Are you engaged in YA research and have ideas about how YALSA can better share yours and others work? Do have some thoughts about how YALSA can better encourage those in the field to conduct their own research on young adults? Have you thought about and come up with some ideas about how YALSA can partner with other organizations and individuals to increase research and knowledge about research in general?

If you have ever thought about these things and have some great ideas, YALSA wants YOU!!!!

Just recently, with the input of its members and stakeholders, YALSA developed a new Strategic Plan. Research and Documentation of Best Practices is Goal #2 of this plan. As an organization, YALSA strives to target new research and best practices concerning teen and young adult library services.

In order to improve these services and to reach out and encourage potential research and researchers in the field, it needs new ideas. This is where the Great Ideas Contest comes in!

If you have a new, innovative, or creative idea about how to help YALSA achieve it’s research and best practices goal, you could win $250. That could go a long way in helping to pay for expenses to attend the upcoming YALSA Literature Symposium that is being held in St. Louis this year or for any other use you can think of.

All you have to do is complete the online application. In the application, you’ll need to explain how this idea fits YALSA’s Strategic Plan, and it will be evaluated using the following criteria:

  • the idea clearly addresses the stated goal as outlined in the strategic plan
  • is realistic in scope
  • shows creativity or innovation
  • significantly impacts members
  • ‘ is cost efficient
  • the application is clear, concise, and complete

Now, some of you may be saying to yourself…”Well, this seems like a lot of work” or “I’m not sure if my idea is good enough.” In 2010, I had some of the same thoughts. But, I had some ideas about the research objective that I really wanted to share. So, I sat down, typed it out, and submitted it in no time at all, and guess what? My idea was picked! And, now YALSA has established an online tool to help organize research for its members as a result.

It really is that easy! So, if you have a good idea, click on the link and complete the application, just be sure to submit it to’  by March 16, 2012.

If you have any questions about the application or the process, please feel free to direct them to Priscille Dando, Strategic Planning Committee Chair, at


About Krista McKenzie

I am a Children's Specialist at the Ruth Enlow Library in Garrett County, Maryland. I work with kids from the ages of 0 to 18 and am also a reference librarian. In addition, I am member of the YALSA Legislative Committee, and the Children's Services Division of the Maryland Library Association.

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