Have you ever benefited from YALSA grants or awards? How would you like to be recognized if you did win a YALSA scholarship or award? Want to help YALSA raise funds to support leadership initiatives for members? Then we need your help! I’m accepting volunteer forms for three new taskforces that were established by the Board last week–Leadership Fundraising, Member Achievements Recognition, and Member Grants and Awards Evaluation taskforces. Volunteer now through Feb. 15! Please email me with any questions and read on to learn more about the volunteer opportunities.
This year is a time of transition and YALSA staff and the YALSA board have been busy since Annual revamping the organizational structure. We’ve written about what’s going on before, but I wanted to post another update. Check out this PowerPoint slideshow to see how the Board is re-envisioning YALSA to support our new mission. The difference between the current organizational structure on Slide 2 and the future organizational structure on Slide 3 is big! Would you like to be a part of it? Are you interested in advocacy, cultural competence, diversifying & expanding the membership, fund and partner development, leadership development, leading the transformation of teen services or state level outreach and engagement? If so, complete this short form. After the organizational realignment is complete next year, we’ll be looking for members to participate in short-term opportunities in those categories–if you have an idea, be sure to share it on the form. Look for more information coming soon on this blog! While the reorganization involves more than just committees, most of the questions I’ve received are about those, so here is some information that may be helpful:
Yesterday during a virtual meeting to address unfinished business from its June meeting, the YALSA board met to continue its discussion about how to improve member engagement opportunities so that they better meet member needs, as well as to re-think the structure of YALSA so that it’s better positioned to carry out the work of the new organizational plan. Last month, the Board sought to review of all existing member groups at their June meeting (see Candice Mack’s blog post). The Board accomplished a lot in June, but didn’t finish all of its work around member groups. The Board met virtually yesterday to discuss the Leading the Transformation of Teen Services Board Standing Committee’s draft recommendations for the remaining member groups that were not addressed in June. If you’re interested, you can listen to the audio recording of the meeting.
The Board voted to accept the recommendations from the Standing Board Committee for transforming the first 8 strategic committees as listed in Board Document #2. This includes keeping some strategic committees as-is (Awards Committee Nominating Committee, Awards & Selection Oversight Committee, Competencies Task Force, President’s Planning Taskforce, School and Public Library Cooperation Interdivisional Committee), expanding others (Division and Membership Promotion Committee, Research Committee) and the transitioning to more of a short-term structure for the Summer Learning Taskforce. These changes will not go into effect until July 2017, as the next several months will involve working out a transition plan.
As part of its ongoing effort to improve member engagement opportunities so that they better meet member needs, as well as to re-think the structure of YALSA so that it’s better positioned to carry out the work of the new organizational plan, the Board sought to review of all existing member groups at our June meeting (see Candice Mack’s blog post). The Board accomplished a lot at its meeting in June, but didn’t finish all of its work around member groups. If you haven’t already, check out June Board documents #25, #40, and #41, which were all approved by the Board. Since the Board didn’t finish its work in June, the Board will be meeting virtually Aug. 1 from 12:30-1:30 pm, eastern, to discuss the Leading the Transformation of Teen Services Board Standing Committee’s draft recommendations for the remaining member groups that were not addressed in June. These latest Board proposals on member engagement are the result of about a year’s worth of organizational planning work by the Board, exploring how best to adopt a “teens first” approach to YALSA’s work in order to better support members and to advance teen services so that all teens are prepared for college, careers and life. Any member interested in sitting in on the virtual meeting can contact firstname.lastname@example.org to request the access information. Continue reading
As YALSA works towards the new intended impact statement laid out in the 2016 – 2018 organizational plan, the board is looking at member engagement opportunities that best fit with the implementation plan to achieve the plan’s priorities. These member engagement opportunities are not only the way that the work of the association gets done, but also are ways to support member to member connections and foster leadership skills.
Right now, most associations are built around a traditional committee model, which were established before virtual work environments were popular. That model requires a long time commitment from members and leaders, demands oversight and input from boards and staff, and is slow to produce results. In many cases, it also limits professional development opportunities by sequestering volunteers away from additional networking and learning activities.
One trend associations are exploring are microvolunteering opportunities, or adhocracies, where interested parties gather together around a need and work for a short period of time to deliver timely, relevant resources. These volunteer experiences can impact a member community much more quickly than the standard model, increase the number of leadership opportunities, and allow members with similar interests to connect with one another. Volunteers are also able to give time as their schedule allows, stepping back and returning to projects as their schedules allow.
Different engagement methods also allow members to better connect with members. YALSA generally receives over 1,000 volunteers for just over 300 committee spots. That leaves at least 700 members interested in doing work that moves the mission of YALSA forward, but with the onus of work on them. They can connect with other members through interest groups, YALS, YALSA Blog, the Hub, Programming HQ, and JRLYA, but those activities aren’t necessarily built around networking and bonding either.
So what does this mean for right now? Well, the board is doing a limited pilot this fall with YALSA’s 7 juries. Sarah Hill blogged about the changes in April, and you can find that post here. It also means the board will be looking at the ways the work gets done, the activities laid out in the implementation plan, and best way to keep members engaged with the mission of YALSA!
Do you have feedback on the organizational plan? Fill out our brief survey here.
I just attended my first ALA conference and it was awesome.
I have heard many things about what to expect. Wear comfortable shoes, they said. Bring business cards, they said. Most of the meetings will be closed door, they said. Some of the things they said were right (seriously…who wants to walk around for 8 hours in cute new shoes that pinch the sides of your feet!..), but nothing prepared me for the magic that is Midwinter.
Like most Midwinter neophytes, I didn’t know what to expect, so I arrived bright and bushy tailed to the hotel at 7:30am sharp. I could not check into my room, so I left my bags with the hotel staff, and ubered my way over to the Boston Convention and Conference Center. (For those of you who cabbed your way around Boston, I would highly suggest you invest in the free Uber app. Most of my rides around the city did not cost me more than $6, some as little as $3.)
I arrived at the Conference Center to find that the exhibits were still being put together, and that I was late to all of the lectures that started at 8am. In hindsight, I could have just sat in, but I didn’t know if I needed a ticket. Is it okay to walk in late? Would I embarrass myself in front of my peers? Would I be asked to leave? Instead of tackling these hard questions straight on I decided on the very safe, unintrusive, and foodie-pleasing decision to register, find a coffee shop, and read the Midwinter guide over a hot cup of Joe and a cheese danish.
The guide was very helpful. It was delightfully color coordinated, included start and end times of lectures, events, and meetings, and provided a legend that had information on whether events were ticketed, closed, or open to registrants. I highlighted everything that looked of interest to me – which was half the book, so I marked it up to a fairly unrecognizable degree. And then I discovered there is an app.
It’s that time of year again! As YALSA President-Elect, I’ll make appointments for the following YALSA committees and taskforces:
- 2016 YA Services Symposium Marketing & Planning Taskforce
- 2017 Award Nominating Committee
- 2017 Governance Nominating Committee
- Alex Awards
- ALSC/BOOKLIST/YALSA Odyssey Award
- Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults*
- Midwinter Marketing & Local Arrangements Committee (2017 in Atlanta)
- Midwinter Paper Presentation Planning Committee
- Morris Award 2017
- Selection and Award Committees Oversight Committee
- Best Fiction for Young Adults
- Great Graphic Novels
- Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults*
- Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
*Please note that the PPYA and Amazing Audiobooks Committees are virtual. YALSA members with book selection and evaluation experience and who are comfortable working in an online environment with tools like ALA Connect, Google Docs, Skype, etc. should put their names forward for consideration.
Past-President Chris Shoemaker noted in his blog post last month that the YALSA Board adopted a new policy about serving on YALSA award committees (Alex, Edwards, Morris, Nonfiction, Odyssey & Printz). Beginning Feb. 1, 2016, any individual who has served on any YALSA award committee will need to wait two years before they are eligible to serve on another YALSA award committee.
If you have been on selection and award committees before, please consider volunteering for the new Selection and Award Committees Oversight Committee (more info can be found in this board document). This new committee needs experienced YALSA members to serve as liaisons and to standardize policies and procedures for selection and award committees.
The Fine Print
- Eligibility: To be considered for an appointment, you must be a current personal member of YALSA and submit a Committee Volunteer form by Oct. 1, 2015. If you are appointed, service will begin on Feb. 1, 2016.
- If you are currently serving on a selection or award committee and you are eligible to and interested in serving for another term, you must fill out a volunteer form for this round (so I know you’re still interested and want to do serve another term)
- Qualifications: Serving on a committee or taskforce is a significant commitment. Please review the resources on this web page before you submit a form to make sure that committee work is a good fit for you at this point in time.
- Need more information? Click on the links above. Check out the Committee FAQ. Watch the Selection Committee Webinar.
- Please free to contact me with any questions or issues at gsarahthelibrarian at gmail .com.
Thanks for volunteering with YALSA!
Happy New Year!
I am pleased to announce that all appointments have been made for the 2015-2016 award and selection committee cycle.
Many, many thanks to the all the talented and dedicated YALSA members who submitted nearly 600 volunteer applications to join these great committees!
If you submitted an application, you should have received an email from me inviting you to be on a committee or an email letting you know that my appointments taskforce and I were unable to find a spot for you this year.
If you received one of the latter emails, please don’t be discouraged and please try again. There were just not enough slots for the number of applications we received.
In the meantime, you can gain valuable YALSA and professional development experience by volunteering to be on a YALSA strategic committee, task force, or jury. The work of all of these strategic groups is done virtually and do not require conference attendance. The deadline for strategic committee applications is March 1, 2015, and I will be making those appointments in the spring.
Wow, I can hardly believe that Midwinter is this week. I am reading through Board Docs, working on schedules with my fellow President-Elects, and reviewing strategic committee appointment volunteers.
While we are all caught in the throes of summer reading, I want to take a minute to remind everyone to look forward to the fall! That’s because, as President-Elect, I’ll be making appointments to the following YALSA committees and taskforces:
- 2015 Midwinter Marketing & Local Arrangements Taskforce
- 2015 Midwinter Trends in YA Presentation Planning Taskforce
- Alex Award
- Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults
- Awards Nominating Committee
- Best Fiction for Young Adults
- Governance Nominating Committee
- Great Graphic Novels for Teens
- Morris Award
- Odyssey Award
- *Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults
- Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
*Please note that the PPYA Committee is being piloted as an all-virtual committee for the coming year. YALSA members with book selection and evaluation experience and who are comfortable working in an online environment with tools like ALA Connect, Google Docs, Skype, etc. should put their names forward for consideration.
The Fine Print Continue reading