Hi everyone!

I hope everyone had a relaxing Labor Day! Thank you to all of you who work for YALSA, our staff and volunteers. 

FIrst, I am happy to announce that we have a new Communications Specialist on staff, Camille Alcazar! Camille will be completing onboarding through the beginning of September. Currently the best way to reach YALSA Communications is via the email yalsaevents@ala.org

As many of you may know, we have been searching for an Executive Director this summer. Currently, our Interim Executive Director, LaMoya Burks has been with us since early 2022 and has made great strides to keep YALSA moving forward. It is my hope that we will soon be able to announce the new YALSA Executive Director for YALSA, so please keep watch on Connect and your YALSA eNews emails!

Two YALSA Board members are currently taking a leave of absence until October. While it’s usually a difficult time to work through when someone uses a short term leave, I am thankful that YALSA has a leave of absence policy in place so that our members can take the time they need to care for themselves or others. I look forward to our two members’ return and working with them again. Our short-term leave policy applies to all YALSA volunteers, so if this is something you need, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your Chairs, other Board members, or me if you need more information.

Our Board Development committee has started to prepare our 2025 Election Slate! We are looking for candidates for next year’s slate for the following positions: President-Elect, YALSA Division Councilor, and two Board Directors at Large. Successful candidates will stand for election in the spring of 2024 and begin their term on July 1, 2024 during at the ALA Annual Conference in San Diego, CA. For more information on the responsibilities of each role on the Board, please visit the Governance page which includes some handy links under the topic Get Involved in Governance. If youare ready to put your name forward, please submit via the online nomination form.

A friendly reminder that Teen’s Top Ten Voting has opened and will remain open until October 15!  Use this link to share with your teens, so they can cast their vote: Teen’s Top Ten Voting Form Our committee is hard at work this year to continue to steer the Teen’s Top Ten program back on course. Work on this started earlier this year by the previous chair who stepped in at the end of the year, Stephanie Charlefour and the 2022-23 committee members Tamara DePasquale, Emily Harris, Rebecca Leonhard, and Lynn Jacobs.

Finally, our Symposium Registration is open!

While there is still a lot of work to do for the Symposium, I want to thank those so far who have done so much thus far on a not average timetable and with random hiccups along the way! First our Symposium Planning and Marketing Task Force members: Amy Ojserkis, Caroline Aversano, Heather Beverley, Asuncion Cora, Ginny Edwards, Meagan Looney, and Scot Smith. Our YALSA staff LaMoya Burks and Ninah Moore. And our YALSA President-Elect, Yvette Garcia. 

YALSA members: this St. Louis Symposium is going to be fantastic from what I can see so far–make sure you register today! When you’re registering, please pay close attention to the question regarding a focus group. Our Division Membership and Promotion committee is planning on a focus group to talk with members about YALSA membership recruitment and retainment, especially in regards to members of color. Also be sure to take note that we will be having an evening at the St. Louis Public Library! I am so thankful staff at SLPL are hosting us and providing a tour of their amazing central library!

Completed Activities

  • YALSA 2024 budget has been completed and submitted to ALA, including our endowment planned activities worksheet
  • Board strategic committees were established and provided possible projects. Next steps will be to finish naming committee chairs, and the committees to work to narrow their focus for the year
  • President-Elect, Yvette Garcia was trained on making YALSA appointments. And I am happy to report that she already has a jump start with appointing our book award and selected lists committees. Please see this YALSA blog post for more information and access our volunteer form here: https://www.ala.org/CFApps/volunteer/form.cfm

Ongoing Activities

  • Discussions continue with the board and the update of the operating agreement and how this will affect overhead costs. Many divisions are currently discussing options for the overhead costs provided by the Operating Agreement Task Force. It’s a difficult topic and the YALSA Board is considering everything carefully
  • Membership meetings are currently being planned for the year. While we try to hold a membership meeting annually at the ALA Annual Conference, we also want to be able to provide them virtually throughout the year. We are looking at some options now. YALSA is required in its bylaws to hold at least one Membership Meeting a year and the purpose of a membership meeting is to provide membership an update of the business of the division. 

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