YALSA Board: Organization & Bylaws Committee Update

For a while now, the YALSA Board has been looking at the new Organizational plan and considering ways to move forward and best serve our members. One change that we have decided to implement is standardizing the way that members come to serve on Awards Committees. Historically, the Alex, Morris, and Odyssey committee members have been appointed to committees, while the Edwards, Printz, and Nonfiction members have been varied–some members were appointed while other were elected by YALSA members.

After a vote by YALSA membership, the change has become official: where Edwards, Printz, and Nonfiction committee members once had multiple paths to follow, now all committee members will be appointed.

What these changes mean:

  • There is now only one path to the award committees. Each member will now go through the same appointments process at the same time
  • There is no longer any need for an Awards Nominating Committee as well as the second round of appointments that now happens after the election is over
  • There will hopefully be less eligibility issues, because oftentimes members put their name forward both through the nominating committee process and via the Committee Volunteer form. In the past, the nominating committee has not always known what other award committees the candidate may have signed up for

This change will simplify the process of serving on an awards committee for our members, as well as for members at large.

Another change that the YALSA Board has decided to implement in accordance with our Organizational Plan is the refocusing and renaming of the Governance Nominating Committee to instead become a Board Development Committee. This refocused committee will take on the role of board training and assessment, and will cultivate new leaders in YALSA. This change will also shift the responsibilities of the Executive Committee, allowing them to give more emphasis to ALA relations and fiscal oversight.

The Board Development Committee will begin their work on January 1, 2018, and will be evaluated after a year of work in order to assess the success of these changes.

These changes are meant to make YALSA more aligned with our Organizational Plan, and to make our organization simpler to navigate and more efficient for our members.

Please contact Melissa McBride, Chair of Organization & Bylaws, at mcbride.melissa[@]gmail.com or Sarah Hill, YALSA President, at gsarahthelibrarian[@]gmail.com with any questions or concerns.

Kelsey Socha is a member of the Organization & Bylaws Committee, a SLIS Master’s Candidate at Simmons College, and a librarian at several libraries in the Boston area.

YALSA Executive Committee Update

Tomorrow the YALSA Executive Committee will hold its virtual Spring meeting! I’m joined on this committee by President-Elect Sandra Hughes-Hassell, Past President Candice Mack, Division Councilor Todd Krueger, Fiscal Office Nick Buron, Secretary Crystle Martin, and Executive Director Beth Yoke.

The YALSA Board of Directors is the decision-making body of YALSA, so the meeting will be a discussion session. The Executive Committee focuses on strengthening YALSA’s relationship to ALA by fostering strong ties with ALA governance, as well as providing oversight and support for fiscal planning.  Take a look at the agenda and the committee documents.  If you have any questions about the Executive Committee’s meeting, please contact me at gsarahthelibrarian [at] gmail [dot] com.

Stay tuned for more posts about the Executive Committee’s meeting in the coming days that my colleagues will be writing!

President’s Report – March 2017

Happy School Library Month, National Library Week, and National Volunteer Week!  April is a big month for libraries–celebrate with your co-workers and your patrons!

Accomplishments

  • As a result of the White House’s budget proposes eliminating all federal funds for libraries, YALSA‘s Board  voted to re-opened the travel stipend application in order to send an additional member to Washington D.C. to advocate for teens and libraries. The stipend, funded by Friends of YALSA, enables one qualified recipient to receive up to $1,000 to attend ALA’s 2017 National Library Legislative Day, in Washington, D.C., May 1-2, 2017. Apply online by April 10.  Applicants will be notified the week of April 17.
  • Wrote a blogpost addressing how IMLS funds help libraries in Illinois.
  • Participated in conference call with ALA President Julie Todaro, the ALA Washington Office, and other division presidents and leaders about strategies to #saveIMLS
  • Wrote a blogpost as a followup to Feb. 28’s YALSA Member Town Hall about taking social action
  • The March monthly chat with the YALSA Board was facilitated by Rob Johnson, who also co-led the Board’s Cultural Competency training at Midwinter.  Board members reviewed current YALSA products and services and discussed possible board actions: monitor, streamline, update, or sunset.  No actions were taken, but this initial conversation was necessary to gauge the possible actions over the next few months in order to initiate new projects aligned to the organizational plan. Look for more information coming soon in the exectuve committee documents and the YALSA board documents for Annual.
  • Checked in with the three new task forces that were created by the Board at Midwinter
  • Checked in with The Hub member manager Molly Wetta to see how the first year of blogging Amazing Audiobooks and Quick Picks was going

Works in Progress

  • YALSA Member Leah Weyand has submitted a petition to form a Teen Services Coordinators Interest Group. The Board is discussing the document this week and will vote on the proposal virtually next week.
  • Working with the Executive Committee to plan the YALSA Executive Committee virtual meeting April 18. Look for documents being posted here soon.
  • Working with board standing committees to prepare board documents for virtual discussion before Annual
  • Planning for National Volunteer Week, National Library Workers’ Day and School Library Month!
  • Preparing to attend National Library Legislative Day in May!

Stats and Data

  • Not yet available

Don’t Forget!

  • Registration is now open for the 2017 YA Services Symposium, which will take place Nov. 3-5 in Louisville, KY. Register now through Sept. 15 and save with early bird rates! Housing is also open now through Oct. 1.
  • Register for the webinar Building Their Own World: Teen Driven Community Engagement on Thurs., April 20 at 2PM EST.  In this upcoming webinar, discover how teen library initiatives, by providing a positive, open and creative environment, can encourage teen participation in activities like local elections and service learning projects, and provide exposure to experiences that boost cultural competence. Learn more or reserve your seat.
  • Don’t forget to check out the Current Projects page to stay updated on what’s going on!

THANK YOU

  • to all our members for all that you do to support teens and teen library services in your communities!

Respectfully submitted,

Sarah Hill, YALSA President 2016-2017

An IMLS Overview

If you are anything like the general population you know that the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) does SOMETHING with libraries (and museums) but you really have no idea what it does. We hope by now that you know that IMLS is on this year’s chopping block, per the White House’s proposed budget, but aren’t sure how it will affect you, and why it’s a big deal.

And these cuts are a Big Deal. The IMLS is fairly young, as government organizations go, having been created in 1996 by the Museum and Library Services Act (the act combined the Institute of Museum services and the Library Programs Office), and is reauthorized every 5 years, but it touches every state and US Territory in the country. IMLS now supports all libraries- public, academic, research, tribal, and special as well as every type of museum- from children’s to planetariums to history. Over 158,000 museums and libraries combined benefit from IMLS funds every year.

The majority of IMLS support to libraries is the Grants to States program. Grants to States is the biggest source of federal funding for libraries across the country. It is a bit of a misnomer, because these grants aren’t competitive or something that requires an application. Every state automatically receives funding from Grants to States based on population needs, over $150 million dollars in funds is distributed to libraries every year through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). Each state receives a base amount of $680,000 and each Territory receives a base amount of $60,000, which is then matched at the state level. (To find out how your state uses LSTA funds visit the IMLS State Profile Page.)

Each state or US Territory is able to determine how they will allot these funds, and many states distribute their library portion through their State Library. These funds support a variety of library functions and operations. States use this money to fund staff at state library agencies, continuing education for library workers, Talking Books programs (books for the blind and physically handicapped), broadband internet access, programs for teens, seniors, and at-risk populations, access to databases and downloadable books, and much more. Visit your state library’s web site to learn more about all of the resources and services they have available to help you help teens.

The IMLS also supports libraries through competitive grants, research, surveys, and policy development. The IMLS works in partnership with state agencies and museums to collect data and distribute the collected information to state and federal agencies. This data is used to identify the upcoming trends in library and museum services and to identify target needs across the country. These trends are studied and policies for best practices and plans to improve them are established. Initiatives on InterLibrary Loan, staffing, library governance, collections and more are developed through these extensive surveys and research.

Without the funding from the IMLS libraries will be facing far-reaching budget and service cuts. We will see the funds for things such as the databases we depend on for research dwindle, the funds for downloadable content dry up, and our state agencies will likely lose valuable staff that support our work at the local level. Statewide library funds will effectively be halved by these measures, putting library services and libraries at risk.

How can you help?

Facts and figures drawn from https://www.imls.gov/

ACT NOW for LSTA and IAL! #saveIMLS

If you care about teens and how library services improve their lives, I need you to contact your House Representative to sign the House “Dear Appropriator” letters supporting LSTA and the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL).  There are only two business days left, and in the last update received from ALA Washington, we don’t even have the same amount of supporters that we had last year! And we need so many more signers than that!

Check out the online tracking tool to see who needs contacted.  Historically, Democrats are more likely to sign onto the letters, but, as you can see from the tracker, many of them haven’t yet this year. Is your representative supporting LSTA? If not, call!  If so, call and thank him or her! We only have until April 3, so you need to contact them TODAY!

What do you do? Call. On this website, click on the red “Make a Call” box and then send a tweet and an email while you’re at it! Customize the provided messages.   Leave voice mails when you have to, but try to keep calling until you reach a staff member.

What do you say? Ask them to sign the LSTA Dear Appropriator letters TODAY. And you can even refer them to the staff of Rep. Raul Grijalva to add their name to the letter.

Why? Because we can’t provide quality services to teens without LSTA funds.

LSTA funding is close to my heart–you can see the proof in my resume.  My students have benefited from almost $70,000 of LSTA funding since FY05.  Grants doubled my high school budget in some years, while providing new technologies (back then) like a SmartBoard and wifi for my kids. I was able to provide internet safety workshops in my community–something I probably wouldn’t have initiated if it weren’t for the grant opportunity.   One year LSTA funds allowed me to bring in a reading specialist to provide professional development to my fellow high school teachers (because secondary education degrees didn’t prepare us to teach reading), and another year my collection grew to support AP History students.  Even now that I’m at a community college, my students have benefited from LSTA funds.  In 2014, my library purchased children’s and teen nonfiction books in the areas of science, technology, engineering, arts, and math and I gave presentations about using quality literature to meet the new Illinois learning standards (Common Core).  It’s impossible to list all the outcomes of the above grants in my community.  I still remember when I taught students about privacy on MySpace (yes, I’m old) and they were spurred into action to go straight home and change their settings (remember the days before smartphones?).

Please remember though that LSTA is more than just competitive grants.  In my state, LSTA funds provide the Illinois State Library Talking Book and Braille Service to over 12,000 residents who cannot read print because of physical or visual limitations. LSTA funds also supplement material delivery services in the state.  Total statewide delivery in FY16 was over 14 million items to patrons in need.  It’s a joy to see my college’s items being loaned to high school students in small towns hours away.  In FY17, Project Next Generation funded 19 grants to Illinois public libraries to encourage personal growth and the educational development of at risk students through the use of mentors, technology, and library based group projects. While the program helped to bridge the digital divide, students became more college and career ready, established relationships with positive role models, had fun, and learned new technologies.

Please gather your friends, family members, coworkers, and patrons, and send as many calls, emails and tweets that you possibly can today, Friday, and Monday.

In the words of Emily Sheketoff from the ALA Washington office, “We’re almost out of time and failure in this effort may well mean deep cuts in, or even the elimination of, LSTA funding for FY 2018. WE CANNOT AND MUST NOT FAIL.”

President’s Report – February 2017

Accomplishments

  • Participated in many phone calls and email conversations with YALSA staff, board members, and committee members
  • The February monthly chat with the YALSA Board was facilitated by Rob Johnson, who also co-led the Cultural Competency training at Midwinter.  Board members reviewed current YALSA products and services and discussed possible board actions: monitor, streamline, update, or sunset.  No actions were taken, but this initial conversation was necessary to gauge the possible actions over the next few months in order to initiate new projects aligned to the organizational plan.
  • Appointed chairs and members of three new task forces that were created by the Board at Midwinter
  • Filled vacancies on various strategic committees as they occurred
  • Held a YALSA Member Town Hall about Social Action on Feb. 28.  Read more about it here.
  • The Board moved to accept this proposal to move to a short-term, point-of-need mentoring effort, and directs the Executive Director to work with the CE Consultant to create an implementation plan and submit a progress report to the board for its June 2017 meeting.
  • Communicated with ALA President Julie Todaro, YALSA’s representative to the ALA Executive Board, with followup from Midwinter
  • More than 50 YALSA members volunteered to serve as bloggers for Quick Picks and Amazing Audiobooks this year!
  • The Board’s three standing committees reviewed the quarterly reporting forms from chairs and board members should have responded where necessary to chairs.
  • ALSC endorsed  YALSA’s Position Paper – The Library’s Role in Protecting Teen Privacy
  • Worked the exhibit booth at the Illinois Youth Services Institute in Springfield, Illinois, and hosted an energizing meetup conversation about College, Career, and Adulting for Teens

Works in Progress

  • Working with the Executive Committee to plan the YALSA Executive Committee virtual meeting in April
  • Working with board standing committees to prepare board documents for virtual discussion before Annual
  • Planning for National Volunteer Week, National Library Workers’ Day and School Library Month!
  • Preparing to attend National Library Legislative Day in May!

Stats and Data

  • January member stats:  4,847 members (down 6.9% from this time last year)
  • Fundraising: $620 in February

Don’t Forget!

  • I voted in the ALA /YALSA election yesterday, did you? Check your email for your ballot because the ALA/YALSA election is now open! See the sample ballot here, and let me know if you have any questions.
  • Register now for the webinar on March 16: STEM Impact Through Youth Voice.
  • Don’t forget to check out the Current Projects page to stay updated on what’s going on!

THANK YOU

  • to our Executive Director Beth Yoke! She recently submitted the new YALSA Research Agenda to the Issuelab, a service of Foundation Center.  The website collects, connects, and shares knowledge about critical social issues in an easy-to-use database.  You can also find the The Futures of Library Services for & With Teens: A Call to Action and the Executive Summary in the database. It’s awesome that non-library organization can find our important publications easily!
  • to all our members for all that you do to support teens and teen library services in your communities!

Respectfully submitted,

Sarah Hill, YALSA President 2016-2017

2017 YALSA Elections: Fiscal Officer Candidate Clara N. Bohrer

Get ready to vote! The YALSA election runs from March 13 through April 5, and to help you be an informed voter, we’re sharing interviews with each of the 2017 YALSA Governance and 2019 Selection Committee candidates.

Today we’ll hear from the candidates for YALSA Fiscal Officer. The Fiscal Officer serves a three-year term, and is a member of YALSA’s Executive Committee, along with the President, President-Elect, Past President, Secretary, and Councilor. The primary responsibility of the Fiscal Officer is to work with the Board, Financial Advancement Committee and Executive Director to ensure the fiscal health of the association through proper financial oversight so that there are adequate resources for the organization to fulfill its mission. The Fiscal Officer also has all the normal duties of a Board member. A full description of the Fiscal Officer’s duties and responsibilities can be found here.

Today we have an interview with Clara N. Bohrer.

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2017 YALSA Elections: Board Member-at-Large Candidate Franklin L. Escobedo

Get ready to vote! The YALSA election runs from March 13 through April 5, and to help you be an informed voter, we’re sharing interviews with each of the 2017 YALSA Governance and 2019 Selection Committee candidates.

Today we’ll hear from a candidate for Board Director-at-large. YALSA Board members serve two-year terms, during which they jointly determine YALSA’s policies, programs, and strategic direction, in accordance with YALSA’s bylaws. They attend both virtual and in-person meetings and serve as liaisons to YALSA’s committee chairs and members. A full description of Board duties and responsibilities can be found here.

Today we have an interview with Franklin L. Escobedo.

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2017 YALSA Elections: Board Member-at-Large Candidate Derek Ivie

Get ready to vote! The YALSA election runs from March 13 through April 5, and to help you be an informed voter, we’re sharing interviews with each of the 2017 YALSA Governance and 2019 Selection Committee candidates.

Today we’ll hear from a candidate for Board Director-at-large. YALSA Board members serve three-year terms, during which they jointly determine YALSA’s policies, programs, and strategic direction, in accordance with YALSA’s bylaws. They attend both virtual and in-person meetings and serve as liaisons to YALSA’s committee chairs and members. A full description of Board duties and responsibilities can be found here.

Today we have an interview with Derek Ivie.

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2017 YALSA Elections: Board Member-at-Large Candidate Jess Snow

Get ready to vote! The YALSA election runs from March 13 through April 5, and to help you be an informed voter, we’re sharing interviews with each of the 2017 YALSA Governance and 2019 Selection Committee candidates.

Today we’ll hear from a candidate for Board Director-at-large. YALSA Board members serve three-year terms, during which they jointly determine YALSA’s policies, programs, and strategic direction, in accordance with YALSA’s bylaws. They attend both virtual and in-person meetings and serve as liaisons to YALSA’s committee chairs and members. A full description of Board duties and responsibilities can be found here.

Today we have an interview with Jess Snow.

Continue reading