSC will also be announced.

The Morris and Nonfiction Award ceremony takes place on Monday, January 27 from 10:30am-Noon in the Philadelphia Marriott, Salon C D & E (adjacent to Grand Ballroom E/F). Tickets are still available for $25 or at the door. Many of the finalists will be in attendance at this always special event. Coffee, tea, and pastries, along with your choice of a number of complimentary copies of the finalists’ books will be available.

Monday from 5:30pm-7pm, please join us at the Joint ALSC/YALSA Reception in the Philadelphia Marriott, Liberty C. Network with colleagues about your time in Philadelphia and debrief among friends new and old about the winners and surprises of the morning’s Youth Media Awards!

For governance wonks, the YALSA Board meets on Saturday, January 25 from 1-5pm and Sunday, January 26 from 4-5:30pm in the PCC, Room 304. All are welcome to attend, aside from any executive sessions that may take place when you will be asked to briefly wait outside the room.

Thanks as always for your work for and with teens!

Todd Krueger, YALSA President 2019-2020 | Twitter: @toddbcpl

Call for Program Proposals for 2020 YA Services Symposium Open

The call for program proposals for YALSA’s 2020 Young Adult Services Symposium is open now through February 15.

The theme of the symposium is “Biggest Little Spaces: How Libraries Serve the Expanding Worlds of Teens,” and is to be held November 6-8, 2020, in Reno, NV.

Program proposals should address one or more of the following questions:

  • How do staff provide inclusive programming and diverse collections? How do we ensure representation and equity of access to materials and information? e.g. book and program challenges, the library as a “neutral” space.  How can literature assist us?
  • How does staff provide outreach to teens in their community?  How do you meet teens where they are?
  • How do we create more inclusive and “safe(r)” spaces? How do we empower teens to find their voice and speak out about issues important to them? e.g. gun violence, global warming, #metoo, institutional racism, LGBTQ rights.
  • How are staff affected by adversity on the job? How do we address this and other experiences like compassion, fatigue, and burnout? e.g. self-care

In addition to addressing the theme, proposals should also highlight best or emerging practices for libraries of all sizes and capacities in one or more of the following categories:

  • Collections and Content Curation
  • Digital and Print Literacies
  • Equity and Inclusion
  • Outreach
  • Partnerships/Collaborations
  • Programs and Services (including planning, implementing and evaluation)
  • Tools for Practice (cultural competency models and training, trauma-informed care, mental health first aid, 40 developmental assets, social emotional learning, etc.)
  • Youth Participation

Through inclusive programming, diverse collections, outreach, advocacy, and partnerships, libraries offer safe spaces for teens. Do your programs and services meet the complex and diverse needs of contemporary young adults? Does your teen section or YA collection need a refresh? Have you found partnerships to encourage and advocate for young adults? Join YALSA for our 10th Symposium in Reno, Nevada as we discuss the literature, activities, and the biggest little places needed to serve and inspire today’s teens.​

Interested parties are invited to propose 60-minute programs centering on the theme via the online form found on the symposium site. Proposals for programs must be submitted by February 15. Applicants will be notified of their proposals’ status the week of April 15.

Registration for the 2020 YA Services Symposium will open in April. Sign up for updates here. To learn more about the symposium, visit www.ala.org/yalsa/yasymposium.

A huge thank you goes out to the members of the 2020 YA Services Symposium Planning and Marketing Taskforce: Chair, Scot Smith, Robertsville Middle School Library, Oak Ridge, TN; Amelia Jenkins, Juneau (AK) Public Library; Keiko Sanders, La Jolla, CA; and De Anza Williams, University of Illinois-Urbana for their work on creating a theme for the symposium. Thank you again!

YALSA Member Task Force Volunteer Opportunities – Apply By 11/12

Greetings, YALSA Members,

Do you consider yourself to have strong organizational qualities, nurture a creative mindset to problem solving, and are savvy with social media? Does it sound appealing to participate on a national committee, but perhaps shine the spotlight on someone else? Consider your strengths to serve on the YALSA’s Task Forces for the YA Services Symposium Marketing & Planning, ALA Conference Marketing & Local Arrangements, and Midwinter Marketing & Local Arrangements Committee. Complete and submit your Committee Volunteer Form by Tuesday, 11/12. 

Do remember that to serve on any of these committees, applicants will need to have a current YALSA membership. Also, much of the work is accomplished virtually, but some do require attendance to the event for ensuring the smooth running of YALSA activities. Committee members will soon begin work and run for roughly 6 months of work. 

Committee member duties can be found here and here. A few examples of committee life might include:

  • Vetting applications and selecting winners for the Symposium stipends.

  • Make arrangements for local teens to participate in the live Best Fiction for Young Adults feedback session that takes place at Midwinter where teens share their critical comments on literature with Best Fiction for Young Adults committee members.

  • Write posts for the YALSAblog to inform conference attendees of local places to eatvisit, or support their interests.

  • Research, collate, and recommend resources for YALSA’s activities and presence at conference to be posted to a wiki page.

If you are still reading this post, what are you waiting for?! Go ahead. Fill out your Committee Volunteer Form. However, should the timing of this volunteer opportunity not fit your schedule, do consider volunteering for the next round of opportunities, including one of the many YALSA strategic committees. Volunteer forms for strategic committees will open between January through February 1, 2020. 

If you have any questions, head over to the Committee FAQ or feel free to reach out to me AmandaBarnhart@kclibrary.org

Thank you for considering YALSA service,
Amanda Barnhart, YALSA President-Elect (2019-2020)

YALSA’s 2019 YA Services Symposium — Early Bird Registration Ends This Sunday, Sept. 15!

Early bird registration for our 2019 YA Services Symposium, which will take place Nov. 1-3 in Memphis, TN ends this Sunday, Sept. 15.

As an added perk, those who join YALSA and register for the symposium by Sept. 15 will be automatically entered for a chance to win free registration for the 2020 YALSA symposium. Why join YALSA? Joining YALSA makes you eligible to register with the YALSA member rate, gain access to a quarterly journal, apply for YALSA grants and awards, volunteer on committees, and more. Plus, joining and then registering often costs less than registering as a non-member.

What’s included with registration?

  • Opening session on Friday evening feat. Kekla Magoon, Sandhya Menon, Lauren Myracle, and Meredith Russo
  • Book Blitz on Saturday evening with light refreshments, up to five free books, and the chance to meet dozens of authors
  • Concurrent sessions on Saturday from 8:30am-5pm, and 8:30am-1:00pm on Sunday, with the option to register for additional events Friday
  • Closing session on Sunday feat. Renee Ahdieh, Shaun David Hutchinson, Marie Lu, and Veronica Roth
  • Access to a free webinar
  • A certificate of participation with your contact hours (to receive the certificate, there will be a sign up sheet on site)
  • Refreshment breaks mid morning on Saturday and Sunday and an afternoon break on Saturday
  • A symposium bag
  • A badge holder

In addition to the included programs, the following ticketed events can be added for an additional fee:

Friday

  • Civic Engagement Pre-conference; 9am-12pm, $79. Learn more and view a sneak peek of the session.
  • Information Literacy Pre-conference; 1pm-4pm, $79. Learn more and view a sneak peek of the session.
  • Graceland Tour, 2 time slots: 9am – 1pm or 12-4pm, $76. Includes transportation and Elvis Experience Pass (mansion, planes, auto museum, special exhibits, and visitors’ center).

Saturday

  • Author Luncheon, Saturday, 12:00pm – 1:30pm. $49. Feat. Tiffany Jackson, Jennifer Mathieu, Mitali Perkins, and Vince Vawter.

View the list of programs and the ever growing list of participating authors (more to come). Learn more at www.ala.org/yalsa/registration.

 

Taking Teens to ALA

It’s 8 a.m. on a Sunday morning, two weeks after the end of school, when four teenage girls on their summer vacation meet me at school to get on a minibus and head to DC. Let me repeat—four teenagers came to school during the summer at 8 a.m. on a Sunday morning. Why?? ALA Annual of course!

Before I get into how awesome the day was with my teens, I would like to thank YALSA for providing my teens with the opportunity to come to ALA. My teens were a part of the session that YALSA hosted to receive input on the nominees for the 2020 Best Fiction for Young Adults. Along with the opportunity to give their opinions on a major awards list, all the teens who were a part of the session also received a badge to visit the exhibit hall and sat down for a pizza lunch with an amazing group of eight young adult authors.

Back to 8 a.m.—I climbed into the driver’s seat and my four girls settled on the brown bus benches that we all remember from field trips.  Before I could even start the engine, the conversation about books started. It didn’t stop for the entire 45 minute drive to DC, and I couldn’t stop smiling.  It was a librarian’s dream—four teens energetically and passionately talking about the books they love (or don’t). Four teens talking about the importance of representation in books—race, sexuality, gender, ability, etc… Four teens talking about which characters developed and which didn’t; about endings they loved or hated; about the pacing of plot.

My heart grew two sizes.
Continue reading

Apply now for YALSA’s 2019 Diversity Program Stipend

YALSA invites diverse individuals to apply by August 1 for a chance to present a literacies focused program at its 2019 YA Services Symposium in Memphis, TN. The program will take place on Sunday, November 3rd of the symposium.

If selected, the recipient must become a YALSA/ALA member and will be provided $1,500 to offset that cost, as well as registration, travel, lodging, and meal expenses at the symposium. Funds for the stipend are generously provided by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation.

With this opportunity, YALSA hopes to create a more just and equitable symposium by providing more professional opportunities for diverse individuals from underrepresented populations, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, language, culture, national origin, age, disability status, ideology, religion, power differentiated groups and professional skills.

Only one session proposal per person will be accepted. Literacies, as defined by YALSA, extends beyond traditional literacy and includes, but is not limited to visual, digital, textual and technology literacy or serving underserved teens. Before accepting the award, the recipient must become a member of YALSA/ALA. Learn more and apply by August 1.

YALSA’s 2019 YA Services Symposium will take place Nov. 1-3 with the theme: Show Up and Advocate: Supporting Teens in the Face of Adversity. Now through early bird registration (September 15), those who join YALSA and register for the symposium will be automatically entered for a chance to win free registration for the 2020 YALSA symposium, which will take place in Reno, NV. More information about the symposium can be found at www.ala.org/yalsa/yasymposium.

YALSA Board at #alaac19: Selection List Marketing

It was brought to the attention of the YALSA Board regarding a lack of knowledge and marketing for the current selection lists created and developed by our YALSA Hub Bloggers and committee members. Our lists, like Amazing Audio, Quick Picks, Great Graphic Novels, and Teens Top Ten, and the hardworking members who create them have not gotten as much attention as they should since the move to the YALSA Hub.

The solution the Board has discussed is to create a team whose main focus is highlighting and marketing the content generated by the selection committee. This would include working with the blog list coordinator, publicizing lists in Cognotes at the Midwinter and Annual conferences, creating social media postings and branding, and highlighting selection list members on the blog.

Other recommendations include:

  • Create an Instagram account for the division and for marketing the selection list to reach teen users.
  • Maintain an online record of past members.

If you would like to join us, the meetings are open and any individual who is registered for the conference may sit in.

Board I, Saturday, June 22, 1-5 PM, Washington Convention Center, 155 link

Board II, Sunday, June 23, 4-5 PM, Washington Convention Center, 155 link

The agenda may be viewed here

And the specific document (Item #24) may be viewed here

YALSA Board at #alaac19: YALSA Board Contract

In May, the YALSA Board approved a new Board Member Contract. This document is signed by all Board members and it stipulates what responsibilities the Board members have to the organization, as well as the responsibilities that the organization has in regards to the Board members.

The current YALSA Board Member Contract was approved on January 16, 2010. Since then the Board’s work has evolved to include more year-round governance discussions and decision-making by board members. The contract was also updated to better reflect the time commitment involved in serving as a YALSA Board Member.

If you are interested in more info, Board Document #10 shows both the old contract as well as the new one that was agreed upon.

See the full agenda of the Board of Directors at ALA Annual in Washington D.C. All Board meetings are open to attendees, and you can learn more about the Board meetings on the YALSA Conference wiki.