The YALSA Board was busy at Midwinter in Denver. I want to thank my fellow Board members Franklin Escobedo, Crystle Martin, Sarah Hill, Clara Bohrer, Kafi Kumasi, Kate McNair, Mega Subramaniam, Todd Krueger, Jane Gov, Kathy Ishizuka, Derek Ivie, Jess Snow, Kate Denier and Melissa McBride, as well as YALSA ED Beth Yoke, for making our meetings productive.

Here are some highlights:

On Friday, YALSA Financial Officer Clara Bohrer led the Board Planning session, taking us on a deep dive into ALA and YALSA finances.  Among the topics discussed were:

On Saturday, at Board I, the Board adopted 18 consent items, which were items that were discussed and voted on previous to annual, including:

The Board also approved conducting an inventory of YALSA’s portfolio of advocacy resources and establishing two new member grants and awards – an Innovation Award that will recognize a member who has embraced YALSA’s vision for teen services and a new Mid-Career Travel Stipend to be used by a YALSA member who expresses need and has not had the opportunity to attend an ALA Annual Conference or YALSA Symposium for five years.

As part of our commitment to create member engagement opportunities that better meet member needs, the Board continued to explore expanding member engagement and providing support for member-led interest groups. We also discussed how YALSA might build stronger ties with the Spectrum Scholars we sponsor, specifically how we can support and engage them as leaders in YALSA and in the field.

The O&B committee, at the Board’s request, is currently working to update the Chair manual to:

  • Reflect the YALSA’s Organizational Plan
  • Include more big-picture information
  • Add outcomes focused content
  • Update the virtual resources content
  • Update the selection committee content
  • Expand the responsibilities, communication, ethics, and policies sections
  • Change the language of the document so it can be used for Chairs, Conveners, and Blogging Team Leads
  • Add turn-key materials, like sample messages as well as examples of completed forms and documents that are thorough and well-written

You can review the proposed table of contents for the updated manual by reading Board document #30.

At the 2016 ALA Annual Conference, YALSA Board voted to expand the Governance Nominating Committee into a Board Development Committee, to support the reorganization of YALSA in alignment with the new organizational Plan. At the 2017 ALA Midwinter Meeting, the Board reviewed and approved a proposal which provided a plan for transitioning to a Board Development Committee, and a directive was given to create a small, ad-hoc work group to develop a manual for the Board Development Committee. At our meeting on Saturday, the Board reviewed and approved the manual.

On Sunday, at Board II, the Board met with Mary Ghikas, ALA ED, and Dan Hoppe, ALA HR director, to discuss the search process for the new YALSA ED. The search committee is currently being formed and will begin work in the next two weeks. Stay tuned to the YALSAblog for further information and updates.  The Board also met with Mark Leon, ALA CFO, to continue discussions about ALA finances and their impact on YALSA.

To learn more about the Board’s meetings at ALA Midwinter, check out the Board agenda and documents. The minutes from the meeting will also be posted on YALSA’s website soon.

The Board’s next in-person meeting will be at the 2018 ALA Annual Conference from June 22-26, 2018. We’re looking forward to seeing YALSA members in New Orleans!

Thanks for all that you do to make YALSA an amazing association!

Respectfully submitted,
Sandra Hughes-Hassell
YALSA President 2017-2018

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