The YALSA Board Midwinter Meetings are just days away! Strategic planning will be taking up a large chunk of our time. The executive committee met in November to start preliminary discussions, and the ideas that came out of those discussions have been shared with the Board, and also with the membership through avenues such as Observations From the Scouting Expedition and It’s So Exciting! Early in December, the Board had a call to discuss those ideas and start thinking ahead to Midwinter (Wicked Exciting Happenings in Boston).   

Saturday, January 9th, the Board will spend all day meeting with the Whole Mind Strategy Group to discuss organizational planning. Personally, I am looking forward to some thoughtful discussions. The Board has spent the past year hammering out our approach and promising to take a “Teens First” focus.

We in the library world know that change must happen to meet our patrons needs. Afterall, our fiction collections no longer consist of Cherry Ames and other mid-century career-romance books. Yet, I sometimes talk to librarians who fear they can’t keep up with the change YALSA discusses; that “change” only means expensive endeavors like large technology labs. That isn’t true. Change that needs to happen include making sure all libraries are welcoming to the teens in its community, providing resources and opportunities that meet the teen needs of said community. Teen services are not “one size fits all;” it’s important that people are aware – whether in or out of the library world – that what might be needed in one community is different from another. However, all communities have teens that we want to see grow and develop into healthy, successful adults. It is important that YALSA focuses on how to best help our members support the teens in their communities. I look forward to having discussions around that commitment at Midwinter.

Do you have questions or ideas about YALSA’s organization planning process? Please take the time to share your thoughts via this short survey.

Carrie Kausch is a high school librarian at Falls Church High School in Fairfax County, VA, and currently serves as YALSA Secretary.  

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