This year’s Membership Meeting and President’s Program left me feeling really energized. Now I have all of these great ideas percolating…

For those who were unable to attend the conference or this particular session, there was a ton of information about what we’ve accomplished as a division. Here is my attempt to give you the highlights. (Any mistakes here are my own as I just tried to type all of this in and keep up!)

President Paula Brehm-Heeger gave a great overview of all the work done by YALSA during the 2007-2008 year. Some accomplishments she mentioned include:

  • YALSA @your library campaign including Speaking Up for Library Services to Teens: A Guide to Advocacy.
  • The Odyssey Award for audiobook production announced the inaugural winner at midwinter 2008.
  • YALSA has been working with the Library Administration and Management Association to develop teen space guidelines that will be announced soon.
  • Launched a diversity campaign including funding a YA services Spectrum Scholar as well as a new scholarship that will enable a member of a diverse background to attend an ALA conference.
  • Joint partnership with the American Association of School Libraries and Association for Library Service to Children for the I Love My Librarian Campaign.
  • Continued work with media to raise the profile of library issues related to teens in the media and promote YALSA’s awards.
  • The tenth Teen Read Week with a record 4,600 registrants.
  • The second Teen Tech Week with 1,500 registrants.
  • The second annual Teen Literature Day. Included Operation Teen Book Drop, a program that delivers books to sick and homebound teens. Twenty publishers donated 10,000 books that were distributed to 12 hospitals across the country and in Canada.
  • The first Young Adult Literature Symposium will be held November 7-9 in Nashville. The theme is “How We Read Now.”
  • YALSA’s newest publications include The Official YALSA Awards Guidebook edited by Tina Frolund and Excellence in Library Services to Young Adults, Fifth Edition edited by Amy Alessio.
  • The development of the Friends of YALSA. This group helps support specific strategic initiatives that YALSA wouldn’t otherwise be able to support without additional funding from FOY.
  • Development of a new strategic plan.
  • Initiation of two new awards including the Morris Award to honor the best book written for young adults by a first-time author (debut at midwinter ‘09 in Denver) and a new nonfiction award (premiering at midwinter ’10 in Boston).

For even more information on what has been accomplished this year, take a look at Paula Brehm-Heeger’s April President’s Report.

Executive Director of YALSA, Beth Yoke, also gave a quick review of some of the developments happening within the division including:

  • Wrestlemania Reading Challenge.
  • A mentoring program for YALSA members that is under development.
  • The Executive Board has approved a student scholarship.

At the end of the membership meeting, we all witnessed the ceremonial passing of the gavel from President Paula Brehm-Heeger to Incoming President Sarah Debraski. Sarah announced that her theme for her presidency will be “Engaging the YALSA Community.” She will strive to meet the needs of all of our members. Look for a survey in the next issue of YALS to help YALSA determine what the members of the division want and need. This will be the first survey of this kind that YALSA has done since 2004 and we have grown and changed a lot in the past four years!

About Kelly Tyler

I work at the Los Angeles Public Library system as a Young Adult Librarian III. I serve as the mentor for new Young Adult librarians that are hired and advise our Young Adult Services office on issues and coordinate YA projects throughout my region. Within my own branch, I am the only YA librarian, so I do programming, school visits, book orders, and reference. I have been involved with YALSA for about four years. My YA blogging interests include technology, programming, and reading.

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