When I first joined ALA in 2010, I didn’t know what Friends of YALSA stood for. I thought it simply meant: “YALSA is awesome” and “I will be friends with anyone in YALSA.” It was naive of me, but in my defense, I was new to the field and had just started library school. It wasn’t until I saw a list of names in a monthly YALSA newsletter that I realized what it meant. The Friends of YALSA are those who donate to these funds. The Friends of YALSA support over $16,000 annually in member stipends, grants, scholarships, and awards. The Friends of YALSA are likely to be highly passionate about YALSA and teen services.
As a YALSA member, you get access to hundreds of outstanding professional tools and online learning opportunities such as webinars and videos. You’re also eligible for YALSA grants, stipends, and awards.
However, as a donor to Friends of YALSA, you’ll help fund these member grants, stipends, and awards which in turn allow more librarians to do great work, which then increases the likelihood that they’ll bring back their experiences to share with the wider YALSA membership!
So here are more reasons why you should give to YALSA.
Reason #13: Webinars
Why give to YALSA? There are plenty of reasons, but professional development appears high on that list. YALSA members get free access to over 75 webinars which are high quality in information and relevant to your work with teens… plus, you can learn at your own pace and at your convenience.
Here are some recent and upcoming webinars:
- What I Stopped Doing: Improving Services to Youth by Taking On Less
- Connecting with Immigrant and Refugee Youth in your Community
- Content Creation Tools for You & Your Teens
- Cultural Competence in the Library
- Identifying and Serving Homeless Youth
- Welcoming Spaces: Serving Patrons with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorders)
- Serving LGBTQ Teens
- Ready, Set, Go! 30 Ways to Reach Reluctant Readers in 60 Minutes
- Community Collaborations: School and Public Library Partnerships
- Collecting and Vetting Digital Content
- Commence Learning! Prepping for College Readiness Library Programming and Services
- Life Hacks 101: Strategies for Preparing Your Teens for Adulthood
- Making the Leap from Summer Reading to Summer Learning to Increase Impact
- (Upcoming) July 21: Connecting Teens & Community Inside and Outside the Library
- (Upcoming) August 18: Connecting Teens to Mental Health Support and Services
More about webinars can be found: http://www.ala.org/yalsa/onlinelearning/webinar
“YALSA’s free webinars for members are a great way to squeeze in professional development if you can’t get away from your [library]!” -Ariel Cummins, New Braunfels Public Library
Reason #14: Toolkits
Did you know that in addition to all the various resources available on the website, wiki, courses, webinars, blogs, member communities, and other resources for members, YALSA has toolkits that features step by step instructions and best practices for a variety of hot topics for teen services? Check them out. These toolkits are available to download.
STEM Programming Toolkit (Word doc)
Teen Intern Toolkit (PDF)
Teens’ Top Ten Toolkit (Word doc)
“YALSA tool kits are essential to every Teen Librarian and helps me advocate for my teens!” -Dora Ho, Los Angeles Public Library
To view YALSA’s whole list of professional tools and online learning resources, visit:
Online Learning: http://www.ala.org/yalsa/onlinelearning
Professional Tools: http://www.ala.org/yalsa/professionaltools
Reason #15: Special recognition of Friends of YALSA
If you donate to Friends of YALSA, you’ll receive the following special recognitions:
- A letter from ALA/YALSA recognizing your generous donation for your tax records
- Special listing in YALSA E-News, YALSA’s monthly e-newsletter
- Quarterly email newsletter just for FOY donors
- Special listing on the YALSA website
- Friend of YALSA conference badge ribbon
- Reserved seating at the YALSA Membership Meeting, Edwards Luncheon (for ticketholders) and Printz Program and Reception (for ticketholders) at ALA’s Annual Conference
- Acknowledgment at the annual Membership Meeting
- Platinum and Gold Circle members receive a special invitation to meet with the Edwards Award winner at a reception at ALA Annual Conference
Plus, you’ll get our heartfelt thanks in supporting YALSA members!
Reason #16: Transform teen services
During the ALA Annual Conference in Orlando, many members commented on the quality of YALSA’s resources. Even through the recession, through cuts in budgets and the ever-growing list of YALSA tasks, YALSA continues to consistently produce quality tools and resources. But these tools can only be produced with the help of our members, volunteers, and funding. Not only will Friends of YALSA support you–the member–but it will also support YALSA initiatives identified in our organizational plan: diversity, professional development, leadership development, and funding.
You’ve heard it before–especially in discussions about the Futures Report and the new Organizational Plan that YALSA has a Teens First approach. Great services for teens require training, passion, and certainly, the right librarian. And sometimes, unfortunately, it requires funds. Donate to Friends of YALSA to support member grants and scholarships, and help award wonderful YALSA members who are doing great work in putting teens first. Help provide your fellow teen services advocates by providing more opportunities for professional growth to transform teen services.
There are many reasons to give to YALSA, not just the 16 reasons we’ve highlighted in these blog posts.
Donate to YALSA today! http://www.ala.org/yalsa/givetoyalsa/give
Jane Gov is a Youth Services Librarian at Pasadena Public Library, California. She is Chair of the Financial Advancement Committee and an ex-officio member of the YALSA Board. You can tweet her @missjanegov.