Monthly President’s Report – October 2011

October was a busy month for me and for all YALSA members, as we celebrated Teen Read Weekâ„¢ October 16-22. It was great to see all the creative projects that members did with their teens to celebrate TRW. Over 9000 teens voted in the Teens’ Top Ten.

Below is a summary of activities that I have completed or am working on.

Completed Tasks

  • Fall Executive Committee meeting
    • Chaired YALSA’s Fall Executive Committee meeting. The EC had a “mega issue” discussion about advocacy. We considered roadblocks members may face in doing advocacy and what YALSA could do to assist members in this area. The major work of the meeting was to begin creating an action plan from the strategic plan objectives that had previously been approved. As we began to work on the objectives, we realized that many of them were already strategies, so we drafted changes and added strategies that will go back to the Board for approval. There were a number of other items that the EC discussed that will go to the Board for consideration at Midwinter or before, including a proposal for a Junior Board, a proposal for piloting a virtual award or selection committee, a proposal to create curriculum and instructional kits, and a proposal to create a YALSA Academy on YouTube.
    • The YALSA Executive Committee had a two-hour meeting with the ALSC Executive Committee to discuss service to middle-schoolers (12-, 13-, and 14-year-olds). We talked about the services both associations already provide for that age group, and we brainstormed some things that we could collaborate on in the future. Our next step will be to look over the transcript from the meeting and decide on some areas to move forward on jointly.
  • ‘ Committee Chairs: Had phone conversations with several YALSA committee chairs about the work of their committees.
  • Board Activities: Along with YALSA Secretary Sarajo Wentling, facilitated a Board chat on the Board’s role in using social media to advance the activities of the Board and YALSA.
  • Writing: Worked with YALSA Web Services Manager Stevie Kuenn to prepare an article on Teen Read Weekâ„¢ for, and an article on digital badging.
  • Committee/Jury/Taskforce Appointments:
    • Appointed members to fill vacancies on several committees.
    • Appointed members to several new task forces.

‘ Works in Progress

  • Continuing to appoint members to new committees and task forces
  • Continuing to work with Board members on their self-assessments and learning plans.

Strategic Planning. The Strategic Planning committee incorporated member comments into the draft plan, and the Board approved it. However, at the Fall Executive Committee meeting, the Executive Committee made some changes, in an attempt to distinguish objectives from strategies. The Board has begun to work on specific action items (tactics) that go with each of the strategies.

Media & Outreach

‘ Important YALSA News & Reminders

  • Now through Nov. 15: submit a paper or program proposal for the 2012 YA Literature Symposium at
  • Apply for a 2012 summer reading mini grant ($1,000) now through Jan. 1, 2012. Twenty libraries will receive these grants, sponsored by YALSA and the Dollar General Foundation.
  • Comment on YALSA’s draft Teen Space Guidelines‘ by Nov. 22.
  • Apply now for a’ Teen Summer Intern Grant’ from YALSA and the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. Forty libraries will receive $1,000 to support internships for teens to assist in 2012′ summer reading programs. Deadline January 1, 2012.
  • Any YALSA members who are going to be in Pasadena for the California Library Association conference: please stop by and visit me at the YALSA Happy Hour at the Yardhouse, 330 E. Colorado, across from the Convention Center, 5-7 p.m., Friday, November 11. There will be door prizes!

‘ Thank Yous

  • A big thanks to Amy Fiske, Emily Meyer, and Mairead Duffy for making the video that announced the Teens’ Top Ten. Also, thanks to the 9000+ teens who voted, the librarians who worked with them, the sixteen groups of teen readers who came up with the nomination list, and YALSA’s Teens’ Top Ten Committee.
  • Thanks to Don Latham and the Research Committee for creating and finalizing YALSA’s new national Research Agenda. We look forward to important and enlightening studies coming out of this agenda.
  • Thanks to Gretchen Kolderup, Hub member manager, and all the Hub bloggers for a terrific “31 Days of Authors” to celebrate Teen Read Week all month long. The Hub had its best-ever readership in October.
  • Congratulations to Lori Easterwood, of the Sacramento Public Library, YALSA’s new Emerging Leader.

YALSA Membership: Total membership at the end of September was 5,319, which is down 0.7% from this time last year. Don’t forget to renew!

Friends of YALSA: September is the beginning of a new fiscal year for YALSA, and for the Friends of YALSA. Donations in September totaled $100 .

Respectfully Submitted,

Sarah Flowers,’ YALSA President

About Sarah Flowers

Sarah Flowers is a YALSA Past President and former Deputy County Librarian for the Santa Clara County (CA) Library. Currently she does writing and speaking on topics related to teen services and teaches online courses for California's Infopeople Project.

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