YALSA President’s Report – November 2021

Greetings all! Sending some fall energy your way! The highlight of this month has definitely been the YALSA Symposium in Reno. So much hard work went into what was a phenomenal event. Thank you all for making this hybrid (virtual/in-person) learning and networking opportunity a huge success!

This time of year means different things to everyone depending on what traditions (if any) you may participate in. I know I typically feel the winter months gain speed though for others it might be ‘normal’-just a bit colder-again dependent on where one resides. At any rate, whatever your unique experience may be, thank you for your involvement with YALSA and your continued work to help teens have quality access to library programs and services!

Contributions I made this month as YALSA President:

  • Assisted with the YALSA Symposium; recorded several introductions, attended virtual sessions and participated in the virtual Board info session. Called to vote on Symposium 2022 location (Baltimore here we come!)
  • Connected over email with Sam Helmrick, YALSA Liaison for ALA Executive Board
  • Held meeting for Presidential Taskforce to re-build teen social capital! So excited to work with such great volunteers!
  • Extended the Hub Manager assignment for one more month. Grateful for Sara Beth!
  • Connected with the Chair, Melissa, and Board Liaison, Carrie, for the Teen Civic Engagement Committee
  • Met with AASL/ALSC Presidents to develop a charge for the Interdivisional Committee on School/Public Library Cooperation. Thank you Jennisen and Lucia!
  • Wrote an article for the Presidents Column for the upcoming YALS issue on Adulting
  • Contributed to updating the DMP charge along with Board Member Karen Lemmons and YALSA ED, Tammy Dillard-Steels
  • Created EDI timeline draft for the Board as a recommendation from ODLOS Director, Kevin Strowder, to see our progress
  • Appointed a new Chair, Rebecca Denham, for the Evaluating Volunteer Resources Taskforce
  • Supported the ALA Statement on Censorship

Any questions or comments, feel free to post below or email: kellyczarnecki1@gmail.com.

Kelly Czarnecki (she/her)
YALSA President
2021-2022

 

Photo Credit: “Deer” by Kelly Czarnecki

Silent Auction @ YA Services Symposium 

C:\Users\akopa\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache\Content.MSO\BFC0C4D0.tmpYALSA’s YA Services Symposium is just a few weeks away.  Whether you are attending virtually or in person or just love silent auctions, we have you covered! Some of the big items up for bid are virtual author visits from Kekla Magoon, Marieke Nijkamp, and Kosoko Jackson. There will also be signed books, professional development books, and a custom book box. All proceeds will go to the Friends of YALSA (FOY). FOY funds are used to support over $16,000 in member scholarships, grants, and stipends, including a Spectrum Scholarship and Emerging Leader.  The auction begins October 25 and will run through the end of the Symposium on November 7 at 8 p.m. 

You can join in the fun and bid away!  

https://yalsa.betterworld.org/auctions/ya-services-2021-symposium-virtu

YALSA Information Session-Sign Up Today!

Do you have a question you’ve always wanted to know about YALSA? Now is your chance! Join the virtual information session during the YALSA Symposium! This will be a drop-in relaxed opportunity for you to hang out with some of the wonderful YALSA Board members. On Saturday, November 6 starting at 10am Central, Board members will be available to talk about YALSA membership and answer any questions you might have. Don’t wait-register here! You will receive a confirmation email on joining the meeting.

“ASK” by otama is licensed under CC BY 2.0

 

YALSA Symposium – Nov 5-7 in Reno

As the members of the Planning and Marketing Taskforce, we are excited about the variety of programs and formats for the 2021 YALSA Symposium in Reno. This year’s theme of Biggest Little Safe Spaces: Serving Teens during Times of Adversityreflects where many librarians find themselves in current times. The presenters will discuss strategies for serving teens during difficult moments and will help us develop programs that ensure our biggest little safe spaces thrive for years to come.Meanwhile, the three author panels will enlighten and entertain attendees with lively and relevant discussions. We hope you can join us in Reno either virtually or in person on November 5-7. Remember that there is still plenty of time to register for the event.

Given the present state of pandemic, YALSA’s Symposium will offer both a virtual-only event as well as a live and in-person conference. For the first time, some of the sessions will be presented in a hybrid format, meaning that the session will be prerecorded for virtual attendees but will also be presented live in Reno. Virtual participants will have the opportunity to interact with the presenters of the hybrid programs during live online Q & A sessions. A few of the hybrid sessions include The Power of Empathy, Journey to Justice, and The Development of Bridges & Books.

Some of the sessions will be prerecorded for all participants. These programs will be available during and after the symposium and include sessions like the always popular Book Buzz, All are Welcome (a program about homeschoolers), Advocate for Youth Experiencing Homelessness, and Do You See Me?, a session facilitated by Julia Torres and featuring authors Paula Chase, Tiffany D. Jackson and Kim Johnson.

For participants who are present in Reno, make sure you attend the exciting author panels. First up is Friday’s opening session where Steve Sheinkin, Bethany C. Morrow, Gretchen McNeil, Kimberly Jones, and Gilly Segal will explore the theme of Spaces Past and Present: Adversity Now and Then. On Saturday, don’t miss the chance to listen great new YA authors at the Morris Program. Angeline Boulley, Chloe Gong, Cory Anderson, and Rachel Griffin will discuss their works and everything that comes with being a debut author. This panel will be moderated by Jeff Zentner, who won the Morris Award in 2017 for The Serpent King. Finally, there is the closing author panel with the theme of Finding One’s Space: Fantasy Meets Realism on Sunday. Who wouldn’t want to attend a panel where authors Ellen Hopkins, Romina Garber, and Jennifer Mathieudiscuss fantasy and realistic fiction?

Also for those attendees in Reno, YALSA will be offering numerous live programs on Saturday and Sunday. The titles of just of few of the informative sessions include Safe Spaces for Aros and Aces, Safe Haven (a program about mental health and teens), Poverty and Privilege, and Through the Plexi Glass, a timely program about how to serve teens during the pandemic.

And there is still time to register for three of the symposium’s live events. On Friday morning, Adriana White and Ashleigh Torres will offer a preconference session on neurodiversity and mental health. In the afternoon, Beth Crist and Dr. Jessica Dennison will present the second preconference session on how best to serve teens in poverty with empathy. One of Saturday’s big events is Margaret A. Edwards Award Luncheon. That program will feature the 2021 winner of that prestigious award, author Kekla Magoon. Please remember that these programs require extra fees and are not included in the general registration.

Whether we attend the symposium in person in Reno or virtually from home, we hope you enjoy this event and come away with the understanding and inspiration to serve teens during adverse times in your safest little places.

Blog post by Scot Smith, Angela Steele, Sharon Deeds, Asuncion Cora, and Katie Patterson, the 2021 Planning and Marketing Taskforce

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.  March 10, 2021.

Wishing you well in your professional endeavors,

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

A Time to Connect: My Experience at the 2020 Virtual YALSA Symposium

The following blog post is written by one of YALSA’s 2020 Symposium Registration Grant student winners, Esperanza Pacheco.

My name is Esperanza Pacheco, and I am the Assistant Director/Young Adult Librarian for the Englewood Public Library in New Jersey. My community was super proud and excited that I was selected to attend the virtual YALSA YA Services Symposium from November 6-8 this year.

On the Friday of the Symposium, I started looking into which prerecorded sessions I could log into to begin my conference experience. Immediately, the session title which caught my eye was #DiverseReading: Encouraging Teen Readers with Instagram. I’ve created Instagram accounts for three libraries and am constantly seeking ways to use it, as well as other social media platforms to attract teens’ attention towards reading. I had the pleasure of e-meeting Rachel Milburn, who recorded this video for us. She is the Teen Services Librarian at the Frankfort Community Public Library, Frankfort, Indiana. Instantly, through our library accounts, I followed her pages on Instagram and Twitter. I was so impressed by how much time and deliberation went into her posts. She had one title that had basketballs surrounding the books on the shelf. This is a great idea as it draws immediate attention on an app, where people are constantly scrolling and only stopping for something alluring to the eye. I kept in mind some of the details she mentioned when it comes to using Instagram professionally, such as switching over to a business account in order to view the background Insights of your account interaction and engagement. It is interesting to see the outliers in how many thousands of views her top post garnered, which could have been due to the title of the book she posted or perhaps how she set up the post.

The next recorded session I tuned into was called Our Voices, Our Protest: Migrant Stories in Latinx Young Adult Literature. I was especially excited to view this one because I was able to place these authors’ titles right into a cart for my library to purchase; the beauty of online services! The authors were Aida Salazar, Jenny Torres Sanchez, Daniel Aleman, Guadalupe Garcia McCall, Yamile Saied Mendez, and Ernesto Cisneros. I love sessions like these that teach me about authors I may not have known or seen. Being able to ask these authors questions in real time was a real treat. I think it is imperative for both sides too, as authors get the benefit of hearing readers’ feedback. Continue reading A Time to Connect: My Experience at the 2020 Virtual YALSA Symposium

Virtual Conference Does World of Good

The following blog post is written by one of YALSA’s 2020 Symposium Registration Grant student winners, Jana Wiersma.

YALSA’s Young Adult Services Symposium theme for 2020, “Biggest Little Spaces: How Libraries Serve the Expanding World of Teens”, was a play on Reno’s slogan “Biggest Little City”, where the symposium was originally supposed to be held. When it became clear the COVID-19 pandemic wasn’t letting up, the symposium moved online, and representation, diversity, and inclusion were not lost in the shift. As disappointed as I was to not attend the symposium in my backyard, connections and networking were still possible, and many young adult librarians were able to join from all over the world. As a first-time YALSA symposium attendee, I was able to enter the community of young adult librarians and share experiences in a meaningful way.

The author lineup was incredible in its diversity of the powerful voices that YA librarians could not only hear, but also discuss relevant issues with. The excitement of the authors at being represented and presenting together on panels was palpable and contagious, even via Zoom. Even with the plethora of diverse authors, there was still an overwhelming call for more diversity in publishing, editing, and writing. Each author recognized the need for our teens to see themselves in whatever space they occupy — represented as readers, yes, but also as authors, editors, publishers, media specialists, and more. During the opening session, author Alan Gratz said, “There isn’t one America, there are many different American experiences,” which I felt entirely summed up YALSA’s 2020 Symposium.

From the pre-conference to end of symposium, sessions included relevant topics like teaching teens to spot and stop the spread of fake news, ramping up library teen volunteer programs, creating book boxes to help teens and tweens destress, fostering community partnerships to advocate for teens beyond the library, transforming teen services, providing support to our immigrant youth, and more!

Each session provided a wealth of information and resources we could bring back to the library and apply with confidence to better support our local teens and the spaces they occupy. With this information, our team can go forward with our top priorities: re-evaluating our teen volunteer program, re-configuring our teen space to better support the needs of our young adult community, and helping our teens feel both represented and connected during this especially difficult time of separation.

As the Young Adult Services Symposium wrapped up, I was inspired and motivated by all the possible ways I could apply what I learned, how best to implement shared tips, and how to better diversify our young adult services on a daily basis. My to-be-read pile now has a thousand books on it, and my inner book-nerd heart was bursting with the joy of getting to hear from so many amazing authors! I cannot wait for YALSA members to meet in person once again, but in the meantime, meeting and connecting virtually still did a world of good.

Jana Wiersma
MLIS Student @ University of North Texas,
Senior Library Assistant, Carson City Library, NV

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

2020 Virtual Symposium Early Bird Registration Extended to 9/30

As we prepare to enter the next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, we want to assure you of our continued commitment towards providing the library community with the support and opportunities it needs to work for and with teens. With that in mind, YALSA is pleased to announce that the early-bird rate for the 2020 Virtual Young Adult Services Symposium will remain in effect through the end of September. This virtual event presents a unique opportunity to bring a broader spectrum of the cooperative community together around more accessible and affordable programming, removing the barriers to participation due to travel, health, financial, or time constraints.

We wish we could contribute more financially to support library staff. However, producing a quality, interactive virtual event with minimal sponsorship and providing programs that are closed-captioned for all viewers is a costly expense that often exceeds registration gains. As a result of this, extending the early bird rate is a small, and hopefully, helpful gesture we’d like to offer.

We are excited about the 2020 Virtual Symposium and the live sessions on Social Action, Safe Places, Equity in Action, and many more. The theme of “Biggest Little Spaces: How Libraries Serve the Expanding Worlds of Teens” is well-timed. We know the importance this meeting and the content presented provides in continuing your education, assisting your teens, and expanding your network.

September 30 will be your last opportunity to receive the early bird rate. That means you can still save up to $100; the member rate is $129, and the non-member rate is $249. Registration includes full access to all conference programming, including access to the content for one year. We hope you’ll join us November 6th – 8th.

Register today.

-Amanda Barnhart, YALSA President

-Tammy Dillard-Steels, YALS Executive Director

Registration open for 2020 Virtual YA Services Symposium

Registration for YALSA’s 2020 YA Services Symposium, which takes place virtually November 6-8, is now open. Early bird registration ends September 15.

Programs cover the entire spectrum of topics related to providing services for and with young adults. This year’s theme is Biggest Little Spaces: How Libraries Serve the Expanding Worlds of Teens. New this year and included in registration is the Edwards Luncheon. Registration is open to anyone with an interest in young adult services and literature.

Registration includes:

  • Access to recordings of all sessions for one-year post event
  • Opening Session: Space to Deal: How Authors Turn Real Life into Stories with Empathy, a conversation with authors Traci Chee, Sharon Flake, Alan Gratz, April Henry
  • Author Breakfast (Saturday): Taking Space: Making Diverse Voices Heard in a Crowded Landscape, a conversation with  Kim Johnson, Ryan La Sala, Anna-Marie McLemore, and Nic Stone.
  • Edwards Luncheon: Hear from 2020 Edwards Award winning author Steve Sheinkin
  • Author breakfast (Sunday): Pride of Space: LGBTQ+ Representation in YA, a conversation with George M. Johnson, Dahlia Adler, TJ Klune, and Aiden Thomas, moderated by Malinda Lo.
  • Closing Session: Inner Spaces: Creating Compelling Characters Dealing with Tough Topics, a conversation with Romina Garber, Adib Khorram, Mark Oshiro, and Courtney Summers

Early Bird Registration Rates (Now – September 15)

  • $129 YALSA Personal Member
  • $199 ALA Personal Member (Join YALSA by phone: 800.545.2433)
  • $39 Students (enrolled full-time in a library program)
  • $249 Others (Join ALA/YALSA by phone: 800.545.2433)

Additional programs such as Friday pre-conferences can be added to registration for additional fees. View the list of programs and participating authors.

Register online or by phone at 312-280-4293. Learn more about the symposium at www.ala.org/yalsa/yasymposium. For questions or concerns, please contact Nichole O’Connor at noconnor@ala.org.