YALSA Board @ #alaac17

Happy LGBTQIA Pride Month!

YALSA’s Board has been hard at work since their last face-to-face meeting in Atlanta: continuing the work of the organizational plan, working on these projects, and planning for ALA Annual in Chicago!

Now, the Annual Conference is fast approaching, and I’m looking forward to the Printz Ceremony on Friday night, honoring Sarah Dessen at the Edwards Award Brunch on Saturday morning, talking with members at our Membership Meeting and President’s Program and so much more! You can find the details about these events and many more YALSA activities on the YALSA wiki.

In lieu of a happy hour this conference, YALSA is co-sponsoring The Other (Invisible) Refugees – Supporting Central American Children in Crisis on Saturday, June 24, from 4:30-6:30 pm in McCormick Place, W178a.  Join us for viewing a film from IBBY & REFORMA, and learn about the Children in Crisis Project, which seeks to raise awareness about these vulnerable youth and to provide resources to them. Donations are accepted at the door.

The Board agenda is up online, and more documents will be posted soon. Members can check them out in advance and send comments or feedback to me at gsarahthelibrarian @gmail.com. If you’ll be in Chicago for the conference, the first ten minutes of each of our board meetings are open to public comment. If you have a question for a particular board member about a document they’ve written, you can reach out to them here.

Be on the lookout for more blog posts in the two weeks from fellow Board members about the topics up for discussion and action.

You can stay up to date with all the conversations by following Executive Director Beth Yoke (@yalsa_director), myself (@glibrarian), and/or other YALSA board members for live tweets of adopted actions and discussion highlights. In addition, there will be follow-up blog posts explaining decisions and board actions once the conference is done.

Thanks for all that you do to make YALSA an awesome association, safe travels and hope to see you in Chicago!

President’s Report – May

Annual 2017 is almost here!  It’s been a busy month preparing for conference, but I’m looking forward to a productive and exciting week in Chicago!

Accomplishments

  • Led the May board chat about the 2017-2018 draft implementation plan.  Look for an updated version coming soon!
  • Beth Yoke submitted these comments on behalf of the YALSA board about net neutrality to the FCC website, urging the FCC to neither alter nor eliminate the Open Internet Order.
  • The Board moved to approve the establishment of a President’s Advisory Taskforce for in-coming President Sandra Hughes-Hassell.
  • Traveled to DC for my very first National Library Legislative Day and went to 7 meetings on the Hill in 7 hours!  It was energetic and eye-opening and I enjoyed the conversations I had with committee and Congress representatives. Some of the meetings were held jointly with my colleagues from AASL, ALSC, PLA, and ACRL. You can read more about my day in DC in Beth Yoke’s blogpost.
  • Communicated with YALSA representatives to ALA Committees about their upcoming meetings in Chicago
  • Because Franklin Escobedo will be moving to secretary after Annual (due to Crystle Martin being elected to President-Elect in April), the Board filled the vacancy with Derek Ivie. Welcome, Derek!
  • Completed quarterly report for executive committee
  • Worked with the Executive Director on the first draft of the agendas for the meetings of the Executive Committee and Board at Annual
  • Prepared an annual report to the ALA Council about YALSA’s achievements during the year
  • Filled the opening on BFYA with Matthew Layne and the vacancy on GGN with Gail Tobin.  Thank you, Matthew and Gail!
  • Answered questions from YALSA members about committees, task forces, and various other topics

Works in Progress

  • The Board is currently virtually discussing how to best utilize endowment interest.
  • Finalizing documents and agenda for all meetings at Annual in Chicago. All Annual board docs will be posted here in the next few weeks.
  • Assisting Sandra Hughes-Hassell, incoming president, with Board Training at Annual
  • Finalizing agenda for Joint Executive Committee meeting at Annual with ALSC and AASL
  • Preparing for the Membership Meeting/President’s Program about college, career, and life readiness for teens that will be held Monday, June 26, at 10:30a in W184bc
  • Will attend PLA’s diversity-focused library internship training program next week in D.C.

Stats and Data

  • Funds raised in April = $845
  • YALSA Membership 4,813 (down 7.2% over April 2016)

Don’t Forget!

  • Visit the YALSA at ALA’s 2017 Annual Conference webpage to find out what’s happening in Chicago! Join Sarah Dessen at the Edwards brunch!  Or Rep. Lewis at the Printz reception!
  • 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.
  • Log on to learn about YALSA leadership opportunities on June 20th at 2 pm ET! Check your e news email for the login info.
  • Members can reserve their free seat in the June 15 webinar: Creative Youth Development: Part One.
  • 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!
  • to YALSA staff and the YALSA board for your commitment to support our members!

Respectfully submitted,

Sarah Hill, YALSA President 2016-2017

Log On to Learn about Leadership Opportunities in YALSA on June 20th!

Interested in learning more about YALSA Governance? What does the Call for Nominations really mean? What does taking a leadership role in YALSA look like? Members just like you volunteer their time and energies to help direct the organization and fulfill YALSA’s mission and goals. Learn more about what you can do for YALSA and what YALSA can do for you! This online session on June 20th will be an informal conversation led by members of the Governance Nominating Committee, and an opportunity for you to ask questions and gain some insight into becoming a leader in YALSA.

The Meeting ID is 315 416 674.  Join the session any time between 2:00 – 3:00pm, eastern, from any of the following:

The recording of the session will be made available for those who are unable to attend the live event.  To learn more about being a board member, check out YALSA’s web site.

Supporting YALSA Committee Chairs and Members

I am pleased to announce that all the chairs and committee members have been appointed for YALSA’s 2017 – 2018 strategic committees and advisory boards. A big thank you to everyone who has agreed to lend their time and talents to YALSA!

To help groups get off to a good start, Kate McNair (current Board member) and I recorded a training session that provided some basic information for committee chairs and members. We covered topics such as:

On June 6th we’ll hold two live sessions in Zoom where committee chairs and members can come together to meet each other, to learn more about what we covered in the recorded session, and to get any questions answered.

My final two appointment tasks are to fill appointed positions on the Edwards, Nonfiction and Printz Award Committees, who will begin their work in Feb.  The volunteer form is open until June 2nd, and you can get the details in my earlier blog post.  I am also looking for individuals to serve on my President’s Advisory Taskforce.  Read this Board document for details.  Then, in July, Crystle Martin will appoint to four short-term taskforces that begin work in fall.  For other ways to get involved in YALSA, visit the web site.

And as always, thanks for what you do for YALSA and for teens!

Sandra Hughes-Hassell
President-Elect

President’s Report – April

Accomplishments

Works in Progress

  • Advocating!  Please email, Tweet and/or call the offices of your two U.S. Senators and ask them to sign on to the “dear appropriator” letters for two critical pieces of library funding: the Library Services Technology Act (LSTA) and Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL). Ready to use messages are waiting for you at: http://cqrcengage.com/ala/home
  • Advocate for Net Neutrality, too!  Go to www.gofccyourself.com, choose New Filing, and tell the FCC why we need the current regulation to stay in place.
  • Working with the board to plan the agenda for ALA Annual
  • Working with the board and YALSA Staff on the 2017-2018 Implementation Plan for our Strategic Plan
  • Preparing for committee chair transition after Annual
  • Searching for a YALSA Member to be the next Member Manager for The Hub–apply by June 1!

Stats and Data

  • Funds raised in March = $280
  • YALSA Membership 4,838 (down 6.8% over March 2016)

Don’t Forget!

THANK YOU

  • to all our members for all that you do to support teens and teen library services in your communities!
  • Thanks to the Teen Read Week Committee for their contributions to the TRW site and Unleash Your Story Manual!

Respectfully submitted,

Sarah Hill, YALSA President 2016-2017

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.”