YALSA Board at #ALAAC18: Measuring Volunteer Impact

Every year, hundreds of YALSA members fill out a volunteer form and serve on our committees, taskforces and give back in other ways. Over the past two years, since adopting our organizational plan, the YALSA Board has been hard at work to create volunteer opportunities that better fit the lives of our members. Focusing on:

  • Virtual opportunities (that don’t require travel to conferences)
  • Short-term opportunities (that don’t take a year or more commitment)
  • New and unique forms of volunteering (like resource retreats and micro-volunteering)

But in that time, we haven’t really changed how we ask our volunteers to report on the outcomes of their efforts. Committee chair still keep to the same quarterly reporting schedule, using the same quarterly reporting form from years ago (with a few minor updates and tweaks).

At Annual in New Orleans, the Board will be discussing how we can better measure the impact of our volunteer’s time and efforts. We’ll talk about the reporting schedule, what we want to measure and what trends we want to track over time. Learn more in Board Document 31.

See the full agenda of the Board of Directors at ALA Annual in New Orleans. All Board meetings are open to attendees, and you can learn more about the Board meetings on the wiki.

YALSA Board at #ALAAC18: Revised Chair Manual

At Midwinter 2018, the Board directed the Organization and Bylaws Committee to update and expand the existing Chair Manual. This update would:

• Reflect the Organizational Plan
• Include more big-picture information
• Add outcomes-focused content
• Update the virtual resources content
• Expand the responsibilities, communication, ethics and policies sections

The Organization and Bylaws Committee has made the requested changes, and has submitted board document #19 for review at ALA Annual in New Orleans. We are excited to receive feedback on this document, both from the Board and membership. Additional information can be found in the board document.

If you have any questions regarding the new Chair Manual, please contact Melissa McBride, Chair of Organization & Bylaws: mcbride.melissa@gmail.com

Preparing for Teen Volunteers: Promotions and Applications

At this point, most of you who are planning on having teen volunteers help you out with Summer Learning Program have probably already started working with your volunteers. It’s never too late or too early to start planning for next year. In this post, I’ll go through how we promoted our Summer Learning Program volunteer positions and how we handle applications.

Promotions

We were hoping to attract 20 volunteers this summer. So far we have had about 40 applicants, and we are still fielding applications. It’s always hard to pinpoint causes of success when it comes to dealing with the public, so I can’t say that we received more applicants than we hoped for because of how we marketed the positions. Our marketing approach, however, doesn’t seem to have failed. The two approaches used were personal contact and flyer distribution.

Word of mouth is an effective way to promote any event. Quite a few of the teen volunteers we have this year are individuals whom I or other staff members personally recruited. These were teens who showed some of the traits we look for in volunteers (work ethic, passion for reading, interest in the library, looking for things to do), and seemed to be a good fit. We also reached out to teens who volunteered in previous years. We keep contact information for all of our volunteers on file. Then, when an event like Summer Reading is on the horizon, we reach out and invite them to return. This has the added benefit of padding a volunteer roster with experienced volunteers.
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Research on Competency Content Area 9: Outcomes and Assessments

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.

Researching outcomes, libraries, and assessments, the research committee narrowed the research results to three relatively recent studies on outcomes and assessments. The first study examines advantages and disadvantages for end of programs assessments (EPA’s) for LIS master programs utilizing a survey. In the second report the research committee will highlight a case study of a LIS distant learning program with an outcome of over 90% graduation rate and what their assessments look like. The third report looks at a review of recent research of school libraries and the importance of using evidence for successful student outcomes.

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Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff: Putting the Competencies to Work

Looking for the best ways to align your work to the Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff? Join us for a free session Friday, June 22, from 1 to 4PM in room 343 of the Morial Convention Center, just prior to the ALA Annual Conference.

You will hear about how YALSA members have integrated the Competencies into their work and have the tools and resources you need to bring that transformation home. Bring a program plan, a job description, a policy, a staff and/or program evaluation tool, or another tool and workshop it along side library staff from around the country.

We’d like to know the types of projects people who plan to attend would like to discuss. That’s why we are asking those who think they will be there to submit our simple form.

If you have questions about the workshop contact YALSA’s CE Consultant, Linda W. Braun or Kate McNair, YALSA Board Member.

Don’t forget YALSA has developed an array of tools to help library staff use the Competencies. You’ll find them listed on the YALSA Competencies web page.

If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu – National Library Legislative Day 2018

I became a certified school librarian in 2006.  I spent my early years teaching in school libraries learning the job, honing my craft, attending professional development and reading copious amounts of children’s and young adult literature. The ongoing pursuit of these efforts was to improve my instructional practice, to get better and to grow as a librarian.

I spent countless hours reviewing journal articles about literacy, reading comprehension and instructional strategies. I read online posts from other librarians, reading teachers and classroom teachers. I studied best practices around research and inquiry. I pored over information literacy standards, reading standards and technology standards. I lurked on Twitter and compiled lists of relevant educational and library hashtags. I began posting some of my own educational content. I began teaching professional development coursework and presenting to my peers in-district and at conferences.

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New President’s Theme Implementation Taskforce

This year the Division Presidents are aligning their theme and all will focus on different aspects of EDI that speak to their Division. My Presidential theme will focus on supporting Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) through assessment and outcomes by identifying, overseeing planning, and implementing activities. The theme will build on the ground work laid by the Advancing Diversity Taskforce and Sandra Hughes-Hassell’s Presidential Theme promoting youth advocacy. It also speaks to the needs of members who are looking for guidance on impactful outcomes and assessment, and moves YALSA closer to reaching the goals it laid out in its implementation plan. It is an ambitious plan, but has potential for impact.

The Taskforce will last for a year tackling a variety of activities throughout. Activities will include:

Advocacy & Activism

  • Incorporate the theme into summer learning, Teen Read Week™ and Teen Tech Week™
  • Create position and/or issue papers on the theme

Leading the Transformation of Teen Services
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Transforming Library Services for & with Teens Through CE: The School of Life

cover of the reportAt the National Forum on Transforming Teen Services Through Continuing Education (CE), Shannon Peterson, Public Services Director at the Kitsap Regional Library in WA, spoke with Forum participants about continuous learning. This is what she had to say:

Imaginary gold stars to anyone that actually watched the School of Life video that was part of the pre-Forum materials. Raise your hand if you watched it. For those that did, what do you remember? What are some of the key points that stood out to you?

There’s clearly a lot going on in that small but mighty video. A few points that I think about a lot and will be talking about today are:

  • Nothing is fixed- individual and collective change is a constant
  • Why not you?- everyone is capable of being a part of the change they want to see
  • I particularly loved this quote: “The world is being made and remade every instant and therefore everyone of us has a theoretical chance of being an agent in history on a big or small scale.”

Over the next few minutes, I’m going to talk with you about my library’s small scale efforts to be a part of the change in library services for and with teens and along the way, share some really ridiculous and hilarious missteps that we’ve taken along the way.

Ok, so Kitsap. We are an interesting system in that we truly encompass very diverse communities and geography. We are a peninsula across the sound from Seattle, so ferries are a part of life. Our communities include two native amaerican tribal lands, non-incorporated and rural small towns, a ritzy Seattle bedroom community, and an urban area with 66% free and reduced lunch rate.
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YALSA President’s Report – April/May 2018

Colleagues-

I‘d like to begin by providing an update on the YALSA Executive director search. The search committee met yesterday and selected three candidates to interview in Chicago July 9th and 10th. If the process continues as scheduled, we should have a new Executive director in place by the end of August.

As you may know, the YALSA Board works year round. Since Midwinter we have been creating, discussing & voting on Board documents virtually. We are in the process of preparing for Annual so much of May has been devoted to planning agendas, writing Board documents, and coordinating with other ALA divisions and offices. Check out the documents we’ve approved since midwinter 2018 or will be discussing in New Orleans here.

YALSA has published a number of important documents and reports since Midwinter designed to support library staff in their work with teens including:

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We’re Looking for You! Run for the YALSA Board.

We’re all members of YALSA, or should be, but you’re reading this blog for a variety of reasons. You love libraries. Or you love working with teens. Or you’re just trying to find out what’s happening in YALSA. But you’re here, reading this blog post. As members of YALSA we all participate in our association in a variety of ways, sometimes passively by donating to the scholarships or actively by volunteering to serve on committees, by volunteering to blog for a list, by contributing your programs to Programming HQ. 

In a recent YALSA survey many respondents voiced the opinion that their voices weren’t heard or weren’t acknowledged or they felt that their perspective wasn’t represented in YALSA. And I’d be the first to admit, yes it happens, it’s the reason I got involved. There was a time when I felt that my voice wasn’t being heard or felt in the list being created by the volunteers doing committee work weren’t representing my experience or worldview. So I stepped up and started volunteering. We make our association work; if you don’t volunteer or if you decide to drop your membership because you disagree, YALSA is going to fall apart and you know who will ultimately loses? Teens! The teens we support in our libraries, whether it be academic, public, or school; we serve the teens in our hometowns, whether it’s a big city or a small country town.
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