What’s happening in the world of YALSA Governance this week in Chicago? Lots of stuff! The Board will be meeting on Saturday, Sunday and Monday–and please count this as an open invitation to join us at our meetings–any registered conference attendee is welcome. ‘ At the start of each meeting there’s an open forum where you’ll have an opportunity to share your ideas, thoughts and opinions on issues that are important to you. Or, you can just stay for the meeting and listen in on the board discussions. You can also follow us on Twitter at @yalsa where the ingeniously talented Carrie Kausch (@dogearedcarrie) will be tweeting highlights from our decisions, discussions and more!

You can find all of our agenda items here–and, as you can see, there are a lot of topics centered around advancing YALSA’s strategic plan. Here are some highlights:

First, back at the Summit on Teens and Libraries in January in Seattle, George Needham eloquently pointed out that libraries need to stop being “grocery stores” (in so many words) and instead become “kitchens.” One way many libraries have responded to this phenomenon is by creating maker spaces in libraries. We know there are some amazing makerspaces popping up all over the country, and we want to tap the talents of our members who are taking the lead in creating and building them for a Library Makerspace Taskforce that will compile and share resources and best practices to the membership.

We’ll also be talking about YALSA’s current portfolio of member benefits and figure out how we can 1) raise awareness of existing benefits and 2) improve existing or identify new benefits that meet the needs of today’s members, such as by providing new ways of identifying and sharing out best practices. ‘ The board agenda include has several member engagement proposals, especially those geared toward student members.

We know that Advocacy is on everyone’s mind, too, and the Board will be devoting some time on the agenda to talk about this important subject. We’ll be talking about and prioritizing our current advocacy activities, such as Library Legislative Day and our issue briefs, as well as how we can build resources for new advocacy efforts, including policy briefings in Washington DC. ‘ We’re also exploring how to best reach library administrators to garner their support for teen services. And, we’ll also be tossing out some new ideas for the Board to consider. Please feel free to share your thoughts here on the blog, on Twitter or join us in person.

And…AND! We know the buzz hasn’t died down from our super huge Summit on Teens and Libraries from this past January where we explored the future of teens and libraries. Afterwards we hosted virtual town halls all through spring, and we partnered with the connectedlearning.tv folks to host an entire month of free webinars on leveraging social media in libraries. As a follow up to all of this awesomeness, the Board will be discussing how the association can help libraries revamp their services to better meet the needs of 21st century teens.

This is just a taste of what we’ll be doing at the Annual Conference, and I’m looking forward to seeing some of you at Happy Hour on Saturday night and everything in between! ‘ For those who won’t be there in person, I know you’ll be there in spirit!

Thanks again for all that you do for YALSA and for teens!

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