As you know, Beth Yoke tendered her resignation as YALSA Executive Director in January. The search for the new Executive Director is currently underway.
The search committee includes three members of the YALSA Executive Committee and four ALA staff members:
- Sandra Hughes-Hassell, YALSA President
- Crystle Martin, YALSA President Elect
- Todd Krueger, YALSA Division Councilor
- Mary Ghikas, ALA Executive Director
- Dan Hoppe, ALA AED of Human Resources
- Aimee Strittmatter, ALSC Executive Director
- Beatrice Calvin, ALA Manager of Professional Development.
The job was posted Friday, March 2, on the ALAJobList. It is also being posted to other sites, including sites that are frequented by individuals seeking association executive director positions.
The committee will review and rank applications as they are received – we have already received a number of applications. On April 17th, the committee will have a conference call to determine which 8-11 of the applicants will move on to the next step in the process.
Our goal is to have a new Executive Director in place by August 31, 2018. As the process moves forward, I will continue to keep you updated. If you have any questions about the process, please reach out to me, Crystle, or Todd.
YALSA President 2017-2018
In a December blog post, we alerted you that a petition was circulating among ALA members to put a measure on the ALA 2018 ballot to overturn the 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. The petition received the requisite number of signatures, which means ALA members will be asked to vote on this issue during the elections, which run from March 12 – April 4.
YALSA’s Board of Directors strongly encourages our members to vote no on this ballot measure. The YALSA Board unanimously supports the recommendations of the ALA Executive Board, the ALA Search Committee, ten of the eleven ALA divisions, and the ALA Council, that the MLIS is preferred but not required for Executive Director candidates.
The rationale for our decision includes the following:
- 38.3% of ALA members do not have an MLIS.
- ALA is not a library. It is an association that represents and advocates for libraries. Industry best practice indicates that the executive director position of a nonprofit organization, especially one as large and complex as ALA, requires expertise in nonprofit and association leadership.
- If ALA limits the pool of candidates by requiring all applicants to have an MLIS, it will exclude qualified people of diverse backgrounds who, for whatever reason, chose not to dedicate their education to librarianship. According to ALA’s Diversity Counts report, 88% of credentialed librarians are white and 83% are female. Since diversity is a key action area for ALA, the executive director search should be conducted in a manner that allows for the greatest potential of attracting qualified applicants from underrepresented communities.
- Talented, mission-driven nonprofit leaders want to be part of ALA because they value libraries and the good work ALA does. Requiring a MLIS limits the pool of qualified candidates by excluding this group of experts. As ALA President Jim Neal explained, “The search firm and the search committee were contacted by such individuals but they were not able to be considered. Individuals with other educational backgrounds were recommended to the search committee, but they could not be recruited as candidates.”
For additional perspectives on why the MLIS should be preferred and not required, please see the statements issued by ALSC and PLA.
As you know, the search for a new ALA Executive Director was declared a failed search, and the ALA Executive Board has appointed long-time ALA Senior Associate Executive Director Mary Ghikas to serve as ALA Executive Director until 2020.
The search for the new executive director will be reopened this summer. During this current political climate, when institutions like libraries are under attack, ALA needs a strong leader and we cannot afford to put up unnecessary barriers to highly qualified and diverse individuals to applying for this job. We hope you will join us and vote no on this ballot measure. A “no” vote means that you want to keep the current language approved by ALA Council last year, which states and MLIS is preferred, but not required.
Sandra Hughes-Hassell, 2017 – 2018 YALSA President
Todd Krueger, YALSA Division Councilor
Save the date for March 6, 2018, for the virtual YALSA Candidates’ Forum, which will be moderated by Past President, Candice Mack! Drop in any time between 5:00 and 6:00pm, eastern, to meet the candidates for YALSA’s 2018 slate and learn a bit about their vision for moving YALSA forward. Can’t make it? The session will be recorded and distributed via YALSA’s weekly member eNews. And be on the look-out for Candidate Interviews right here on the YALSAblog, which are coming in March. To participate in the Forum via Zoom, a video conferencing platform, use this URL on March 6: https://zoom.us/j/543777816. To participate via phone, call 408.638.0968. The meeting ID is 543 777 816. Voting for YALSA and ALA elections opens on March 12 and runs through April 4. A link to your ballot will be emailed to you from ALA. Learn more on ALA’s web site.
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