YALSA Board @ Annual 2013: Board Transparency and Accessibility

At the 2013 ALA Annual Conference, the YALSA board discussed possible methods to increase accessibility between members and the board, as well as improve transparency of the work of the board. The topic surfaced after the board received positive feedback when I “live-tweeted” the 2013 Midwinter board meetings. You can read the full board document that supported the discussion here.   The board agreed to adopt the suggestions made and to evaluate the progress in 2014.

Some of the ideas have already begun to happen:

As the board continues to explore ways to be accessible and share information about board work, we encourage YALSA members to keep the flow of communication going both ways. Let board members know if you have an idea or a concern about something. Be sure to continue your involvement by volunteering for a task force or committee, or even run for board!

Transparency – Key to Great Teen Services

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about transparency in teen services. Partly I’ve been thinking about it because I’m preparing for a YALSA Institute on advocacy and teen services. In my preparations it’s become more and more clear that without being transparent about what teen librarians do every day in order to serve teens effectively, it’s not possible to advocate for the value of teen services.

For example: If items are purchased for a teen collection and the teen librarian is a bit uncomfortable about how adults in the community will react to the items, then sometimes a teen librarian will hide the items away on the shelves, not displaying them or mentioning them to colleagues, administration or adults in the community, but hoping that teens with an interest will find them. Continue reading