The YALSA Board met three times at ALA Annual in Anaheim. Over those three meetings, the Board had some substantial discussions, set up some new task forces and ad hoc Board committees, approved two new committee manuals, and moved forward on several other items. For more details on these items, see the official Board documents at The official minutes will also be posted in the Governance section of the website in the near future. The summary is below:

New Task Forces

  • A president-elect advisory task force to work with president-elect Shannon Peterson on defining her presidential theme and setting her goals.
  • An appointments task force to work with president-elect Shannon Peterson to help her make committee appointments during the coming year.
  • A 365 Days of YA task force to create and disseminate a calendar of easy to implement teen services resources aimed at new teens services librarians, library generalists, and paraprofessionals.
  • A state library association outreach task force to reach out to YA sections and roundtables of state library associations and school library associations to strengthen ties with these like-minded organizations.
  • A youth engagement task force to find ways to involve teens in the work of the YALSA Board by identifying and implementing projects in conjunction with Teen Advisory Groups.
  • A capacity-building task force to focus on the capacity-building goal of YALSA’s strategic plan.
  • A task force to create a manual for virtual selection committees.
  • A YALSA/ALSC/AASL task force to look at issues around the Common Core Standards.

New Ad-hoc Board committees

  • The previously-approved e-content task force will now be an ad hoc committee of the Board.
  • An ad hoc committee of the Board will look at the recommendations on the future of Interest and Discussion Groups from both the previous task force and from the Board members and prioritize the recommendations.


Committee Manuals

  • The Board approved a new manual for the Odyssey Committee. ALSC also approved the manual at this conference.
  • The Board approved a new manual for the Excellence in Nonfiction Award Committee. This includes some changes in policies and procedures, including the way the vetted nomination list is created.

Other major motions and discussions

  • The Board approved guidelines for strategic partnerships with other organizations.
  • The Board approved a two-year pilot project for virtual selection and award committees. The Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults Committee and Edwards Award Committee that begin their work in February 2013 will be virtual committees, which means that members will not be required to attend conferences to be on the committees. The Board will establish a task force to evaluate the process at the end of the first year to decide whether it should continue and if the appropriate committees were chosen.
  • The Board discussed member engagement, what it means to different members, and what YALSA wants “engagement” to look like.
  • The YALSA Board voted to endorse the School Library resolution in ALA Council, and the YALSA Councilor later reported that the resolution had been approved.
  • The Board had a discussion and exercise on YALSA’s major revenue streams (events, dues, and sales of products) and what could be done to build those sources of income.
  • The Board discussed the past year’s Board member self-assessment process and agreed to continue with it for the coming year.
  • The Board discussed how best to evaluate the success of the Strategic Plan, and directed the Strategic Planning Committee to develop an evaluation plan and report out twice a year.
  • Incoming President Jack Martin discussed some plans around his Connect/Create/Collaborate theme. Possibilities include collaborating with other ALA divisions, quarterly member chats, tweet-ups, and a virtual road trip.
  • Meeting with ALA Executive Committee representative Steve Matthews and ALA Budget Analysis and Review Committee representative Alex Villagran, the Board shared comments about ALA’s Roadmap to Change and about ALA’s proposed dues restructuring (tying dues increases to a consumer price index).
  • The Board approved resolutions honoring outgoing Board members Sara Ryan, Stephanie Squicciarini, Monique leConge, Kim Patton, and Nick Buron.
  • The Board welcomed and officially seated incoming at-large Board members Sarah Sogigian, Candice Mack, and Priscille Dando (filling a one-year term left vacant by the election of Shannon Peterson to president-elect), ex-officio Board members Linda W. Braun (Organization & Bylaws chair) and Renee C. McGrath (Strategic Planning chair), and new YALSA Councilor Vicki Emery. Carrie Kausch was unable to be present, but is also beginning a one-year term as the first YALSA Board Fellow.

On a personal note, I would like to add that it has been a real honor and pleasure to serve as president of YALSA and as leader of the YALSA Board for the past year. Every YALSA Board member takes his or her role seriously, and strives to represent YALSA’s members in every discussion. That doesn’t mean we always agree, and sometimes it means making hard decisions about how to proceed, but always it means that Board members have the best interests of YALSA and its membership at heart.

For more details about the entire 2011-12 year for YALSA, please also take a look at my Annual Report, which focuses on the programmatic accomplishments of the year, and the Annual Report of YALSA Executive Director Beth Yoke, which focuses on the more technical aspects of membership support and funding sources.

Respectfully submitted,

Sarah Flowers, Immediate Past President, YALSA

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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