August 2020 President’s Report

Greetings YALSA members and youth advocates,

When I began the path to run for this position, there were several areas I was looking forward to contributing towards, namely in the areas of representation, as I identify as Hispanic and as a library staff who has spent more years as a library paraprofessional (17) than as a librarian (5). While I had not anticipated the challenges we would encounter this leadership term, I do feel that my experience has prepared me to create pathways of support for YALSA, its volunteers, and its members, during this extraordinary year of transition.

I may not have a product to show off to you right now, but I am undertaking the pre-work that is required to support YALSA in both short-term and long-term projects. I know that hardly describes what exactly is being done behind the curtain. However, successful projects involve teamwork which means the final product will continue to evolve until it is completed. Once such projects take on their final form, I will readily release that information through one of YALSA’s communication channels.

August Tasks (listed by date, oldest first)

  • Held a discussion and orientation with our ALA Liaison, Liz Nebeker to support their work in collaboration with ALA groups.
  • Participated on the hiring panel alongside the immediate past HUB manager, the YALSA Executive Director, and the YALSA Communications Specialist for The Hub Manager position. I was particularly interested to hear how candidates define diversity in literature and on their ideas for monitoring and evaluating for inclusive practices. Stay tuned for the press release of the selected HUB manager.
  • Held a valuable conversation with two YALSA members who were open and gracious to discuss supporting inclusive environments and members’ diverse needs. During this conversation, proactive next steps the association might explore on this issue were brainstormed.
  • Began conversations with Cindy Hohl, American Indian Library Association’s President, to explore collaboration opportunities with YALSA. Cindy has been tremendously helpful in sharing local and indigenous communities’ traditional ways of knowing as well as providing resources for learning.
  • Representatives from YALSA staff and leadership debriefed the past year’s efforts of the Social Media Taskforce and planned for its restart and expansion. These ideas are being crafted into a board document and will be presented to the YALSA board later this month.

Mark Your Calendars

  • I’m looking forward to our next Member webinar scheduled for September 10, 2020 Thursday, 2PM Eastern. Virtual Dungeons and Dragons Games: A How-To Guide will be facilitated by Michael Rogowski. For more information on the webinar, including non-member pricing, follow this link. (Currently, I’m relishing in playing a Tabaxi monk character with local librarians.)
  • Have you heard that the YALSA’s Young Adult Services Symposium’s virtual schedule has been posted?! Check it out and join us if you are able. We hope to see you this year or next.

Relevant Stats & Data

  • Donation and Membership information continues to remain unavailable at this time.

 

Respectfully submitted,
Amanda Barnhart
YALSA President 2020-2021

A Note from the President

Greetings, YALSA members and youth advocates, 

If you can’t believe it’s already the second week of August, I can’t believe I’ve one full month under my belt as YALSA President. For the month of July, several of YALSA staff including myself took a short break to regroup upon the completion of the YALSA board meetings in June. For July YALSA activities, I have the following items to report:

Completed Tasks

  • Met with Tammy Dillards-Steel, YALSA ED, and Sarah Evans, Education Advisory Committee chair, to provide support and direction for the new group’s initial work.
  • Facilitated YALSA’s annual Membership meeting via Zoom. I compiled links to the topics that were discussed which were sent out with the archived recording via Connect. A few members had additional concerns that are currently being followed up by the President.
  • Participated in a meeting with the always delightful Shauntee Simpson-Burns, BCALA President, to discuss potential future projects.

Mark your Calendars

  • YALSA Staff have furlough dates in August and will be unable to respond to email or complete any YALSA activities. Please be aware when reaching out to them that they will be unavailable starting Sunday, August 16 – Saturday, August 22, 2020.
  • August 13 at 2pm Eastern, School Librarians and School Counselors: Computing Together webinar
  • 2020 YALSA Symposium, now virtual, November 6-8, 2020. Follow the link to sign-up for the latest news concerning the virtual event.

Special Appreciation for:

  • Tina Lerno, YALSA Volunteer of the Year, reminded the board that this recognition is usually announced at the Membership meeting. I sincerely apologize for this oversight and applaud Tina’s self-advocacy. The board will pilot the opportunity for the Volunteer of the Year to be included in one of the future YALSA Board monthly chats as a way to further support members’ growth and interests in leadership.
  • M’issa, YALSA Member, reminded the board of YALSA’s EDI commitment. The request included an evaluation of the events that occurred at the 2019 Symposium so that strategies and solutions may be developed for handling similar situations that are supportive of inclusive environments. For YALSA to truly embrace EDI, it will require not only the continued work of the board, but the direction from voices willing to make some noise. I appreciate M’issa’s commitment to make some noise.

Relevant Stats & Data

  • It is unfortunate that due to the pandemic’s impact, membership statistics and donations received are currently unavailable to report for July.

Respectfully Submitted,

Amanda Barnhart
YALSA President 2020-2021

 

Volunteers Needed for Advocacy Resources Community Listening Taskforce

Greetings, YALSA members!

All of us are advocates. When we are promoting books and resources to our teens, staff, and community, we are advocating. When we are supporting a cause or group by speaking and/or writing about it, or donating to it, we are advocating.  When we are urging, championing, advancing, and pleading for our teens, communities, library, programs, services, and funding, we are advocating..  Advocacy utilizes many ways, styles, forms, and people.  Now, more than ever, we need to increase our advocacy, and at the same time, be more diligent and strategic in our advocacy efforts.

We need you! We need writers, talkers, listeners, researchers, doers, planners, organizers, analyzers and critics, Whatever your strength and skillset, we need you!  Individually we need your skills, knowledge, and resources, collectively we need many of you to serve on a task force to learn more about the advocacy needs of library staff and teens in preparation of accessible and relevant YALSA resources. 

For more information about the task force, click here:  YALSA Advocacy Resources: Community Listening Task Force

Volunteers will be working on a timeline.  The timeline is listed below:

  • Taskforce is formed and work begins: September 1, 2020
  • Taskforce reports results to YALSA board March 15, 2021 
  • YALSA Board Advocacy strategic committee develops next steps for implementation April 15, 2021

If you have additional questions, please contact: YALSA President, Amanda Barnhart at AmandaBarnhart@kclibrary.org.

If you are interested in serving on this task force, please  contact Letitia Smith at lsmith@ala.org by Friday, August 21.

Thank you for volunteering and your service to YALSA!
Sincerely,
Your YALSA Board

Spring Appointments Update

Greetings, all—

I am pleased to report to you that the Spring appointments for the 2020-2021 strategic committees have been completed. Spring appointments include member volunteers who submitted an application(s) over the period of December 2019 through February 2020. After the application form closed in February, I rolled up my sleeves to begin. Yet I was hardly aware of what lay ahead for us all nor did I suspect how quickly I would find myself navigating new aspects of what was clearly no longer a simple task. It will likely not surprise you to hear that I was thrown off course in several attempts to appoint members due to the unanticipated effects of COVID-19. 

Each year the YALSA President-Elect strives to complete all Spring appointments by the end of May. As we are now into the month of July, I want to offer my sincere regret for any YALSA member that has not received an update about their submitted application until now. I am grateful and inspired by all of you who have chosen to commit their time and efforts to support YALSA activities, especially given the challenges we face as a nation and a community, because your help is much needed. I thank each of you for the passion you bring to the field in finding solutions, maintaining relationships, and spearheading new methods for connecting teens to libraries, information, and resources. 

Stay tuned for more volunteer opportunities (a few brand new ones) advertised on the YALSAblog. Also, the Fall application cycle opens soon for all YALSA Award Selection Committees, Selected Lists Blogging Teams, and Juries. Please consider throwing in your name to be considered by the YALSA President-Elect Kelly Czarnecki. Much information on volunteering can be found on the YALSA site, but more Outreach efforts will be forthcoming in the following months. Should you have any questions about this upcoming application cycle, please feel free to reach out to Kelly via kellyczarnecki1@gmail.com

Thank You… and Welcome, Amanda!

Hi everyone,

I want to thank YALSA members, the Board, and Staff for all of the assistance provided over the course of my presidential year. Every challenge has presented a new opportunity for us, and change has always been a great motivator for me. I hope that these past few months have energized you in ways never before considered. The pandemic continues to affect all of us, and presented the need to pivot from what we thought was normal. The fight for racial justice has rallied people together like never before to correct the ills of the past and present and work together for a better future for everyone. In so many instances, seeing and reading that teens are leading the charge for change tells me that the work that we do is important. Black Lives Matter.

I want to take this opportunity to welcome YALSA’s new President, Amanda Barnhart! Amanda and I have worked together over the course of this past year and did our best to serve you, our members. I look forward to helping her to ensure that her presidential year is a successful one. At our recent Board meetings, we approved a Short-term Strategic Plan focused specifically on the needs of members for this coming year. I also want to welcome Kelly Czarnecki as YALSA’s President-Elect. I have one more year on the Board, as Immediate Past-President, and will work to serve as a sort of institutional memory and mentor, among other key roles. The three of us do our best, along with the rest of the YALSA Board, to lead the association as we look to the future!

Thank you again for your support, and for all you do for and with teens.

Todd Krueger, YALSA President 2019-2020

YALSA Seeks Board Candidates for 2021

Are you passionate about teens and teen services? Do you want to be an ambassador and advocate for YALSA? Then you should consider taking a leadership role in our organization. The Board Development Committee is looking for dedicated, committed volunteers with the skills and desire to run for several board positions: Director-at-Large, Division Councilor and Vice President/President-Elect.

YALSA’s volunteer members are the driving force behind our organization and make it the innovative, responsive organization it is. Dedicated volunteer leaders run the organization and influence its future.  You can find out more about the responsibilities of Vice-President/President-Elect and Division Councilor positions here and Director-at-Large position here. These positions are elected by the membership for a three-year term.

Each year, specific positions are available, and each opening has requirements based on its description and the current makeup of the Board. The Board Development Committee is looking for the most qualified individuals and broad representation. This includes a commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion. As the YALSA Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Plan states: “The vision for YALSA is to be a diverse, inclusive and equitable organization which flourishes on the exchange of ideas from different perspectives. We believe the diversity of viewpoints that comes from different life experiences, identities, cultural backgrounds, and more enables YALSA to better achieve its mission to support library staff in alleviating the challenges teens face, and in putting all teens ‒ especially those with the greatest needs ‒ on the path to successful and fulfilling lives.” Having this kind of representation on the Board allows YALSA to attract new members and retain long term ones, all the while making sure we are innovative, educational, professional and fun.

If you feel you have what it takes for one of these leadership roles, fill out the Governance Candidacy Form. The Board Development Committee reviews all the forms and looks for the best match of skills and background for the available positions. Submit the form by July 31.

Don’t wait to let us know you are interested! The Board Development Committee’s deadline is coming up fast. We only have until the end of the summer to present a slate of candidates to the YALSA board for approval. Successful candidates will run for election in the Spring of 2021 and begin their terms in June 2021 at the Annual Conference in Chicago.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Gail Tobin (gtobin@stdl.org) or Ritchie Momon (RMomon@mymcpl.org), the Board Development Committee Co-Chairs.

 

Incoming YALSA President Seeks Taskforce Members

The incoming YALSA President 2020-2021, Amanda Barnhart, seeks member volunteers to serve on the Presidential Taskforce. This role is for a one-year virtual appointment whereby the taskforce will focus on developing activities that support the President’s theme, Representation in Recruitment and Retention: Further Supporting YALSA’s EDI Plan. Three outcomes will guide the taskforce work,

  1. From such examples of how to start an affinity group to understanding intersectional identities, the Presidential Taskforce will work with YALSA staff to develop and provide the membership with quarterly continuing education strategies and ideas that support and celebrate the diversity of library staff and the teens they serve.
  2. The taskforce will identify and engage in efforts that aim to study the value of YALSA resources amongst library staff who work with teens that are seen as “non-members.” There are many non-member library staff whose actions adhere to the YALSA mission or support the YALSA vision and who utilize YALSA resources regardless of having purchased a YALSA membership.
  3. Finally, the taskforce will develop a report that includes findings from the aforementioned study, as well as provide recommendations on strategies for engaging non-members.

Consider applying for this taskforce as an opportunity to further develop your network with fellow advocates invested in EDI work. At the same time, please consider your capacity and knowledge to valuably contribute to conversations on equity, diversity, and inclusion. Interested members should contact Amanda via email AmandaBarnhart@kclibrary.org with a reply to the prompt: Explain which outcome you feel is most important and why. Applicants may also include relevant education or experience. Deadline for volunteering is Monday, June 22nd.

The direction of this taskforce was also influenced by recent work from the YALSA Division and Membership Promotion Committee 2019-2020. YALSA appreciates their efforts in engaging with LIS students and their ideas on reaching out to affiliates.

YALSA Seeks Member Volunteers

Have you ever presented at a local or national conference? Or are you a long-time participant at YALSA webinars or conference and Symposium sessions? YALSA is currently seeking member volunteers, including a committee chair, for the newly created Education Advisory Committee (EAC). The date to apply has been extended to June 10, 2020. 

The role of the Education Advisory Committee is to assist with providing appropriate and timely topics for continuing education offerings and identifying qualified individuals to facilitate continuing education sessions. Our communities are quickly changing and evolving in response to current issues which requires library staff to remain up to date on information and skills if libraries are to remain relevant in the 21st century. 

Providing your voice and direction to the EAC will help guide YALSA in its educational endeavors. Becoming a member volunteer of the EAC is an excellent opportunity to collaborate with your peers and make a difference in continuing education by assuring YALSA is offering relevant and timely content. YALSA needs your leadership in promoting CE opportunities and recognizing the contribution of facilitators and presenters, which is crucial for the growth of our profession and the teens that we impact.

The chair for the EAC serves in an Ex-Officio position on the Board of Directors and attends two board meetings a year. The EAC is a virtual committee with a one year (12 months) term beginning July 1 and is renewable. Complete this form by June 10th to apply.

YALSA Board created the Education Advisory Committee (EAC) to assist with identifying and providing feedback on Continuing Education topics to YALSA’s Executive Director and the newly created position of Program Officer for Continuing Education and Development. You may find more information about the board document here.

YALSA Plans for Fiscal Challenges 

Last month, your YALSA Executive Committee moved forward with budgeting plans for the next fiscal year and in setting a priority to fund strategic planning activities. We’ve also been keyed into finding solutions for the programs and activities that were scheduled for the 2020 ALA Annual conference. In doing so, your YALSA Board is moving these pieces along with special attention to our fiduciary obligations given the current ALA financial environment.

During fiscal year 2020, YALSA’s budget plans were substantially impacted as current funds were utilized to cover ALA expenses. Furthermore, not just YALSA funds, but all other ALA division budgets were also impacted. The utilization of division funds is fully within ALA authority and is a strategy all divisions agreed upon, as is stated in the ALA operating agreement. With these current financial challenges in mind, your YALSA board is planning the next fiscal year’s activities from the seat of a zero-based budget to address our overall YALSA financial health. Perhaps you may wonder “but what does that really mean?” In a nutshell, this means:

  • The YALSA Board continues to fully support that we are ALL ALA and maintains shared ALA values.
  • The YALSA Board values the flexibility of the ALA operating agreement that provides us the opportunity to achieve our mission: to support library staff in alleviating the challenges teens face, and in putting all teens – especially those with the greatest need – on the path to successful and fulfilling lives.
  • The YALSA Board is interested in addressing solutions for improving the operating agreement’s policy strategies. One such strategy may be supporting a more efficient and targeted communication within the internal ALA structure on such matters. In other words, the YALSA Board is more interested in moving forward together, rather than dwelling on any errors of yesterday.

This also means that, as we move through these opportunities and challenges, we welcome your questions, comments, or concerns you may have regarding our financial situation. While we may have our own perspectives, your voice is vitally important in guiding the YALSA Board and focusing our efforts in better collaboration with our ALA Executive Board on YALSA members’ priorities.

We appreciate your time in sharing your thoughts regarding the future of YALSA’s financial health and, in doing so, the financial health of ALA.

Todd Krueger, YALSA President, and Amanda Barnhart, YALSA President-Elect

Kelly Czarnecki wins 2021-2022 YALSA presidency

2020-2021 YALSA President-Elect Kelly CzarneckiKelly Czarnecki, Teen Loft Manager at ImaginOn in Charlotte, NC, has been elected as YALSA’s 2020-2021 division president-elect. Czarnecki will begin her three-year term as president-elect in June of 2020, becoming president starting in June of 2021, and remain active on the board for one year as past president in 2022. Voting took place March 9 – April 1.

“It is such an honor to be elected to this position by the members,” said Czarnecki. “I am grateful and look forward to continuing to get their input to move toward YALSA’s future. In these unchartered times during this pandemic, I am hopeful that in working with the board, along with past presidents, we will continue to seek solutions to inevitable shifts we’ll see in library services. In allowing ourselves to listen and engage with teens, we’ll continue to be a viable organization that will meet their needs.”

Highlights of Czarnecki’s involvement in YALSA include:

  • Serving as a content expert for the YALSA Programming HQ
  • Serving on the YALSA Programming Guidelines Development Task Force
  • Serving on the YALSA Advisory Board
  • Serving on several YALSA committees including Technology, Gaming, and Outreach to YAs with Special Needs

In addition to the president-elect position, YALSA members have also elected Kate Denier as Fiscal Officer and both Susannah Goldstein and Dawn McMillian as Directors-at-Large. All three positions will serve three-year terms.

Learn more about YALSA elections at www.ala.org/yalsa/workingwithyalsa/election.