Hope everyone had a great 4th of July!

As we celebrated our country’s independence last weekend, YALSA, too, has sought to break free from past models of association work and is currently exploring new ways to engage our members that better meet their interests, skills and busy lifestyles.

It was with those #teensfirst  and members’ first ideals in mind that the 2015-2016 YALSA Board approached our work before and during ALA Annual last month as we worked on aligning existing YALSA groups, programs and services with the association’s new Organizational Plan.

Here are some highlights:

– The Board adopted the following consent items, which were items that were discussed and voted on previous to annual, including:

– The Board also approved a more concrete structure to support and revitalize interest groups.

– The Board approved experimenting with new kinds of member engagement opportunities, especially virtual and short-term ones.

As part of its effort to align YALSA’s existing work with the new Organizational Plan, as well as update member engagement opportunities so that they better meet member needs, the Board began a review of all existing member groups at our June meeting.  While the Board was not able complete the review, we did come to decisions about some of the groups.

– The Board agreed that the following committees’ structure and workflow will remain as they currently are:

  • Alex Award Committee
  • Editorial Advisory Board for YALS/YALSAblog
  • Financial Advancement Committee
  • Margaret Edwards Award Committee
  • Mentoring Task Force
  • Michael Printz Award Committee
  • Morris Award Committee
  • Nonfiction Award Committee
  • Odyssey Award Interdivisional Committee
  • Organization and Bylaws Committee
  • The Hub Advisory Board

– The Board agreed to re-envision the work groups listed below and to create a transition plan, timeline and communication plan so that new work processes will be in place beginning July 1, 2017.  The goal is for these groups to be re-envisioned in a way that provides more short-term and virtual opportunities for member involvement.

  • ALA Annual Conference Marketing & Local Arrangements
  • Community Connections Taskforce
  • JRLYA Advisory Board
  • Legislation Committee
  • Midwinter Marketing and Local Arrangements Taskforce
  • Midwinter Paper Presentation Committee
  • Popular Paperbacks for YAs Committee
  • Teen Read Week Committee
  • Teen Tech Week Committee
  • YA Services Symposium Taskforce

– The Board agreed to transition the work of the groups listed below from members to staff and to create a transition plan, timeline and communication plan so that beginning July 1, 2017 the groups’ work will be fully transitioned to staff.

  • Continuing Education Advisory Board
  • National Guidelines Committee
  • Publications Advisory Board
  • Website Advisory Board

– The Board agreed to end YALSA’s formal participation in the RUSA/YALSA YA Reference Interdivisional Committee and directs the YALSA President to notify the RUSA President by no later than August 1, 2016.

– The Board did not have the opportunity to discuss the structure and workflow of the following groups, but has charged the members of the Leading the Transformation of Teen Services Board Standing Committee to submit a draft recommendation for the Board to review possible next steps for the following groups:

  • Amazing Audiobooks
  • Awards and Selection Committees Oversight Committee
  • Awards Committee Nominating Committee
  • Best Fiction for Young Adults Committee
  • Competencies Update Taskforce
  • Division and Membership Promotion Committee
  • Great Graphic Novels for Teens Committee
  • President’s Planning Taskforce
  • Quick Picks for Reluctant YA Readers Committee
  • Research Committee
  • School and Public Library Cooperation Interdivisional Committee
  • Summer Learning Taskforce
  • Teens Top Ten Committee

The board will be meeting virtually on August 1st from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Eastern to discuss the Leading the Transformation of Teen Services Board Standing Committee’s draft recommendation.  There is also a virtual Member Town Hall scheduled for Wednesday, August 17 at 3 PM ET via Zoom where members can learn more and share their thoughts about how the work of YALSA committees, advisory boards, and juries should evolve in order to better meet member needs.  Also – don’t forget the current YALSA member survey! Please contact Beth Yoke for more information and links to the virtual board chat, town hall and survey.

To learn more about the Board’s meetings at ALA Annual, check out the Board agenda and documents and stay tuned to the YALSAblog for further information and updates from my colleagues on the Board and I.  The minutes from the meeting will also be posted on YALSA’s website soon.

At the conclusion of our board meetings, I officially handed the gavel over to Sarah Hill, who will be the phenomenal 2016 – 2017 YALSA President.

The Board’s next in-person meeting will be at the 2017 ALA Midwinter Meeting from Jan. 20 – 24, 2017. We’re looking forward to seeing YALSA members in Atlanta!

And remember, YALSA’s YA Services Symposium will be in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, November 4 – 6, 2016.

Thanks for all that you do to make YALSA an amazing association and thank you for the tremendous opportunity to serve as the association’s President. It was an honor and a privilege to work with you all this past year!

About Candice Mack

Candice A. (Wingyee) Mack is honored to be YALSA's Immediate Past President, as well as the Senior Librarian of systemwide Teen Services for the Los Angeles Public Library. She is also a 2012 ALA Emerging Leader and a 2006 ALA Spectrum Scholar. Passions for connected learning (like DJing), social justice, child & adolescent development and an unusual coincidence led her to pursue teen services librarianship. On Twitter, she can be found @tinylibrarian.

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