All Committee

Here is where all the elite meet. All Committee at YALSA is the time for committees to plan, work, share, and visit. In the Millenium Hall are the leaders and the movers and shakers of YALSA. They are busily making plans for future conferences, for budgeting, for YOU.

And by the way, the weather here is still wonderful: blue skies, breeze, high of 50.

Posted by Teri Lesesne

Leadership Development

Posted by Linda W. Braun

This morning bright and early YALSA committee chairs and board members met at leadership development. This meeting happens at each conference and gives chairs and Board the chance to talk about what’s up and what’s new. Two things were different this time around. First, there was breakfast (with giveaways) sponsored by Listening Library – thanks to YALSA staff for organizing that. And, the meeting included time for small groups to talk about how to manage difficult committee situations.

The small groups happened at the end of the meeting and it was great for two reasons. First, because it meant that we got to talk and not be talked at for the full meeting. And, we got to talk about something that was useful – how to better manage committees. Time ran short so we didn’t really get lots of opportunity to reflect on the discussions but Pam is going to collate the info. and send it out on the committee chair list and I’ll post it on the blog.

Actually, as I think about it the meeting was different in another way too. The agenda included lots of people talking about specific things. But, no person talked for more than 3 minutes I would say. That was great. Each person said what they needed to say and then we moved out. There wasn’t anything that needed lots of discussion but we still got to find out about lots of stuff.

Amy Alessio, YALSA’s fiscal officer, discussed how important it is for YALSA to be aware of our finances. Since YALSA is just striking out on its own as a non-subsidized division of ALA we have to be sure to spend money very wisely. Two things to remember within this context. First, Amy says she’s going to be always asking – do we have the money for that? And second, YALSA can only keep up with the needs of its members if the dues increase which will be on the ballot this spring is approved.

The dues increase is important so that we can continue to provide great programs and conferences, regional institutes, publications, staff, and lots more. It’s a small increase we are going to be asked to approve – $10 – but that money will go quite a long way.

Another topic addressed during the meeting was YALSA publications. I thought it was great that this conversation didn’t focus just on writing books but also on other types of publications YALSA can and does produce – this blog, booklists, journal articles, web content, and more. YALSA publications is interested in working with people on their ideas and will try to help match the idea with the best publications format. So, anyone with ideas should contact the publications committee.

YALSA Executive Director, Beth Yoke, told us about ALA’s Online Communities which is a place that committees will be able to use to conduct business. Committees can have real-time chats, upload documents, archive documents, and more using the Online Communities. Not all of YALSA’s Committees are included on the site yet but members can check it out.

Beth also gave a good rundown/overview of who does what in the YALSA Office. A good thing to remember is that if not sure who to contact the first point person is Esther Murphy.

Before we broke into small groups Pam Spencer Holley gave us her list of the top 10 responsibilities of committee chairs. The list is:

  1. communicate with committee members
  2. delegate committee members

  3. start and end on time
  4. always have an agenda – circulate in advance
  5. circulate an attendance sheet
  6. have someone else take notes
  7. read your charge – make sure know what are supposed to do
  8. be sure to submit pre and post conference reports – board pays attention to them – can email liaison with sensitive info. – it’s OK to resign from a committee
  9. contact board lisiason with questions, concerns, etc.
  10. have a good time and accept the Board’s thanks

All Cheer for All Committee

Living la vida ALA last night was fun. Now, it is time to get down to work. Welcome to the YALSA All Committee Meeting. It is Saturday morning about 10 am. YALSA President Pam Spencer Holley brought the meeting to order thanking Listening Library for sponsoring the breakfast and providing the cool lunch boxes with audiobooks inside. A brief moment of silence for Gerald Hodges and James Cook brought a few of us to tears and then we were underway.

All Committee is the heart and soul of YALSA’s operations at conference. Dozens of committees meet here to conduct their business. Groups as disparate as Research, Teen Read Week, Publisher’s Liaison, Teens and Technology, and Publications have the chance to meet in person at annual and midwinter during this All Committee time. It is a great way for new folks to see the various committee opportunities available, to introduce themselves as volunteers, to get involved. Old hands like me can hug friends we see twice a year at ALA and catch up on the latest gossip.

Terry Young brought greetings from New Orleans as the local arrangements chair and assured us that all would be ready for us in June. A few god tips for those planning to come to annual included: book your rooms as early as possible and please remember to register soon as well.

Pam gave a report on YALSA’s activities this past year including Teen Read Week, increased membership in YALSA (we are nearing 5000 members), responses to the hurricane affected areas, a new Graphic Novel Committee, an Advisory Board for publications (YALS and YAttitudes), task forces, and many other projects. GET ACTIVE AT YOUR LIBRARY is the theme for next year’s Teen Read Week.

The members of the YALSA Board and Executive Committee were introduced. Karlan Sick asked for help in conducting the work of the Nominating Committee. Judy Nelson, President Elect talked about her appointments to the selection committees and other positions. She urged anyone interested to go to the web site and complete the committee volunteer form and return it to HQ as soon as possible.

The 50th anniversary celebration committee members presented some of their ideas for our 50th anniversary in 2007. Think 50!

ALA President Keith Michael Fiels talked about the proposed dues increase and the plan for ALA’s continued growth, “Ahead to 2010.”

Beth Yoke, YALSA’S Executive Director, mentioned some of the handout materials available for committee members and chairs.

After the various reports, Pam dismissed us to begin meeting with our committees.

Teri Lesesne

Gaming Night – Wow

Posted by Linda W. Braun

OK, I’ve had a full day. The Institute was jam-packed, as I just wrote in my blog, and then so too was the gaming night. (Although it was a different kind of jam-packedness.)

Game Crazy brought an amazing number of games and amount of equipment for those attending the gaming night to play. There were large monitors for playing games like Guitar Hero, Dance Dance Revolution, Karaoke, Madden Football, Congo Bongo, and more. Upper Deck brought trading card games. People were playing, singing, dancing, fighting, laughing, and more. It was really amazing. At one point you could hear librarians singing Material Girl – what a sight!

Game Crazy and Upper Deck were incredibly generous. Not only did they bring games to play and staff to help in the play, they also brought an array of giveaways including tote bags, t-shirts, wrist bands, backpacks, and more.

Alliance Games was also able to give us several role playing games to give away. While not everyone won a prize in our raffles, everyone did go home with lots of “parting gifts” from our sponsors.

I know of a few librarians who are addicted to DDR and others who are ready to duke it out with John Madden football.

By the way, 90 people signed-up for the gaming night. That’s incredible. To those of you who participated – what was your favorite game? Why?

Midwinter Teens and Technology Institute – Wow

My brain is spinning after a full day of great speakers and interesting ideas. There was an amazing amount of content presented today and I think for anyone who was there that if they are able to take at least one idea back to their home library and start working on that idea progress will be made. We are going to link to the presentations on the blog but not all of them are available yet. So, check back for those links. For now here’s a brief recap with a link to my presentation.

  • Anthony Bernier from San Jose State University started things off with an inspirational overview of the teen literacy landscape. A primary concept within Anthony’s presentation was that teen’s can find joy in their literacy practices and he gave some specific examples of how we see that in the reading, writing, and community building that they do. Within his presentation Anthony discussed the writing that teens do in the print world in a variety of teen-driven magazines and newspapers and he also showed participants examples of radio and TV production that teens take part in.

    At the end of his presentation Anthony posed a variety of questions for participants to consider. Each was incredibly thought provoking.
    They included a asking that we question how we define YA literature. With the explosion of teen produced content Anthony suggested that we start recognizing not just the literature that adults produce for teens but also the literature, podcasts, blogs, and so on that teens produce themselves.

    Anthony also asked participants to consider how libraries and librarians are going to use space in order to work with teens within the new literacy environment filled with needs to build community, collaborate, and create. He talked about inverting library spaces so that what we present to teens first is comfortable space for community building and collaboration and that the collections are on the periphery of that space. Beth Gallaway blogged about Anthony’s presentation on the PLA blog.

  • I spoke next about what I call the teen 3Cs – community, collaboration, and creation. I put together a website to go along with my presentation and it’s available now. In my presentation I focused on how teens are using blogs, wikis, and podcasting to create content that helps them not only expand their literacy but also helps them understand who they are. I talked about Charlotte a 15-year-old in southeastern MA who publishes a blog and her blog postings demonstrate how teens write/produce thoughtful well-written content via their blogs. I also showed Charlotte’s end of 2005 recap in which she discusses her past year month by month and reflects on how she changed over the year.

    We also looked at how teens are creating podcasts in order to talk about things that are important to them as a part of their personal and global experience. I played a clip from the Pod Princess podcast that is produced by a 15-year-old in New Jersey. The podcast is well developed with content that is obviously outlined and well-thought-out. I contrasted the podcast with Emo Girl Talk which is not as well thought out but is a perfect example of a young teenage girl just having fun with the technology. Mariana Butler who is the host of Emo Girl Talk was the first teen podcaster to acquire a sponsor.

    The podcasting environment is making it possible for teens to express their literacy skills in different ways including writing and outlining content, presenting that content to a specific audience, and marketing the content to the world. We then talked about how schools and libraries are using wikis as a way to help teens write books about a variety of topics.

    I talked about how wiki software gives teens the chance to collaborate with their peers in writing. I also mentioned that podcasters can use wikis as a place to have listeners write about what the podcaster talked about on the show. That way some teens can produce and perform the podcast and others can write about it after it’s over.

    As a final part of the presentation I talked about My Own Cafe a website for teens that provides several opportunities for reading and writing including very active discussion boards. Teens are able to talk about topics of interest to them – movies, books, games, local news, and politics. They are active participants in the discussion boards thereby producing content and creating community on a regular basis. I ended by outlining for participants the important features of the things talked about previously that support and enhance literacy including writing, reading, building, thinking, and making choices.

  • After lunch Frances Jacobson Harris talked about the ethical issues related to teen’s use of technology. Frances broke down the ethical issues into a series of mind-size-bites and discussed how teens sometimes intentionally do unethical things via technology but also are unethical in unintentionally. What really stood out in Frances’ presentation, at least to me, was how open she is with teens about ethical behaviors in an online world.

    Frances went over the scenarios she uses with her students in order to help them understand technology ethics. She showed that there is no one right answer when it comes to figuring out how to behave in various technology situations. For example, she showed clearly how a teen’s viewpoint when it comes to downloading MP3s illegally is rationale and reasoned from the teen perspective. She showed how teens think through situations related to linking to pornography on a teen site that is not hosted by the school. She talked about issues of privacy and freedom of speech when a school-wide email list is involved. The specific examples she was able to use along with quotes straight from the students with whom she works were wonderful.

    One story Frances told keeps coming back to me. She told of a student who had gone through the ethics lessons with her. He then went off and did something unethical and asked Frances, “Am I now going to be a scenario.” The student obviously knew that his behavior wasn’t ethical but he did it anyway. In other words we can do our jobs to help teens understand right and wrong behaviors but we do have to then let them go, make their own choices, and learn from their mistakes.

  • Next were Robin Brenner and Beth Gallaway who talked about graphic novels and games and the connections between the two. Robin went first and talked about several things that I could tell the audience was going “wow” or “cool.” At one point she dissected what illustrations in manga really mean and that was obviously enlightening to lots of people.

    Robin brought up some interesting points about how teen interest in manga has actually had an impact on their interest in international news, culture, and so on. She mentioned that as teens read Manga and watch anime they become interested in Japanese culture. That was interesting to me as we had earlier talked in the day about teens on the My Own Cafe website talking about real-world issues and perhaps part of their interest in those issues comes from their reading of manga and graphic novels.

    As a part of her presentation Robin also talked about how teens create content related to manga and graphic novels on the web. She showed some examples of fan art, fan movies, and fan fiction that teens have posted on the web. Teens are obviously creating content as a part of their interest in manga and graphic novels and as a result are improving their literacy skills.

    After Robin’s presentation Beth spoke about the games teens play, why they play, and who teen gamers are. One thing she talked about was how gaming encompasses Role Playing Games, Video Games, Online Games, Card Games, Board Games, Handheld Games, etc. Games come in a variety of styles as do the teens that play them. Beth also mentioned that there are a lot of gamers that you don’t see in the library and that librarians need to be aware of the number of teen gamers that there are in the world.

    Beth talked about the fan fiction that teens write related to the games that they play. She said that teens develop game histories based on their play as well as stories around the characters, setting, and events in games. That’s is definitely an example of teen literacy practices.

    In Beth’s presentation she talked about how teens are influencing the creators of games through the modifications and enhancements they make to game play. Producers of games work with teens who have modified games and incorporate those modifications in future versions of the game. The manufacturers also hire those modifiers. Soon the teens will be the owners of the gaming companies and we will see quite interesting product coming out of those companies.

  • Anthony Bernier brought us back together at the end of the day to recap some of the ideas discussed and to facilitate a question and answer period. In Anthony’s recap comments he talked about how what he heard during the day reminded him of important movements in our history including the civil rights movement and the feminist movement. He connected the ideas we’d discussed related to community, collaboration, and creation to some of the foundational elements of those movements.

    Anthony also talked about how the topics and discussions of the day made him realize that we were talking about a new type of YA librarianship. He said the YA librarians we talked about during the day didn’t fit any of the job descriptions he’d ever seen/read.

    Another important idea Anthony highlighted was that we need to start thinking beyond summer reading clubs and book awards to awards and such for those teens that are creating and producing in the electronic world. It’s a world beyond books now and YALSA, librarians, educators, etc. have to recognize that and move in some new directions.

At the end of the day I think lots of people were feeling stuffed. But, I also think that everyone was able to leave with at least one new idea with which to work. It would be great to know what ideas, inspiration, and so on participants left with. Comments to this blog related to that would be great.

Blogs and My Space

At today’s Teens and Technology Institute someone came up with the idea to have participants at the program post links to their My Space and/or blogging sites. So, if you have a My Space site or a blog that would be of interest to librarians serving teens add a comment here with the URL and any info. that you think would be of interest to those looking at the site. If there’s something from today’s programs that you think connects to your blog or My Space site mention it in your comment.

Thanks.

Leadership Development

I’ll be at leadership development bright and early on Saturday morning. This morning I was looking at the agenda for the meeting and it looks really full. A couple of things jumped out at me as things I’m interested in learning more about.

It looks like we’ll learn more about ALA’s Online Communities. That’s great. It will be good to have a collaborative space where committee members can meet online and talk about work, goals, and such. I’m not sure how it’s going to work but I’m looking forward to finding out.

Also, I thought it was great that on the agenda there are items that should specifically help committee chairs expand their committee work by getting involved in YALSA in a broader sense. We’ll get to hear about how to help publicize committee work in YALSA publications. I think that lots of committee chairs and members would like to let others know about the work they do, but are never quite sure how to do that. Maybe this part of the agenda will get the word out.

I also noticed that it looks like there are going to be time for small group discussions during leadership development. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that at one of these meetings before. That sounds great. We tend to sit at Leadership Development and listen or ask questions as part of a large group. To be able to talk to others in small groups will be great.

Once the meeting is over I’ll blog back to let readers know what really happened at the meeting.

Just a few more days

I’m really starting to think about getting ready to go to conference. There are lots of things I’m looking forward to – of course the Teens and Technology Institute and the gaming night – but also getting to see people that I’ve met through various projects with YALSA. One of the best things about working on YALSA Committees and special projects is the chance to meet other people, find out what’s going on in their library and work, and build networks.

I discovered that the people I’ve met in YALSA are people I get to connect with in other parts of my life and are people that I often refer others to. It’s great to find out what’s happening in other libraries and then when I’m back in the real world – after conference – I can tell others who might want to do something similar.

I also discovered that I never remember why I took someone’s business card. So, now I know for me it’s a good idea to write a note on each of the cards that I take so when I get back to regular old work I’ll know why I wanted to contact that person.

It would be interesting to know the techniques that others use to network during conference. Of course there are meetings, dinners, and receptions. Those are all good venues for finding out what’s going on in other people’s library worlds.

Midwinter First Timer Conference Ideas

Pam Spencer Holley – YALSA President – sent out an email today with info. for first time conference attendees. I thought it was great and would definitely be worth posting here for blog readers. Pam wrote:

Because I’ve received some questions about what a first-time attendee to Midwinter should do, once their committee meeting has ended, it seemed appropriate to send my response to several lists. And, for those of you who’ve attended many Midwinters, if I’ve missed anything, please add your comments to the list. And print out this message so you’ll have it handy to bring with you to Midwinter.

Midwinter is known as the “working” conference so there aren’t the wide range of programs that are available at Annual; though that has taken a slight change in recent years as more activities seem to be popping up. The ALA website will list some of these activities, as does the recent copy of American Libraries.

Upon Arriving – Depending upon your timing, you have two things to do—check in to your hotel and pick up your badge and conference info [if you registered in advance, some of that is sent to you, but you still need to pick up your badge holder and conference program] And wear that badge at all times, and not around your waist! Your name needs to be seen, so don’t cover it up.

And while you’re in the Conference Registration area, look for the information booth about Annual in New Orleans. You can register for Annual right then — and be sure to think about adding YALSA’s Preconference “Reading with Your Ears” to your Annual activities. This Preconference looks fabulous and is one that none of you will want to miss.

Friday night – Head to the Convention Center about 5:15pm for the annual Ribbon Cutting Ceremony that opens the Exhibits. Then from 5:30 to 7:30pm visit the Exhibits where exhibitors host a reception featuring food and lots of giveaways from the booths.

Saturday – Most of you will have your meeting at All-Committee which takes place at the Marriott Rivercenter, Salon E from 9:30am to 12:30pm. NOTE: This is correct time and is a slight change from what’s been in program. There is an earlier meeting in the same spot for Committee Chairs that begins at 8am.

YALSA policy is for all meetings to be open meetings; the only exceptions are the three award committees: Printz, Edwards and Alex. You are welcome to attend any of the other committees that meet at a time other than All-Committee. That information is available on the YALSA website.

Saturday afternoon you may want to visit some of the selection committee meetings:

  • Best Books for Young Adults meets from 1:30 to 5:30pm in 214A in Convention Center
  • Quick Picks meets at the same time in the St. Anthony Hotel, Jefferson Manor
  • Popular Paperbacks meets from 1:30 to 3:30pm in Marriott Plaza San Antonio,Conference Center B.
  • Selected Audiobooks meets from 1:30 to 6pm in the St. Anthony Hotel, Midland
  • Selected Videos/DVDs meets from 1:30 to 5:30pm in the Hyatt, Sequin.

In addition, the YALSA Board meets on Saturday afternoon from 1:30 to 3:30pm in the Convention Center, Room 003A. Attending YALSA Board meetings is a good way to observe the governance of your division.

Sunday – This is a good time to visit the Exhibits again, now that the reception is over. In the afternoon, there are several joint youth committee meetings that you might want to attend:

  • AASL/ALSC/YALSA Joint Legislation Committee meets from 1:30 to 3:30 pm in Hilton, El Mirador West
  • AASL/ALSC/YALSA Joint Intellectual Freedom Committee meets from 4 – 6pm in
    Hilton, El Mirador West
  • And, for the first time, the YALSA Great Graphic Novel Committee meets from 1:30 to 6pm at the St. Anthony Hotel/Lafitte
  • The YALSA Board also meets, in their same room, from 1:30 to 5pm.
  • Or you could listen to the teens provide their comments to the BBYA Committee from 1:30 to 3:30 in the Convention Center, Room 214 B/C

Monday – This day begins with a bang at the eagerly anticipated Youth Media Awards Press Conference. YALSA announces its ’06 Printz, Edwards and Alex winners. Get there early as the seats fill up, and this year the program begins at 8am!! Head to the Convention Center, Ballroom C [where Council meets]

Exhibits close today, and publishers often mark their books for half price, so you might want to go “shopping.” ALA also sponsors the ALA Store which has lots of intriguing goodies to buy, as well as professional materials such as books and posters. I’d advise you to shop early at the ALA Store as sometimes the supplies of favorite items run low. Be sure to look for YALSA’s Sizzling Summer Reading Programs for Young Adults, 2nd ed., which was edited by YALSA’s own, Katharine Kan.

The YALSA Board also meets, in their same room, from 10:30am to 12:30pm

And end your conference at the Joint Youth Division Membership Reception, held from 6 to 7:30pm, at the Menger Hotel, Ballroom A/B. YALSA hosts the reception this year, which is free for all attendees, though it is a cash bar. This is a great way to end your conference, mingle with people you’ve met, introduce yourself to folks you didn’t meet and wind down from an exciting time.

Questions. Contact me – pamsholley at aol.com – or your committee chair. And if you see me at conference, please come up and introduce yourself,

Pam

I wish that someone had outlined activities like that for me the first time I went to conference. It can be a little overwhelming. Now I know that it’s OK to go up to people and start talking. One of the great things I’ve discovered is now there are lots of familiar names that I know from online conversation. When I see someone I know only from a listserv or other form of electronic correspondence it’s always great to go up and say hello.