A Month in the Life of a YALSA President

In late July, a second round of A Day in the Life of a Library, launched. As I read posts librarians wrote for this project about how they spend their days as librarians, I started thinking how I spend my time as YALSA President. And, while it’s not a 9 to 5 job as is that of many librarians, it is something that I spend at least a bit of time on every day. I thought to myself, what about a blog post on a month in the life of a YALSA President?

It’s just over a month since I took on the job of YALSA President, and I can’t quite believe both that it’s been that long and all the conversations I’ve had about YALSA with a variety of people in that time. Don’t worry, this post isn’t going to go through every day of my first month as YALSA President, Continue reading

Librarian Demographics

If you offer me a choice between going to a conference program and observing the work of a committee or board…I’ll pick the committee’  and board stuff almost every time. You’ll find debate, controversy, and loads of interesting discussions.

Yesterday, I observed the ALA Executive Board. They had a pretty interesting agenda, including a report on librarian demographics. It was fascinating stuff and merits discussion amongst a wider audience.

The demographers have not compiled their findings into a final report, and it will probably be a while before we see their interpretations. I’ll walk you through the slides, but keep in mind…while the numbers aren’t completely raw, you might consider them still medium-rare. Continue reading

Update on Board I

Hello members (and conference goers),
Today the YALSA board began its meeting at this Annual Conference. It’s very exciting to see how much we’ve already accomplished!
The Board officially approved the creation of several new member groups: Intellectual Freedom interest group, Outreach to Young Adults with Special Needs interest group, Partnerships Advocating for Teens interest group, Professional Development interest group, and Serving Older Teens interest group.
The Board accepted the YALSA-TV Taskforce’s final report and voted to appoint a group to begin implementing the ideas contained in the report.
A proposal to form a Past Presidents Committee was approved.
A proposal to create an all virtual reader’s choice list was approved.
A few items on the agenda were moved (our agenda gets adopted with flexibility, which allows us to do this), including item #14 (Modernizing the Selected List Portfolio) which has been moved out of the action portion of the agenda and into the discussion portion.
Official minutes from the Board meeting will be posted after the conference, but I hope this message gives some insight into what sorts of things occur during Board meetings. If you are interested in considering serving on the YALSA Board or learning more about association governance, I encourage you to consider sitting in on all or part of a meeting.

Sarah Debraski
YALSA President

Thinking About Board Meetings

Hello YALSA world!

I am so excited to be here in Chicago at the ALA Annual Conference. Along with the rest of the Board I’ve been busy reading our Board documents and preparing for the meeting, as well as for our other scheduled events.

We’ll be covering many items during the course of the agenda including some that propose new ways of serving members.

I find it useful to gain context and history by reading past minutes of prior Board meetings. These can be accessed here:

http://ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/yalsa/boardandcommittees/boardcommittees.cfm#minutes

All Board meetings are open. There have been a couple of schedule changes to the agenda. Item #21 will be addressed around 5pm on Saturday and item #14 will be addressed around 11am on Monday.

I look forward to seeing many of you very soon!

Sarah Cornish Debraski

YALSA President

YALSA Leadership

The YALSA Board is comprised of dedicated, thoughtful, lively member leaders who come together to discuss the direction of our association.’  Recently, Board member Sandra Payne resigned from the Board due to personal reasons.’  We thank Sandra for her service and will miss her.’  According to the YALSA Bylaws,’ ‘ Vacancies other than those provided for in these Bylaws shall be filled by the Board of Directors by appointment until the next annual election, at which time two candidates shall be nominated to fill each unexpired term.” (Article XIII, Section 15) The Board of Directors has appointed Jerene Battisti to fill this position.’  Jerene will begin serving immediately and through the next Annual conference.

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What will ALA be in 2015?

Every five years, ALA conducts a major evaluation of programs and services and plans for the future. A series of discussion forums will be held at state and regional meetings in the coming months to gather ideas.’  Be sure to attend and advocate for the interests of teens and YALSA! 9000 members participated in a recent survey to evaluate our progress towards the 2010 goals and help shape our association in the years to come. Were your opinions counted? Be on the lookout for opportunities to provide feedback and have a voice in ALA’s new strategic plan. What is your vision for the future of ALA?

Council & ALA Connect

Some interesting discussion going on over on the ALA Council email list. Raise your hand if you don’t know what Council is….

Ah, I thought so.

Council is one of the ALA über-committees, responsible for policy and governance for the entire association. Think of it like Congress…there are elected representatives from every chapter, division, round table, and whatnot. I’m an at-large Councilor, nearing the end of my three year term. Not much YALSA representation on Council at the moment, so you should think about running.

At the moment, Councilors are discussing ALA Connect on the listserv. Some are trying it out, posting discussions there. Some contend that it’s better to keep discussion all in one place, rather than scattered around in a bunch of places where you have to go look for it.

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Getting Involved – Not Just About YALSA

Recently I’ve written posts about the YALSA committee appointment process and the value of participating in YALSA via its various committees.’  Of course that involvement is essential to the success of YALSA. Along with involvement in the Division, it’s also important for YALSA members to participate in the larger ALA governance and ALA community.’  One way to do that is to get your name on the ballot to run for ALA Council.

Why would you want to do that? The video below provides some good reasons. Continue reading

It Takes Lots of Talk to Fill a Committee

As I’ve written before, it’s process committee appointment time. That doesn’t mean that I sit around reading through forms and match volunteers with committees. While that’s a part of the process, I’m also having phone conversations with current chairs of process committees in order to better understand the work of each committee, what skills the committee chair needs to bring to the committee, and to learn about the skills needed by committee members.

As a result, I’m doing a lot of talking. But, the committee chairs are also doing a lot of talking and it’s great.’  Continue reading

It’s That Time Again

Yes, it’s true, and maybe hard to believe, but it’s time again for me to take on one of my roles as YALSA Vice-President/President-Elect, and remind people to fill out committee volunteer forms. This winter and spring I’ll be appointing members to YALSA’s process committees.

The purpose of YALSA process committees is:

…to help carry out the business of the association by handling matters such as membership recruitment, planning Teen Read Week, local arrangements at conferences, and much more.’  If you have not served on a committee before, process committees are where you can get your start.’  Thirty-three percent of the members of a process committee can be virtual. Continue reading