Monthly President’s Report – April 2012

April was a very interesting month for me on the YALSA front. I’m just back from a week in Washington, D.C. On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of last week, YALSA Executive Director Beth Yoke and I, along with several hundred other library supporters, attended National Library Legislative Day. Beth and I had eight separate meetings over two days, with legislators’ staff members, and with representatives from other organizations that have similar interests to YALSA, such as the Afterschool Alliance, the Center for Excellent Education, and the International Reading Association. We talked about how we could support one another’s missions.

Then on Friday and Saturday of the same week, I staffed the YALSA booth at the USA Science and Engineering Festival at the Washington Convention Center. Along with DC-area YALSA members, I handed out bookmarks and flyers, showed the demo of the YALSA Teen Book Finder App (available in May—we hope—from Apple’s App Store), chatted with teens, parents, teachers, and librarians, and did some on-the-fly readers’ advisory. We encouraged teens to participate in this year’s Teens’ Top Ten, and there was a lot of interest and enthusiasm.

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


  • Committee Chairs:
    • I had phone conversations with several YALSA committee chairs about the work of their committees.
  • Committee/Jury/Taskforce Appointments:
    • I appointed members to fill vacancies on several committees.
    • I continued appointing members to fill new task forces created by Board action at Midwinter

Board Activities

  • I participated, with other Board members, in an online chat about recruiting and engaging members.
  • I worked with Board members on their self-assessments.
  • I worked with Executive Committee members to create an agenda for the Spring Executive Conference Call, to be held on Thursday, May 3.
  • Board members, for National Volunteer Week, wrote thank-you notes to YALSA committee members.

Partnerships. ‘ 

  • Mary Fellows, ALSC President, and I, along with our Presidents’ Program co-chairs, have been making final arrangements for our combined Presidents’ Program at ALA Annual. I hope many of you will be able to join us bright and early Monday morning to hear Dr. Michelle Poris of SmartyPants and Stephen Abram of GaleCengage share their insights on the Digital Lives of Tweens and Young Teens.
  • I continue to participate in the School Libraries Task Force with members of other ALA divisions.


‘ Media & Outreach.

  • Spoke with Jeff Rivera, for Entertainment Weekly, about trends in YA literature.
  • Spoke with Carlie Geisinger, of the Gilroy (CA) Dispatch about teen spaces and the value of having teen rooms in libraries. The occasion of the article was the opening of a new library building in a community that had never had a separate teen room.
  • For National Volunteer Week, I wrote notes to YALSA Board members thanking them for their many hours of volunteer service to YALSA and its members.
  • Contributed statement for YALSA press release on new sponsorship program.

‘ Important YALSA News & Reminders

  • Committee chairs: Quarterly reports are due May 15.
  • If you are going to Anaheim for ALA Annual, don’t forget to register for special events. If you did “bundled registration” last fall, you will need to go back in to your registration for to add special events, such as:
    • Two great half-day preconferences: Books We’ll Still Talk about 45 Years from Now and Source Code: Digital Youth Participation.
    • The Margaret Edwards Award luncheon, featuring author Susan Cooper.
    • The YA Author Coffee Klatch—your chance to get up close and personal with 35 YA authors, including Printz award and honor authors Corey Whaley, Maggie Stiefvater, Craig Silvey, Daniel Handler, Christine Hinwood, and more!
    • The Printz Award Program and Reception, with speeches from all of the honored authors.
    • To add these events if you’ve already registered through ALA registration: (1) By phone: Call ALA Registration at 1-800-974-3084 and ask to add a workshop or special event to your existing registration; (2) Online: Add an event to your existing registration by clicking this Annual Conference Registration link. Use your log in and password to access your existing registration and add events in the “Your Events” section (screen 6). Then simply check out and pay for the events you’ve added.
  • YALSA’s summer online course will be’ Making the Match: Finding the Right Book for the Right Teen at the Right Time. This six week course will take place in July 2 – August 13 2012.
  • Don’t miss May’s webinar: Book Blitz! 45 Must-Know YA Titles in 60 Minutes‘ with Shauna Yusko, on May 17.

‘ Thank Yous and Congratulations

  • A big thanks to the Legislation Committee for creating the Tweet Your Senator map.’  The Tweet Your Senator map received just over 8,000 views in two weeks’ time.’  About 140 individuals Tweeted their Senators and just over 50 re-tweeted YALSA’s message.
  • Please join me in congratulating YALSA’s Letitia Smith, Membership Coordinator, who is the recipient of this year’s ALA Staff Achievement Award. Letitia is the staff person who keeps track of membership, maintains the committee rosters, answers the phones, and basically keeps us all organized.
  • Also join me in welcoming Tawnee Calhoun to YALSA.’  She is an intern (grant-funded) who will be working on YALSA’s badges for learning project throughout this year.
  • Thanks to Linda Braun and the Financial Advancement Committee for organizing the first Booze for Books event in support of YALSA’s Books for Teens effort. Next month I hope to be able to report how much money was raised.
  • Thank you to Emily Sheketoff and Jeff Kratz in ALA’s Washington Office for setting up all those Legislative Day meetings for us—and for all the work they do, keeping up on legislative issues for all of us.
  • Thanks to Priscille Dando, Maria Gentle, Jennie Rothschild, Annalee Schnebele, Carrie Kausch, and Alicia Blowers for helping out at the YALSA Booth at the USA Science and Engineering Festival.

YALSA Membership: 5,233 ‘ (Up slightly from last month, but down 3.8% from last year): don’t forget to renew!

Friends of YALSA March donations: $200

Leadership Endowment March donations: $500

‘ 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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