Volunteer Opportunities at ALA’s Conference

Posted by Beth Yoke:

Volunteer Opportunities: ALA has been in contact with libraries in the New Orleans area, as well as Habitat for Humanity and other organizations to determine the types of volunteer activities that will be available on Fri. June 23 and Tues. June 27. ALA will conduct a site visit in March to finalize activities, and will notify people in early April of the various volunteer options. Volunteers will be able to select their top choices for projects, and ALA will do its best to accommodate requests. The plans are currently to have full day projects to offer as much help to each site as possible. To participate, you can register through the regular ALA Annual registration form by entering event code AL1 (Friday) or AL2 (Tuesday) under the ‘Events Add On’ Section. There is a $10 fee to register for these two events, but proceeds go to the Katrina Relief Fund. If you have any questions please contact ALA at cro@ala.org

Diversions Tour: ALA’s Office for Diversity will devote its normally scheduled “Diversions Tour,” held on the Monday of every Annual Conference, to touring the most afflicted New Orleans neighborhoods and later, performing a hands-on service project at NOPL’s Alvar Branch. You may sign up for this ticketed event when registering for Annual Conference. In exchange for a purchased ticket, participants will receive a T-shirt, lunch, and an opportunity to contribute to the rebuilding of a vital library and library collection. Any proceeds from ticket sales support the Spectrum Scholarship as well as a monetary donation to the New Orleans Public Library. NOPL’s Alvar Branch Library serves a traditionally African American and a burgeoning GLBT community. It was severely affected by Katrina and requires extensive renovation (see: www.nutrias.org/~nopl/alv/alvarphotographs.htm ). We will be working with Geraldine Harris, Assistant City Librarian of NOPL, to determine the exact nature of the project we will perform, be it painting and sheet-rocking or landscaping services. Questions about the Diversions Tour can be directed to diversity@ala.org.

Scholarship Bash: At ALA’s Midwinter Meeting last month the ALA Executive Board voted that all net proceeds from the 2006 Scholarship Bash over $60,000 be designated as a one-time addition to the Hurricane Relief Fund. Here are the details that are available: ALA/ProQuest Scholarship and Library Relief Event Saturday, June 24, 2006, 8:00 – 11:00 pm Convention Center Auditorium Tickets: $35 The Scholarship Bash is held to provide scholarships for graduate students in library and information studies. ALA hasn’t yet announced the entertainment for this event, but you can check back on www.ala.org/scholarshipbash because it will be posted there when it’s finalized. Questions about the Bash can be directed to Amy McGuigan at amcguigan@ala.org.

Donate Books Now: The New Orleans Public Library needs help in rebuilding the African American, Vietnamese and GLBT collections at Alvar. She is especially seeking new or “like new” books that have been Stonewall, Coretta Scott King, BCALA Literary or other appropriate award winners, as well as canonical and popular titles in these collection areas. Send book donations to: New Orleans Public Library 219 Loyola, New Orleans, LA 70112, Attention Rica Trigs. Geraldine states: DO NOT SEND anything by US mail unless it is first-class. NOPL does not receive anything that is not first class. We can receive packages via FedEx, UPS, and DHL.

Get Ready to Read with Your Ears

YALSA’s Preconference in New Orleans is entitled Read with Your Ears, and is focusing on Audiobooks for Teens. Throughout the day, there will be panels of both reviewers and producers of Young adult audiobooks. There will also be a presentation about tying Audiobooks into the curriculum. Enjoy a relaxing lunch with guest speaker Tamora Pierce, and return for more, including a wrap-up discussing trends, marketing, and more.

Stay tuned to the YALSA blog for information on a VERY exciting contest for pre-conference attendees.
Register Now for the Preconference!

Posted by Jamie Watson

Still working in San Antonio

Posted by Teri Lesesne

Though the exhibit halls look like ghost towns, and many participants are now home and busily unpacking their ARCS from their overstuffed luggage, some work still remains for the folks on various YALSA Committees. My roomie and I head off shortly for the final meeting of the Quick Picks List for 2006. Today we cast our final votes for the books, write annotations to go along with the titles, and settle on our Top Ten Books.

Other committees are meeting as well so that soon members can access BBYA and Notable and other important collection development lists. Of course, YALSA officers and Board Members are still meeting to plan for New Orleans and beyond. Get involved and see how it all works behind the scenes at ALA and YALSA.

May I have the envelope, please?

Posted by Teri Lesesne

There was a palpable thrill in the air of Hall C as Pam Spencer Holley opened the first ever live web cast of the awards ceremony known as the Oscars of the juvenile literature world. Librarians and publishers mingled before being called to order with lots of us getting in our last picks for winning titles before the actual announcements.

After viewing footage from the forthcoming Pura Belpre video that celebrates the 10th anniversary of this award, President Michael Gorman opened the ceremonies by announcing the winners of the Schneider Family Award. (for a full list of awards: http://news.ala.org/releases/announce.html). ALEX Awards were announced and then it was time for what all the YALSA folks had been anticipating since the beginning of conference: the winners of the Margaret A. Edwards Award and the Printz winners.

Pam Spencer Holley’s announcement of Jacqueline Woodson as the recipient of the 2006 MAE Award we met with much enthusiasm. Printz winners came next, again to thunderous applause. (List of Winners.)

After announcements for all the awards were made, we scurried off to call friends and colleagues. Immediately, the listservs lit up with the post announcement discussion also known as Monday morning quarterbacking. It was an incredibly exciting way to start a day here in San Antonio.

Teaching YA Literature Discussion Group

Well, the sun sets (at least I think it did behind the clouds) on the ALA conference. The day began with rain but the weather did not dampen the spirits of the thousands in attendance. More than 30 people joined in the conversation this morning for the Teaching YA Literature Discussion Group chaired by Shannon Sword. The discussion centered around several issues such as how to manage classes that are online versus ones that are hybrid and/or FTF. Following the meeting, I hurtled myself through exhibits quickly to scoop up some ARCs and then headed off to the second Quick Picks Committee meeting.

Tomorrow dawns early with the Press Conference set for 7:55. Stay tuned to see if your favorites win any awards.

Teri Lesesne

Building an Online Course

Posted by Linda W. Braun

Monique LeConge and I got to meet yesterday to finish planning out the online course we are going to teach for YALSA – starts February 6 but is already sold out.

It was great to complete the process and finalize our plans. One great thing we decided to do was include Monique’s 15-year-old in the class via an audio recording and a discussion board.

We’ll also have participants create their own My Space space as a way to introduce themselves to each other. There’s lots of other great things in the works including thinking about how programs, services, and space change for libraries when they really start to integrate technology as more than an add-on and as a true tool for helping teens enhance their literacy skills.

Can’t wait.

Leadership Development

Posted by Linda W. Braun

This morning bright and early YALSA committee chairs and board members met at leadership development. This meeting happens at each conference and gives chairs and Board the chance to talk about what’s up and what’s new. Two things were different this time around. First, there was breakfast (with giveaways) sponsored by Listening Library – thanks to YALSA staff for organizing that. And, the meeting included time for small groups to talk about how to manage difficult committee situations.

The small groups happened at the end of the meeting and it was great for two reasons. First, because it meant that we got to talk and not be talked at for the full meeting. And, we got to talk about something that was useful – how to better manage committees. Time ran short so we didn’t really get lots of opportunity to reflect on the discussions but Pam is going to collate the info. and send it out on the committee chair list and I’ll post it on the blog.

Actually, as I think about it the meeting was different in another way too. The agenda included lots of people talking about specific things. But, no person talked for more than 3 minutes I would say. That was great. Each person said what they needed to say and then we moved out. There wasn’t anything that needed lots of discussion but we still got to find out about lots of stuff.

Amy Alessio, YALSA’s fiscal officer, discussed how important it is for YALSA to be aware of our finances. Since YALSA is just striking out on its own as a non-subsidized division of ALA we have to be sure to spend money very wisely. Two things to remember within this context. First, Amy says she’s going to be always asking – do we have the money for that? And second, YALSA can only keep up with the needs of its members if the dues increase which will be on the ballot this spring is approved.

The dues increase is important so that we can continue to provide great programs and conferences, regional institutes, publications, staff, and lots more. It’s a small increase we are going to be asked to approve – $10 – but that money will go quite a long way.

Another topic addressed during the meeting was YALSA publications. I thought it was great that this conversation didn’t focus just on writing books but also on other types of publications YALSA can and does produce – this blog, booklists, journal articles, web content, and more. YALSA publications is interested in working with people on their ideas and will try to help match the idea with the best publications format. So, anyone with ideas should contact the publications committee.

YALSA Executive Director, Beth Yoke, told us about ALA’s Online Communities which is a place that committees will be able to use to conduct business. Committees can have real-time chats, upload documents, archive documents, and more using the Online Communities. Not all of YALSA’s Committees are included on the site yet but members can check it out.

Beth also gave a good rundown/overview of who does what in the YALSA Office. A good thing to remember is that if not sure who to contact the first point person is Esther Murphy.

Before we broke into small groups Pam Spencer Holley gave us her list of the top 10 responsibilities of committee chairs. The list is:

  1. communicate with committee members
  2. delegate committee members

  3. start and end on time
  4. always have an agenda – circulate in advance
  5. circulate an attendance sheet
  6. have someone else take notes
  7. read your charge – make sure know what are supposed to do
  8. be sure to submit pre and post conference reports – board pays attention to them – can email liaison with sensitive info. – it’s OK to resign from a committee
  9. contact board lisiason with questions, concerns, etc.
  10. have a good time and accept the Board’s thanks

All Cheer for All Committee

Living la vida ALA last night was fun. Now, it is time to get down to work. Welcome to the YALSA All Committee Meeting. It is Saturday morning about 10 am. YALSA President Pam Spencer Holley brought the meeting to order thanking Listening Library for sponsoring the breakfast and providing the cool lunch boxes with audiobooks inside. A brief moment of silence for Gerald Hodges and James Cook brought a few of us to tears and then we were underway.

All Committee is the heart and soul of YALSA’s operations at conference. Dozens of committees meet here to conduct their business. Groups as disparate as Research, Teen Read Week, Publisher’s Liaison, Teens and Technology, and Publications have the chance to meet in person at annual and midwinter during this All Committee time. It is a great way for new folks to see the various committee opportunities available, to introduce themselves as volunteers, to get involved. Old hands like me can hug friends we see twice a year at ALA and catch up on the latest gossip.

Terry Young brought greetings from New Orleans as the local arrangements chair and assured us that all would be ready for us in June. A few god tips for those planning to come to annual included: book your rooms as early as possible and please remember to register soon as well.

Pam gave a report on YALSA’s activities this past year including Teen Read Week, increased membership in YALSA (we are nearing 5000 members), responses to the hurricane affected areas, a new Graphic Novel Committee, an Advisory Board for publications (YALS and YAttitudes), task forces, and many other projects. GET ACTIVE AT YOUR LIBRARY is the theme for next year’s Teen Read Week.

The members of the YALSA Board and Executive Committee were introduced. Karlan Sick asked for help in conducting the work of the Nominating Committee. Judy Nelson, President Elect talked about her appointments to the selection committees and other positions. She urged anyone interested to go to the web site and complete the committee volunteer form and return it to HQ as soon as possible.

The 50th anniversary celebration committee members presented some of their ideas for our 50th anniversary in 2007. Think 50!

ALA President Keith Michael Fiels talked about the proposed dues increase and the plan for ALA’s continued growth, “Ahead to 2010.”

Beth Yoke, YALSA’S Executive Director, mentioned some of the handout materials available for committee members and chairs.

After the various reports, Pam dismissed us to begin meeting with our committees.

Teri Lesesne

All Committee Meeting

Posted by Meg Canada

The All Committee Meeting was aflutter with activity. Among the many important announcements and introductions, Terry Young, a member of the Local Arrangements Committee for the Annual Meeting in New Orleans gave us an update on conventions in the city. He is sending his comments to be posted here- so stay tuned! Terry encoraged everyone to register and book hotels as soon as possible.

Pam Holley shared highlights of the year including the fact that YALSA is the fastest growing division in ALA. with over 5,000 members! Want to get involved or stay involved? Don’t forget to fill out the Committee Volunteer Form.