As a part of the Organizational Plan, YALSA renewed the Interest Group model to provide an easy way for members to get involved. If you are looking for a simple way to find members in your area, or who are aligned with your passion, consider joining or starting an Interest Group. Unlike committees, these are not appointed. Members can opt into them any time, and there is no minimum commitment of work or requirement to attend conferences.
Interest Groups are grassroots and member-driven so if you are passionate about something that doesn’t yet have an Interest Group, making one is easy! Work with the Executive Director to develop a petition, get 15 signatures from members who want to be a part of the group, and submit your proposal to YALSA’s Board of Directors. Next, plan a meet-up or make virtual space to engage community members.
We currently have six Interest Groups ranging from local area groups to topics on mental health and picture books for teens. At Midwinter, the YALSA Board of Directors will be revisiting a plan on how we can best encourage and support the Interest Groups. Originally presented in 2017 the plan lays out a year and half of work to support and grow Interest Groups from the simple, like quarterly messages to members advertising the opportunity, to the much more complex, like a manual for Interest Group conveners.
The Board will hear an update on the plan thus far, and moving forward we will discuss how we define success for Interest Groups, what steps YALSA can take to set Interest Groups up for success, and we can best promote Interest Groups to members.
If you are a member of an Interest Group, or thinking about starting one, we would love to hear from you what you think. Leave a comment or send me an email and let me know. 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.
1. Educational requirements for the next ALA Executive Director
Council has been preoccupied with discussion and voting on the educational requirements for the next ALA Executive Director. As was outlined in the YALSA blog post, making a decision whether or not this position requires the MLIS or CAEP-equivalent has been an ongoing battle. Currently the petition that asked the decision to be put in the hands in the membership as a whole has received enough signatures to put the measure on the spring ALA ballot.
2. Resolutions & Youth Council Caucus
There have not yet been any resolutions brought forward as of January 15. The Councilor will keep the Board apprised if and as resolutions are submitted. There have been no resolutions discussed among the members of the Youth Council Caucus at this time, aside from a couple memorial resolutions.
3. Moving Meetings out of Texas
A Councilor inquired about the possibility of moving the 2022 MW meeting out of San Antonio due to “bathroom bill” legislation before the Texas assembly. The American Association of Law Libraries had announced that they would no longer hold conferences in Texas for this reason. A robust online discussion followed, which included some providing reasons for maintaining the MW22 site and others decrying it. California’s law prohibiting state-funded travel to eight states, including Texas, was discussed. PLA’s 2020 conference in Nashville, Tennessee, slated to occur in another of those eight states, was also mentioned. Jim Neal and the Executive Board were to discuss this matter, but there has been no announcement about a decision at this time.
After 13+ years at the helm of YALSA, Beth Yoke, our Executive Director, has tendered her resignation, effective August 31, 2018, to begin the next chapter of her career. During her time with YALSA Beth has helped the Board to advance its mission and support our members. She has led a dedicated team, each of whom play an integral role in the everyday running of our organization and in our success as an organization in supporting our members. While we are sad to see Beth leave, we are grateful for her leadership and wish her the best of luck in her next position.
YALSA’s Board has begun implementation of YALSA’s succession plan, with the goal of having a replacement in place by August 31st to ensure continuity and a smooth transition to a new Executive Director. We will provide updates to the membership periodically as the search process progresses.
I am confident that as a community YALSA will be able to move forward in a productive and unifying manner.
If you have questions, please reach out to me or to any of the other Board members.
YALSA President 2017-2018
I just did a search in the YALSA Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff document on the word “policies” and found 13 results. That’s not surprising since it’s essential to make sure that a library’s use and customer related policies allow for high-quality teen services. However, have you looked at the internal staff policies and procedures your library has in place that might hinder developing the skills needed as outlined in the Competencies? For example.
- Are there internal policies that make it hard to get out of the building in order to become skilled at developing relationships with community members, partners, families, and even teens? What policies are there about desk time and/or how you are supposed to spend your time while at work? Do these make it hard to succeed in areas related to Community and Family Engagement?
- What about professional learning polices or procedures that focus the Continuous Learning you can engage in in areas that do not allow for the skill and knowledge development covered in the Competencies? Continue reading
I apologize for getting this report out later than normal, but I wanted to wait until we had information on the funds raised in November. According to the ALA Development Office YALSA raised $7,962 from online donations and $1,886.50 at the symposium for a total of $9,578.50. Combined with other funds raised in December we met our challenge goal of $10,000 which means ALA added another $10,000. With this $20,000 YALSA can provide more support to our members in the form of awards, grants, and scholarships. Thanks to everyone who donated and to everyone who helped get the word out about the challenge! A special thank you to the members of the Financial Advancement Committee who provide oversight and continued enhancement of the Friends of YALSA program, including promotion, fundraising and donor recognition!
As you may know, the YALSA Board works year round. The Executive Committee meets at least quarterly, more often if necessary, and the Presidents (current, elect, and past) meet once a month. The Board is divided into three Standing Committees, each with a task list aligned with the Organizational Plan. The entire Board meets monthly for “chats” which are often focused on our own professional development as Board members. And finally, we create, discuss and vote on Board documents virtually. Check out the documents we’ve approved since annual 2017 here. We are in the process of preparing for Midwinter so much of December was devoted to planning agendas, writing Board documents, and coordinating with other ALA divisions and offices.
Here are a few other items of interest:
Stats and Data
- Funds raised in Nov. = $7,962 (online), $1,886.50 (at the symposium)
- Member stats for Nov. = 4,808 (down 2.4% over this time last year)
- The Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers blogging team has released the 2018 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
- The Amazing Audiobooks blogging team has released two lists: The 2018 Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults and the Top Ten Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults
- The YALSA Board approved a new version of YALSA’s Competencies. Make sure to check out the YALSA Blog to learn more about these competencies. Find out about the upcoming free webinar competencies series here.
- Check out the latest volume of the Journal of Research on Libraries & Young Adults for cutting edge research
- Check out the The Hub for the the latest on YA resources!
- Check out the Current Projects page to stay updated on what’s going on!
- To the Amazing Audiobooks blogging team!
- To the Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers blogging team!
- To Heather Barnes who served as YALSA Board Fellow from July – December. We wish you the best with your new job responsibilities!
- To all our members for all that you do to support teens and teen library services in your communities.
Sandra Hughes-Hassell, YALSA President 2017-2018
Follow me on twitter @Bridge2Lit
My dad always says, only fools and newcomers predict the weather in Colorado, and I’ve been here too long to be a newcomer. Since he was born here, we always accepted that as gospel and take every weather prediction with a grain of salt. In February, the weather in Denver can range between a high of 10 and 70 degrees without causing the natives to blink. It can be sunny, cloudy, rainy, snowy or windy and usually at some time during the day it will change. Packing for a visit can be a challenge.
It’s true that weather forecasting has improved since my father’s day, but be prepared for surprises. Layers are the answer – and lots of them. Something for a sunny day and something for a cold day with everything in between. The Convention Center will have food of course, but there are dozens of more interesting restaurants a short walk away. Even walking two blocks to the Sixteenth Street Free Mall Ride can be a quick way to get up and down to many destinations, and you’ll want the right gear for those short jaunts. I recommend wool socks, shoes with some tread, cardigans that can tie around the waist if it’s warm and button up tight if it’s cold. Scarves or pashminas are another protective layer to add when it turns nippy but shed easily when the sun shines. Don’t forget a hat and gloves. The hat is useful if it’s sunny and a real bonus if it’s cold. Evenings are almost always cool to downright cold. If you plan to be out and about, that’s the time to be sure you have your warmest layers with you.
When you come to Denver you are arriving at a mile above sea level, and this has an effect on your body that is not always immediately noticeable. Drink water! This is the single thing that everyone advises. Also, it’s important to eat regular meals and cut back on caffeine and alcohol. Many people complain of headaches, and while aspirin or Advil can help, the best advice is to hydrate and eat regularly. Your body will need fuel. You may also notice that you are tired and yawning. Given the conference schedule, it is hard to get enough rest, but a catnap or two will be of great benefit. The first day is the hardest; be extra gentle with yourself and give your body time to adjust. A few days into the schedule will be better than when you first arrive.
Denver’s a great city with lots to do. There’s a ice skating rink downtown, wonderful museums, a fabulous library. I’m sure you’ll enjoy my home town! We offer a western welcome and don’t be surprised if people say hello as you walk down the street. Enjoy your visit and ALA Midwinter 2018!
Recently retired from Denver Public Library, Carol Edwards grew up in Denver and is a second generation native. Her home is known to extended family as Chez Carol and she’s heard a great deal of discussion of how hard it is to pack for a visit to Colorado and the impact of high altitude. Carol doesn’t claim to be an expert, just someone who wants everyone to have a great visit for ALA Midwinter.
Back in 2010, I was a member of the taskforce that worked on what was then called Competencies for Librarians Serving Youth. With the release of YALSA’s new Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff and my ten year anniversary in my current role, I have been looking back and remembering past projects. I think the evolution of these competencies is an excellent example of the paradigm shift that staff serving teens have felt over the last five years, that was so eloquently illustrated in the Futures Report.
The first thing I noticed comparing these two documents is pretty simple, putting teens first. In 2010 each competency was very staff and adult focused. It was still a time when staff serving teen weren’t seen as industry professionals and you can see that reflected in the document. The 2017 competencies leads with teens! Competency areas like “Teen Growth and Development” and “Youth Engagement and Leadership” are the first thing you see. The Futures Report described a shift to put teens first and YALSA’s organizational plan followed suit. Now the Competencies reflect that change and will continue to lead us into that paradigm shift.
As a young librarian, it can be difficult to find your footing. After receiving my degree and being a teen services librarian for a little over a year, I was thrilled to embark on the journey to Louisville in early November for this year’s YALSA Symposium, made possible by YALSA’s travel stipend. I was expecting a weekend full of information and new ideas, but I wasn’t expecting to come home with a new outlook on teen services and a reinvigorated passion for my job, which is exactly what happened!
Teens often feel like no one understands or cares about them, and I hear
this often from the teens that frequent my library. At the Symposium I realized that bringing them into the library wasn’t enough – I had to build a community of teens that supported one another and could make changes within their own communities, as adults are separate from the lives of teens in so many ways. Nearly every session I attended in Louisville focused on communities in some way, through either building a community of teens or drawing the surrounding community into the library through partnerships and local resources.
There are loads of things to do while you are in Denver for ALA Midwinter! To take a break from the conference and see the city I would recommend taking in at least two of my top 5 places to visit.
The Downtown Aquarium in Denver is my top choice for things to do. It could be because I love seeing things up close, it could be because I love going at my own pace, or it could simply be because Colorado is a land locked state so seeing tropical fish is super fun! Although it is a little pricey, the experience is worth it and once in the building, you can go through as many times as you would like. The Aquarium also has a 4-D Theater for those that really want to “feel” the experience. A must-see when you are in Denver.
Number two of top things to do in Denver when taking a break from ALA Midwinter is the Denver Zoo! The Denver Zoo is a wonderful experience and a great way to relax after a busy day at ALA Midwinter. The Zoo is laid out to include many different climates for different types of animals so you will get your steps in. As an added fun bonus, you can purchase beer at the zoo and enjoy a cold one as you get to experience all the sights and sounds of the numerous animals.
No visit to Denver is complete without a visit to the nature and science museum! The hands-on experience you will get at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science will ignite anyone’s curiosity for sure. With Bill Nye speaking at ALA Midwinter, it is a great tie-in to what will be experienced at the conference.
With all the focus on animals, don’t forget to give plants some love while you are in Denver. The Denver Botanic Gardens is another great adventure to see plants both native and not native to the Colorado region. Take a walk through and enjoy the peaceful experience of the gardens.
To round out my top 5 places to visit in Denver, escape to the Denver Art Museum. The traditionalist and the modern artist will find peace in the galleries. Many exhibitions will be open during ALA Midwinter including “Revealing a Mexican Masterpiece: The Virgin of Valvanera”, “Then, Now, Next: Evolution of an Architectural Icon”, “Stampede: Animals in Art”, and “Past the Tangled Present”. Also opening on February 11th, the exhibit “Degas: A Passion for Perfection”. The Denver Art Museum is the sole American venue for this exhibition.
Because I couldn’t just end at 5 things, take in a show at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts while in town. Choose from 4 different shows during the weekend of ALA Midwinter. All are sure to be a fun time!
Antonia Krupicka-Smith is the Adult and Teen Services Manager for Library 21c of the Pikes Peak Library District in Colorado Springs, CO. She loves all things science which is clear in what she thinks is best to do in Denver!