YALSA’s Board of Directors met last weekend at the ALA Midwinter Meeting. Between the blizzard and the member Happy Hour and the number of other YALSA programs, I’m pleased with the time and attention the Board spent on big issues that drive and guide YALSA and our members.
Key activities included participating in training about outcomes-based planning and assessment and strategic planning. The board also took action in some key areas, including:
- Establishing a Board Diversity Taskforce
- Making official the virtual status of the Edwards and Popular Paperbacks Committees
- Approving the pilot of up to two more selection/awards committees in a virtual format
- Approving the focus for YALSA’s new Advocate’s Panel
- Approving the creation of job descriptions for each committee, jury and advisory board
- Approving the use of endowment funds to support grants for members (the only change to the original proposal is to use Leadership Endowment Funds for digital literacy grants to members instead of rolling the money back into the endowment’s principal)
The board also initiated discussion on some critical topics that may or may not lead to action down the road, depending on further information-gathering and discussions:
- Identifying budget priorities between now and June for FY16
- Helping members build skills and capacity needed to engage with the work of the organization
- Exploring and adopting the latest trends and best practices in delivering continuing education to members
The full minutes of the meeting will be posted in the Governance Section of the web site later this month.
One big thing that I would like members to know about the Board’s work at Midwinter is that the group came to the consensus to shift strategic planning in a different direction. The original vision for the Board’s time at Midwinter was to create a draft plan to share out with members; however, once the discussions started it became obvious that the Board first needs to step back and have a bigger picture discussion about YALSA—what its fundamental purpose and mission is and whether that needs to evolve based on the rapid changes in libraries.
The Board voted unanimously that the focus of their work and strategic planning needs to be grounded in the findings of “The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: a Call to Action” report. This document will drive all of the work that YALSA will do over the next few years and will be the foundation on which the new strategic plan is built. If you haven’t read the report yet, I encourage you to do so. Think about what you need in order to implement the recommendations in the report and come share your ideas and thoughts at a virtual town hall session on Feb. 24th from 3:00 – 4:00pm, eastern (no advance registration is required). The input of members is a vitally important part of the strategic planning process. Member feedback helps drive the Board’s decision making, so please make an effort to attend. There will be other opportunities besides the Feb. town hall, and we’ll keep you informed about those via the weekly e-news.
Lastly, I’d also like to take a moment to thank all of the members who participated in the Midwinter Meeting, whether it was volunteering in the booth, conducting committee work, participating in sessions or more.
I appreciate all the time and talent you give to YALSA!