YALSA is still looking for volunteers for our award and blogging teams.

Interested members need to complete the Committee Volunteer Form, be sure to indicate any previous experience you have had with book discussion groups, award or selection list skills, and/or review writing. Please check last year’s “How to fill out YALSA’S Volunteer Form” blog post for more helpful hints. 

Not a member? Join now and gain experience serving on one of our prestigious award and blogging teams.

The six award committees are:

The blogging selection list teams are: 


  • For Book Awards you have to apply each year because the form changes each year and the President-Elect cannot see the previous year’s applications.
  • Book and Selected list awards applications open up in the Fall
  • Strategic Committees open up in January
  • For Book Awards and Selected lists, YALSA has a conflict of interest policy that is helpful to review when considering applying.
  • For everyone appointed, you should hear from Letitia Smith first; she will send you a form you need to complete to accept the appointment. There will be some limbo time as Letitia works to compile the rosters.
  • Once the rosters are compiled and sent out, your Chair will reach out to share training information.

Please read last year’s “How to fill out YALSA’S Volunteer Form” blog post for more helpful hints. 

As we say “Goodbye” to the summer, we look forward to next summer in sunny California!

YALSA is seeking volunteers for the Local Arrangements and Marketing Committee for the ALA Annual Conference in San Diego. Volunteers will assist during the conference and show off their knowledge of the local hot spots. Check out these previous committee blog posts.

Here is the link for the full description of the task force duties.
This is a short-term volunteering experience that starts in January 2024!

Committee members are expected to attend annual. 5 – 7 virtual members including the chair. Term: 6 Months, January 1 to June 30.

If you are interested in volunteering please complete the Committee Volunteer Form.  

Yvette Garcia
YALSA President-Elect 2024-2025

Hi everyone!

I hope everyone had a relaxing Labor Day! Thank you to all of you who work for YALSA, our staff and volunteers. 

FIrst, I am happy to announce that we have a new Communications Specialist on staff, Camille Alcazar! Camille will be completing onboarding through the beginning of September. Currently the best way to reach YALSA Communications is via the email yalsaevents@ala.org

As many of you may know, we have been searching for an Executive Director this summer. Currently, our Interim Executive Director, LaMoya Burks has been with us since early 2022 and has made great strides to keep YALSA moving forward. It is my hope that we will soon be able to announce the new YALSA Executive Director for YALSA, so please keep watch on Connect and your YALSA eNews emails!

Two YALSA Board members are currently taking a leave of absence until October. While it’s usually a difficult time to work through when someone uses a short term leave, I am thankful that YALSA has a leave of absence policy in place so that our members can take the time they need to care for themselves or others. I look forward to our two members’ return and working with them again. Our short-term leave policy applies to all YALSA volunteers, so if this is something you need, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your Chairs, other Board members, or me if you need more information.

Our Board Development committee has started to prepare our 2025 Election Slate! We are looking for candidates for next year’s slate for the following positions: President-Elect, YALSA Division Councilor, and two Board Directors at Large. Successful candidates will stand for election in the spring of 2024 and begin their term on July 1, 2024 during at the ALA Annual Conference in San Diego, CA. For more information on the responsibilities of each role on the Board, please visit the Governance page which includes some handy links under the topic Get Involved in Governance. If youare ready to put your name forward, please submit via the online nomination form.

A friendly reminder that Teen’s Top Ten Voting has opened and will remain open until October 15!  Use this link to share with your teens, so they can cast their vote: Teen’s Top Ten Voting Form Our committee is hard at work this year to continue to steer the Teen’s Top Ten program back on course. Work on this started earlier this year by the previous chair who stepped in at the end of the year, Stephanie Charlefour and the 2022-23 committee members Tamara DePasquale, Emily Harris, Rebecca Leonhard, and Lynn Jacobs.

Finally, our Symposium Registration is open!

While there is still a lot of work to do for the Symposium, I want to thank those so far who have done so much thus far on a not average timetable and with random hiccups along the way! First our Symposium Planning and Marketing Task Force members: Amy Ojserkis, Caroline Aversano, Heather Beverley, Asuncion Cora, Ginny Edwards, Meagan Looney, and Scot Smith. Our YALSA staff LaMoya Burks and Ninah Moore. And our YALSA President-Elect, Yvette Garcia. 

YALSA members: this St. Louis Symposium is going to be fantastic from what I can see so far–make sure you register today! When you’re registering, please pay close attention to the question regarding a focus group. Our Division Membership and Promotion committee is planning on a focus group to talk with members about YALSA membership recruitment and retainment, especially in regards to members of color. Also be sure to take note that we will be having an evening at the St. Louis Public Library! I am so thankful staff at SLPL are hosting us and providing a tour of their amazing central library!

Completed Activities

  • YALSA 2024 budget has been completed and submitted to ALA, including our endowment planned activities worksheet
  • Board strategic committees were established and provided possible projects. Next steps will be to finish naming committee chairs, and the committees to work to narrow their focus for the year
  • President-Elect, Yvette Garcia was trained on making YALSA appointments. And I am happy to report that she already has a jump start with appointing our book award and selected lists committees. Please see this YALSA blog post for more information and access our volunteer form here: https://www.ala.org/CFApps/volunteer/form.cfm

Ongoing Activities

  • Discussions continue with the board and the update of the operating agreement and how this will affect overhead costs. Many divisions are currently discussing options for the overhead costs provided by the Operating Agreement Task Force. It’s a difficult topic and the YALSA Board is considering everything carefully
  • Membership meetings are currently being planned for the year. While we try to hold a membership meeting annually at the ALA Annual Conference, we also want to be able to provide them virtually throughout the year. We are looking at some options now. YALSA is required in its bylaws to hold at least one Membership Meeting a year and the purpose of a membership meeting is to provide membership an update of the business of the division. 

Are you a member of YALSA and would like to serve on one of the popular Book Award committees or on a selection list blogging teams? 

The six award committees are:

The blogging selection list teams are: 


  • For Book Awards you have to apply each year because the form changes each year and the President-Elect cannot see the previous year’s applications.
  • Book and Selected list awards applications open up in the Fall
  • Strategic Committees open up in January
  • For Book Awards and Selected lists, YALSA has a conflict of interest policy that is helpful to review when considering applying.
  • For everyone appointed, you should hear from Letitia Smith first; she will send you a form you need to complete to accept the appointment. There will be some limbo time as Letitia works to compile the rosters.
  • Once the rosters are compiled and sent out, your Chair will reach out to share training information.

Click on the Committee Volunteer Form, be sure to indicate any previous experience you have had with book discussion groups, award or selection list skills, and/or review writing. Please check last year’s “How to fill out YALSA’S Volunteer Form” blog post for more helpful hints. 

As a reminder, all YALSA Book Award committee appointments serve a one-year term beginning February 1, 2024, and concluding January 31, 2025.

I thank everyone in advance for their desire and interest in volunteering to serve on these prestigious committees.

Hi everyone!

I am pulling this report together on the last day of July which means I have been YALSA President for one month! For these reports, I am going to do my best to report to you, the YALSA members, what I have been working on each month. I will do my best to include bigger picture items and highlight as much of the work we do in governance each month as I can, though I am sure that I will unintentionally miss something.

I also want to take the time to give thanks each month. Thank you to all our YALSA volunteers! And especially to our newly appointed Strategic Committee, Advisory Board, and Task Force chairs. I have met with a majority of them so far this month (and have more meetings scheduled for next month) and I am so excited to be working with each of them as they are bringing an enthusiasm to their work this year that I am so impressed by. I can’t wait to see what we accomplish together this year.

Special shout out to our 2022-23 and 2023-24 Teen’s Top Ten Committees. We had a rocky year last year for Teen’s Top Ten. We started to recover when a past TT10 chair, Stephanie Charlefour, stepped in this spring to work with the committee to make sure we had a Top 25 list out in May. Stephanie is currently working with incoming chair, Karen Scott, to make sure the transition goes smoothly so this year’s committee can hit the ground running.

Finally, a big thanks to the YALSA staff! To Letitia for reading my mind when it comes to the different volunteer appointments and replacements we have to take care of together. To LaMoya for continuously pushing YALSA forward and for making sure our budget planning stays on track. And finally, to Sandra Ramirez. Sandra’s last day as our Communications Specialist was Friday, 7/28. YALSA works with a temporary agency right now to fill this Communications Specialist position, so we do see some turnover in the position that occurs quickly. Sandra did great work for YALSA and was very easy to work with. Thankfully, she is pursuing another opportunity so we wish her all the best!


  • Worked with YALSA Staff, Letitia Smith, to fill the remaining spots on our Strategic Committees to the best of our abilities. We still have openings on the following committees:
  • Reviewed and updated all the YALSA Board Member onboarding documents
  • Provided Board Training to all Board members on July 17
  • Introduced all the Board Liaisons to their committees (these change every July as we start a new Board year)
  • Set the Board meeting and Executive Committee meetings for the 2023-24 year. This year we will be transitioning to monthly meetings for both. The schedule will be posted soon on the YALSA website.
  • Met with the following chairs to review goals/projects for their strategic committees (meetings scheduled through August with additional chairs):
    • Celeste Swanson, Division Membership & Promotion
    • Josie Andrews, Presidential Initiatives Implementation Task Force
    • Kirsten Caldwell, Social Media Marketing
    • Gail Tobin, Financial Advancement
    • Traci Glass, Organization and Bylaws
  • Participated in interviews for the YALSA Executive Director position with ALA staff, YALSA’s ALA Executive Board Liaison, our Past-Past President, Past President, and YALSA Staff
  • The YALSA Board did some work this month to catch up on items that were lost in the transition from the last Board year (7/1/2022-6/30/2023) to this current Board year (7/1/2023-6/30/2024):
    • Appointed Kate Denier as YALSA Secretary due to a resignation
    • Approved the Endowment Planned Activities for FY23 worksheet (delayed from last fall)
    • Selected a Board Fellow (we are hoping to contact all applicants soon with the results of our decision)


  • Working with the YALSA Staff and Executive Committee to finalize the FY24 budget
  • I sat in on a YALSA Symposium Planning and Marketing task force meeting earlier this month–I am so excited for YALSA members to see our final schedule! The Task Force is really putting a dynamic conference together. Registration will open in the next couple of weeks!
  • Our first YALSA Board meeting will be on Monday, August 21. The agenda is being put together this week and among other topics, I hope we will be able to review the assignments of YALSA Board Strategic committees as well as looking at membership communication ideas for the YALSA Board this year.

Stats to report:

Official YALSA membership numbers as of *April 2023*
Total YALSA membership – 3,247
Personal memberships – 3,040
Organizational memberships – 195
Corporate memberships – 12

Please seen below for the call for articles on the theme of Teen Mental Health for the Fall/Winter issue of the journal of the Young Adult Library Services Association, Young Adult Library Services (YALS).

This post has been updated to reflect the correct content due date of August 17

Teen librarians face many crises when working with their communities of teens, and currently, one of the most serious is teen mental health. Depression is on the rise, and so is suicide, especially among LGBTQ+ teens. The changes in family structure also impact teens. Many of them live in single parent households, where the parent may be forced to work more than one job, and teens may have to step into a parental role for their younger siblings, creating a situation fraught with potential conflicts. Teens may also have to work, to help support the family, or to get the spending money that no longer comes from their parent. The family unit is changing in both positive and negative ways, and they all impact teens.

The number of homeless or houseless teens is also on the rise, as are the dangers of living on the streets, and the predators that find their victims there. With no trusted adult to support them, teens are left to survive with only their teenaged brains and social mores, making them among the most isolated and vulnerable of those without a home. They are having to cope with situations that adult brains could deal with more competently, because the teen brain is still growing.

And isolation is also seen in teens who aren’t on the street. The family unit has weakened, and some parents are busy with their own lives, and don’t spend time at home or with their children. COVID is another of the causes of isolation. Teens were forced to stay home, away from their friends for months and years. And when they were able to resume a “normal” life, it soon became obvious that the old normal was gone, and a new normal had taken its place. Along with everyone else, teens had to learn its rules, and how to function in it.

Social media also contributes to the decline of teens’ mental health. Even some teens are calling for less screen time. The ubiquity of cellphones means that posts and messages reach “everyone” in a teen’s world, and texts sent in haste or in anger will last and continue to have power far beyond that of the spoken word. They don’t fade away and are forgotten. They last, frequently gaining power as they are shared and re-sent over and over again.

These aren’t the only challenges today’s teens face—and one is bullying, in person and online. For some teens, it’s impossible to escape. Because of social media, peer pressure has seldom been as widespread as it is now, and along with bullying that can escalate into violence, and all too often the victims decide to respond with violence, against others or against themselves. Racism, the problem we have faced for hundreds of years, is still a problem, and in some areas, it’s becoming more and more intense. Teen suicide rates are also increasing, especially among LGBTQ+ teens. They must deal with feelings, situations, and settings that straight teens don’t always encounter.

Psychologists tell us that every teen needs at least one trusted adult to support them—not necessarily a parent or family member—but a teacher, coach, boss/supervisor, therapist, an adult from a friend’s family, or a teen librarian. There is no doubt that teen librarians have been, are, and will be making a difference in the lives of teens who come to their library. But we need to look beyond the individual and examine what teen librarians can do on a larger scale, in their community, their region, and their country. Policies need to be changed or challenged. Societal mores need to be challenged too—especially ones that involve teens.

What is happening in your library? Your region or state? What have you done, or could you do to stem the rising tide? We librarians need support if we are going to help create a healthier environment for the teens we serve. And working together requires knowing the other person, exchanging ideas, sharing joy and tears. Helping to make a happier library, school, community, and country.

This issue of YALS focuses on a topic that all of us are aware of but haven’t always figured out a way to deal with it. And I haven’t touched on all the problems, situations, and politics included in the topic of teen mental health. I want to see your ideas, your solutions, your proposals for change. Tell me about your successes, but also tell me about your failures, and give others a chance to suggest some solutions you may not have considered. And because we are a book/material centered profession, I want to hear about the best old and new titles that have made a difference with kids, and why or how they helped create change. I want stories about individuals, and I want stories that involve groups, all kinds, all sizes of groups. I want you to tell me about your favorite materials to go for teens with some of the problems I’ve described above, and your favorite authors who created those materials. I don’t know how many people will respond to this call, but I’d really like a deluge. And to those of you who think your story is too small, or that you can’t tell it as well as others could, please take a chance and send me your ideas and experiences—just a summary is all I need—and it doesn’t need to be long, but you do need to catch my interest. Why does this situation hang around in your brain? Why did you first get involved? Why is it important to you? What have you done, or would like to do about it? I love hearing people’s stories—I hope you’ll send me yours.

Please note that this is a volunteer writing opportunity with no monetary compensation. YALSA has the right to first refusal.

If you have an article idea for this themed issue, please submit article proposals by August 17, 2023. If you know someone who has experience on this topic and would be interested in writing for YALS or have questions, please contact YALS’ editor, Joni Richards Bodart 

While the journal’s main focus is on teen literature and programming and services for teens, articles from those dealing with the issue of teen mental health in different professions are encouraged in order to include various perspectives of this topic.

respectively submitted by Joni Bodart, YALS editor

YALSA is currently seeking a Board Advocate for the 2023-24 term.  This position will be held by someone who is not yet a YALSA member, but advocates for teens in their role working for an institution, a non-profit, a for-profit venture, or as a volunteer, among other capacities. Current or former employment in a library is neither required nor is it a disqualification; however, the intent is to encourage a person with a perspective outside the library realm to join the Board. 

This position is an ex-officio position, which means it is a non-voting position, but is otherwise expected to participate in board work and projects, and attend board meetings. This ex-officio Board member will serve a 1-year term, with the potential to renew for a second 1-year term. No prior library experience or familiarity with libraries or YALSA is required for this position.

If you are interested in applying, or know of an excellent candidate for this position, please follow this link to complete the application/nomination form.

When you have completed the form, please be sure to email YALSA President-Elect, Colleen Seisser, to expedite the processing of the application.

YALSA is looking for a Board Fellow for the 2023-24 year. The YALSA Board Fellow position gives YALSA members an expanded opportunity to be involved in the leadership of the association. Each year one fellow will be selected from that year’s pool of applicants. The selected candidate will serve a one-year term on the YALSA Board as a non-voting member. While a non-voting member, the fellow is expected to participate fully in the year-round work of the Board including attending and participating in all meetings and discussions.

Benefits of Serving as a YALSA Board Fellow

Those who are selected to be a YALSA Board Fellow will have the opportunity to:

  • Enhance leadership, management, and administration skills
  • Gain in-depth knowledge of the association and how associations work
  • Experience what YALSA Board service entails and if a longer-term leadership position in YALSA is of interest
  • Network with association leaders
  • Give back to the association through service in a leadership position

Read more about the benefits of board service.

Click here to learn more about the Board Fellow positions from first-hand accounts from past Board Fellows.

If the Board Fellow position sounds like the match for you follow this link to complete the application form (disregard the due date listed). When you have completed the form, please be sure to email YALSA President-Elect, Colleen Seisser, to expedite the processing of your application.

Training for all incoming volunteers for the spring appointments for the Strategic Committees, Task Forces, and Advisory Boards will be Wednesday, June 7, at 3pm CST. This training will be recorded and shared at a later date for members who are unable to attend the live training.

The training is estimated to take about 30 minutes, with more time being added if there are questions. Chair training will immediately follow, so Chairs will be expected to set aside one hour total of their time.

Training Link

Passcode: 578848

YALSA’s Program Committee is looking for your input! Our committee coordinates YALSA’s member webinars and evaluates conference program proposals, and we want to know what you need and prioritize in your continuing education; what topics would be most helpful and what experience levels are you looking for. Please take a moment to complete our short survey. Thank you!

SURVEY LINK: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LJPHR9R