Yesterday, YALSA’s hard-working Board of Directors met, via conference call, to go over committee post-conference reports and follow-up on a few other items that they’ve been working on. The full agenda and documents for the meeting are available on the YALSA web site in the For Members Only section. (A member login is required to access the documents.)

In this post I want to highlight a few of the items from the meeting:

  • The YALSA Board agreed to update the charge for the Division’s Strategic Planning Committee. This is a standing committee for YALSA (which means it always exists) but at times when the Division is not actually working on a strategic plan it can be difficult for the group to continue their work. The new charge gives the Committee stronger direction for those times when a plan isn’t in the works, and will help guarantee that a plan currently in place is implemented and marketed successfully.
  • Another item that the Board voted on yesterday was to approve up to $500 for a prize for another Great Ideas Contest. The first of these contests asked members to submit a “great idea” that helps YALSA to implement its strategic plan. Earlier this year, Laurie Cavanaugh, from the Brockton (MA) Public Library, won the contest with her idea to create a book widget. Now that the Board approved funds for a second round you should stay tuned for more information about the contest.
  • As a part of its ongoing work related to YALSA selection committees, YALSA is looking at making sure that there is consistency between policies of those committees. To that end, the Board approved a change in the term limits for the Best Books for Young Adults (BBYA) and the Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (QP) Committees. Members of those committees will now be appointed for one trial year. If the trial is a success the member can be re-appointed for one more year. (Previously members had one trial year with a possible re-appointment for two years.) This change sets into place term limit consistency between BBYA, QP, and other selection lists.
  • As mentioned above, the main focus of the Board meeting was for Board members to talk about the post-conference reports submitted by committee chairs. Prior to the meeting all of the Board members read all of the reports submitted. During the call the Board liaison to each committee brought up highlights and/or concerns related to committees (if needed) and Board members asked questions about the work of the groups. This is a very good way for the YALSA Board to keep up on the work of committees and know where there are successes and where there are challenges. I, and I think I speak for Board members too, really appreciate the work of committee chairs and members and thank them for submitting these reports.

There were two informational items on the agenda as well. These aren’t specifically discussed by the Board, but they are made available as a way to keep Board members up to date. For this meeting the informational items included a document outlining the meeting schedule for Board members at Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference 2010. This informational document also provides a list of special events taking place at Midwinter and Annual. The events for Midwinter include the first ever YALSA 201 which will focus on providing information on how to get involved in leadership roles in YALSA; the Friday night Games, Gadgets, and Gurus program where attendees get to try their hand at various technologies, and the second annual Candidate’s Forum where attendees can hear from and ask questions of YALSA’s 2010 election slate. More information on upcoming meetings and conferences is available on the YALSA wiki.

The second informational item was prepared following an Executive Committee conference call in early August. The document focuses on next steps in the process of modernizing YALSA’s selected list portfolio. It highlights the ideas presented by Executive Board members during the August 7th call, and takes into account feedback from members and the Board during Annual 2009 meetings. The list includes ideas specifically related to the way in which selection list committees perform their work, educating potential selection list members about the work of these committees, and marketing YALSA’s portfolio of lists. The Executive Committee will continue to gather feedback and follow-up on the August 7th discussion at their fall face-to-face meetings in late October.

The YALSA Board definitely doesn’t take a break when not at Midwinter Meeting or Conference. The work of the group is year-round. I would like to thank the Board for all of the work they have already accomplished since Annual 2009. I look forward to continuing to work with them, and YALSA members, over the next several months.

About Linda W Braun

Linda W Braun is a YALSA Past President, the YALSA CE Consultant, and a learning consultant/project management coordinator at LEO: Librarians & Educators Online.

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