ALA Midwinter 2019: Trying it on for size

Although I have been at an ALA Annual conference, I had never before attended an ALA Midwinter. It’s comfortable enough if you’ve been at the larger conferences, because it feels more compact, and yet there’s still so much going on that it’s impossible to choose between sessions. At first glance, you might think many of the meetings are only for committees and roundtables . What is there for a a normal, first-time attendee to enjoy? The beauty of Midwinter lies in the fact that you can attend many of these meetings. Many roundtable, division, or Board meetings are open to the public, and they love seeing new faces. As part of my Emerging Leaders group, I attended the Board meeting for the International Relations Round Table. It’s a great way to see how these divisions work and test out the ones you’re interested in joining.

Tomi Adeyemi at the Morris presentation

Not only that, but YALSA had some excellent programming at Midwinter. The Best Fiction for Young Adults Teen Feedback Session is not to be missed. Local teens are invited to a lunch with authors, and then tell the BFYA committee their thoughts on the BFYA list! It was great hearing actual teens talk about  the books we hope they love and seeing how our perspectives fit together.

I also had the privilege of attending the Youth Media Awards and the Morris and Nonfiction Presentation. Being in the room where it happens was magical, and the  crowd was electric. After that, I got to meet some of my favorite debut authors at the Morris presentation! The presentation also comes with a number of free books, so it’s a worthwhile addition to any conference registration.

The hall for the Youth Media Awards

Overall, Midwinter is a joy to attend because it’s so much smaller and easier to navigate than Annual. If you’re nervous about attending such a big conference, definitely try a Midwinter first!

New Issue of YALSA’s Journal of Research on Libraries & Young Adults

Volume 9, Issue 2 of of YALSA’s Journal of Research on Libraries & Young Adults (JRLYA) is now available online at http://www.yalsa.ala.org/jrlya/. This issue features research papers relating to library digital services and peritextual elements.

With their paper, “The First All-Digital Library Space: The Effectiveness of BiblioTech’sServices for Urban Youth,” Kristy Masten, Teresa Mobley-Sellers, Anita Pickett, Melissa Siller, Socorro Garcia-Alvarado, Paula Johnson, and Tivy Whitlock analyzed how teens responded to the services offered by the first physical library space in the United States to offer all technological and digital resources.  

Book elements such as book jackets, glossaries, indexes and others were the focus of the paper, “Pausing at the Threshold: Peritextual Images in Young Adult Nonfiction Award Winner,” in which Don Latham and Melissa Gross examine the promotional and supplemental functions of peritextual images in nonfiction books.  

JRLYA is YALSA’s open-access, peer-reviewed research journal, located at: http://www.yalsa.ala.org/jrlya. Its purpose is to enhance the development of theory, research, and practice to support young adult library services. JRLYA presents original research concerning: 1) the informational and developmental needs of teens; 2) the management, implementation, and evaluation of young adult library services; and 3) other critical issues relevant to librarians who work with teens. Writer’s guidelines are located at http://www.yalsa.ala.org/jrlya/author-guidelines/.

Robin A. Moeller, editor, JRLYA

Community Champion Learning Series

This blog post was written by Marijke Visser, Senior Policy Advocate in the ALA Washington Office.

Young woman helping young girl with technology project

Library staff are some of the strongest advocates for teens. The encouragement and support library staff provides helps inspire youth to pursue new opportunities and undiscovered talents. This includes preparing teens for discovering college and career pathways. The ALA Libraries Ready to Code initiative and NCWIT AspireIT are joining forces again in 2019 in a project that will directly increase the meaningful participation of girls and women in computing. We are building on what we’ve learned through our pilot working with local libraries to build capacity for youth programs

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Research Roundup: Community Colleges and Teens

Welcome to Research Roundup. The purpose of this recurring column is to make the vast amount of research related to youth and families accessible to you. To match the theme of the fall issue, this column focuses on year-round teen services by examining current articles that share opportunities to mentor teens and support their leadership development.

Boerner, H. (2016). An Incubator for Better Outcomes: Innovation at work at Prince George’s Community College. Community College Journal, 86(4), 18–23.

Prince George’s Community College in Maryland partnered with the Prince George’s County Public Schools by actually creating a high school on campus.  Students who attend the high school have an opportunity to also take courses at the community college. Many of those students graduate with an associates degree as well as their high school diploma.  A collaboration like this one allows easier access to everyone and curriculum alignment is definitely at the forefront of the high school.

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Peer to Peer Learning and Libraries: A Recipe for Success

Peer to Peer Learning is shared knowledge learning that is not done by an instructor or another person of authority. It is all about people on the same level teaching each other what they know. 

Peer to Peer learning is not a new concept and can date back to Aristotle’s use of archons, student leaders and as an organized theory by Andrew Bell in 1795. It was later implemented into French and English schools in the late 19th century. Over the last 30 to 40 years, it has been increasingly popular in K-12 public schools. (Saga Briggs, (2013) How Peer Teaching Improves Student Learning and 10 Ways to Encourage It, opencolleges.edu) In Trends in Peer Learning, Keith J. Topping reviews the development of peer to peer learning from 1981-2006. He states that,

“types and definitions of peer learning are explored, together with questions of implementation integrity and consequent effectiveness and cost‐effectiveness. Benefits to helpers are now emphasized at least as much as benefits to those helped. In this previously under-theorized area, an integrated theoretical model of peer learning is now available. Peer learning has been extended in types and forms, in curriculum areas and in contexts of application beyond school. Engagement in helping now often encompasses all community members, including those with special needs. Social and emotional gains now attract as much interest as cognitive gains.” (Keith J. Topping (2005) Trends in Peer Learning, Educational Psychology, 25:6, 631-645, DOI: 10.1080/01443410500345172

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YALSA Board @ Midwinter 2019: Advocacy Board Position

At the 2016 ALA Annual Conference, YALSA Board directed the Leading the Transformation for Teen Services Board Standing Committee to explore the idea of changing or expanding the makeup of the YALSA Board of Directors to include board members who are from outside the organization. At the ALA Midwinter Conference the Board discussed document #27 to broaden the scope of the Board to accommodate advocates. The Board has had several follow up discussions regarding the makeup of the YALSA Board, most recently with Board document #12.

The Board has voted to create, with membership approval, an ex-officio (non-voting) board position for person with a non traditional background or experience who will act as an advocate for YALSA outside of the Library profession. This change was embraced by the Board as part of the 2015 – 2016 strategic planning process, and is included in the first-year Implementation Plan. It is also part of the current 2018-19 Implementation Plan. The inclusion of advocates to the Board who work beyond the library teen services space can bring a unique perspective and help broaden the organization’s outlook on serving youth. A more diverse Board can strengthen its capacity by bringing in relevant skills or knowledge from beyond the library community. By including advocates on the Board, YALSA is modeling the behavior it wants members to adopt at the local level in terms of reaching out into the community to forge partnerships that increase their ability to meet teen needs.

In order to make this change the number of At-Large Board members will decrease by one, and we will add an additional ex-officio position to the board. This member will be appointed by the President-Elect for a one year term, with the option to renew for a second term if so desired. This change will require a vote by membership (Board doc #13), so please look for more information closer to the March elections. Please feel free to contact Board member Melissa McBride, mcbride.melissa@gmail.com, with any questions.

Meet YALSA’s ED at Midwinter!

Anita Mechler, YALSA Executive Director

Can you believe the 2019 Midwinter Meeting is only a few weeks away? As the new Executive Director (ED) of YALSA, I am thrilled to take part in my first Midwinter Meeting!

Over the last 5 months as ED, I have traveled to cities such as Albuquerque to meet with attendees at the Joint Conference of Librarians of Color and to Salt Lake City for YALSA’s Young Adult Services Symposium and now I am prepping for my trip to Seattle this month. These gatherings provide me with the opportunity to meet with library staff who do the important day-to-day work of serving teens all around the country.

This is why I am excited to share that at Midwinter, I will be holding “ED Hour,” at YALSA Booth #2609 on Saturday, January 26 from 11:00am-12:00pm and Sunday, January 27 from 10:30am-11:30am. I welcome everyone to stop and say hello. I would also love to hear any feedback you might have on YALSA’s resources and services. I greatly enjoy getting to know the enthusiasm you have for the teens you serve. Your perspective guides me in directing the organization to move forward into a positive, dynamic, diverse, inclusive, and equitable future. If you have time, please stop by the booth. I look forward to meeting with and hearing from you!

At Midwinter, I’m also excited to work on YALSA’s forthcoming Strategic Plan for 2019-2021 during YALSA’s Board Meeting on Saturday, January 26, from 1:00pm-5:00pm. This is an open meeting where all are welcome to attend.

Stay tuned to more forthcoming news from me, as I plan to share with you what I have learned through the process of being YALSA’s new Executive Director for the first 100 days of the job and more.

Let’s build the future of teen services together!

With kind regards,

Anita Mechler

P.S. Don’t forget to check out YALSA’s 2019 Midwinter wiki page to download YALSA’s full Midwinter schedule, as well as find great local info and tips!


President’s Report – December 2018

Hello Colleagues,

As you may know, the YALSA Board works year round. In December the Board was very busy creating, discussing & voting on Board documents virtually. The Board has approved a change in the Board make up to replace a Member-at-Large for an Advocacy position. This will require a Bylaws Change, which will be available for the YALSA membership to vote on in March.

The Board has also created a new volunteer form. The new form will help the President-Elect appoint more diverse committees. The new form will also make it easier for members to select committees that are best suited for their interests.

The Board has also approved a change to the statement of the function of the Executive Committee. The change in statement aligns with the current function of the Executive Committee, creating transparency in the role of the Executive Committee.

The Organization and Bylaws committee created a new policy that establishes a process for rescinding awards. The policy has been approved by the Board and is now posted on YALSA’s website.

The final document that the Board has worked on has been to select a new site for the 2020 Symposium, which will take place in Reno, NV.

Thank You!

  • Thank you to Allison Renner for her two years of service as the YALSblog Member Manager!

Relevant Stats & Data

  • November Membership: 4,601 (-4.31% from October 2017)
  • Funds raised for November: $3,570
  • Funds raised at Symposium: over $3,000

Don’t Forget!

Best,
Crystle Martin
YALSA President 2018-2019

Strategic Planning: Exciting Things Happening in Seattle

Last Friday, the YALSA Board held its monthly informal call, and we were joined by Jonny Stax and Annette Rizzo from AdaptNation. AdaptNation is helping us create a new strategic plan to guide YALSA’s work for the next three-years. One of AdaptNation’s strengths is helping organizations integrate the principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) into their work which is a priority of the Board. The goal of our call was to clarify scope and intent, identify processes and protocols, and answer any follow-up concerns or questions. We are all looking forward to engaging and thought-provoking conversations in Seattle!

In Seattle, the Board will participate in discussions and activities that will lead to the development of draft documents, and ultimately a finalized strategic plan. Board members will spend Friday afternoon in a two-hour Board EDI training session to learn EDI-infused practices. On Saturday, Board I will be devoted to a strategic session that will include a generative discussion and ultimately lead to the development of an implementation plan for the organization.

Board meetings are always open to observers – please join us in WSCC 203 on Saturday from 1:00-5:00 if you are interested in learning more about the processes we will use to develop our new strategic plan. Board II will take place from 4:00-5:00 in WSCC 203 and will be a regular business meeting. Again, observers are welcome.

If you won’t be in Seattle, follow @yalsa for live-Tweets from the Board meetings. Also, look for regular strategic planning updates on the YALSAblog!

If you have questions, please reach out to me, Crystle Martin, YALSA President, or Todd Krueger, YALSA President-Elect.

Future Ready with the Library: Career Awareness @ the Bank

This post is written by Allison Shimek, a member of the second cohort of the YALSA Future Ready with the Library project. Allison is the Director of the Fayette Public Library and Fayette Heritage Museum and Archives in La Grange, Texas Contents of this post were originally published on the Future Ready with the Library Community of Practice.

Yesterday was my first Career Cruising event for the Future Ready with the Library Project and I want to share my experience. This event was held at a local bank from 9:00 am – 3:00pm. We had 17 teens pre-registered and 12 showed up. There were seven males and five females ranging in age from 11-16. Everyone that showed up on time was entered to win a gift card and then we did a drawing and talked about why it was important to arrive on time. The entire morning was spent in small groups rotating through different areas of the bank. The teens worked the teller line and assisted the tellers help customers while learning how they count money, roll coins, and balance their registers. The second station was the loan department. Teens were given loan applications and got to decide what they would like take an imaginary loan out for and went through the process while learning about what a loan officer does. The next station was the bank’s boardroom where they learned about the Board of Directors and important decisions they are required to make. Lastly the teens went to the new accounts department where they learned what they needed to set up a bank account, how to write a check, and viewed safety deposit boxes

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