Would you like increased networking opportunities? What about member-driven knowledge and idea-sharing? How about opportunities to contribute to our profession’s growth and success on your own terms?  Did you know you can do all of this and more with YALSA’s Interest Groups?

YALSA interest groups are developed and led entirely by YALSA members and can cover any relevant topic without the formality of a Strategic Committee, Task Force, or Selection or Award committee. All members are welcome to opt in and opt out of Interest Groups as their capacity allows.  Interest Groups can be focused on teen service trends, academic research, and more. Or, Interest Groups can focus on particular populations or geographic regions.  Work is conducted virtually and informally.  Members can use the information gained in the way they best see fit. Maybe that’s implementing a new program at your work, or maybe it’s submitting a proposal to present at conference or writing a YALSA blog post! Interest Groups have incredible potential to support member needs and provide meaningful and achievable engagement opportunities, but they are currently underutilized.

YALSA presently hosts only two active Interest Groups, the Teen Mental Health IG and the Washington DC Metro Area Interest group.  Diane Colson and I would like to see an Interest Group revival.  We want YALSA members to be empowered to start and lead interest groups, and we want new and seasoned members alike to participate. We will be discussing our proposal  on Sunday, June 26 at the YALSA Board meeting.

If you have any thoughts regarding YALSA Interest Groups, let us know! All ALA attendees are welcome at the YALSA Board meetings,  or you can drop us a line in the comments or via email or Twitter.

In the meantime,  if you are now inspired to start your own interest group, check out these FAQs and let us know if we can help!

Jennifer Korn  is TeenSpot Manager at The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton Count and YALSA Board of Directors Member-at-Large.

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