Progress Report on Committee Appointments

While I know many of you who have submitted applications to volunteer have been waiting with bated breath. As part of my duties as YALSA President-Elect is to make those appointments. Before I ran for President I had talked to several Past-Presidents about the process, which seemed very overwhelming and very difficult. Having to sort through lots of volunteer applications finding the right fit for each committee. However, the opposite has happened and after talking to the current president Kelly Czarnecki and past-president Amanda Barnhart over the past several years we’ve had fewer and fewer members volunteering. 

We the three Presidents of YALSA have seen that the pandemic has affected membership and staffing in all our libraries making it very difficult.  Since the beginning of the pandemic YALSA membership and ALA membership has declined.  Many libraries suffered budget cuts and we all have friends who lost their jobs or who have left the field all together.  Many of us who remained have had more duties assigned to them to cover the staffing shortages.  I myself found myself taking on another department besides the library when my City began cutting the budget.  Both Amanda and Kelly have had to seek out members to fill in unexpected vacancies on committees, taskforces, and juries due to members having to withdraw from serving because of the pandemic and job stress.

This has also delayed appointments since I’ve been trying to track down volunteers, with the help of the YALSA Office.  The other obstacles have been around for a while, but I feel that they often get forgotten or unless it’s affected you as a member you might know what those are.     

These are three obstacles that have been a challenge for making appointments or for volunteers able to commit:

ALA’s 3 Committee Rule: This rule is in place to ensure that ALA members who are in other Divisions or Roundtables are not over committing themselves. A lot of times members like myself will volunteer with a roundtable or another division, and with YALSA. Whichever group gets you first, once you are on three committees you won’t be able to serve on something else until that appointment ends. While you might be rolling off the committee before the term begins, this sometimes blocks us from appointing someone.  

YALSA’s 3 Year Cooling Off Period for Award Committees: This rule was instituted back in 2014 with the hopes of making the Award committees accessible to more of the membership. This also brought us into line with the other divisions who also have a cooling off period from serving award committees. However, with the lack of volunteers highly qualified members have been turned away from serving when we could use their expertise. I’m currently working on a proposal to shrink this down to two years.  

Conference Attendance: This has been one of the biggest barriers for many members who want to volunteer. The cost of attending a conference is large, especially for librarians who have to foot the bill. A lot of libraries are also still restricting travel for members. This past summer the YALSA Board voted to make the summer attendance virtual for the award committees. Which I had also thought covered the winter conference. There is currently a proposal under discussion by the board to make the winter attendance optional. This would allow members who want to attend the YMAs can go, but other committee members who cannot attend will not be obligated to attend. We’re hoping this will open volunteer opportunities for members who cannot attend the conference but want to lend their expertise. 

This last one is currently holding up the invitation to members who have volunteered for the Award Committees. We’re hoping to change the language of the invitation to reflect the change if passed. ALA considers the invitation a binding contract and we cannot change the language after the appointment has been accepted.  

I’m also still looking for volunteers to serve on the Quick Picks and Amazing Audio blogging teams. For those of you who have volunteered invitations should be going out soon.  

If you’re interested in serving on the blogging teams, please fill out the volunteer form: https://www.ala.org/yalsa/getinvolved/getinvolved .  

If you have questions just send me an email at: fescobedo@cityoflarkspur.org

Thank you again for volunteering. 

Franklin Escobedo
YALSA President-Elect 2021-2022

 

Giving Tuesday is TODAY!

Are you looking for a way to support others in the field? Donating to the Friends of YALSA during Giving Tuesday is a great option! All of the money raised by the FOY is used to financially support member awards, grants, scholarships, and stipends. 

This year we are also offering a raffle for everyone who donates to FOY on Tuesday, Nov. 30th.  Every donation will be entered into a raffle for one of the following prizes.

  • Virtual Visit for your classroom from author Jennifer Mathieu (there will be a selection of date options). She is the author of Devoted, Afterward, The Liars of Mariposa Island, and The Truth About Alice, the winner of the Children’s Choice Teen Debut Author Award. Her 2017 novel Moxie is being developed into a film by Amy Poehler for Netflix.
  • A set of signed books from author Brenden Kiely which include All American Boys (with Jason Reynolds), Tradition, The Last True Love Story, and The Gospel of Winter. His most recent book is The Other Talk: Reckoning with Our White Privilege.

Individuals can donate to FOY in the following ways:

  • Credit card via the ALA’s secure site. (pre-populated with the default amount, but can be changed)
  • Mail: use the printable form (PDF). Mail it with your donation to – Friends of YALSA, 225 N. Michigan Ave. Suite 1300, Chicago, IL 60601.

Your donation can make all the difference as it can truly impact the lives of library staff and the communities they serve. Please consider donating this Giving Tuesday!

 

Celeste Swanson
Member- YALSA Financial Advancement Committee

2022 YALSA Election Slate

YALSA’s Board Development Committee has put together the following slate for the 2022 YALSA Election which the current YALSA Executive Board has approved. We’re excited to announce the following candidates:

President-Elect:
Yvette Garcia
Colleen Seisser
Secretary:
Joel Shoemaker
Directors-at-Large:
Josie Andrews
Matthew Layne
Melissa Malanuk
Carrie Sanders
Melanie Wachsmann
Thank you to the Board Development Committee for their work; Todd Krueger (Chair), Edith Campbell, Dora Ho, Karen Lemmons, and Sarah Sogigian. The election will be held mid-March through mid-April. For more election information, visit the Election FAQ page here. For questions, contact the Board Development Chair here.

YALSA President’s Report – October 2021

I recently read a Tweet about how we went from October 1 to October 30th in three days. Though I could probably say that about most months! Glad to be here! I’m writing this post while the YALSA Symposium is kicking off. YALSA staff are arriving in Reno. I will be attending virtually and can’t wait for the recap from those that went in-person! So much work went into YALSA’s signature event!

  • One of the highlights for October was attending the ALA Legislative Summit on Saturday, October 16 led by ALA’s Office of Intellectual Freedom (OIF). Check out their site to remind yourself that you’re not alone when difficult situations might come up regarding challenges at your library or community. The YALSA Board Advocate, Stacey Shapiro and I attended this virtual session where we learned about OIF as a supportive and knowledgeable resource. Especially now with coordinated efforts regarding against Critical Race Theory as well as many LGBTQ+ materials. A draft of the Legislative Summit Toolkit-in-Development was shared, and will be disseminated when finished.
  • Met with researchers for an IMLS Grant with Michigan State University partnering with YALSA on AI literacy program in underserved communities. There will be a lot of information coming out for libraries to use! 
  • Appointed Board Secretary -Carrie Kausch. So glad that Carrie accepted the position! (According to the bylaws the President appoints positions in an emergency when they need to be filled). Carrie also serves as Liaison to the Teen Civic Engagement Taskforce and Core YALSA Toolkit Taskforce. 
  • Met with Kevin Strowder, Executive Director of ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services (ODLOS) along with Tammy Dillard-Steels, YALSA Executive Director. Wow-what a resource! Kevin even has a background with youth which is of course a plus! Expect to hear from him at an upcoming YALSA webinar! He is a wealth of information on YALSA continuing to move forward with making EDI part of our culture. 
  • Attended the ALA EDI Assembly along with Kelsey Ford, YALSA’s ALA Liaison. There were breakout rooms where we discussed ideas for key issues such as barriers to advancement/retention in the field for marginalized groups.
  • Put together a timeline for YALSA’s work with EDI based on Board Documents to start.
  • Appointed a YALSA Liaison to the ALA Chapter Relations Committee (CRC). Thank you Dana Fontaine!
  • Co-presented with Marie Harris on our publication with Rowman and Littlefield, Connecting Teens with Technology at the Library. Great representation of LIS Students present!
  • Interviewed a potential candidate for the Hub Manager position.
  • Attended parts of the BARC/F&A meeting (Budget Analysis and review Committee and Finance & Audit) along with Kate Denier, YALSA Fiscal Officer, and Tammy Dillard-Steels, YALSA Executive Director (+ many others!)
  • Connected with Board Liaisons and Chairs of various committees and Task Forces.A whirlwind for sure! Thank you to the members especially for supporting YALSA! Any questions or comments, feel free to post below or email: kellyczarnecki1@gmail.com.

 

 

 

Kelly Czarnecki (she/her)
YALSA President
2021-2022

Photo credit: “fall leaf” by JustyCinMD is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Apply For The Hub Manager Position Today!

There is an immediate opportunity to lead the Hub advisory board and manage the site.  YALSA seeks a new Hub Manager for a one-year term starting December 1, 2021 with an option to renew based on performance.  Send  your cover letter and resume to Letitia Smith at LSmith@ala.org by  November 15, 2021.

We’d like to thank the Hub’s current member manager, Sara Beth Coffman for extending her term, all the tremendous work and dedication she’s put into the Hub the past year. 

The main responsibilities  of  the Hub Manager include leading an advisory board to provide oversight in creating, soliciting, and managing content for the blog, as well as recruiting bloggers. Additionally, the member manager will help manage the selected lists blogging teams and the dissemination of the selected lists, as well as the promotion and technical maintenance of the blog.

The member manager will receive an honorarium for their one-year term, as well as a small stipend to attend YALSA/ALA conferences. Please note that this is not a salaried staff position, but a member volunteer opportunity. YALSA membership is required.

See the list of qualifications and responsibilities below.  

List of Qualifications:

  1. Strong project management and organizational skills
  2. Ability to delegate work and to manage a variety of contributors and volunteers
  3. Dynamic, self-motivated individual
  4. Excellent verbal and written communications skills, in order to develop content and communicate with potential content providers
  5. Experience in web publishing with responsibilities including but not limited to: utilizing video clips, audio, and social media, maintaining a high standard of writing, and ensuring compliance with policies created for the maintenance of the site
  6. Knowledge of HTML and WordPress, which YALSA uses for administration of blog sites; as well as knowledge of plugins, tagging, categories, and other WordPress tools
  7. PHP knowledge a plus
  8. Ability to set and meet deadlines
  9. Knowledge of best practices and current trends in collection development for and with teens in libraries
  10.  Ability to work well in a team environment
  11. Ability to work well in a mostly virtual setting, including using tools such as Google Drive, Google Calendar, Zoom, etc. to coordinate work and communicate with others
  12.  Personal membership in YALSA
  13. A commitment to advancing the recommendations YALSA outlined in its report, The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: a Call to Action and Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff.
  14. A commitment to advancing and supporting YALSA’s mission and EDI Plan.
  15. High ethical standards and no real or perceived conflict of interest with YALSA or its portfolio of print and web publications

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Oversight & Coordination

  • Communicate with the Advisory Board, Selected List Blogging Team Leaders, and YALSA’s Communications Specialist on a regular basis to generate ideas for content, assign tasks, discuss marketing strategies, and discuss site management
  • Work with the YALS and JRLYA editors and YALSAblog and Teen Programming HQ managers as appropriate to coordinate dissemination of information to members and the library community.
  • Maintain communication with YALSA member groups whose work relates to collection development and content curation
  • Oversee and help manage the posting and promotion of the selected lists
  • Follow all established and relevant ALA and YALSA policies and guidelines, enforce them as necessary and periodically conduct a review of them to ensure relevancy and currency
  • Direct questions about sponsorships, advertising, etc. to YALSA’s Executive Director
  • Develop a calendar for content, based on YALSA events and activities as well as those going on in the larger community related to collecting and curating library materials for and with teens
  • Write reports prior to the Annual Conference and Midwinter Meeting for submission to the YALSA Board of Directors

Seek Out & Manage Content & Contributors

  • With the Advisory Board, review and edit content submitted to the site to make sure the quality is acceptable, that it is aligned with YALSA principles, and that it includes YALSA branding prior to posting, when appropriate
  • With the Advisory Board, manage postings regularly to guarantee quality of content and appropriate tagging and category identification
  • With the Advisory Board, recruit a diverse group of contributors on a regular basis, which may include but is not limited to: YALSA members, authors and teens
  • Communicate regularly with bloggers to solicit content, share news, motivate bloggers, develop a blogging schedule, etc.
  • Interact with and provide any necessary training to contributors as needed at ALA’s Annual Conference, Midwinter Meeting, or YALSA’s Symposium and via virtual means
  • Effectively motivate, support and manage a large and fluctuating group of contributors and volunteers
  • Work with the Advisory Board to manage comments and spam daily to guarantee that the blog content is appropriate

Promotion

  • Attend ALA and YALSA events to recruit contributors and inform member groups about the site
  • Answer questions and inquiries about the site in a timely fashion
  • Work with YALSAblog Member Manager to cross-promote the blogs and collaborate on projects that advance YALSA’s Organizational Plan
  • Utilize social media to increase awareness of the Hub and its content

Technical Maintenance

  • Work with YALSA’s Communications Specialist as appropriate to update and manage blog software
  • Monitor new technologies as they impact the site: add-ons and plug-ins to blog software, widgets or applications for hand-held devices, etc.

Selected Lists and Bloggers

  • Select bloggers and team leads for YALSA’s book lists: Amazing Audiobooks, Quick Picks, Best Fiction, and Great Graphic Novels for the Hub from volunteer applications with support from YALSA staff
  • Review applications for Selected List Teams and build a balanced roster for each team in terms of:
    • A balanced geographic distribution of members on the team
    • Representation of all library types (school, public, academic)
    • Inclusion of both younger and older adolescent focus of committee members
    • Representation of a variety of experience levels of team members
    • Diversity of team members in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, etc. 
  • With Coordinators, facilitate the work of these blogging teams on The Hub by communicating with bloggers about editing and scheduling of reviews
  • Support the dissemination and promotion of final lists
  • Work with the Advisory and the Award and Selected List Oversight Committee to oversee training for Selected List Teams and leverage existing YALSA resources to do so, and develop new as needed
  • Provide a template and sample posts for the blogging teams, and other resources as called for.
  • Communicate regularly with Selected List Team Leads
  • Work with the Advisory Board to update and/or create guidelines for the Hub, including public comment guidelines, so that they accommodate selected list efforts
  • Sit in on virtual meetings of Selected List Teams, as needed
  • Offer guidance, support, and expertise for Team Leads throughout term as needed
  • Communicates with YALSA Board and staff regarding the possible need to expand into a co-manager format, and/or increase the size or change the make-up of the Advisory Board
  • Communicates with YALSA staff regarding any possible back-end improvements needed to the site to accommodate the selected list effort

Interested individuals should send a cover letter and resume that includes management, writing, and web publishing experience. Familiarity with PHP, WordPress, HTML, and social media preferred, but not required. Send cover letters and resumes to Letitia Smith at LSmith@ala.org by  November 15, 2021.

Seeking Members for the Division and Membership Promotion Committee

If you are a particularly passionate advocate of all that YALSA provides for its members and the teen reader community as a whole, the Division and Membership Promotion Committee needs you!

The committee’s function has changed several times throughout the years, and has been updated again this year in alignment with our new Organizational Plan. Membership engagement is one of the four goals of YALSA’s strategic plan, underscoring the importance of this committee! More specifically, goals to be accomplished by the Division and Membership Promotion Committee by 2025 are:

  • Welcoming new members.
  • Communicate with volunteers regarding the status of their application.
  • Work with staff to implement a recruitment, retention, and recovery plan for members of YALSA.
  • Assist in identifying why YALSA does not retain some members, especially members of color or other minority groups, and address those challenges.
  • Develop additional ways to recognize and thank volunteers for their contributions.
  • Identify existing campaign launches as a starting point to recruit new members.
  • To ensure that online content mirrors actual benefits and brainstorm opportunities to improve the presentation.

Normally this is a one year position which would run from the beginning of July through the end of June. However, since we’re recruiting later this year, the term will be 12/1 through 6/30/22.  You will need to be a YALSA member and abide by the ALA Policy of the three committee limit.

Qualifications include:

  • Current membership in YALSA
  • To accomplish work in a virtual environment taskforce members must be competent users of digital tools, including but not limited to Google docs, Skype, social media and ALA Connect.
  • Thorough knowledge of YALSA’s products and services
  • Thorough knowledge of YALSA membership structure, dues rates, etc.
  • Thorough knowledge of volunteer opportunities in YALSA
  • Strong marketing skills
  • Good interpersonal skills

If interested, please fill out the Committee Volunteer Form at your earliest convenience. (*Note: Make sure you’re logged in with your membership information. Select ‘Next’ at the bottom of the page and you will see the Division and Membership Promotion Committee option). For any questions with the form, contact YALSA Member Manager, Letitia Smith (lsmith@ala.org).

Silent Auction @ YA Services Symposium 

C:\Users\akopa\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache\Content.MSO\BFC0C4D0.tmpYALSA’s YA Services Symposium is just a few weeks away.  Whether you are attending virtually or in person or just love silent auctions, we have you covered! Some of the big items up for bid are virtual author visits from Kekla Magoon, Marieke Nijkamp, and Kosoko Jackson. There will also be signed books, professional development books, and a custom book box. All proceeds will go to the Friends of YALSA (FOY). FOY funds are used to support over $16,000 in member scholarships, grants, and stipends, including a Spectrum Scholarship and Emerging Leader.  The auction begins October 25 and will run through the end of the Symposium on November 7 at 8 p.m. 

You can join in the fun and bid away!  

https://yalsa.betterworld.org/auctions/ya-services-2021-symposium-virtu

YALSA Information Session-Sign Up Today!

Do you have a question you’ve always wanted to know about YALSA? Now is your chance! Join the virtual information session during the YALSA Symposium! This will be a drop-in relaxed opportunity for you to hang out with some of the wonderful YALSA Board members. On Saturday, November 6 starting at 10am Central, Board members will be available to talk about YALSA membership and answer any questions you might have. Don’t wait-register here! You will receive a confirmation email on joining the meeting.

“ASK” by otama is licensed under CC BY 2.0