ALA Midwinter is just days (hours?) away and my anticipation to see colleagues, have great conversations with the board, celebrate at the Morris/Nonfiction reception, and connect over something delicious at YALSA happy hour is mounting by the minute! Check out the YALSA Wiki for dates and times of all YALSA events if you’ll be braving an alarming forecast to attend Midwinter.

Over the past few weeks, board members have received a lot of thoughtful feedback and had good discussions about upcoming midwinter conversations. YALSA members staying actively abreast of board topics truly demonstrates the level of passion and engagement that I know we are known for. If you would like to add to the conversation in any way, please feel free to send your thoughts to me at and I will create a compilation for the board. The first ten minutes of each of our meetings is also open to public comment if you will be attending Midwinter and have the flexibility to stop by. And finally, please also keep in mind that the YALSA Board works hard all year round, so you can ask questions, share feedback, read governance docs, or simply connect with us anytime from the comfort of wherever you are. We love to hear from you! Even if it’s just for a virtual high five.

Your board will be kicking off the Midwinter meetings with a planning session on Friday. During this session, board members will strategize priority directions in a new governance framework that has been recently adopted: board standing committees related to each of the goals in YALSA’s strategic plan. Through this, we hope to become more proactive and nimble in supporting advocacy and activism, research and documentation of best practice, membership recruitment and engagement, capacity building and organizational development, and continuous learning and professional development. Full alignment in this structure will not be implemented until after the 2014 annual conference (with board liaison duties mirroring standing committee assignments) but I’m anticipating some exciting movement with this in the months ahead.

At each conference, the board begins regular meetings by discussing an overarching “mega issue.” As you might have guessed, this weekend we’ll hone in on the recently released white paper report on the future of teens and libraries. The call to action identified in this report outlines a paradigm shift that if enacted, has the capacity to ensure that teens services in libraries grows and thrives in ways that we know they should. Items related to the content of the report have also found their way into many proposals, such as the:

  • Literacy Resources Taskforce
  • PhD Fellowship Proposal
  • Blog Reboot
  • Future of Teens and Libraries Taskforce
  • Board and Board Member Advocacy
  • Advocates’ Board Position
  • Teens Space in Every Library Concept
  • Creating Awareness of Teen Services for and with Libraries through a National Celebration

And finally, we’ll also be having a number of discussions related to evaluation of current organizational activities such as the writing award, the Teen Read Week initiative, and selection committees. During some, we’ll pull apart recommendations that have already been received (writing award and Teen Read Week) and in others, we’ll consider the kinds of recommendations that we would like to investigate further (selection committees). Feel free to follow Executive Director Beth Yoke (@yalsa_director), myself (@shantasmagoria), and/or other YALSA boardies for live tweets of adopted actions and discussion highlights. We’ll also be be sharing post conference round-ups over the coming weeks so stay tuned.

Thanks for reading and for making YALSA awesome.


About Shannon Peterson

Shannon Peterson is the 2013-2014 YALSA President and Youth Services Manager at Kitsap Regional Library.

Comments are closed.

Post Navigation