YALSA Board update on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

In New Orleans at the 2018 Annual Conference, the YALSA Board discussed several documents related to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. YALSA is committed to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, and to make this commitment a reality the Board took several steps.

First, the Board approved the prioritization of the recommendations made by the Advancing Diversity Taskforce, which completed its work earlier this Spring. The recommendations of the committee were ranked by the board as High, Medium, and Low. The items ranked High Priority are currently being implemented. Those ranked Medium Priority will be tackled during the 2018-2019 board. Those that are ranked Low Priority will be re-evaluated at the beginning of the 2019-2020 board to determine what still needs to be done.

One of the High Priority recommendations was to evaluate YALSA’s current Mission, Vision, Intended Impact Statement, and Statement on Diversity. Jane Gov and Kate Denier offered a board document that recommends changes:
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Teens participate in BFYA Teen Feedback Session @ ALA Annual

A group of teens from the New Orleans area participated in YALSA’S Best Fiction for Young Adults Teen Feedback Session during the ALA Annual Conference. They each read at least three books from this year’s list of BFYA nominations so far. The teens provided the BFYA blogging team with valuable insight about the “teen appeal” of the books. To reward the teens for their hard work and participation, YALSA generously provided them each with a pass to visit the exhibits and collect as many free books as they could carry! After visiting the exhibit hall, teens enjoyed a pizza lunch with nine popular YA authors. The event was a great success. But don’t take our word for it—here’s what some of the teens told us about their favorite part of the day!

We asked: “What was your favorite part of participating in the conference and what are you reading next?”

“I liked the part where you met the authors, because you got real insight on what they were thinking when they wrote the books.” –Sabian B.

What Sabian is reading next: What I Leave Behind by Alison McGhee

“I think it was seeing how many people are here and so passionate and [in the feedback session] seeing what books everyone chose to read and how they interpreted them.” –Abigail D.

What Abigail is reading next: “I have no idea, I going to lay them all out and decide!”

“My favorite part was getting to walk around and meet new people.” –Carissa W.

What Carissa is reading next: Dry by Neal Shusterman

“I really liked meeting the authors, because you got to see some aspects of an author’s career. I also thought it was really cool to receive books before they were out!” –Tiyasha C.

What Tiyasha is reading next: Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough or Orphaned by Eliot Schrefer

“The convention was exactly how I imagined heaven. Also, I expected the feedback session to be way more stressful, but it was actually really easy to just talk about the books. It’s so cool that we got the books before the Library of Congress got them!” –Laxmi J.

What Laxmi is reading next: “Well, I read The Schwa Was Here (by Neal Shusterman who I met yesterday!) for school summer reading, and I have to read Chains too, but after that I think I’m going to start Dry.”

This event was truly a team effort and would not have been possible without the collaboration and dedication of many people. Thanks to the teens who participated, the teachers, librarians and parents who prepared teens and arranged for them to come, the authors and publishers who sponsored and participated in the pizza lunch, and the BFYA blogging team for nominating thought-provoking titles and welcoming teen feedback.

Carolyn Vidmar is a Teen Services Librarian at the New Orleans Public Library.

Update YALSA Board Activities at ALA Annual 2018

Colleagues-

The YALSA Board was busy at Annual 2018 in New Orleans. Here are some highlights.

On Friday, Sarah Hill, Todd Krueger, Beth Yoke and I provided training for our new Board members. Topics discussed included:

  • What does it mean to be a board member
  • Board culture and processes
  • Building skills & knowledge relating to association governance
  • An overview of YALSA’s organizational plan

On Saturday, at Board I, the Board adopted 17 Consent Items, which were items that were discussed and voted on previous to annual, including:

The Board voted to fill two Board Vacancies. I am pleased to announce that Vicki Emery will serve as YALSA’s Fiscal Officer and Trixie Dantis will serve as a Board Member at Large.
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Presidential Theme for 2018-2019

It is energizing to begin my presidential work by building on the work of past-president Sandra Hughes-Hassell’s presidential theme and to collaborate with other division presidents’ creating presidential themes that compliment each other.

I have chosen Supporting Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion through Outcomes and Assessment as my presidential theme for 2018-2019. This theme furthers YALSA’s work of supporting library staff who serve teens in several ways. It highlights the need for a paradigm shift highlighted in YALSA’s Future’s Report that indicates the importance assessing programs for outcomes and not attendance. As well as, creating assessments that answer larger questions about teens interaction with your programming other than did they like it. This theme also supports the infographic Reimagined Library Services for and with Teens, which highlight the types of outcomes that can have impact on teens lives, and will help you figure out how to measure those outcomes. The theme also speaks directly to the Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff, which includes assessment as part of Content Areas 3, 4, 6, 9, and 10. All of this 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.
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Exploring Culture in Teen Programming

Exploring Culture in Teen Programming

I first got this program idea from reading the YALSA Teen Literacies Toolkit. I’ve been curious about library programming and the intersection with community identity. The definition of literacy is evolving and it’s exciting to see that these additions are relevant to the audiences we serve.

One of the competencies listed is Cultural Competence. The definition given for this concept is:

Ability to recognize the significance of culture in one’s own life and in the lives of others; and to come to know and respect diverse cultural backgrounds and characteristics through interaction with individuals from diverse linguistic, cultural, and socioeconomic groups; and to fully integrate the culture of diverse groups into services, work, and institutions to enhance the lives of both those being served by the library profession and those engaged in service (Overall, 2009)

This topic is actually very close to my heart. My parents moved to the United States when I was ten years old which makes me into a first-generation immigrant. Growing up, I’ve always felt that I was a part of both the Middle Eastern culture and the American culture. At times, I felt that I needed to pick one and other times I refused to choose and just called myself a “Global Citizen”.  I didn’t see that as an intellectual activity at first, culture was always something I explored on my own, it was my hobbies that gave me a love of Reggaetón and Korean fried Chicken.
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YALSA 301 at ALA Annual 2018!

It’s almost time! ALA Annual is upon us and I’m so looking forward to seeing many of you at the awesome lineup of YALSA events.

It’s an exciting time to be a YALSA member! We’re released the New Teen Services Competencies, written a new report supporting librarians working with teens called Transforming Library Services through CE, and we’ve got so much more on the horizon.

This work could not be completed without the dedication of our members. Many of us volunteer our time to take on leadership roles within the organization. And serving in one is a win-win! YALSA benefits from your experiences and work on a common goal, and you gain leadership, team building, and career building skills.

Join us at our YALSA 301 session at ALA Annual to learn more about how you can take the next step in YALSA. YALSA 301 is on Saturday, June 23 at 9 a.m. in the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, Room 214.  

Can’t make it to conference? I encourage you to contact me and the rest of the Board Development Task Force to learn more. Even if you aren’t ready to run for Board right now, we’d love to share the exciting opportunities that are available!

The Board Development Committee is:

Sarah Hill, Chair, gsarahthelibrarian@gmail.com

Audra Caplan, audra.caplan@gmail.com

Frankin Escobedo, escobedo@ci.oceanside.ca.us

Mary Hastler, hastler@hcplonline.org

Sarah Sogigian, sarah@masslibsystem.org

Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff Webinar: Learning Experiences

cover of the teen services competencies for library staffEach month, through December, YALSA is sponsoring free webinars (for members and non-members) on topics related to the Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff.

The June webinar (the full video recording is available after the break), facilitated by Megan Emery from the Chattanooga Public Library, covered the topic of Learning Experiences. In her discussion Megan talked about the difference between formal and informal learning and how to overlap one onto the other, how to supporting teen volunteering as a learning experience, and integrating design thinking into the teen learning experience.
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YALSA Board at #alaac18: Book Awards and Lists in Light of #MeToo

The YALSA board will hold a discussion at #alaac18 about YALSA’s book awards and lists in light of #metoo. I have been a member of the Printz, Odyssey, and Alex Award committees and am bringing this topic to the YALSA board for discussion and possible action.

The #MeToo movement exploded in Fall 2017, when women and some men collectively began to speak out against abusers and harassers. The movement carried over to the young adult publishing world in February 2018 via an article in School Library Journal that led to hundreds of comments to the article indicating certain authors and publisher representatives as harassers or abusers.

YALSA and its board extend their compassion to those harmed by abusers and harassers and commends those for speaking up, while at the same time also extending support to those who were also harmed but remain silent.
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YALSA’s Board Heads to New Orleans

Hello, Colleagues-

The YALSA Board of Directors is headed to New Orleans for ALA’s 2018 Annual Meeting!

The agenda and related documents for our meetings are posted here.

Please feel free to attend our Board meetings on Saturday from 1:00-5:00 and/or on Sunday from 4:30-5:30. All of our meetings will be held in the Convention Center, room 212. YALSA adheres to an open board meeting policy which means we welcome all conference attendees and their contributions with the same respect afforded to fellow board members as detailed in this document.  Visitors to the board meeting are encouraged to share information and ask questions during the Open Forum part of the meeting, which is always the first item at the meeting.  To learn more about how in-person board meetings function and what to expect, visit the wiki.
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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.