Don’t forget to VOTE!

Hi! I’m Beth Gallaway, a new addition to the YALSA blogging team. I’ve been charged with blogging “about ALA from a YALSA perspective.” I’ve been a YALSA member since 1998, have served on a variety of committees, am an SUS trainer, blogged the last 3 conferences for PLA, and in case you didn’t know it, I’m into video games, currently conquering Guitar Hero.

So, today, March 16, marked the beginning of ALA’s online voting. On the ballots are changes to bylaws, as well as names for selecting our next slate of councilors, board members, and folks to serve on a variety of committees.

My login (ALA membership #) and a unique password were emailed to me with instructions. I went to https://www.alavote.org/2006/ and logged in easily.

I belong to both ALSC and YALSA, so I had 2 division ballots in addition to the main ALA ballot. On each ballot, candidate names had a button next to them, labeled “bio,” Clicking the button made a new window open, showing individual credentials: resume, publications, committee work, accomplishments, and often, a personal statement. Even the bylaw changes had bios that included the original language, the proposed change, and the board’s current stance on the issue. So, even if you feel you haven’t done your homework, you can become an informed voter on the spot.

It took me about 15 minutes to complete all three ballots. If you missed the names of Youth Division members running for ALA council at large, Beth Yoke sent them out on YALSA-L a few weeks ago. The following list is not an endorsement and provided for informational purposes; I leave it up to all of you to consider the implications of having the interests of ALSC and YALSA brought to the Big ALA table–or not.

Cassandra Barnett
Elizabeth (Beth) E. Bingham
Carolyn Brodie
Luann Cogliser
Heidi Dolamore
Eva Efron
Ann Dutton Ewbank

Nancy Fredericks
Carolyn P. Giambra
Dora T. Ho
Dennis J. LeLoup
Virginia (Ginny) Moore
Ria Newhouse
M.A. (Peg) Oettinger
Brenda Pruitt-Annisette
Ellen Riordan

Frances Roscello
Barbara Silverman
Clara Sitter
Margie Thomas
Nancy P. Zimmerman

As far as the issues go, increasing dues are perhaps the biggest one. Amy Alessio outlines the benefits of a YALSA dues increase in her post on March 14. The modest $10 that YALSA is asking for means giving up seeing one movie. Or two of those fancy coffee drinks. Or not buying one gaming magazine. 🙂 And the benefits will bring us an extra $50K, now that we’ve hit 5000 members! (Congrats by the way to Marybeth Gallant, a library teacher in Ashland MA, her library is a member of the region I work for as a library trainer/consultant for youth services).

Increases in ALA dues are on the ballot this year too, with a proposed increase of $10 a year each year for three years. American Librarians Online conducted a poll in January, querying members about the proposed increase and 87% of the 510 respondents voted NO even though it has been 10 years since the last dues increase, and the cost of doing business increases each year.

I know many of our salaries have stagnated in the past few years, and perhaps the amount wouldn’t hurt so much if there were payment plans (like the amount deducted periodically from our paychecks) or if all libraries were willing to pay for staff professional memberships, but we are fortunate that dues are low compared to other professional organizations, and that we get so much bang for our bucks. How much use do you get out of ALA publications? Booklists? Website? Grants? Support? Professional Development? What’s it really worth?

For more information about ALA dues increases, check out the following:
ALA Q& A: Dues Increase:
http://www.ala.org/ala/ourassociation/governingdocs/aheadto2010/qaduesincrease.htm

Executive Director Explains Need for Dues Increase:
http://www.ala.org/ala/alonline/selectedarticles/duesincrease.htm

2006 AL Direct Straw Poll Results
http://www.ala.org/ala/alonline/aldirecta/2006pollresults/2006polls.htm

Online voting continues through April 24, 2006. If you have trouble, help is only a call or email away: User Support: call 800-974-8099 or e-mail 2006electionhelp AT alavote DOT org – note that support is monitored only from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday – Friday (excluding April 14, 2005).

~posted by Beth Gallaway

TAGS and Advocacy

Posted by Paula Brehm-Heeger

Thanks to everyone for the great comments about TAG activities. Clearly, TAGs can be an invaluable tool when it comes to building effective teen services! Some unique TAG activities mentioned in comments from the field include asking TAG members to:

  • Speak at staff training events
  • Ask questions of candidates for Teen Librarian positions
  • Create booklists
  • Help with children’s programs
  • Offer general feedback about service
  • Plan special theme-based programs

A few of these suggestions hint at the advocacy role TAGs can play internally – advocating for service to teens within the Library organization.

What about the role TAGs play in advocating for the Library in the community, particularly with other teens? How do your TAG members raise the profile of the Library? Could they be doing more?

Get Ready to Vote!

Posted by Amy Alessio

The ballots will open in a few days, and hopefully readers have had a chance to look through all of the interviews and questions on the YALSA Election Blog. When you start voting, please remember to vote Yes for the YALSA Dues increase. A $10 difference in dues will make a huge impact in YALSA services.

Since our last dues increase in 1994, we have established the Michael L. Printz Award, expanded our lists of selected books and materials and created Teen Read Week. With this dues increase we will be able to do even more:

1. Expand Teen Read Week

2. Develop 3 new awards (audiobooks, first time YA author, outstanding achievement in YA librarianship)
3. Create and disseminate new selected lists (such as Teens Top Ten and Graphic Novels)
4. Provide expanded online resources and tools to help members do their job (CE opportunities, online communities, blogs, podcasting)
5. Develop a YA Literature Symposium

Online Literacies Class – The Final Week

Posted by Linda W. Braun

This is the end of the final week of YALSA’s class on new teen literacies. Along with the reading required for the week, students are also submitting a final project. For their project students have to provide an overview of an innovative library program or service that uses the technologies and literacies discussed in the class. The projects submitted are amazing and cover a range of possibilities for bringing hi-quality service to teens. They range from projects with wikis, blogs, RSS feeds, games, and more. Wow to the students in the class. I can tell we are going to see some really wonderful services to teens from those who participated.

Posted by Paula Brehm-Heeger

Welcome to the TAGS section of the blog! YALSA’s TAGS committee will host this section, and as the current TAGS chair, I’m pleased to kick off the discussion. Other members – Judy Macaluso, Kendra Skellen, Lisa Youngblood and Melissa Jenvey – will be posting TAGS-related questions, comments, suggestions and resource ideas in the near future, too. The key is for everyone reading the blog to share their thoughts, questions and comments about Teen Advisory Groups – we knows there is a lot to discuss when it comes to growing and maintaining a dynamic, energized TAG!

So, take a minute to brag about your TAG and tell us what you love most about your group and why? A little background information about your TAG would be great, too.

If your TAG is not already registered with YALSA’s TAGS directory, here’s your chance to sign up: http://www.ala.org/yalsatemplate.cfm?section=yalsa&template=cfapps/yalsa_tags/default.cfm

Meet the Printz Award ’08 Candidates

Posted by Amy Alessio:

This committee has to choose the best titles for Young Adults from 2007. When I see all the input in YALSA-BK about the winners each year, I am amazed that only 15% of YALSA members vote on the ballot. Now is your chance to meet the hard working folks who will be reading hundreds of titles on this committee.

Running on the spring ballot for the 2008 Printz Committee are: Julie Bartel, Janet Buttenweiser, Donna Cook, Elizabeth Elam, Walter Mayes, Lynn Rutan, Tricia Suellentrop and Cheryl Ward.

This blog gives them a chance to introduce themselves and let you know why you may want to vote for them.

Meet the Margaret Edwards ’08 Candidates

Posted by Amy Alessio:

Members of the Margaret Edwards Committee award a YA author for lifetime achievement. Running for the 2008 award committee are: Chris Carlson, Ruth Cox Clark, Erin Downey-Howerton, Kimberley Hrivnak, Kimberly Paone and Kelly Vikstrom

This forum gives members a chance to get to know candidates before voting begins this month. Candidates will introduce themselves here and let readers know why you should choose them for this committee.

Questions from Current VP for VP/Pres. Candidates

Posted by Amy Alessio:

Judy Nelson is getting ready to take on the job as YALSA President after the Annual Conference in June. She asked me to post this message for Allen & Paula:

Now that you’ve decided to commit yourself to YALSA for the next three years, what won’t you be doing in your spare time?

Where do you see YALSA in five years? (besides closing in on being the largest division of ALA)

Dealing with Spam

Posted by Linda W. Braun

During the first halcyon days of the YALSA blog everything was great. Then, just a week or two ago the honeymoon was over. Well, not entirely, but it was obvious that the spammers had discovered us. Not so slowly I started finding spam comments and trackbacks on the blog. The number of these that are added to the site has increased over the past couple of weeks. Now, simply deleting and reporting doesn’t cut it. That’s why we’ve decided that in the near future anyone who wants to post a comment on the blog will have to have registered as a user. Anyone can register and the information entered won’t be seen or used by anyone – ALA or otherwise.

I thought it was important to let people know that one day a comment post will require registration and login. There is a good reason for this – the spam – and once the registration/login procedure is setup no one should encounter spam on the site.

We hope commenters will still comment. And, once registered it will be a simple process to login and post. (BTW, you can register now. To do that click on the “Register” button on the lower right of the blog.)

Thanks for listening.

Meet the Board Candidates

Posted by Amy Alessio

YALSA Board members are involved in every aspect of our organization. This year we have a very qualified and interesting slate of candidates to choose from. This blog gives members a chance to get to know them better before voting. The candidates are Erin Helmrich, Don Kenney, Kim Patton and Mike Pawuk.

Board candidates are invited to tell blog readers a little about their background and qualifications and why they are running for YALSA Board.
Members are welcome to post follow up questions.