Hi Sarah & Kevin:

Here are a few more questions for you:

Spreading the word about YALSA and library service to teens is an important task for the Division President. What training or mentoring have you done to spread the YA word to other professionals? Who has mentored or made a difference in your professional life?

YALSA is lucky to have members with a very wide variety of backgrounds and experiences, including brand new members and long-term members. What services do you feel YALSA provides that are particularly valuable for new members? Long-term members? What are your ideas for reaching those groups of members?

And finally, just for fun, what are some of your favorite YA books, authors and/or movies?

About Paula Brehm Heeger

Past-President of YALSA (President, 2007-2008) and current member of the YALSA Board of Directors (2006-2009). Past YALSA Committee Chair positions include Partnerships Advocating for Teens (PAT), TAGS, Intellectual Freedom; Past ALSC Chair positions include Notable Children's Videos; Contributing author to upcoming "Quick and Popular Reads" (ALA Editions, forthcoming)

2 Thoughts on “Training, Mentoring Questions for VP/President-Elect

  1. Sarah Cornish Debraski [Visitor] on February 22, 2007 at 7:43 pm said:

    At my previous library I talked up young adults to the rest of the staff regularly. I helped the children’s librarian explore ya lit and develop and interest in it. I’ve been an enthusiastic speaker at our state conference, as well as at an ALA annual program. I’ve probably “spread the YA word” the most in informal one on one interactions with people I’ve met at work, meetings, or conferences.
    In my own professional life I count my first boss, Patrick Jones, as a mentor. Not only did he influence me hugely with regard to young adult services, but he also helped me develop management skills. Having a person to connect with in my first professional job really helped shape my thoughts about library services, especially outreach.

    I think the relatively new YALSA 101 program is the best new service for new members. It’s a way to help people figure out how they can participate in our organization and get them started meeting people. For long term members I think the best thing YALSA has to offer is the ability to create new and topical discussion groups, interest groups, and lists. In that way there is always something fresh to offer as interests change and developments occur in the profession. I would also posit that the association offers new members the opportunity to meet and network with seasoned and knowledgeable professionals, and long term members the opportunity to meet and network with fresh voices in the profession. Networking benefits all of our members.
    My thoughts on reaching new members are to make sure we target library schools with information, and that we use the student interest group as a resource. I’m concerned about missing out on reaching the new members who don’t attend conference and I’d like to find a way to make sure they benefit from the association. One way to address this might be to have a stronger presence at state conferences. As far as reaching long-term members I think it would be interesting to survey those who’ve been members the longest and ask if needs have changed, if they’re still being met, and how best to meet them.

    Some of my favorite authors include Sarah Dessen, Joan Bauer, Scott Westerfeld, Gordon Korman, Margaret Peterson Haddix, John Marsden, Patrice Kindl, and Shannan Hale. A few all time favorite books are The Road Home by Ellen Emerson White, Airborn by Kenneth Oppel, Vote for Larry by Janet Tashjian, Feeling Sorry for Celia by Jaclyn Moriarty, Beauty by Robin McKinley, The Truth About Forever by Sarah Desesen, and Squashed by Joan Bauer. Today I finished reading Diva, by Alex Flinn, which I thought was great. I hold enormous affection for the authors of my own teen years-Norma Klein, Norma Fox Mazer, and Judy Blume. As far as YA movies go, I probably watch more teen oriented tv-Veronica Mars, Gilmore Girls, and used to watch Buffy and Angel.

  2. Kevin Scanlon [Visitor] on March 2, 2007 at 2:27 pm said:

    Promoting librarianship, and YALSA in particular, is important to the future growth of our profession. Each of us should encourage future librarians and those interested in serving teens. For my part, I have been a Serving the Underserved trainer since 2001. I have also spread the importance of library services to teens in my community by serving on the Literacy Council Board of Directors and the Canton Chamber of Commerce Education Committee. Both of these organizations are based in Michigan.

    YALSA has always struck me as an organization that prides itself on guiding individual members. I believe that has been a big part of our membership increase. That individual contact will motivate a new member to get involved and make a commitment to YALSA. This prevents members from feeling “lost in the crowd” and affirms that their involvement does make a difference.
    Caryn Sipos played an instrumental role in my development as a teen librarian and as a YALSA member. I’m grateful for her friendship, guidance, and sense of humor.
    The ability to become quickly involved on committees is of high-value to our new members and those who are students. The experience and connections they acquire enhances their studies, job prospects, and commitment to the profession. The long-term members benefit from the friendships that develop over the years and the continued professional development.
    As president, I will reach out to library schools that offer courses in teen services and/or teen literature. I believe it is essential to develop an ongoing relationship with these schools to address the professional needs of student members. As for our long-term members, it’s important that we reach out to those who are not regular conference members and develop programs and services to meet their needs.

    My favorite YA books are:

    Hole in My Life by Jack Gantos
    Tenderness by Robert Cormier (the very first book I book talked)

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