The mission of the Young Adult Library Services Association is to advocate, promote and strengthen service to young adults as part of the continuum of total library service, and to support those who provide service to this population.

Mission Moment
How Recent YALSA Activities Support the Association’s Mission and Strategic Plan

In December YALSA hired the first editor of the Association’s research journal. Jessica Moyer was selected by the search committee. The research journal is slated to launch in the fourth-quarter of 2010 and is both directly tied to YALSA’s mission and the Association’s strategic plan. As a demonstration of supporting YALSA’s mission, hiring Jessica is a key step in publishing a journal that will help members understand teens and how to serve them effectively. The YALSA strategic plan includes a goal area for research which states, “YALSA is a recognized source for access to targeted research benefiting members and the library community.” Hiring a journal editor is an important action in reaching this strategic goal.


In early December I facilitated two conversations for Committee Chairs on planning and getting ready for Midwinter Meeting in Boston. Information covered in the conversations included submission of pre-conference committee reports, building an agenda for committee meetings, what to expect at all-committee and leadership development meetings, and events (outside of committee meetings) to attend at Midwinter.

On Friday afternoon of Midwinter the YALSA Board of Directors participates in a planning and training session. The agenda for this session was developed in December and includes opportunities for Board members to discuss their role as a YALSA leader when not at Midwinter Meeting or Annual Conference, the relationship between YALSA and ALA, and how to be an effective Board member at Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference when not at official YALSA meetings.

Over the month the agenda for YALSA Board meetings at Midwinter was finalized. Board members had several opportunities to view the agenda, ask questions about items included, and make suggestions. The agenda includes: (The full agenda and supporting documentation will be available on the YALSA For Members Only site in early January.)

  • YALSA’s Reader’s Choice List proposal that will give all YALSA members the opportunity to nominate and vote for recommended teen titles published during the year.
  • A proposal for YALSA’s selected lists that presents a Best of the Best for Young Adults brand for all of YALSA’s lists and awards, re-envisions the Best Books for Young Adults list as fiction only, expands the number of titles honored by the Alex Award Committee, and creates a framework for annually compiling all of YALSA’s yearly top ten lists.
  • Committee Membership: In the summer and fall of 2009, ALA revised their policies related to virtual participation on committees. This revision removes limits on the maximum number of virtual members a committee may include. YALSA needs to determine how best to implement this new policy within its own committee structure.
  • Competencies: Over the past several months a YALSA Task Force reviewed the current “Young Adults Deserve the Best” document and developed a proposal for updates to these competencies that are meant to guide the profession.

In mid-December YALSA submitted a proposal to IMLS for a professional development train-the-trainer grant. If funded, this grant will give YALSA the monies needed to provide face-to-face training and support to librarians across the country who will be trained to educate and inform others about teen library services. Along with face-to-face training opportunities, the grant application includes a social web component through which mentors, trainers, and trainees will be able to connect in order to learn from each other about high-quality teen services.

In December the YALSA Blog sponsored 31 Days of Dollars and Sense. This series of posts was geared to helping librarians working with teens to successfully meet the needs of adolescents during difficult economic times. Each day during the month Association bloggers wrote posts about how libraries, librarians, and teens can effectively manage dollars in order to support the needs of community members. Posts during the month covered topics such as collection development on a shoestring, grant writing, youth participation, teen entrepreneurship, and much more. All of the posts are available on the YALSA blog under the tag 31 Days of Dollars and Sense. Thank you to YALSA’s Blog Manager mk Eagle and all of the bloggers for their hard-work on this project.

In Progress

YALSA is always interested in encouraging members to take on leadership roles. One way the Association is doing that is by hosting YALSA 201, during Midwinter Meeting, on Friday, January 15, from 4 to 5 PM. This event is geared to those in the Association who are interested in getting more involved in leadership positions, including chairing a committee or task force, writing for a YALSA publication, participating in YALSA governance by running for the YALSA Board, and so on. The event is sponsored by YALSA’s Division Membership and Promotion Committee. In December, in order to help prepare for presenting at the program, I worked with YALSA’s Executive Director, Beth Yoke, and the Chair of the Division Membership and Promotion Committee, Candice Mack, on a set of speaker tips for YALSA 201. More information about the program is available on the YALSA Blog.

A special issue of YAttidudes will be distributed to all YALSA members prior to the Midwinter Meeting. The issue will cover events and meetings that will take place at Midwinter and will specifically be geared to YALSA members that can not travel to Boston. The publication will include information on how to keep up on Midwinter without being there, spotlights of committee chairs and Board members, and an overview of the work that YALSA’s Board and Executive Committee will be focusing on in Boston.

Connecting activities of YALSA’s members and member groups to the Association’s strategic plan is something YALSA is always working towards. In order to further that, YALSA’s Strategic Planning Committee has been working on developing guidelines and an application for a second round of YALSA’s Great Ideas Contest. The contest, which invites YALSA members and member groups to propose projects the Association can develop in order to support the strategic plan, will be launched at Midwinter in Boston. I would like to thank Sarajo Wentling, Chair of YALSA’s Strategic Planning Committee, and her members for working on this project.

YALSA’s strategic plan action plan outlines activities of the Association that help to connect with others in the field. One group for YALSA to connect to is ALISE (Association for Library Information Science Education). The ALISE Annual Conference takes place in Boston January 12 – 15 and YALSA is participating in the Conference by hosting a booth from Wednesday, January 13 – Friday, January 15 and sponsoring a Happy Hour on Tuesday evening January 12 from 5 to 7 PM at the Rattlesnake Bar and Grill. Through these activities YALSA plans to connect with ALISE members active in teen services and find out how the Association can support members of ALISE, as well as inform ALISE members of what YALSA has to offer them. Attendees at the Conference are invited to stop by the Booth and/or Happy Hour. Thank you in advance to those YALSA members who will staff the YALSA Booth during the Conference.

On Wednesday, January 6, YALSA will host another monthly echat. The topic of this chat is getting involved with YALSA and will be co-facilitated by myself and YALSA’s President Elect, Kim Patton. Along with the chat two first Wednesday events are being sponsored on January 6 for YALSA members and those interested in participating in the Association. A First Wednesday event will take place in New York City and in Seattle. Thanks to YALSA members Dawn Rutherford and Jack Martin for organizing these events.


I spoke with New York Time’s columnist Michelle Slatalla for a piece on reading using electronic devices. The article appeared in the December 10, 2009 edition of The New York Times.

In December I took part in an interview for Family Circle magazine about Teen Tech Week and the role libraries can play in helping teens to use technology effectively and safely.

For an upcoming article in the Toledo (OH) Blade I provided information on libraries and gaming and overall teen use of libraries.

During the month I provided quotes to YALSA’s Communications Specialist, Stevie Kuenn on YALSA’s participation at the ALISE Conference and the nomination of YALSA’s Blog for an Edublog Award.

Additional Important YALSA News

Both the 2010 Morris and the 2010 Excellence in Nonfiction Award Committees published their short list of nominated titles. The books and authors selected for these Awards will be honored at Midwinter in Boston on Monday, January 18, from 8 to 10 PM at Westin Copley Place in the Essex Center/South Rooms. Thank you to the Chair of the Morris Committee, Judy Nelson, and the Chair of the Excellence in Nonfiction Committee, Angela Carstensen, along with their committee members, for their work on nominating and selecting Award recipients.

In celebration of the 2010 Morris and Excellence in Nonfiction Awards, YALSA is sponsoring a book trailer contest. Teens are invited to create book trailers about titles on these award shortlists and enter to win a $100 gift certificate for themselves and materials valued at $200 for the library. More information on the contest is available via the pdf application.

ALA and YALSA elections are just around the corner and in order to be eligible to vote in the 2010 election membership has to be current as of January 31, 2010. If you have questions about YALSA membership contact YALSA’s Program Coordinator for Membership, Letitia Smith, at or by phone at 800-545-2433 ext 4390.

Registration for Annual Conference in Washington, DC opens on January 4, 2010. It may seem like June 24 (when Annual Conference begins) is a long time away, but YALSA already has lots planned for the Conference. You can read about what’s in the works on the YALSA wiki.

The YALSA Blog was nominated for an Edublog Award. While the Association’s blog did not win the award, the nomination demonstrates the quality and value of the work of all those who write for the publication.

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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