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.
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:
*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
As President-elect I’ll be making appointments to YALSA’s *virtual* juries and process committees in the very near future. Help move the organization forward, learn something new, and work with amazing people by serving on one of these:
Books for Teens Jury
BWI/YALSA Collection Development Grant Jury
Conference Travel Scholarships Jury
Frances Henne/VOYA/YALSA Research Grant Jury
Great Books Giveaway Jury
MAE Award for Best’ Literature Program for Teens
Continuing Education Advisory Board
Division and Membership Promotion
Editorial Advisory Board
The Hub Advisory Board
Joint School/Public Library Cooperation
Annual Conference Marketing (Las Vegas, 2014)
Organization and Bylaws (conference travel is required)
Publications Advisory Board
Research Journal Advisory Board
Strategic Planning (conference travel is required)
Teen Read Week
Teen Tech Week
Not sure which one to volunteer for? Just fill our the volunteer form as completely as possible and I’ll do my best to find the right fit for you. Appointments will be made through March. Questions? You can find me at firstname.lastname@example.org.’ Please note: book award & selection committee appointments are made in the fall, and the volunteer form for those will not open until June.
Each spring, the YALSA President-elect appoints members to serve on process committees and juries. These groups are the backbone of the organization, making sure that core initiatives like Teen Read Week and Teen Tech Week happen in a suitably dynamic YALSA fashion and select recipients of awards and grants. They also find ways to engage new members, support our amazing blogs, plan conference programs, maintain our wikis, and implement genius plans to support the organization, its members, and initiatives financially. ‘ And… much much much more.
In my own experience, these groups provide a perfect opportunity to get your feet wet, learn something new about the division, develop your professional chops, and of course, work with genuinely awesome people. Plus, they’re entirely virtual, so conference travel (though welcomed) is not mandatory. ‘ Volunteer forms will be collected through the beginning of February and appointments will be made in March. A list of committees and juries as well as the volunteer form, can be found here: http://www.ala.org/yalsa/workingwithyalsa/yalsacommittee.
Please feel free to get in touch with current Chairs with questions http://www.ala.org/yalsa/workingwithyalsa/committees/committeechair or contact me at email@example.com.
Thanks, and I look forward to serving with you!
Happily, my appointments taskforce and I are swimming in applications for this fall’s selection and award committees as well as several important taskforces. For those of you that submitted a form, thank you for being willing to share your time and expertise with YALSA in this way.
Throughout the month, we’ll be filling slots with an eye toward creating strong and diverse committees. We hope to have all our work completed by the end of the October.
‘ And please remember, if we are unable to place you at this time or if you weren’t able to meet the September 30th deadline for these committees, there are a myriad of ways to be an engaged member in YALSA including:
‘ Of course, these aren’t your only options. For more information and ideas, take a few minutes to watch a Get Involved webinar.
Monthly President’s Report â€“ February 2012
March kind of sneaked up on me, I guess because February is a short month. Below is a summary of activities that I have completed or am working on. Happy Teen Tech Week!
- Committee Chairs:’ ‘ I had phone conversations with several YALSA committee chairs about the work of their committees.
- Board Activities: ‘
- The Board had an online chat on February 1. Board members offered suggestions for the content of the selection and award committee chair and member webinars.
- The Board met by telephone on February 29 to discuss chair quarterly reports and to take action on two requests for Board action that came from committees.
- The Board voted to accept a proposal from the Morris Award committee to amend the eligibility rules to exclude self-published and e-book only books from consideration. The new rule will be re-evaluated after the 2013 award. Continue reading
The 2012 YALSA/VOYA Frances Henne Research Grant Committee congratulates this year’s grant recipient, Sylvia Vardell.’ Her research proposal is entitled, Poetry Books and Apps: Complement or Competition?’ Dr. Vardell’s research seeks to investigate student attitudes toward poetry apps and the impact of use of apps on poetry book reading and circulation.
In the research proposal, Dr. Vardell poses these questions and ideas:
â€œWhere do we begin in selecting poetry that children will like? No one has yet considered the impact of the new format of the poetry application or ‘app.’ It seems logical to hypothesize that access to this new innovation might have a positive impact on young people’s attitudes toward the poetry content, but it has not been investigated. In addition, this raises the question about whether poetry in print format will suffer as a result. Does new technology trump old books? The proposed project will attempt to address these questions.â€
Dr. Vardell notes that although this small study focuses exclusively on poetry, this look at the impact of apps on student attitudes and the relationship to book reading offers wider applications that interest professionals and researchers in libraries and literacy.
Sylvia Vardell is Professor in the School of Library and Information Studies at Texas Woman’s University, where she teaches graduate courses in children’s and young adult literature.
The YALSA/VOYA Frances Henne Research Grant offers seed money to research that supports the YALSA Research Agenda.’ Applications for the 2013 grant are due on December 1, 2012.’ For more information, please see http://www.ala.org/yalsa/awardsandgrants/franceshenne .