January brought a busy start to the year with ALA’s Midwinter Meeting beginning shortly after the New Year. Board members were kept busy attending board planning, governance meetings and many other activities to show support to our leaders and membership. The Division and Membership Planning Committee put a tremendous amount of work into planning YALSA 201 and I would like to thank Melissa McBride and her committee for the hard work they all did. The Financial Advancement Committee, headed by Pam Spencer Holley also put an enormous amount of work into the Not so Silent Auction that YALSA hosted to raise money for The development of resources for librarians so they can promote award winning books to their teens. This was a wonderful event that could not have happened without the dedication of Pam and her entire committee. I would also like to thank all of the committee chairs and their members; members at large; authors; businesses and everyone else who so generously gave of their time, services and materials to come up with such creative baskets to auction off! It was a fun-filled night full of YALSAtinis, laughter and fun and we raised about $4,000 through it all!
Update from Midwinter
YALSA’s Board of Directors met recently at ALA’s Midwinter Meeting. Listed below are just some of the key decisions the Board made. A draft of the full minutes of the meeting is posted on the Governance section of YALSA’s web site.
• At both Annual Conference and Midwinter Meeting, the YALSA Board receives an update on the Association’s financial health. This update is provided by YALSA’s Fiscal Officer, Mary Hastler, and Executive Director, Beth Yoke. The report at Midwinter included suggestions that help guarantee that during financially difficult times, YALSA remains financially secure. The YALSA Board will continue to consider ways to control expenses and maximize revenues while meeting member needs. The full financial report is available from the Governance section of the YALSA web site (Midwinter board document #21).
• The Board approved a set of policies and procedures for YALSA’s new Readers’ Choice Committee. They can be found at http://tinyurl.com/2fdugut
• The Board directed the President to establish a member taskforce to evaluate the changes made to YALSA’s awards and selected lists, specifically the changes to the Alex Award, narrowing the focus of BBYA to fiction and the establishment of a Nonfiction Award that produces a winner, finalists and an official list of nominees.
• The Board directed the President to establish a Continuing Education Advisory Board that will assist YALSA’s Program Officer for Continuing Education with identifying timely topics as well as qualified instructors for e-courses, webinars and institutes.
• The Board voted to put a proposal on the 2011 ballot for members to consider that would re-envision the way YALSA seeks qualified candidates for elected positions to governance roles and award committees. The proposal would sunset the one-committee structure and create two new committees: one that would focus specifically on award committee positions and another on governance.
• The Board approved a proposal for a YALSA Writing Award that will go on to the ALA Award Committee for final approval. The writing award will have three categories: feature article, research article and blog post.
• The final draft of YALSA’s teen services evaluation tool was approved in concept and after final edits will be available from YALSA’s web site.
• A new white paper was approved by the Board and is available from YALSA’s web site. It is an issue paper entitled “The Importance of a Whole Library Approach to Public Library Young Adult Services.”
• YALSA’s Board approved the concept of conducting a self-assessment annually for Board members in order to develop a learning plan that will help them build targeted leadership and governance skills.
• The Board adopted a new policy on corporate sponsorships, which is posted in the Handbook on YALSA’s web site.
There were several discussion items on the Board agenda that there was not enough time for during the weekend meetings. The Board will discuss these on their workspace in ALA Connect and, based on the discussions, move forward as appropriate. The next meeting of the Board will be via conference call on March 2nd from 2:30 to 3:30, eastern. The purpose of the meeting will be to review and discuss quarterly Chair reports (to be submitted in Feb.). If you have any questions about the YALSA Board, the way it works, how decisions are made and/or how to sit in on the next meeting, feel free to get in touch with me at kimpatton@kclibrary.org.
• Interview with NPR about teen readers and their interests.
• 2nd interview with NPR about the Profession of Young Adult Librarianship
• Interviewed with a newspaper reporter from Florida about the Youth Media Award winners and YALSA’s award winning books and lists and their appeal to teen readers.
• Presided over YALSA’s 2011 Midwinter Meeting proceedings and governance meetings.
• Submitted an application on behalf of YALSA to present at the REFORMA National Conference in Denver, Co. to be held September 15-18, 2011.
• Sent a request to the YALSA reps to the various ALA groups that YALSA works with and asked them to submit a report/update by February 15, 2011 that provides some info as to the activity of the group as well as any concerns or recommendations they may have as they work closely with these groups.
• Reminded Committee Chairs that their reports were due to be turned into the YALSA Office by February 15, 2011.
• Began a discussion on YALSA Board’s ALA Connect space regarding creating a reduced dues category of $25 (proposed rate for students, retirees and non-salaried) for individuals who are advocates of library services to teens.
• Filling vacancies on an as needed basis to complete committee/jury/taskforce rosters
• Filling new appointments to recently added committees as a result of board decisions made at MW. These included: Selected List and Awards Changes Evaluation Taskforce, Guidelines for Public Libraries Taskforce’ 2012 Midwinter Institute Taskforce.
• Finalizing plans for the 2011 President’s Program at ALA’s Annual Conference featuring Richard Peck, Paul Volponi and a poster session featuring some innovative library ideas.
• Apply to edit Young Adult Library Services, YALSA’s award-winning quarterly journal. Applications are due March 1 Learn more.
• Win $1,000 for your summer reading program! YALSA is distributing twenty grants for summer reading from Dollar General. Applications due March 1. Find out more.
• Submit your summer reading program for publication in YALSA’s upcoming book, YALSA’s Complete Summer Reading Manual for Teen and Tween Services. Learn more at http://tinyurl.com/4nc56eo
• Voting for the 2011 ALA/YALSA election begins March 16. ‘ View YALSA’s sample ballot online so you’re ready to vote: http://yalsa.ala.org/11sampleballot.pdf
–respectfully submitted, Kim Patton

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