Rethinking YALSA: Member engagement part 2

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.

YALSA Member Town Hall – May 14th

I hope you will join me from 8:00 – 9:00pm, eastern, on Thursday May 14th for the next YALSA Member Virtual Town Hall!

I’ll be providing an update on what YALSA leaders and staff have been doing to realign YALSA’s programs and services towards the Futures Report in order to better serve members.  Some exciting new resources are coming, so don’t miss the chance to get the inside scoop!  I’ll also build in lots of time so members can share their thoughts on other actions you’d like YALSA to take to better support you in your efforts to implement the recommendations in the report.

Advance registration is not required and the event will be held via YALSA’s webinar platform, Adobe Connect.  The event will be recorded for anyone who cannot attend some or all of the live session.

Looking forward to chatting with you soon!

Join me (@doseofsnark) for a Twitter Chat – 11/20 at 8 pm EST

Are you interested in getting more involved with YALSA? Maybe you’re curious about the appointments process or other service opportunities?

Join me (@doseofsnark) for a Twitter chat on November 20th, starting at 8 pm Eastern. I’ll be answering questions about various ways that you can get involved with YALSA, from just joining to blogging to serving on a committee. This is a fantastic way to discover what opportunities are the right fit for you.

Get involved and follow the conversation with the hashtag #yalsachat. See you 11/20 at 8 pm EST!

This deadline has no overdue fines

Well, we’re just steps away from the closing date for the Strategic Committee appointments, so if you haven’t yet filled your volunteer form for YALSA committees, then please follow this link now and volunteer.

You can see the full list of the committees and juries that I will be appointing to here.

Once the deadline passes, the appointment process begins! And it looks a little something like this:

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YALSA Strategic Committee Appointments!

Happy New Year to you, amazing YALSA members!

Have you made any professional resolutions for 2014? Perhaps to learn a new skills outside of the purview of your day to day work? Maybe to help advance the profession? If so, please consider volunteering for a strategic committee! These committees are a fantastic way to see all the work that YALSA does to advance teen services, build up your skills, and learn something new. But don’t just take my word for it! See what other people have to say:

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YALSA Board Major Actions at ALA Annual

The YALSA Board met three times at ALA Annual in Anaheim. Over those three meetings, the Board had some substantial discussions, set up some new task forces and ad hoc Board committees, approved two new committee manuals, and moved forward on several other items. For more details on these items, see the official Board documents at http://www.ala.org/yalsa/workingwithyalsa/governance/board/annual2012. The official minutes will also be posted in the Governance section of the website in the near future. The summary is below:

New Task Forces

  • A president-elect advisory task force to work with president-elect Shannon Peterson on defining her presidential theme and setting her goals.
  • An appointments task force to work with president-elect Shannon Peterson to help her make committee appointments during the coming year.
  • A 365 Days of YA task force to create and disseminate a calendar of easy to implement teen services resources aimed at new teens services librarians, library generalists, and paraprofessionals.
  • A state library association outreach task force to reach out to YA sections and roundtables of state library associations and school library associations to strengthen ties with these like-minded organizations.
  • A youth engagement task force to find ways to involve teens in the work of the YALSA Board by identifying and implementing projects in conjunction with Teen Advisory Groups.
  • A capacity-building task force to focus on the capacity-building goal of YALSA’s strategic plan.
  • A task force to create a manual for virtual selection committees.
  • A YALSA/ALSC/AASL task force to look at issues around the Common Core Standards.

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Join YALSA’s new monthly discussion forum!

Next Monday, YALSA will launch a new member benefit: the YA Forum monthly discussion! All YALSA members are invited to participate in an asynchronous discussion on hot topics in YA services in YALSA’s ALA Connect space during the first week of the month. Each forum will be moderated by an expert in the field. Throughout the week members are encouraged to check in to the discussion forum and ask questions and contribute to the on-going discussion.’  The forum ‘ will open at 10am EST on the first Monday of the month and will close the following Friday at 3pm EST.

We’ll be kicking off YA Forum this Monday, April 4, with a discussion on self-censorship led by Stephanie Reynolds, convenor of YALSA’s Intellectual Freedom Interest Group.

To access the YA Forum discussion, you must be a YALSA member. Starting at 10 a.m. Eastern, members can join the conversation by logging into ALA Connect and choosing “YALSA” under “My ALA Groups,” then selecting “Discussions” on the upper right.

If you have questions or trouble accessing the discussion, please contact Eve Gaus, YALSA’s program officer for continuing education, at egaus@ala.org or 1-800-545-2433, ext. 2128.

YALSA Board Meeting 1/16/10

The YALSA Board had a very full agenda yesterday for their first meeting of Midwinter and several important decisions were made, including:

  • Approval of the Selected Lists Proposal. The approval of this proposal means that YALSA’s Best Books for Young Adults List is now Best Fiction for Young Adults. Also, the Alex Awards will be expanded. The Committee working on the Alex Award will continue to select 10 Award winners, and will also publish a longer list of titles that the group considers the best adult books of interest to teens published during the past year. All of the top ten titles selected by YALSA’s selection list committees, Continue reading