YALSA Symposium Inspiration from a Stipend Winner

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.
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ALA Midwinter 2018: Fun Places to Visit in Denver

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.

  1. Downtown Aquarium

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.

  1. Denver Zoo

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.

  1. Denver Museum of Nature & Science

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.

  1. Denver Botanic Gardens

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.

  1. Denver Art Museum

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.

*Bonus Activity!

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!

Research on Competency Content Area 2: Interactions with Teens

Authored by the YALSA Research Committee

Throughout the current term, the YALSA Research Committee will be looking at Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff through the lens of research.  Through our posts, we will attempt to provide a brief snapshot of how scholarship currently addresses some of the issues put forth through the standards.

This post focuses on Content Area 2: Interactions with Teens, which is generally described as “Recognizes the importance of relationships and communication in the development and implementation of quality teen services, and implements techniques and strategies to support teens individually and in group experiences to develop self-concept, identity, coping mechanisms, and positive interactions with their peers and adults.” Bernier (2011) approached the notion of youth patron engagement by examining media representations of young adults.  The author argued that libraries, like most institutions, institute policies and assign resources for groups based on cultural assumptions, such as those established and reinforced by news media.  In his content analysis of news stories, Bernier found that teens are generally negatively portrayed, often as voiceless criminals, trouble-makers, and in need of adult rescue. Bernier encouraged libraries who serve young adults to deliberately consider their institutional approach to this group with regard to policies, resources, space, and relationships with teens.

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ALA Midwinter 2018: Yummy Places to Eat in Denver

Denver has some amazing restaurants! While reading this post, you’ll discover that I’d never make it as a food critic. That said, I do enjoy really tasty food and have a very particular sister-in-law who has introduced me to some excellent places.

Pasta – gluten free, too.

Angelos Taverna puts together some mean pasta dishes – and has delicious gluten free pasta (the additional $5 is worth it).  The Gorgonzola Steak Fettuccine was wonderful.

Something a bit fancy!

Corridor 44 in Larimer Square is a small but neat place to try. They do lots of fun drinks with champagne. Their food ranges from Scottish salmon to beet salad to a short rib melt. I highly suggest that short rib melt. Nighttime at Larimer Square is a lovely place to walk around even if you aren’t going to eat in the area. 

Want a quick treat?

The Market at Larimer Square is a fun spot with a variety of baked goods, fresh salads, and hot drinks. The teas warm me up on a cold day!

Dive bar food with lots of class

As their website says, “Fried chicken and champagne? Why the hell not?” Max’s Wine Dive in Denver has a great atmosphere and a wonderful wine list to go with the fried chicken (gluten free option, too). Checkout their website – lots of tasty items including sweet potato donuts at brunch!

Your party can’t agree?

Try Avanti: they have loads of choices. Think food truck style, but enclosed. There are seven different vendors in the space – I’ve tried most and they are good. American Grind, Brava! Pizzeria Della Strada, Chow Morso, Kaya Kitchen, QuickFish, Quiero Arepas, and The Regional.

Like I said above, I’m not a food critic – there are only so many ways that I know how to say that something is yummy. Enjoy exploring Denver and all the delicious places we have to eat.

 

Joanna Nelson Rendón is an adult services manager and the young adult services division head for Pikes Peak Library District, Colorado Springs, Colorado. She is an adjunct professor for the University of Denver’s MLIS program and is on their Program Advisory Board. Joanna is the co-chair for the Colorado Association of Libraries’ Leadership Development. She is a blogger for Public Libraries Online. Joanna loves hiking, salsa dancing, and, of course, reading!

Volunteer for YALSA Committees, Advisory Boards, and Taskforces by February 1

It’s that time of year again! As YALSA President-Elect, I’ll make appointments in February for the following virtual YALSA groups that will begin work in early to mid 2018.

  • AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee on School/Public Library Cooperation (1 year term): This joint committee will design and conduct a project of mutual interest and benefit to the three participating ALA Divisions, working from a platform identified by the AASL/ALSC/YALSA Presidents-Elect.
  • Division and Membership Promotion Committee (1 year term): To work with staff to develop and pursue an aggressive and continuous campaign to recruit and retain members for YALSA; to promote the association to colleagues and to key partners as defined in the YALSA Strategic Plan; to promote and maintain good relations with existing members through activities such as the member booth at conferences; recognition of member anniversaries and outreach to lapsed members.
  • YALS/YALSAblog Editorial Advisory Board (1 year term): To serve as advisor to the co-chairs of the Advisory Board, the editor of YALS and the YALSAblog Member Manager, on the overall content of the print journal and the blog. To take an active role in determining content for both publications and an annual editorial calendar that identifies timely topics as well as authors for articles and blog posts. To create messages and content to promote the blog and the journal and to cross-populate each to highlight the content and focus of each publication. To work to ensure that key YALSA guidelines, resources, initiatives, etc. are integrated into the blog and the journal. To assist with the search process for a new editor or member manager, when appropriate.
  • Financial Advancement Committee (1 year term): Provide oversight and continued enhancement of the Friends of YALSA program, including promotion, fundraising and donor recognition.   Work with the Board year-round to create and implement virtual fundraising campaigns and fundraising efforts at conferences, aimed at both members and nonmembers, to support the $16,000 worth of scholarships and stipends YALSA gives out annually.  Periodically review YALSA’s Fundraising Toolkit and make updates, as needed.  Size – 1 chair, who sits ex-officio on the YALSA board, and a least one member from the previous year.
  • JRLYA Advisory Board (1 year term): YALSA’s Research Journal Advisory Board oversees the peer reviewing process as outlined in the Refereeing Process Guidelines that were approved by the YALSA Board of Directors. The Board also serves in an advisory capacity to the Member Editor of the journal by assisting with the solicitation of contributors and articles as well as generating ideas for topical articles or themes, when requested from the Member Editor.
  • Organization and Bylaws Committee (1 year term): To revise the Bylaws in order to clarify them and, when necessary, to recommend revision and amendment to improve them for the effective management of the division, for the achievement of its stated objectives, and to keep them in harmony with ALA Constitution and Bylaws; to study and review committee functions, recommending changes in committee structure; to advise on the organization handbook; and to make recommendations on other appropriate organizational matters.
  • Research Committee (1 year term): To stimulate, encourage, guide, and direct the research needs of the field of young adult library services, and to regularly compile abstracts, disseminate research findings, update YALSA’s Research Agenda as needed and to liaise with ALA’s Committee on Research & Statistics.
  • 2019 Summer Learning Taskforce (1 year term): To leverage state and local networks to promote the applications for summer learning grants. To vet the applicants for the grants and by February 12, 2018, choose the 20 applications that best meet the eligibility requirements as measured by their responses to questions on the application.  To vet the applicants for the summer intern grants and choose the 20 best by February 26, 2017. To compile and/or create resources focused specifically on assisting library staff with implementing summer learning programs and activities and add them to YALSA’s wiki as they are developed.  To seed discussions and share resources on the Summer Learning Ning.
  • Teens’ Top Ten Committee (1 year term): To facilitate the exchange of information and galleys of books published within the current and previous publishing years among the voting teen group members as well as the non-voting members; to annually prepare the “Teens’ Top 10” list for Teen Read Week; and to coordinate the public electronic vote. To assist with the collection and vetting of applications from libraries who wish to host an official reading group.
  • The Hub Advisory Board (1 year term): The Hub Advisory Board participates in the development and maintenance of the Hub and follows the guidelines for the site as set out by the YALSA Board of Directors. The Advisory Board also serves in an advisory capacity to the Member Manager of the site and assists with the collection of content for the site, generates ideas for content, works on getting teen and librarian input and feedback, facilitates marketing and PR as needed, and writes for the site as needed.
  • YA Symposium Planning + Marketing Taskforces (6 month term): To assist YALSA’s Program Officer with the planning and marketing of the conference, including vetting papers and proposals, vetting scholarship applications, assisting the Program Officer with identifying authors and keynote speakers, and leveraging social media tools to promote the event and scholarship opportunities, and more. Members will regularly share content via social media and through their state and local networks to build excitement for and share information about the event. Members will work with YALSA’s Communications Specialist to assist with the implementation of a marketing plan.

Learn more about serving on advisory boards, committees, juries and taskforces via this FAQ.  You can gain valuable YALSA and professional development experience by volunteering to be on YALSA group.  You will also be helping YALSA achieve its mission to  “support library staff in alleviating the challenges teens face, and in putting all teens ‒ especially those with the greatest needs ‒ on the path to successful and fulfilling lives.”

Fill out the Committee Volunteer Form by Feb. 1, 2018. 

Thanks for all the time and talent you volunteer to YALSA!  If you’re looking for other ways to get involved, visit the YALSA web site for more opportunities or check out this brand new video from Jack Martin and Kate McNair!  If you have questions feel free to get in touch with me (crystle.martin@gmail.com).

Crystle Martin,  YALSA President-Elect

 

 

 

Update on the Search for the Next ALA Executive Director

Currently a petition is circulating among ALA members that attempts to put a measure on the ALA spring ballot in an effort to overturn the most recent 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. YALSA’s Board of Directors strongly favors retaining the current status that prefers that candidates hold the MLIS/CAEP degree rather than require it. We feel that in order to effectively lead a professional organization the size and scope of ALA, a person’s skill as an association executive is critical. If there is a degreed librarian with these skills, that would be most desirable.

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YALSA President’s Report – November 2017

Colleagues-

I’d like to begin this month’s President’s report by talking about an issue of importance to YALSA and to our members – the search for a new ALA Executive Director.  You may be aware that Keith Fiels, ALA’s Executive Director, retired in July and that an interim director is filling the role until the position can be permanently filled.  In November the ALA Council voted to make the MLIS a preferred degree for the ALA Executive Director position. Prior to the vote, the YALSA Board communicated our support for this decision to ALA Council and the ALA Executive Board in this Board document. Our rationale for this decision can be found in this Board document, approved at Midwinter 2017. Currently, a petition is circulating among the ALA membership, and if the minimum number of required signatures is met, the issue of whether or not an MLIS for the ALA Executive Director position would be preferred or required would be put on the spring 2018 ballot for a membership wide vote.

The YALSA Board strongly favors retaining the ALA Council decision that the MLIS be preferred, but not required.  As we know, the library profession is overwhelmingly white and female; however, ALA has made a commitment to diversity by adding an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion goal to its strategic plan – a decision we applaud.  Yet, by requiring an MLIS, we believe ALA would be narrowing the pool of potential candidates to mainly white, female candidates – a contradiction to ALA’s stated commitment to diversity.  Also, industry best practice indicates that the CEO position of a nonprofit professional organization requires expertise in nonprofit and association leadership, in addition to passion for the organization’s mission and a strong commitment to libraries and library values.

Proponents of requiring an MLIS for the ALA Executive Director position feel that the issue is a matter of professionalism: that not requiring an MLIS de-professionalizes librarianship; however, ALA is not a library.  It is an association.  YALSA’s Board is a strong proponent of maintaining professional standards for librarians and for other occupations.  Professional standards for the leader of a non-profit association like ALA are degrees such as a Master’s in nonprofit management, or certification, such as the American Society of Association Executive’s “Certified Association Executive” designation. It is critical that the person running an association like ALA has the relevant credentials and experience to do an excellent job. YALSA is only as strong as ALA, so it is in our best interest to ensure that individuals who are highly qualified and from diverse backgrounds are eligible to apply for the ALA Executive Director Position.

The previous ALA Executive Director announced his retirement in the fall of 2016.  Earlier in 2017 a search was conducted for a replacement that led to a failed search, caused in part by the fact that at the time the job description stated that an MLIS was required.  During this current political climate, when institutions like libraries are under attack, ALA needs a strong leader.  We cannot afford to be without a leader any longer, nor can we afford to put up unnecessary barriers to highly qualified and diverse individuals to applying for this job.  I hope you will stand with YALSA’s Board and ALA Council and agree that an MLIS degree for the ALA Executive Director should be preferred but not required.

In addition to working with the YALSA Board on this important issue, here are some highlights of my other activities in November.

Accomplishments

  • Attended the YALSA Symposium in Louisville
  • Delivered a presentation about the YALSA Futures Report at the YALSA/COSLA National Forum on Transforming Teen Services through Continuing Education
  • Presented the keynote address at the NY City School Librarian’s Conference
  • Prepared for the November Board chat where we discussed the 2017 YALSA member survey results
  • Wrote President’s column for the winter issue of YALS focused on youth activism through community engagement
  • Led YALSA Executive Committee meeting where we discussed YALSA finances and ALA relations

Stats and Data

  • Funds raised in Oct. = $1,346.52
  • Member stats for Oct. = 4,793 (down 3.4% over this time last year)

Don’t Forget!

  • Double your impact!  Between now and Jan. 15, 2018 any donation to YALSA up to $1,000 will be matched dollar for dollar by ALA! Find out more here.
  • The YALSA Board approved a new version of YALSA’s Competencies. Make sure to sign up for the free webinars
  • Check out the YALSA Blog and The Hub for great ideas and the latest on YA services and resources!
  • Check out the Current Projects page to stay updated on what’s going on!

Thank you!

  • To Diane Colson for her 2 ½ years of thoughtful and passionate service as a YALSA Board member! We wish you the best in your new job!
  • To everyone who has donated to the YALSA Leadership Endowment Challenge and who gave on Giving Tuesday!
  • To all our members for all that you do to support teens and teen library services in your communities.

Respectfully submitted,

Sandra Hughes-Hassell, YALSA President 2017-2018

Follow me on twitter @Bridge2Lit

 

YALSA Member Survey – Exploring Advocacy

Couldn’t pass up a picture of a cat in the White House!

To track progress on strategic goals, YALSA sends out an annual membership survey. This year, questions focused on how we practice advocacy at the local, state and national level.

One of the goals of the organizational plan was “100% of YALSA members conduct advocacy at some level and recognize that they are doing so. Activities include but not limited to participating in local youth development boards and groups.”  So in this year’s member survey we asked you what types of local and legislative library activities you have engaged in and if not, why not?

We were pleased and surprised by the results. The great news is that out of members who filled out the survey, 80% practiced local advocacy and 62% practiced legislative advocacy in the last year. With an incoming administration in the White House, ALA and YALSA called on members to share information about the impact of libraries and library funding in the lives of teens. And thanks to those 62% of members who engaged in legislative advocacy in the last year, we kept IMLS funds in the the federal budget.

The largest barriers to practicing legislative advocacy were having the time and the know how (about 17% of members responded they did not know how to engage in legislative advocacy and 16% indicated they just don’t have the time). If you are looking to build your skills in this area or quick resources that can help you have a big impact, check out:

We appreciate everyone who took the time to answer the member survey as we work to measure our progress toward the goals outlined in the organizational plan.

YALSA Local Arrangements BFYA Feedback Session

The YALSA Local Arrangements committee for ALA Midwinter in Denver, CO is recruiting youth participants for a Best Fiction for Young Adults feedback session. As you know, YALSA takes input from the youth very seriously. Not only does it allow us to shape and support our organizational goals, but also it creates a unique and valuable experience for all participants – those speaking and those listening.

For Denver we are interested in hearing 50 local teens tell us what they did or did not like about the books on the BFYA nomination list. The session will be held on Saturday, February 10th, from 1pm – 3pm. As a thank you, these lucky teens and sponsors will also get to tour the exhibition halls that morning and have lunch before the session begins.

All interested parties should submit an application for their groups here: https://goo.gl/forms/yowz4daGhFOBt7nH2

Hurry! The deadline to apply is DECEMBER 22nd.

Please direct any questions to Michelyne Gray at mgray@cherrycreekschools.org

Catch Up With a Past Grant Winner — Part 2

Thinking of applying for a Dollar General summer grant? Hear firsthand from 2015 summer learning grant winner Emily Otis, in Q&A style, about her 2015 summer program for Anaheim Public Library in California and how receiving the grant helped her and her teen patrons. This is the second of a short series in which we catch up with previous grant winners.

1. Please tell us a little bit about your library and your 2015 summer reading program.

2015 was the first time in many years that the Teen SRP was run by a dedicated Teen Librarian. After budget cuts and layoffs about 5 years before, one librarian shared responsibility for adult and teen collections and services. I was hired as Teen Librarian in the fall of 2014, and saw right away that YA collection development and teen programs had languished (as would be expected). Our SRP numbers from the year before had been relatively low, and there had been no programming. The theme for 2015 was Read To the Rhythm, so I planned musically inspired programs, had teen volunteers create a musical mural to hang in the teen space, and went out to the high school to promote the program and drum up participation. See More

The summer learning grant applications are open now until January 1st, 2018. There are two types of grants available, valued at $1000 each, and 40 total grants will be awarded. Eligibility requirements apply. More information and applications can be found here.