The YALSA Board had a very full agenda yesterday for their first meeting of Midwinter and several important decisions were made, including:

  • Approval of the Selected Lists Proposal. The approval of this proposal means that YALSA’s Best Books for Young Adults List is now Best Fiction for Young Adults. Also, the Alex Awards will be expanded. The Committee working on the Alex Award will continue to select 10 Award winners, and will also publish a longer list of titles that the group considers the best adult books of interest to teens published during the past year. All of the top ten titles selected by YALSA’s selection list committees, including Best Fiction for Young Adults, Great Graphic Novels, Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults, Amazing Audiobooks, Fabulous Films, and the Alex Award will be compiled annually into a Best of the Best for Young Adults list published by YALSA. The changes voted on by the Board related to YALSA’s selected lists is in direct response to feedback from members regarding the use and creation of these lists. The Board spent many hours working on creating a proposal that supported the needs of the majority of YALSA’s members. The full proposal is available on the YALSA web site.

    The Board also voted on several actions in order to begin implementing the changes to YALSA’s selected lists. Chairs to those committees affected will be contacted by their Board Liaison to go over the details of the new and/or expanded work of the group. The Organization and Bylaws Committee will work on updating the charges of selected list committees where needed. And, the Board also voted that after one year of the revised and expanded lists, they will evaluate the success of the changes and make any necessary adjustments.

    The Board also directed the Organization and Bylaws Committee to continue their work related to creating consistency, where possible, in the policies and procedures of YALSA’s selected lists committees. Information on these changes are also available on the YALSA web site.

  • Over the past several months, the YALSA Board put many hours of work in on a proposal related to virtual membership on YALSA’s committees. At yesterday’s meeting, Board members approved a proposal so that all process committees (except for the Executive, Organization and Bylaws, Strategic Planning, Preconference, and President’s Program Committees) will transition to 100% virtual status. The committees that are not transitioning in this way are not making the transition because there are specific reasons that either the chair and/or members need to be at Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference.

    While committees will become 100% virtual, if members think it necessary to meet face-to-face at Midwinter or Annual they will be able to arrange for that. The full proposal is available on the YALSA web site and was developed in response to changes in ALA’s virtual committee membership policies and YALSA member needs. With more committees allowing for more virtual members, those YALSA members who can not attend face-to-face events can now participate in the Association in this way.

  • In early fall of 2010, the YALSA Board brainstormed ways that the Association could recognize members. At yesterday’s meeting the Board decided to move forward in this area in three ways. I will appoint an ad hoc committee that will develop a proposal for a YALSA member leader recognition award. This award may be given to a committee chair, committee member, and/or YALSA team or group that demonstrates outstanding work, based on criteria that will be developed, over a year. The proposal will be developed over the next several months and brought before the Board at Annual Conference for approval.

    The Board also voted to revise a previous proposal for the best article of the year award. This award will be given to an author of an article that appeared in a YALSA journal during the year and which is considered to be the best, based on criteria that will be developed, of the year.

    The YALSA Board had many other ideas related to member recognition, and the YALSA Executive Committee will prioritize those and bring those priorities to the Board at Annual. The supporting document for this discussion is available on the YALSA website.

  • After this year’s successful Midwinter Institute, Teen Library 3.0 Edition, the YALSA Board discussed and approved a theme for next year’s event. The theme will be Teen Services and the Whole Library Experience. I will appoint a Task Force to develop this program. The Institute will focus on how, because they use many other areas of the library beyond the teen department, teen services needs to be tied into adult, children’s, reference, and administrative services. This Institute will help librarians successfully advocate for a whole library approach to teen services and provide tools and techniques for managing teen services within the larger library context. The document that led the Board in making decisions on this topic is available on the YALSA web site.
  • A webinar proposal was also approved by the Board. This proposal outlines how YALSA will begin to develop and provide webinars on topics of interest to librarians serving teens. As with several other decisions made by the YALSA Board yesterday, the webinars will give those who are not able to attend programs at Annual Conference, YALSA Institutes, and other professional development opportunities provided by YALSA, to attend a learning event. The proposal for YALSA webinars is available on the YALSA web site.
  • The final item the Board acted on at its meeting yesterday, was related to the Association’s Bylaws. Proposed changes to the Bylaws will now be placed on the spring YALSA ballot and members will have the opportunity to approve the changes. Recent review of the bylaws revealed that some of the policies have become outdated and it would be to the benefit of the Association to guarantee that this guiding document is updated to ensure that the YALSA leadership can effectively govern the Association. The changes the Board voted to bring before membership are available on the YALSA web site

The YALSA Board made other decisions during their meeting including those related to supporting members during a recession and continuing to sponsor a Spectrum Scholar. The next Board meeting is today, Sunday, January 17, 4 to 5:30 PM in the Boston Convention Center, room 160B. All are invited to attend.

I want to thank the YALSA Board for all of their very hard work at the Association’s first Board meeting of Midwinter 2010 and for their work leading up to that meeting. This is a group that is extremely willing to put in time and effort in order to make sure that members are served successfully. I will post information about today’s meeting by tomorrow (January 18) morning.

If there are questions about the work of the Board, and the decisions being made, please feel free to get in touch with me at

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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