Interview with Eric Meade

Last month, YALSA announced a new three-year organizational plan building from the Futures report and looking forward to 2018.  The YALSA Board has been working on this for over eight months, and consultant Eric Meade from Whole Mind Strategy Group has been an integral part of the process. I interviewed Meade to hear about the process so far, what has been rewarding about the process, and where YALSA is headed next.

Eric Meade will answer questions at ALA Annual in Orlando at a session titled “What’s New in YALSA & How You Can be a Part of It” from 8:30 – 10am EST at the Rosen Centre Hotel, Salon 03/04. Please attend to hear more about the new organizational plan, where YALSA is going from here and explore ways you can be a part of it.

Rethinking YALSA: I’m Excited – How About You?

In late April the YALSA Board approved the association’s new organizational plan. If you haven’t read the plan I think you want to. And, if you need some encouragement, check-out what some YALSA Board members are excited about:

photo of Jennifer Korn with teens and a sign that says - excited about the teens first approach

YALSA Board member Jennifer Korn with library teens – they are excited with the Teens First focus.
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YALSA Board @ Midwinter 2016: Organizational Planning Communication Plan

The YALSA Board Midwinter Meeting Agenda and related documents are available and you probably noticed a lot of time devoted to  strategic planning. The work YALSA began with the association’s Futures Report, was also the start of  gathering information, feedback and opinions that ultimately is helping to  inform a new organizational plan. A majority of Board meeting time (which is open to the public) will be spent on organizational planning, but the work doesn’t stop at Midwinter. One of the proposals before the board outlines a plan to communicate the outcomes and next steps of the organizational plan to all YALSA members and stakeholders.

As the Board commits to a “Teens First” focus for the organizational plan and works to prepare the association of the future, this will mean changes to the work of the organization. The Board wants to make sure all members are informed about any major changes to the work of YALSA committees and staff and services to members. These are outlined as priorities in the suggested communication plan proposal.

Once the Board approves a communications plan, over the next six months it is likely you will see news and updates about the new organizational plan on the YALSA website, YALSAblog, e-news, on our list-servs, in personal messages from Board members, and on social media. We want to make sure all members and stakeholders have access to the plan and have chance to ask questions and gain a better understanding of how the new plan will shape the work of YALSA.

Do you have questions or ideas about YALSA’s organization planning process? Please take the time to share your thoughts via this short survey.

All YALSA Board meetings are open to Midwinter Meeting attendees. Feel free to drop by for a short or long period of time. The meetings are an excellent way to learn what YALSA is working on and get a sense of how the association’s governance works.  If you’re not in Boston, follow @yalsa for live Tweets from the meetings.

Strategic Planning Update: It’s So Exciting!

A little less than two years ago YALSA published the “Future of Library Services for and with Teens: A Call to Action” report. (Often referred to as the Futures Report.) At that time YALSA also started talking about how to help library staff working for and with teens to develop programs and services that align with the recommendations in that report. Some of the projects YALSA launched to support that work include futures-focused webinars on topics related to the recommendations made in the report, the Programming Guidelines and Programming HQ, and a wide-array materials for library staff to use to better understand and advocate for the library services discussed in the document.

Now, YALSA is taking the next step in supporting the future-focused ideas of the report and in helping library staff support the lives and needs of teens in 2015, 2016, and beyond. That next step is in the development of an up-to-date vision and plan for YALSA (the current strategic plan runs through the end of this year). It’s a great opportunity to think about all that YALSA does and make sure that the programs and services provided to members are those that will best help them support teens today.  And in this latest round of planning, we’re doing much more than updating a document.  We’re looking broadly at where YALSA is and where we want and need to go.  That’s exciting because:

  • There is a teens first focus. That means that YALSA is keying in on a strategic plan that makes sure the work the association does supports the needs of today’s teens as they prepare for college, careers, and life. Continue reading

Great Ideas Contest: Continuous Learning & Professional Development

We have each experienced a time professionally during which we didn’t feel educated enough, engaged enough, cool enough for our duties as professionals who serve young adults.’  For some of us, our training in YA services has only be on-the-job training (and “training” might be an overstatement!)’  YALSA is committed, as demonstrated in its Strategic Plan, to continuous learning and professional development.’  But to successfully engage its members, we need your input — your Great Ideas – as to how YALSA can connect members with current information, deliver continuing education, provide more training at local and regional levels with regard to YA services and issues, and increase overall the number of library workers competent in teen and YA services.

Here’s how to help YALSA members and potentially win $250:

1. Review Goal #3 of YALSA’s strategic plan.

2. Review guidelines of YALSA’s Great Ideas Contest.

3. Submit your Great Idea by March 16, 2012


You know you’ve found yourself, at one time or another, thinking, “I wish YALSA would…”‘  Well, here’s your chance to propose your wish to YALSA, by giving the organization a practical how-to on the topic of continuing education and professional development.

If you have any questions about the application or the process, please feel free to direct them to Priscille Dando, Strategic Planning Committee Chair, at

YALSA Strategic Plan is Yours!

What is the YALSA Strategic Plan?

It is your plan as a member of YALSA and we need your vision to make the plan vital and relevant! ‘ Part of what YALSA membership offers you is the opportunity for continuous learning and professional development. ‘ YALSA offers a wide array of ways that you can be engaged as a member and continue your education in the field. ‘ YALSA offers online courses, webinars(the current one is about Job Hunting!), a YALSA Mentoring Program for newer members, a Professional Development section, the Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults and an opportunity to participate in First Wednesdays where you can network and exchange ideas with your local YALSA members. ‘ All of these resources are found on the YALSA web page and all support the Strategic Plan.

The plan is a living working document that is only as good as the input we receive from you as members. ‘ Please take a moment to take the survey about what you want to happen in the next years with YALSA. ‘ The survey will be up until March 31st and we would love to hear your ideas! ‘ Envision the future, dream big and share your ideas with us! ‘ We need to hear from you!

YALSA Strategic Planning: We Need to Hear from You!


As you might have been seeing via emails, listervs, and in blog postings, YALSA is embarking on creating a new Strategic Plan to guide the organization and to better serve all its members.

However, in order to begin this process, YALSA needs your input!’  Take a few minutes to participate in the survey and share’ what you think’ YALSA’s priorities, goals, and interests for the future should be.’ 

Every activity, initiative, resource, and service that YALSA develops is determined by the goals and objectives of the Plan.’  Take a look at all the wonderful initiatives that have been created to meet the organization’s Research goal, and more importantly, the research needs of its members: Continue reading

YALSA President’s Report: December 2009

The mission of the Young Adult Library Services Association is to advocate, promote and strengthen service to young adults as part of the continuum of total library service, and to support those who provide service to this population.

Mission Moment
How Recent YALSA Activities Support the Association’s Mission and Strategic Plan

In December YALSA hired the first editor of the Association’s research journal. Jessica Moyer was selected by the search committee. The research journal is slated to launch in the fourth-quarter of 2010 and is both directly tied to YALSA’s mission and the Association’s strategic plan. As a demonstration of supporting YALSA’s mission, hiring Jessica is a key step in publishing a journal that will help members understand teens and how to serve them effectively. The YALSA strategic plan includes a goal area for research which states, “YALSA is a recognized source for access to targeted research benefiting members and the library community.” Hiring a journal editor is an important action in reaching this strategic goal.


In early December I facilitated two conversations for Committee Chairs on planning and getting ready for Midwinter Meeting in Boston. Information covered in the conversations included submission of pre-conference committee reports, building an agenda for committee meetings, what to expect at all-committee and leadership development meetings, and events (outside of committee meetings) to attend at Midwinter. Continue reading