YALSA President’s Report – January 2015

Thanks again to all who braved the snowy weather to be part of the 2015 Midwinter Meetings, as well as those who chose to participate virtually with the board and other activities. It was a busy January, and I’m thrilled with all the work that members and the YALSA Board accomplished. Here’s a peek at what I’ve been doing:

Activities

  • Currently appointing to the new Board Diversity Taskforce, which will look at and make recommendations regarding the selection and recruitment of YALSA leaders. If you’re interested in serving, please send me an e-mail and/or submit a volunteer form.
  • With Executive Director Beth Yoke and the board, finalized agendas for Midwinter YALSA Executive Committee and Board meetings.
  • Led discussions at YALSA Board meetings. Draft minutes of those discussions will be posted here.
  • Led discussions during two YALSA Executive Committee meetings. Draft minutes of those discussions will be posted here.
  • Led a Board Planning Session which focused on outcomes training and ways to incorporate outcomes into YALSA’s strategic planning process.
  • Attended formal and informal meetings with Division and ALA leaders at the Midwinter conference.
  • Highlighted the work of YALSA selection committees at the Youth Media Awards.
  • Hosted and celebrated Nonfiction and Morris award winners and finalists at the Midwinter reception.
  • Appointed members to fill vacancies on various committees.
  • Spoke with CNN regarding the importance of the Morris Award and recognizing new authors.
  • Spoke with U.S. News and World Report about teen library engagement.

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YALSA Board Post-Midwinter Update

YALSA’s Board of Directors met last weekend at the ALA Midwinter Meeting. Between the blizzard and the member Happy Hour and the number of other YALSA programs, I’m pleased with the time and attention the Board spent on big issues that drive and guide YALSA and our members.

Key activities included participating in training about outcomes-based planning and assessment and strategic planning. The board also took action in some key areas, including:

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YALSA Board @ Midwinter Preview: Member Survey Report and Strategic Planning

Last fall, YALSA conducted a survey to get member input on the next strategic plan. The Strategic Planning Taskforce’s official report is now available as part of the YALSA Board’s 2015 Midwinter Meeting Board Documents. You can find it at item #26 on the agenda. If you have any responses to share on the survey, we would love to hear from you!

There are lots of strategic planning activities happening at Midwinter! The Board will be dedicating its Board Planning and Board I meetings to strategic planning sessions with consultant Alan Brickman (item #1 on the agenda). Like all Board meetings, these are open to all conference attendees, and you are welcome to drop in and observe. We’ll also be live tweeting from board meetings, so please follow @yalsa for more details.

Member involvement is a key part of successful strategic planning, so YALSA’s also hosting a member planning session at Midwinter: Moving YALSA Forward on Sunday, February 1, from 1-2:30 pm. This session will be facilitated by Alan Brickman as well. Advocacy emerged as an important theme in our member survey results, and it will be the main topic explored here. We hope you’ll come and participate in this session: we need to hear from as many members as possible to make it a success! Light refreshments will be available.

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YALSA Board @ Midwinter Preview: Budget Priorities

I know I know for some, maybe many, YALSA members learning about the YALSA budget and the fiscal priorities of the Association seems like incredibly dry stuff. But, in order for YALSA to provide members with the services they need in order to work with teens successfully, the YALSA Board and the Association’s members have to think what monies are spent on, and where funding is coming from. That’s why there are three documents on the YALSA Board Midwinter Meeting agenda that are important to look at:

  • Item 17 on the agenda is titled Prioritizing Endowment Funds. The document explains the current state of YALSA’s endowments and includes recommendations of how the funds generated from the endowments should be spent over the next year. Take a look to find out what initiatives the Board is going to look at funding in this way – maybe you’ll find there is a grant coming up that you’d like to apply for if these funds are used as suggested. This agenda item is an action item which means that the YALSA Board needs to make decisions at the 2015 Midwinter Meeting in order move the process forward. Continue reading

YALSA Board @ Midwinter Preview: Change Management Communication Best Practices

We have all been in a situation where a manager or someone in a decision-making position makes a change that leaves everyone else saying, “What were they thinking? This is a mistake!” However, once the details of the decision process are learned, everyone usually agrees that it makes sense. The lack of information shared upfront when the change is announced can cause lots of unnecessary stress.

Change management was a phrase I have heard before and thought was corporate jargon. I started reading up on it to discuss it at the recent YALSA Exec Board fall meeting and realized how important it can be to lay a foundation for success. Change management is all about creating a well-thought out plan to see a change to fruition. One important part of that plan is communication. If the decision maker not only tells you what the change is, but also why it is happening, how it will be a positive change, the potential hazards of not making the change, and what everyone can do to help make the change happen smoothly, it can iron out the speed bumps created by misunderstanding and frustration.

In an effort to spread the idea of effective change management at a time when YALSA members are working to implement the ideas in The Future of Library Services For and With Teens report, the YALSA Board at Midwinter 2015 will be discussing a proposal to establish communication best practices. You can read the full document and all additional board docs on the YALSA governance page. If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions about this topic, please feel free to contact me, Carrie Kausch, at ckausch@gmail.com, or any other board member. If you will be attending Midwinter in Chicago, find us at the Saturday YALSA happy hour at Tavern Tap Pub at the Congress Plaza Hotel located at 520 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60605. Drop in any time between 5:30 and 7pm Saturday night!

YALSA BOARD @ MIDWINTER PREVIEW: Virtual Selection Committee Recommendations

Have you wanted to serve on a selection committee, but couldn’t manage to attend both Midwinter and Annual conferences? You’re not alone! In the 2014 Member Survey, several members stated they were looking for ways to get involved with YALSA virtually. For the past two years, YALSA has piloted the Margaret A. Edwards Award committee and the Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults committee as virtual committees. Virtual committees allow members who are not able to attend conferences to participate in selection committees, thereby making the organization stronger as more members are engaged in YALSA’s mission and work. Members of both committees were surveyed in April 2014 and their comments were mostly positive. Some members mentioned that communication on their virtual committees was more frequent than was their experience on traditional face-to-face committees. Board document #15 recommends that going forward, Margaret A. Edwards and PPYA should be virtual committees. The document also explores what other committees might be candidates for a future pilot and what additional support or training members of virtual committees might need. Remember, we’ll be live tweeting from board meetings, so please follow @yalsa for more details.

Questions, concerns or suggestions? Please send them to the following members of the YALSA Board Standing Committee on Membership:

Krista McKenzie (Chair)

Carla Land

Nicola McDonald

Rachel McDonald

http://www.ala.org/yalsa/board-directors

Board Proposal: Diversity on the YALSA Board

By Nicola McDonald

My role as YALSA Board Fellow has been such a rewarding learning and sharing experience! This Midwinter will be my first official full meeting as a board member and I’m looking forward to it.

Over the past six months, in addition to some wonderful things I’ve been able to do like work with specific chairs to help their committee work run smoothly and participating in various board and topic discussions, I was also able to write a board proposal around diversity on the YALSA board. All recent board documents will be presented during the YALSA Board meeting in Chicago at ALA Midwinter.

Originating as a Mega Issue that was discussed during ALA’s 2014 conference, I decided to continue with the topic as a part of my YALSA board project. I’m proposing that YALSA focuses on taking steps to increase and maintain diversity on the board.

If you’re heading to Chicago, be sure to stop in and check out this and other topics that will be discussed and decided on. Check out YALSA events in Chicago during Midwinter. Even if you won’t be joining us in Chicago, you can follow @YALSA for updates on board actions as there will be live Tweets from the meetings.

Governance Preparations for Midwinter

It’s time to start schedule planning for Midwinter, marking off the chunks of time in your calendar or conference planner, factoring in coat buttoning, hunting for scarves and gloves, and all those other winter weather factors!

While YALSA’s Board of Directors will be meeting at the ALA Midwinter Meeting Jan. 30 – Feb. 2, we’ll be using some of our sessions a bit differently this year. Instead of three separate sessions to meet to discuss association business, the first board session on Saturday will be a facilitated strategic planning session for board members.  This session is part of a months’ long effort to develop a new strategic plan for YALSA.  There will also be a strategic planning session for YALSA members at Midwinter from 1:00 – 2:30 on Sunday in room W192b of the convention center.  During the spring we’ll also host virtual feedback sessions for members, and we hope to have a new plan finalized by no later than June.

The board will meet on Sunday and Monday at Midwinter to address current governance matters.  All board sessions are open, and any registered conference attendee is welcome to sit in.
For the Sunday and Monday meetings, the board will be addressing a wide variety of topics, including: adopting best practices in change management, bringing more diversity to the YALSA leadership, year two of rolling out activities that support the recommendations in the report “The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: a Call to Action,” prioritizing use of YALSA endowments funds for 2015, and more.

Right now, YALSA’s Board members are working hard to finalize the agenda and develop the related documents.  Our goal is to post them online in the Governance section of the web site on January 16th.

To learn more about what YALSA and the Board have going on at ALA’s Midwinter Meeting, visit http://tinyurl.com/YALSAmw15.
If you’re not attending the Midwinter Meeting, be sure to follow YALSA on Twitter, as Board members will be Tweeting news and board actions.

Have questions?  Feel free to contact me: @doseofsnark or cinf0master@gmail.com.  I’m excited about the work that has been done since Annual and Fall exec, and look forward to working with the board and members to keep moving YALSA forward!