Advocacy can sometimes be a nebulous concept to define, but it’s one that YALSA’s Board of Directors consistently addresses in our work. In fact, advocacy and activism is the first goal of YALSA’s strategic plan. (and not just because we wanted it to start alphabetically)
Have you ever wondered if programs you’re planning, creating and leading for teens in your library are like those that other libraries are offering? Have you ever been asked to justify or build support for the programs you’re offering or want to offer?
At the YALSA Board’s Midwinter meeting, we discussed the Draft Programming Guidelines that the Programming Guidelines Development Task Force created.
The group will continue to refine these guidelines based on Board feedback, which included the value of adding a section on outcomes and connections to YALSA’s new report, the Future of Library Services for and with Teens: A Call to Action
What are your thoughts about this draft document? How else can YALSA make this document as relevant as possible to your work with teens?
At the 2013 ALA Annual Conference, the YALSA board discussed an issue that we have been grappling with for some time: how do we get library administrators on board with the idea that teen services and programs are important, and deserve a fair piece of the library pie?
At the 2013 Midwinter Meeting, the board decided to survey YALSA members who are supervisors and managers, to get some input on this issue. The YALSA Executive Committee discussed the survey results at our April conference call, agreeing that we needed to focus on:
- collecting and sharing case studies
- helping members build skills that will enable them to better interact with administrators and articulate the needs of the teen services department
- collaborating with other organizations in order to build stronger ties with administrators
Since that discussion, the following activities have taken place:
- I wrote a six-part series for the YALSAblog on “What Your Manager Wishes You Knew” that incorporated information from the survey and tips from managers about what teen services librarians could do to work with administration to improve teen services.
- YALSA and LLAMA (the Library Leadership and Management Association, another division of ALA) collaborated on a webinar for managers, “Increase Your Library’s Value by Amping Up Teen Services,” which was facilitated by YALSA and LLAMA member Mary Hastler.
- LLAMA members received an e-blast in June about YALSA’s instructional kits. Continue reading
Hello everyone! Wowsers was the Board busy at Annual conference in Chicago last month! We had some pretty substantial convos and created several new task forces, resources and committees that will provide more ways for you all to get involved. Here’s a quick recap of some highlights of what happened over the three days that we met. For more details on these items, see the official Board documents. The official minutes will also be posted in the Governance section of the website in the near future.
For its “mega issue” the board discussed how to better identify and promote best practices in teen services and continued the discussion at the Membership Meeting.
The board directed the Executive Director to work with staff to pilot a new overall schedule for celebrating YALSA’s book awards at conferences. Staff will get input from the award sponsors and publishers and then determine a new schedule to try for 2014.
The Board considered and tabled a request for Board action to make a change to the Morris Committee’s charge. It will be revisited once the pilot schedule has been determined.
The Board agreed to adopt the recommendations around Board transparency presented in a proposal from Board Fellow Carrie Kausch
Meeting with ALA Executive Committee representative Rob Banks and ALA Budget Analysis and Review Committee representative Clara Bohrer, the Board shared comments about ALA and YALSA continuing education efforts, the fiscal health of the organization and more.
One of the tasks of YALSA’s Organization and Bylaws (O&B) Committee is to review the association’s bylaws with an eye toward accuracy, consistency, and success in supporting the work of the organization. This fall the current O&B Committee took a close look at the YALSA Bylaws and proposed several updates and changes to the document. The YALSA Board discussed and approved the proposal at their Midwinter Meetings and now the membership needs to cast their vote on whether to adopt the proposed changes. None of the changes will take place unless the majority of the membership votes in favor for them. That means the proposed revisions will be included on the YALSA ballot this spring: Continue reading
For the past four months, I have been serving as the first YALSA Board Fellow. Applications for the next term are due December 1st . Because I am having such a positive experience, I want to share a bit about it to encourage members to apply. I will divide this up into a few different blog posts. Today, I want to address why I applied. Feel free to ask me any questions in the comments, or you can find me on Twitter @DogearedCarrie.
I have been actively involved with YALSA since 2009, which is when I volunteered to serve on the Local Arrangements committee for Annual in Washington D.C. Since then, I have served on and chaired several process committees. I have enjoyed learning about different aspects of YALSA, yet I knew there was more to the organization. When I learned about the creation of the Board Fellow, I knew it was an opportunity to learn more about the bigger picture of YALSA, how it is run, and how it fits in to ALA. Leadership skills were something else I hoped to gain if I was selected to serve.
While I had some experience in YALSA, I believed I was still fairly new to the organization. I hoped that I could be a voice on the board for those who are new to YALSA, feeling a bit overwhelmed, or don’t know where to start. I also thought I would be an additional voice as a school librarian. Surveys conducted by YALSA consistently show that school librarians often feel as if they are a minority in the organization. I knew that several YALSA board members were school librarians, but thought another one can never hurt.
Think about applying! Ask yourself: what can I do for YALSA? What could I gain from this experience? I found that I benefitted from the reflection that took place as I completed my application. Don’t forget – applications are due December 1st!
Although the YALSA Board of Directors does a lot of work online and on the telephone throughout the year, our face-to-face meetings at ALA Midwinter and ALA Annual are big occasions for us to have some weighty discussions and make some major decisions. The agenda and board documents for Annual are now available online at www.ala.org/yalsa/workingwithyalsa/governance/board/annual2012. All members are welcome to attend any Board meeting.
The YALSA Board meeting at Annual is actually three separate meetings:
- Saturday, from 2:30-5:30, in the Convention Center, Room 211A
- Sunday, from 4-5:30, in the Convention Center, Room 211B
- Monday, from 1:30-3:30, in the Convention Center, Room 212 B
Monthly President’s Report – April 2012
April was a very interesting month for me on the YALSA front. I’m just back from a week in Washington, D.C. On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of last week, YALSA Executive Director Beth Yoke and I, along with several hundred other library supporters, attended National Library Legislative Day. Beth and I had eight separate meetings over two days, with legislators’ staff members, and with representatives from other organizations that have similar interests to YALSA, such as the Afterschool Alliance, the Center for Excellent Education, and the International Reading Association. We talked about how we could support one another’s missions.
Then on Friday and Saturday of the same week, I staffed the YALSA booth at the USA Science and Engineering Festival at the Washington Convention Center. Along with DC-area YALSA members, I handed out bookmarks and flyers, showed the demo of the YALSA Teen Book Finder App (available in May—we hope—from Apple’s App Store), chatted with teens, parents, teachers, and librarians, and did some on-the-fly readers’ advisory. We encouraged teens to participate in this year’s Teens’ Top Ten, and there was a lot of interest and enthusiasm.
Below is a summary of activities that I have completed or am working on. Continue reading
Monthly President’s Report – February 2012
March kind of sneaked up on me, I guess because February is a short month. Below is a summary of activities that I have completed or am working on. Happy Teen Tech Week!
- Committee Chairs: I had phone conversations with several YALSA committee chairs about the work of their committees.
- Board Activities:
- The Board had an online chat on February 1. Board members offered suggestions for the content of the selection and award committee chair and member webinars.
- The Board met by telephone on February 29 to discuss chair quarterly reports and to take action on two requests for Board action that came from committees.
- The Board voted to accept a proposal from the Morris Award committee to amend the eligibility rules to exclude self-published and e-book only books from consideration. The new rule will be re-evaluated after the 2013 award. Continue reading