The YALSA Board was busy at Midwinter in Denver. I want to thank my fellow Board members Franklin Escobedo, Crystle Martin, Sarah Hill, Clara Bohrer, Kafi Kumasi, Kate McNair, Mega Subramaniam, Todd Krueger, Jane Gov, Kathy Ishizuka, Derek Ivie, Jess Snow, Kate Denier and Melissa McBride, as well as YALSA ED Beth Yoke, for making our meetings productive.
Here are some highlights:
On Friday, YALSA Financial Officer Clara Bohrer led the Board Planning session, taking us on a deep dive into ALA and YALSA finances. Among the topics discussed were:
With direction from the board President Sandra Hughes Hassell, the board has recently set out to explore the possible tangible steps that YALSA can take to better engage current and future Spectrum Scholars. Since 2009 YALSA has sponsored 10 spectrum scholars.
The Spectrum Scholars programs affirms ALA’s commitment to diversity and inclusion by seeking the broadest participation of new generations of racially and ethnically diverse librarians to position ALA to provide leadership in the transformation of libraries and library services.
Board document item #29 Building Stronger Ties with Spectrum Scholars focuses on how to get both current and past Spectrum scholars more involved in YALSA’s activities, and in taking leadership professions in the field. Some of the broad questions that will be explored in this board discussion include:
· Can we engage current YALSA-sponsored Spectrum Scholars to be mentors to other YALSA members who are aspiring to apply for Spectrum scholars? How do we do this?
· How might Spectrum Scholars be engaged in help us implement YALSA’s Organizational Plan, especially EDI related activities, such as our goal of diversifying the membership by 20% over three years?
· Across the association industry, what are other organizations doing to support and engage scholarship recipients?
The board is seeking feedback on item #29 from its members and others interested and in attendance on this important equity and inclusion effort. Thank you in advance for your consideration and input!
Kafi Kumasi & Mega Subramaniam
YALSA Board Members
YALSA has been working to expand member engagement and has been discussing a number of ways to do just that.
At the 2016 Annual Conference, the board approved the recommendations outlined in Board Document #25, Evolving Member Engagement Opportunities. The goal of the proposal was to provide members with a wider menu of options for getting involved in the work of YALSA, with a particular focus on creating more short-term, opt-in and virtual opportunities, as recent member surveys indicated that in-person and lengthy commitments (2-3 years) did not suit many members’ needs. Successfully implementing this change to better meet the needs of the membership is critical for YALSA, so a check-in to see how the change has progressed is warranted.
The Board will discuss what proposed next steps came about from the 2016 board document in regards to expanding member engagement #28 and what progress has been made toward them. Also, there will be related questions for the Board to explore, as this issue continues to be one of importance for the board.
See the full agenda of the Board of Directors at ALA Midwinter in Denver. All Board meetings are open to attendees, and you can learn more about the Board meetings on the wiki.
At Annual 2017, the Board directed the O&B Committee to investigate ways to measure outcomes and make the work of the organization more efficient and effective (board document #29). To that end, Organization & Bylaws is bringing Board Document #30 and Board Document #32 up for discussion at ALA Midwinter 2018.
Board document #30 focuses on YALSA’s existing chair manual and it’s need for updating. As chair of the Organization & Bylaws Committee, Melissa McBride is seeking feedback from the Board to guide the Committee’s work on updating the document. O & B would like to update the Chair manual to:
- Reflect the Organizational Plan
- Include more big-picture information
- Add outcomes focused content
- Update the virtual resources content
- Update the selection committee content
- Expand the responsibilities, communication, ethics and policies sections
- Change the language of the document so it can be used for Chairs, Conveners and Blogging Team Leads
- Add turn-key materials, like sample messages as well as examples of completed forms and documents that are thorough and well-written
Organization & Bylaws is also seeking feedback from the Board (document #32) on the role of the YALSA Board Liaisons, including seeing how the role can evolve to support YALSA’s more outcomes focused approach. A Board Liaison is a member of the Board who maintains a critical connection between the Board of Directors and a designated committee, jury, advisory board or task force. Board Liaisons are appointed by the President-Elect and assignments begin annually in July. The primary purpose is to facilitate communication between the Board and appointed member groups. The Board Liaison is the Chair’s primary contact for all governance related issues and supports the Chair with leadership of the appointed group as necessary.
Additional information can be found in the board documents. Please email Melissa McBride email@example.com with any questions. Looking forward to seeing you in Denver!
The YALSA Board of Directors is headed to Denver for ALA’s Midwinter Meeting!
The agenda and related documents for our meetings are posted here.
Please feel free to attend our Board meetings on Saturday from 1:00-5:00 and/or on Sunday from 4:30-5:30. All of our meetings will be held in the Convention Center, room 210. YALSA adheres to an open board meeting policy which means we welcome all conference attendees and their contributions with the same respect afforded to fellow board members as detailed in this document. Visitors to the board meeting are encouraged to share information and ask questions during the Open Forum part of the meeting, which is always the first item at the meeting. To learn more about how in-person board meetings function and what to expect, visit the wiki.
YALSA Board members are currently using the YALSAblog to share more information about proposals that will be discussed at Midwinter. Make sure to read those if you want to learn more about what the Board will be considering at Midwinter.
Finally, make sure to check out YALSA at ALA’s 2018 Midwinter Meeting wiki page to find out about all the events YALSA is hosting in Denver. Come learn, network, and celebrate (the exciting Youth Media Awards!) with other YALSA members and supporters.
Safe travels to those of you coming to Denver. If you can’t be there in person, make sure to follow #alamw18 and @yalsa on Twitter. For the ALA Youth Media Awards, follow #alayma
As always, thanks for what you do for YALSA and for teens!
YALSA President 2017-2018
In order to maintain a robust and timely organization, an occasional evaluation of the awards, grants and fellowships presented to membership must be undertaken. A member survey done in 2017 indicated that members were interested in having the governing body re-evaluate some of the awards, grants and fellowships to suit the current needs of the organization. With this information in mind, a task force was set up to distill the findings of the survey and make recommendations to the Board at the 2017 Annual Conference in Chicago.
The Fund and Partner Development Standing Committee of the YALSA Board then looked at those recommendations to determine the feasibility of them based on what YALSA finances would allow and to determine if any of the awards, grants and fellowships needed to be discontinued or others to be added. The committee also looked at concerns about how the awards were marketed to the membership and if the eligibility language of the awards was clearly spelled out so that those members who could apply would. The Fund and Partner Development Standing Committee brings forth the recommendations in Board Document #22.
The Fund and Partner Development Standing Committee was given the task to appraise the findings of the Member Awards Evaluation Taskforce for YALSA and its members. Based on this information, the FPD Standing Committee has issued the proposals below for each of the existing YALSA Awards.
Recommended Board Actions
• The YALSA Board Directs the President to appoint two short term member groups to develop a proposal for each of the two new awards, and to submit them to the Board for review for their June 2018 meeting.
• The YALSA Board directs the Executive Director to work with staff to expand the focus of the MAE Award and Collection Development Grant.
• The YALSA Board directs the Fund and Partner Development Committee to work with the Executive Director to identify potential award sponsors and reach out to them.
• The YALSA Board approves the recommendation to discontinue the Midwinter Paper Presentation and directs the Executive Director to work with staff to carry out the necessary work to sunset the grant.
See the full report here.
YALSA Division Councilor
At the 2016 ALA Annual Conference, the YALSA Board voted to expand the Governance Nominating Committee into a Board Development Committee, to support the reorganization of YALSA in alignment with the new Organizational Plan. At the 2017 ALA Midwinter Meeting, the Board reviewed and approved a proposal which provided a plan for transitioning to a Board Development Committee, and a directive was given to create a small, ad-hoc workgroup to develop a manual for the Board Development Committee that officially began work January 1st.
Board Document #31
was created by that workgroup, consisting of Sarah Hill, Todd Krueger, Shannon Peterson and Sarah Sogigian. Once the board approves the shorter timespan of the committee, the newly developed Board Development Committee will begin its work!
Have you thought about serving on the YALSA Board in some way? There are tons of benefits
, and I’ve found it extremely rewarding. Check out this FAQ
about running for a board position, and please contact me at gsarahthelibrarian @ gmail.com
if you have any questions.
Sarah Hill, YALSA Immediate Past-President
1. Educational requirements for the next ALA Executive Director
Council has been preoccupied with discussion and voting on the educational requirements for the next ALA Executive Director. As was outlined in the YALSA blog post, making a decision whether or not this position requires the MLIS or CAEP-equivalent has been an ongoing battle. Currently the petition that asked the decision to be put in the hands in the membership as a whole has received enough signatures to put the measure on the spring ALA ballot.
2. Resolutions & Youth Council Caucus
There have not yet been any resolutions brought forward as of January 15. The Councilor will keep the Board apprised if and as resolutions are submitted. There have been no resolutions discussed among the members of the Youth Council Caucus at this time, aside from a couple memorial resolutions.
3. Moving Meetings out of Texas
A Councilor inquired about the possibility of moving the 2022 MW meeting out of San Antonio due to “bathroom bill” legislation before the Texas assembly. The American Association of Law Libraries had announced that they would no longer hold conferences in Texas for this reason. A robust online discussion followed, which included some providing reasons for maintaining the MW22 site and others decrying it. California’s law prohibiting state-funded travel to eight states, including Texas, was discussed. PLA’s 2020 conference in Nashville, Tennessee, slated to occur in another of those eight states, was also mentioned. Jim Neal and the Executive Board were to discuss this matter, but there has been no announcement about a decision at this time.
After 13+ years at the helm of YALSA, Beth Yoke, our Executive Director, has tendered her resignation, effective August 31, 2018, to begin the next chapter of her career. During her time with YALSA Beth has helped the Board to advance its mission and support our members. She has led a dedicated team, each of whom play an integral role in the everyday running of our organization and in our success as an organization in supporting our members. While we are sad to see Beth leave, we are grateful for her leadership and wish her the best of luck in her next position.
YALSA’s Board has begun implementation of YALSA’s succession plan, with the goal of having a replacement in place by August 31st to ensure continuity and a smooth transition to a new Executive Director. We will provide updates to the membership periodically as the search process progresses.
I am confident that as a community YALSA will be able to move forward in a productive and unifying manner.
If you have questions, please reach out to me or to any of the other Board members.
YALSA President 2017-2018
Currently a petition is circulating among ALA members that attempts to put a measure on the ALA spring ballot in an effort to overturn the most recent decision by ALA Council to change the language of the job announcement for the next ALA Executive Director from “MLIS preferred” (or CAEP/school librarian equivalent) back to MLIS required. YALSA’s Board of Directors strongly favors retaining the current status that prefers that candidates hold the MLIS/CAEP degree rather than require it. We feel that in order to effectively lead a professional organization the size and scope of ALA, a person’s skill as an association executive is critical. If there is a degreed librarian with these skills, that would be most desirable.