“Celebrate Yourself” during National Library Week

Library staff in school and public libraries are incredible! In your library, it can be easy to feel like you are a one person force of nature. Developing the library program and keeping up with day-to-day duties can be exhausting. Sometimes it feels like National Library Week is just “one more thing” to added to our to-do pile.

We have to remember that many of our community partners and non-library colleagues have a lot going on in their world and may not be aware that it’s National Library Week. If you don’t celebrate yourself, it can’t be guaranteed that others will be celebrating you.


How to celebrate National Library Week in simple ways:

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Contact Your Senators & Ask Them to #FundLibraries!

In March ALA asked advocates to contact their Rep in the House to support library funding.  Now, it’s the Senate’s turn!  ALA is circulating one letter in support of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and one for the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) program.  ALA is also maintaining a list of Senators who have signed.  Please take a moment to find out if your Senator has signed, and email their office via this quick form if not.  You can also Tweet or call. Then help spread the word by encouraging others to do the same!   It’s important that this a large, grassroots effort–Congress is only moved to action when they are inundated with calls, emails, Tweets, etc. from voters like you.

For other simple ways you can take action to support libraries and teens, read this earlier blog post.   And follow the action on social media via #FundLibraries.  Thank you!

-Beth Yoke

P.S. Stay up to date on federal funds for libraries via ALA’s District Dispatch blog

Gimme a C (for Collaboration): The Public Library & School Library Collaboration Toolkit is here!

The AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee on School/Public Library Cooperation (SPLC) is pleased to announce the publication of the Public Library & School Library Collaboration Toolkit.  This toolkit is the result of a three-year collaborative effort with members of AASL, ALSC and YALSA. It is a collection of information, research, and examples that will help facilitate and incorporate collaborative initiatives between public and school libraries.

The Public Library & School Library Collaboration Toolkit is organized into five chapters, and includes helpful links for additional examples or information.

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Back by Popular Demand: Building Basic Leadership Skills E-Course

This course is not just for teen librarians but for any person working in libraries seeking to understand and grow themselves as a leader from the ground up. The topics covered were progressive and forward thinking, and challenged traditional leadership norms. Self reflection was a big component of this class. The instructor provided variety in the readings, assignments, and use of technology. I felt very engaged by this course and the instructor, and I will refer back to the what I have learned here as I try to improve my leadership skills.

For four weeks in winter 2018 YALSA ran the Building Basic Leadership Skills E-Course. To accommodate those on the waiting list and to provide the opportunity for more people to participate in the highly rated course, the association is offering another section starting in April. The instructor is Josie Watanabe and you can hear more about what the course covers – including information about topics and assignments – in this 18 minute audio interview with Josie.

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Reel Time – Community Discussions About Difficult Topics

This post is part of the YALSA Presidential Theme: Youth Activism through Community Engagement

“We are wondering whether we can show documentary films and have discussions at the library.”  That’s how it all started in 2013.

Events at the national level and at school were having an emotional impact on the teens and stimulating them to start conversations among themselves.  Two of my Teen Advisory Board (TAB) members wanted to do more.  They wanted to educate their peers about issues affecting teens, the community, and the world.  They also wanted to bring the community into the conversations.  And so began Reel Time – Community Discussions About Difficult Topics.

Initially, the discussions were adult-led. The teens generated the topics. The library planned and hosted the documentary viewings, including inviting experts—people working with folks impacted by the issues addressed in the films—to provide information and answer questions. For example, for a discussion about hunger following a viewing of A Place at the Table, we invited representatives from Teen Feed, a local organization that supports homeless youth, to share their experiences. The community events, at this point, were a product of the teens’ ideas, but not really owned by them. However, as I learned to step back, the teens began to step up.

Over time, the teens began to not only generate the topics, but to create the context for the documentary viewings, including the format of the discussions. As a first step, the TAB members co-facilitated the discussions with another adult. Ultimately, the teens began to organize and facilitate discussions on their own.

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Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff: Ready-to-Go Presentation

The Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff is a resource that can be used in teaching and learning. It also gives library staff the chance to reflect on their skills, knowledge, and practices. That’s why YALSA developed a Ready-to-Go slide deck that anyone can use when facilitating learning related to the new Competencies document. The slide deck includes:

  • Speaker notes that provide context for the Competencies. They can be used as is, paraphrased, and/or to fill in details about the competencies that facilitators might be be aware of. Continue reading

YALSA President’s Report – February 2018

Colleagues-

February may have been only 28 days long, but it was a busy month. Here are some highlights.

Accomplishments

  • Attended ALA Midwinter in Denver where I:
  • Worked with YALSA Board and ALA HR to begin process of hiring a new YALSA Executive Director. For an update click here.
  • Wrote thank you letters to outgoing chairs of committees, taskforces, and juries.
  • Prepared for the March Board chat where we discussed concerns brought forward by YALSA members re: appropriate volunteer behavior and the committee appointment process. Be on the lookout for Board actions in response to both of these topics.
  • Wrote President’s column for the spring issue of YALS focused on small, rural, and tribal libraries

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Run for YALSA Board in 2019!

Interested in Serving on YALSA’s Board of Directors?

The YALSA Board Development Committee is looking for candidates for next year’s slate for the following positions: President-Elect, Secretary, and Directors-at-Large.  Successful candidates will stand for election in the spring of 2019 and begin their term during at the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.

For more information on the responsibilities of each role on the Board, please visit the Governance page which includes some handy links under the topic Get Involved in Governance & Leadership.

Are you ready to put your name forward? Please submit the online nomination form soon and a committee member will be in touch.

Not quite ready yet?  Please feel free to contact me, the Board Development Committee Chair, at gsarahthelibrarian@gmail.com with any questions or to request additional information.  

The Board Development Committee will also be hosting YALSA 301 at Annual 2018 in New Orleans on Saturday, June 23, from 9-10 am. Pencil it in and hope to see you there! If you can’t make it, we’ll have a virtual session this summer, too.

Thank you for considering if YALSA Board is right for you!

Apply to be YALSA’s Next Liaison to ALA!

Be our next Liaison to ALA! YALSA is seeking a member to serve as liaison to ALA groups for 2018 – 2019. This person’s role is to strengthen ties between YALSA and ALA by sharing information between groups and representing YALSA’s interests to ALA. This position would liaise with nine different ALA groups. If there’s financial need, up to $1,000 in funds total can be provided to the liaison to defray the cost of attending the 2019 Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference. The term of the Liaison’s appointment is July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019. For more information or to apply by April 1, visit YALSA’s web site.

Cast Your Vote in the YALSA/ALA Elections

Colleagues-

It’s that time of the year again – YALSA/ALA Elections!

Before you vote, please check out the following resources YALSA has compiled:

You should have received an email from ALA with a link to your YALSA/ALA ballot.  If you can’t locate the email from ALA, please contact JoAnne Kempf at jkempf@ala.org or 312.280.3212.

The elections are often decided by narrow margins – make sure your voice is heard and vote today! I did!

Thanks!

Sandra Hughes-Hassell
YALSA President 2017-2018
@Bridge2Lit