YALSA Board Update: Transforming Member Participation

Yesterday during a virtual meeting to address unfinished business from its June meeting, the YALSA board met to continue its discussion about how to improve member engagement opportunities so that they better meet member needs, as well as to re-think the structure of YALSA so that it’s better positioned to carry out the work of the new organizational plan.  Last month, the Board sought to review of all existing member groups at their June meeting (see Candice Mack’s blog post).  The Board accomplished a lot in June, but didn’t finish all of its work around member groups.  The Board met virtually yesterday to discuss the Leading the Transformation of Teen Services Board Standing Committee’s draft recommendations for the remaining member groups that were not addressed in June.  If you’re interested, you can listen to the audio recording of the meeting.

The Board voted to accept the recommendations from the Standing Board Committee for transforming the first 8 strategic committees as listed in Board Document #2.  This includes keeping some strategic committees as-is (Awards Committee Nominating Committee, Awards & Selection Oversight Committee, Competencies Task Force, President’s Planning Taskforce, School and Public Library Cooperation Interdivisional Committee), expanding others (Division and Membership Promotion Committee, Research Committee) and the transitioning to more of a short-term structure for the Summer Learning Taskforce.  These changes will not go into effect until July 2017, as the next several months will involve working out a transition plan.

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YALSA Board Update: Meeting on Aug. 1 & Town Hall on Aug. 17

As part of its ongoing effort to improve member engagement opportunities so that they better meet member needs, as well as to re-think the structure of YALSA so that it’s better positioned to carry out the work of the new organizational plan, the Board sought to review of all existing member groups at our June meeting (see Candice Mack’s blog post).  The Board accomplished a lot at its meeting in June, but didn’t finish all of its work around member groups.  If you haven’t already, check out June Board documents #25, #40, and #41, which were all approved by the Board.  Since the Board didn’t finish its work in June, the Board will be meeting virtually Aug. 1 from 12:30-1:30 pm, eastern, to discuss the Leading the Transformation of Teen Services Board Standing Committee’s draft recommendations for the remaining member groups that were not addressed in June.  These latest Board proposals on member engagement are the result of about a year’s worth of organizational planning work by the Board, exploring how best to adopt a “teens first” approach to YALSA’s work in order to better support members and to advance teen services so that all teens are prepared for college, careers and life. Any member interested in sitting in on the virtual meeting can contact yalsa@ala.org to request the access information. Continue reading

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.

Engaging the Futures Report: discussions with library staff Part 1

The first time I read The Future of Library Services for and with Teens, I was inspired. The second time I read the report, I was overwhelmed. The third time I read the report, I was determined. As I looked at the findings in the report, and the steps YALSA calls out to ready our libraries to serve teens into the future, I felt like I was drowning. How could I implement all of these changes? And then I remembered that I was not alone, I was surrounded by amazing library staff who could, actually they should, come on this journey with me. So I started a discussion centered on the findings in the report and it has been one of the most professionally satisfying experiences of my career. If you feel a little overwhelmed, or want to build support for the actions outlined in the support with your colleagues, I highly suggest starting a discussion group.

First, the report looks deceptively long, don’t let that scare you or your colleagues from diving in. The real meat of the report, that provides the best fodder for discussion is only 33 pages long, that is achievably short, even for the time poor. We broke our discussion up, planning to cover the whole report in three discussions of 30 minutes each (about 10 pages per meeting).

We started small, with a look at the executive summary and the introduction to the report. This generated more discussion than we could cover in 30 minutes (I might recommend at least an hour) but I would rather get the conversation started and have it continue in the staff room, at the desk, and over coffee breaks. I knew we should allow for thoughts of dissent, one of the things I love about my colleagues is our ability to challenge assumptions. We want to really break things down so we can understand them better. You will notice a lot of questions that allow for the voice of dissent.

Introduction

  • How do recent cuts in school librarian jobs change our role as public librarians serving teens?
  • Does the Library play a role in closing the achievement gap? Are we succeeded at that? What could we be doing better? Is that what our community needs? Is our community defined merely by our serving district, or does it expand beyond city/county/state borders?
  • What are the negative influences on our teens that we can help alleviate or solve?
  • Do you feel prepared to deliver culturally competent library service?
  • What is our role in preparing teens for the workforce and making sure they have 21st century skills and technological literacy?

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Governance Preparations for Midwinter

It’s time to start schedule planning for Midwinter, marking off the chunks of time in your calendar or conference planner, factoring in coat buttoning, hunting for scarves and gloves, and all those other winter weather factors!

While YALSA’s Board of Directors will be meeting at the ALA Midwinter Meeting Jan. 30 – Feb. 2, we’ll be using some of our sessions a bit differently this year. Instead of three separate sessions to meet to discuss association business, the first board session on Saturday will be a facilitated strategic planning session for board members.  This session is part of a months’ long effort to develop a new strategic plan for YALSA.  There will also be a strategic planning session for YALSA members at Midwinter from 1:00 – 2:30 on Sunday in room W192b of the convention center.  During the spring we’ll also host virtual feedback sessions for members, and we hope to have a new plan finalized by no later than June.

The board will meet on Sunday and Monday at Midwinter to address current governance matters.  All board sessions are open, and any registered conference attendee is welcome to sit in.
For the Sunday and Monday meetings, the board will be addressing a wide variety of topics, including: adopting best practices in change management, bringing more diversity to the YALSA leadership, year two of rolling out activities that support the recommendations in the report “The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: a Call to Action,” prioritizing use of YALSA endowments funds for 2015, and more.

Right now, YALSA’s Board members are working hard to finalize the agenda and develop the related documents.  Our goal is to post them online in the Governance section of the web site on January 16th.

To learn more about what YALSA and the Board have going on at ALA’s Midwinter Meeting, visit http://tinyurl.com/YALSAmw15.
If you’re not attending the Midwinter Meeting, be sure to follow YALSA on Twitter, as Board members will be Tweeting news and board actions.

Have questions?  Feel free to contact me: @doseofsnark or cinf0master@gmail.com.  I’m excited about the work that has been done since Annual and Fall exec, and look forward to working with the board and members to keep moving YALSA forward!

YALSA Election: An Interview with President-Elect Candidate Candice Mack

Get ready to vote! The YALSA election runs from March 19 through April 25, and to help you be an informed voter, we’re sharing interviews with each of the 2014 YALSA Governance candidates.YALSA_173x79

Today we’ll hear from the candidate for President-Elect. The President-Elect serves a three-year term: President-Elect the first year, President the second year, and Immediate Past-President the third year. The President-Elect is a member of YALSA’s Executive Committee, along with the President, Past President, Fiscal Officer, Secretary and Councilor.

The President-Elect’s primary job is to learn the role of the President, and to make committee appointments. The President-Elect also has all the normal duties of a Board member.’ A full description of the President-Elect’s duties and responsibilities can be found here.

This year there is only one candidate for President-Elect. Governance candidates were asked to craft “Twitter-length” responses (i.e. around 140 characters). Full biographical information on all of the candidates can be found on the sample ballot.

Today we have an interview with Candice Mack.

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YALSA Election: An Interview with Secretary Candidate Carrie Kausch

Get ready to vote! The YALSA election runs from March 19 through April 25, and to help you be an informed voter, we’re sharing interviews with each of the 2014 YALSA Governance candidates.YALSA_173x79

Today we’ll hear from the candidates for YALSA Secretary. The Secretary is a member of YALSA’s Executive Committee, along with the President, President-Elect, Past President, Fiscal Officer, and Councilor. The Secretary normally serves a three-year term, but the Secretary who is elected this year will serve only a two-year term, in order to put the elections of Secretary, Fiscal Officer, and Councilor on a staggered election rotation.

The Secretary is responsible for ensuring that accurate and sufficient documentation exists to enable authorized persons to determine when, how, and by whom the board’s business was conducted. The Secretary records minutes of Board meetings, ensures their accuracy and availability, and performs other duties as requested by the President.The Secretary also has all the normal duties of a Board member.’ A full description of the Secretary’s duties and responsibilities can be found here.

Candidates, who will be presented in alphabetical order, were asked to craft “Twitter-length” responses (i.e. around 140 characters). Full biographical information on all of the candidates can be found on the sample ballot.

Today we have an interview with Carrie Kausch.

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YALSA Election: An Interview with Secretary Candidate April Witteveen

Get ready to vote! The YALSA election runs from March 19 through April 25, and to help you be an informed voter, we’re sharing interviews with each of the 2014 YALSA Governance candidates.YALSA_173x79

Today we’ll hear from the candidates for YALSA Secretary. The Secretary is a member of YALSA’s Executive Committee, along with the President, President-Elect, Past President, Fiscal Officer, and Councilor. The Secretary normally serves a three-year term, but the Secretary who is elected this year will serve only a two-year term, in order to put the elections of Secretary, Fiscal Officer, and Councilor on a staggered election rotation.

The Secretary is responsible for ensuring that accurate and sufficient documentation exists to enable authorized persons to determine when, how, and by whom the board’s business was conducted. The Secretary records minutes of Board meetings, ensures their accuracy and availability, and performs other duties as requested by the President.The Secretary also has all the normal duties of a Board member.’ A full description of the Secretary’s duties and responsibilities can be found here.

Candidates, who will be presented in alphabetical order, were asked to craft “Twitter-length” responses (i.e. around 140 characters). Full biographical information on all of the candidates can be found on the sample ballot.

Today we have an interview with April Witteveen.

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YALSA Election: An Interview with Fiscal Officer Candidate Joy Kim

Get ready to vote! The YALSA election runs from March 19 through April 25, and to help you be an informed voter, we’re sharing interviews with each of the 2014 YALSA Governance candidates.YALSA_173x79

Today we’ll hear from the candidates for YALSA Fiscal Officer. The Fiscal Officer serves a three-year term, and is a member of YALSA’s Executive Committee, along with the President, President-Elect, Past President, Secretary, and Councilor. The primary responsibility of the Fiscal Officer is to work with the Board, Financial Advancement Committee and Executive Director to ensure the fiscal health of the association through proper financial oversight so that there are adequate resources for the organization to fulfill its mission. The Fiscal Officer also has all the normal duties of a Board member.’ A full description of the Fiscal Officer’s duties and responsibilities can be found here.

Candidates, who will be presented in alphabetical order, were asked to craft “Twitter-length” responses (i.e. around 140 characters). Full biographical information on all of the candidates can be found on the sample ballot.

Today we have an interview with Joy Kim.

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YALSA Election: An Interview with Fiscal Officer Candidate Linda W. Braun

Get ready to vote! The YALSA election runs from March 19 through April 25, and to help you be an informed voter, we’re sharing interviews with each of the 2014 YALSA Governance candidates.YALSA_173x79

Today we’ll hear from the candidates for YALSA Fiscal Officer. The Fiscal Officer serves a three-year term, and is a member of YALSA’s Executive Committee, along with the President, President-Elect, Past President, Secretary, and Councilor. The primary responsibility of the Fiscal Officer is to work with the Board, Financial Advancement Committee and Executive Director to ensure the fiscal health of the association through proper financial oversight so that there are adequate resources for the organization to fulfill its mission. The Fiscal Officer also has all the normal duties of a Board member.’ A full description of the Fiscal Officer’s duties and responsibilities can be found here.

Candidates, who will be presented in alphabetical order, were asked to craft “Twitter-length” responses (i.e. around 140 characters). Full biographical information on all of the candidates can be found on the sample ballot.

Today we have an interview with Linda W. Braun.

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