The YALSA Board works year-round, tackling projects and other tasks in between conferences. One of those projects is updating the YALSA Board self-assessment tool.
Self-assessment is an essential part of professional development. Self-assessments help us gage the success of our efforts and identify areas for growth. After all, an organization, be it YALSA or your library, can only successful if the people leading and working in the organization are successful.
YALSA’s Board Members are expected to conduct self-assessment to ensure YALSA’s leadership is effective. At ALA Annual 2016, the Board discussed the need for an updated assessment tool and process that better reflects the new Organizational Plan. Diane Colson, Jennifer Korn, and Kate McNair are in the process of developing that new assessment tool and process. We examined the prior YALSA self-assessment tool, tools used by other organizations within and beyond ALA, and professional literature on the topic to create an effective and user-friendly self-assessment rubric. The Board at large is now in the process of examining and offering feedback about the current draft of this tool.
This finished tool will be used by all board members annually at minimum. Results will be used to develop individual and group goals, which will ensure YALSA keeps moving forward in its teens-first mission. The tool will also be used by members interested in pursuing a YALSA Leadership role to better understand Board work and expectations, and will be available to the entire membership on YALSA’s website.
As the Board continues to work on this and other projects, we encourage you to also think about your personal self-assessment and growth. Teen services in our libraries thrives because of your work and development!
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.
YALSA is formulating its next strategic plan, which will be a 3 year plan rather than a 5 year one. Directly after the Young Adult Services Symposium, YALSA staff and the Executive Committee met for 1.5 days to dig deeply into the process. In her recent blog post, YALSA President, Candice Mack, referred to this time as “a ‘scouting expedition’/environmental scan.” Four YALSA members also participated in the first half-day session.
Facilitated by Eric Meade from the Whole Mind Strategy Group, attendees utilized The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: A Call to Action to reflect on what the future landscape of teen services in libraries might look like. Just like the Futures report calls for a paradigm shift that leads to teen-centric services, the new strategic plan will take a teen-centered approach by putting teens’ needs at the forefront and setting goals that support YALSA members in helping teens meet those needs.
Attendees gathered in a large circle in a meeting room at the Hilton where the Symposium was held. After an explanation of theories and of the process of the day, different groups went into the “fishbowl” (a circle within the larger circle) to answer questions relating how the Futures report could strategically address the landscape of teen services and YALSA. Later, we divided into groups to brainstorm possible goals we would like to see YALSA achieve in the year 2025. We then categorized the goals into groups.
What struck me most throughout the process was the level of engagement of everyone. There were signs of vitality and a healthy YALSA throughout the afternoon. There was a desire by YALSA staff and the Executive Committee to get member feedback and to ensure that the results of the process made for both the best YALSA possible, best served our teens, and resulted in a strong teen services staff in our libraries.
Again, throughout the process, YALSA is looking to get member feedback. Engage in the process now by completing YALSA’s feedback form. The next opportunity to discuss the process will be with Candice Mack during a Twitter Town Hall on November 30, 7:00 to 8:00pm EST. Use #yalsachat to participate.
Adrienne Strock is the Teen Library Manager at the Nashville Public Library. She is currently a member of the YALSA Community Connections Taskforce. She tweets @astro2pt0.
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.