For the past few months, YALSA has been holding informal online chats in ALA Connect on the first Wednesday of each month. Beginning in December, we’d like to encourage YALSA members to connect with each other in person as well as online.

We’re thrilled to announce First Wednesdays with YALSA — a chance for our members to use our monthly chats as a tool for gathering with other members in their area to socialize, exchange ideas, network, and exchange news and tips about YALSA and the profession as a whole.

The next chat (focusing on teens and technology) takes place Dec. 2 – read on to find out how you can be part of First Wednesdays with YALSA!

Begin by hosting an event. Use the tips from this WikiHow manual or from YALSA’s First Wednesdays tip sheet to start planning. Find a place to host the event, make sure you have Internet access, and start inviting YALSA colleagues. List your event on the YALSA Wiki.

Invite YA library workers in your area! Think about who you’d like to attend:’  school librarians, public library staff, grad students, YALSA members, etc. YALSA can help you find members in your area to invite. Contact the YALSA Office at or 1-800-545-2433, ext. 4390, and ask for a list of members in your area. Be sure to specify if you’d like email addresses with your request.

Distribute YALSA stuff. YALSA has a new page of downloadable flyers, handouts, and other tools that you can print out and share at your event. Members can also order up to 100 copies of most of these handouts and other swag. Visit for more details.

Hold your event. Get there early, make a point to welcome everyone personally, and make sure to answer questions about YALSA (or write them down to send to the office, if you don’t know the answers!). Test your Internet access beforehand and make sure you can log in to YALSA’s ALA Connect space.’  When you join the chat, let us know about your event! Find more tips on YALSA’s First Wednesdays tip sheet.

Future planning. Take notes and let us know what worked and what didn’t at Talk to attendees and see if you can make this a rotating event, with a different person chairing each month’s session.

Questions? Contact us at!

About Stephanie Kuenn

Stephanie Kuenn is the communications specialist for YALSA, where she is responsible for YALSA's web content, publications, and media relations. She is currently pursuing an M.A. in library and information studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and holds an M.S. from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and a B.A. in history and journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She enjoys baking, watching sports, and reading. Her favorite book is "All the King's Men" by Robert Penn Warren.

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