The YALSA Board was busy at Annual 2018 in New Orleans. Here are some highlights.

On Friday, Sarah Hill, Todd Krueger, Beth Yoke and I provided training for our new Board members. Topics discussed included:

  • What does it mean to be a board member
  • Board culture and processes
  • Building skills & knowledge relating to association governance
  • An overview of YALSA’s organizational plan

On Saturday, at Board I, the Board adopted 17 Consent Items, which were items that were discussed and voted on previous to annual, including:

The Board voted to fill two Board Vacancies. I am pleased to announce that Vicki Emery will serve as YALSA’s Fiscal Officer and Trixie Dantis will serve as a Board Member at Large.

The Board voted on a number of documents related to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI), including Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Next Steps and a Value of EDI Statement. We also evaluated YALSA’s statements for EDI Inclusivity.  Additionally, the Board voted to identify one Board Member to serve as YALSA’s official liaison to ALA Affiliates and Round Tables that focus on serving one or more traditionally underrepresented groups. Finally, in response to an incident in which a member reported inappropriate comments based on race and gender identity were made during a committee meeting, we voted to clarify or expand procedures and to update policies so that if another incident should occur there are clear and enforceable repercussions.  To learn more about these, read Board document #23, Creating a More Inclusive Environment

The O&B committee, at the Board’s request, provided an updated Chair manual which the Board voted to adopt. The new manual:

  • Reflects YALSA’s Organizational Plan
  • Includes more big-picture information
  • Adds outcomes focused content
  • Updates the virtual resources content
  • Updates the selection committee content
  • Expands 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
  • Adds turn-key materials, like sample messages as well as examples of completed forms and documents that are thorough and well-written

The Board also discussed a number of items, including a Draft Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Plan  (Board document #28) and Book Awards & Lists in Light of #MeToo (Board document #34). The draft EDI Plan was sent back to the authors for further revisions.  A number of actions were taken regarding the Book Awards and #MeToo:

  • The incoming President will assemble a workgroup to provide resources and tools for evaluating materials and intellectual freedom in light of #MeToo.
  • O&B will create a policy for award committees regarding giving and rescinding an award based on our discussion.
  • The incoming YALSA President will direct the oversight committee to revisit training and to draft language to guide the award committee based on our discussion.

On Sunday, at Board II, the Board met with Julie Todaro, YALSA’s ALA Executive Board Representative, to receive an update on ALA Executive Board discussions at Annual. We also received an update on ALA Council activities from Todd Krueger, YALSA’s Councilor.

To learn more about the Board’s meetings at ALA Annual, check out the Board agenda and documents. 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 Crystle Martin who will be the phenomenal 2018-2019 YALSA President! You can learn about Crystle’s presidential theme here.

The Board’s next in-person meeting will be at the 2019 ALA Midwinter Meeting from Jan. 25-29, 2019. We’re looking forward to seeing YALSA members in Seattle!

And remember, YALSA’s YA Services Symposium will be in Salt Lake City, UT, November 2 -4, 2018. Registration is now open! At this symposium we will explore how libraries can best support teens’ social and emotional learning to help them effectively navigate a challenging world.

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!

Respectfully submitted,

Sandra Hughes-Hassell
YALSA Immediate Past President 2018-2019

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