Giving Tuesday

This year, Giving Tuesday looks and feels a bit different than years past as it has been an especially difficult year for everyone, and giving financially might not be an option for you this year.

If you are able to give, please consider donating to the Friends of YALSA (FOY) campaign: Give $20 in 2020. The funds raised are used for member grants and awards. One particular program is the Spectrum Scholarship, which works to diversify the field of teen services. This year has been an awakening for racial injustice. YALSA has been a long standing leader in bringing awareness of structural racism in our country and our teens need their libraries to reflect the diversity of our population. Each year, YALSA supports two Spectrum Scholars. The program actively recruits and provides scholarships to American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Middle Eastern and North African, and/or Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander students to assist them with obtaining a graduate degree and leadership positions within the profession and ALA. These scholarships help our profession grow in much needed ways. To learn more about the Spectrum Scholarship and the full list of member awards and grants FOY supports, please visit YALSA’s website.

We understand that this year has been a difficult and trying time for many, so if you are unable to give financially this year, please consider sharing the Give $20 in 2020 campaign on social media to encourage others to donate. Thank you for all you do to support teens in our communities.

-Carrie Kausch
Financial Advancement Committee member

The following blog post is written by one of YALSA’s 2020 Symposium Registration Grant student winners, Esperanza Pacheco.

My name is Esperanza Pacheco, and I am the Assistant Director/Young Adult Librarian for the Englewood Public Library in New Jersey. My community was super proud and excited that I was selected to attend the virtual YALSA YA Services Symposium from November 6-8 this year.

On the Friday of the Symposium, I started looking into which prerecorded sessions I could log into to begin my conference experience. Immediately, the session title which caught my eye was #DiverseReading: Encouraging Teen Readers with Instagram. I’ve created Instagram accounts for three libraries and am constantly seeking ways to use it, as well as other social media platforms to attract teens’ attention towards reading. I had the pleasure of e-meeting Rachel Milburn, who recorded this video for us. She is the Teen Services Librarian at the Frankfort Community Public Library, Frankfort, Indiana. Instantly, through our library accounts, I followed her pages on Instagram and Twitter. I was so impressed by how much time and deliberation went into her posts. She had one title that had basketballs surrounding the books on the shelf. This is a great idea as it draws immediate attention on an app, where people are constantly scrolling and only stopping for something alluring to the eye. I kept in mind some of the details she mentioned when it comes to using Instagram professionally, such as switching over to a business account in order to view the background Insights of your account interaction and engagement. It is interesting to see the outliers in how many thousands of views her top post garnered, which could have been due to the title of the book she posted or perhaps how she set up the post.

The next recorded session I tuned into was called Our Voices, Our Protest: Migrant Stories in Latinx Young Adult Literature. I was especially excited to view this one because I was able to place these authors’ titles right into a cart for my library to purchase; the beauty of online services! The authors were Aida Salazar, Jenny Torres Sanchez, Daniel Aleman, Guadalupe Garcia McCall, Yamile Saied Mendez, and Ernesto Cisneros. I love sessions like these that teach me about authors I may not have known or seen. Being able to ask these authors questions in real time was a real treat. I think it is imperative for both sides too, as authors get the benefit of hearing readers’ feedback. Read More →

The following blog post is written by one of YALSA’s 2020 Symposium Registration Grant student winners, Jana Wiersma.

YALSA’s Young Adult Services Symposium theme for 2020, “Biggest Little Spaces: How Libraries Serve the Expanding World of Teens”, was a play on Reno’s slogan “Biggest Little City”, where the symposium was originally supposed to be held. When it became clear the COVID-19 pandemic wasn’t letting up, the symposium moved online, and representation, diversity, and inclusion were not lost in the shift. As disappointed as I was to not attend the symposium in my backyard, connections and networking were still possible, and many young adult librarians were able to join from all over the world. As a first-time YALSA symposium attendee, I was able to enter the community of young adult librarians and share experiences in a meaningful way.

The author lineup was incredible in its diversity of the powerful voices that YA librarians could not only hear, but also discuss relevant issues with. The excitement of the authors at being represented and presenting together on panels was palpable and contagious, even via Zoom. Even with the plethora of diverse authors, there was still an overwhelming call for more diversity in publishing, editing, and writing. Each author recognized the need for our teens to see themselves in whatever space they occupy — represented as readers, yes, but also as authors, editors, publishers, media specialists, and more. During the opening session, author Alan Gratz said, “There isn’t one America, there are many different American experiences,” which I felt entirely summed up YALSA’s 2020 Symposium.

From the pre-conference to end of symposium, sessions included relevant topics like teaching teens to spot and stop the spread of fake news, ramping up library teen volunteer programs, creating book boxes to help teens and tweens destress, fostering community partnerships to advocate for teens beyond the library, transforming teen services, providing support to our immigrant youth, and more!

Each session provided a wealth of information and resources we could bring back to the library and apply with confidence to better support our local teens and the spaces they occupy. With this information, our team can go forward with our top priorities: re-evaluating our teen volunteer program, re-configuring our teen space to better support the needs of our young adult community, and helping our teens feel both represented and connected during this especially difficult time of separation.

As the Young Adult Services Symposium wrapped up, I was inspired and motivated by all the possible ways I could apply what I learned, how best to implement shared tips, and how to better diversify our young adult services on a daily basis. My to-be-read pile now has a thousand books on it, and my inner book-nerd heart was bursting with the joy of getting to hear from so many amazing authors! I cannot wait for YALSA members to meet in person once again, but in the meantime, meeting and connecting virtually still did a world of good.

Jana Wiersma
MLIS Student @ University of North Texas,
Senior Library Assistant, Carson City Library, NV

Article proposals for the Winter 2021 issue of YALSA’s journal, YALS are currently being sought. The theme for the issue is Youth Voices. Prospective articles include those that consider teen voice, what it is, how teens use it, and how we can provide support through library services, resources, and programming. How do we train ourselves to encourage and support teens who want to engage their communities and the world at large? Learn more and submit by Oct. 28.

In her opening remarks at ALA Annual 2020, Tracie D. Hall (ALA Executive Director) stated that, “If our institutions and profession is to be sustainable, all of us must devote ourselves to the diversification of the next generation workforce.” (Hall, 2020)

The Spectrum Scholarship Program was developed to do just that. The program actively recruits and provides scholarships to American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Middle Eastern and North African, and/or Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander students to assist them with obtaining a graduate degree and leadership positions within the profession and ALA.

Each year, YALSA sponsors two Spectrum Scholars who have an interest in serving youth aged 12-18 in a library setting. See the list of past scholars. Those interested in applying for the program should visit http://www.ala.org/advocacy/spectrum/apply. The application process runs from October to March each year.

To be eligible for a Spectrum Scholarship, you should:

  • Be a citizen or permanent resident of the U.S. or Canada
  • Identify as American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Middle Eastern/North African, and/or Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander
  • Attend an ALA-accredited graduate program in library and information studies or an AASL-recognized School Library Media Program
  • Be enrolled in an accredited program and begin no later than September 1st or Fall semester
  • Have full or part-time status
  • Plan to maintain a minimum course load of two classes per semester while receiving your scholarship funds

If you are interested in donating to the program, please visit YALSA’s Give to YALSA page. Donating to YALSA’s Leadership Endowment directly sponsors our Spectrum Scholars. Your donation will help YALSA and ALA reach the goal of building a more diverse workforce, ensuring that kids and teens of color see themselves represented at the library.

Hall, Tracie D., (2020, June 24-26). Let Our Legacy Be Justice [Conference Opening Session]. ALA Annual Conference 2020.

–Celeste Swanson
Financial Advancement Committee

What’s really cool about the money that is donated to Friends of YALSA (FOY), like through our Give $20 in 2020 campaign, are the programs the donations support. One program especially close to my heart is YALSA’s Board Fellow program! In 2019, I was honored and thrilled to be named YALSA’s Board Fellow.

I first heard about this opportunity a few years prior at the 2016 ALA Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida. I sat next to a YALSA member on a bus to a publisher event that evening. I was so happy being a part of the Great Graphic Novels for Teens selection committee, but I was also thinking of going outside my comfort zone in terms of getting more involved in YALSA. I really had no idea how to do that until I started talking to the YALSA member next to me. All these years later, I wish I knew who I spoke to because that person changed my YALSA life I explained to them about feeling like I wanted to do more, but I wasn’t sure how to do that exactly. I felt like applying to be on the YALSA Board proper was too big of a step for me, and it was then that they told me about the Board Fellow program. It seemed like the perfect step in the direction I knew I wanted to go. I could meet Board members, see how the process worked, be active and engaged, and grow my leadership skills in ways that I could use in my YALSA volunteer work, as well as at my own organization. I would be a non-voting member, but I was totally fine with that! I wanted to see how it worked before I threw in my “ayes” or “nays”.  It took me another couple of years to muster up the courage to apply, and I am so glad that I did.

I feel the Board Fellow program really opened my eyes to the work of the Board and introduced me to so many friends I have made in the process.  My experience as the Board Fellow showed me the bigger picture of YALSA work and how it affects all of us who work for and with teens in our libraries. I was incredibly thankful to receive the stipend that the Board Fellow receives from monies donated to FOY to help defray conference attendance costs over my one year appointment term.

The application for YALSA’s 2021 Board Fellow is due by December 1! I hope everyone who wants to take that next step in YALSA leadership will consider applying. And, thank you to everyone who has donated to FOY. Your contributions have helped members like me and from around the world. As I mentioned in my post last month, we know that everything is challenging right now. If you’d like to and are able to contribute, please consider becoming a Friend of YALSA (any denominations welcome) or donate $20 as part of this year’s Friend of YALSA fundraising campaign Give $20 in 2020. Thank you for your work supporting teens in our community and supporting your colleagues near and far.

-Traci Glass, Financial Advancement Committee Chair

TeenTober Logo

Celebrate TeenTober this October with the release of our new digital poster, bookmark, and toolkit!

TeenTober replaces YALSA’s previous Teen Read Week and Teen Tech Week celebrations to allow libraries the flexibility to celebrate all types of literacies according to their library and teen patrons’ schedule anytime during the month of October. It aims to celebrate teens, promote year-round teen services and the innovative ways teen services helps teens learn new skills, and fuel their passions in and outside the library. Library staff are also encouraged to utilize this new celebration to advocate for and raise awareness of the importance of year-round teen services in libraries.

To help libraries plan programming for TeenTober, YALSA has developed a list of suggested weekly topics for the celebration month:

  • Week 1: Literacies
  • Week 2: Writing
  • Week 3: Technology & Gaming
  • Week 4: Art & Music

Libraries are encouraged to adapt and alter the schedule to fit its library and teen patrons’ needs. Find more helpful resources related to planning, advocacy, and programs in the TeenTober toolkit. Don’t forget to also visit our Teen Programming HQ database to share and find more program ideas. Free marketing graphics such as a logo and social media graphics are also available. Share your celebration plans with @yalsa and join the conversation online with #TeenTober.

As we prepare to enter the next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, we want to assure you of our continued commitment towards providing the library community with the support and opportunities it needs to work for and with teens. With that in mind, YALSA is pleased to announce that the early-bird rate for the 2020 Virtual Young Adult Services Symposium will remain in effect through the end of September. This virtual event presents a unique opportunity to bring a broader spectrum of the cooperative community together around more accessible and affordable programming, removing the barriers to participation due to travel, health, financial, or time constraints.

We wish we could contribute more financially to support library staff. However, producing a quality, interactive virtual event with minimal sponsorship and providing programs that are closed-captioned for all viewers is a costly expense that often exceeds registration gains. As a result of this, extending the early bird rate is a small, and hopefully, helpful gesture we’d like to offer.

We are excited about the 2020 Virtual Symposium and the live sessions on Social Action, Safe Places, Equity in Action, and many more. The theme of “Biggest Little Spaces: How Libraries Serve the Expanding Worlds of Teens” is well-timed. We know the importance this meeting and the content presented provides in continuing your education, assisting your teens, and expanding your network.

September 30 will be your last opportunity to receive the early bird rate. That means you can still save up to $100; the member rate is $129, and the non-member rate is $249. Registration includes full access to all conference programming, including access to the content for one year. We hope you’ll join us November 6th – 8th.

Register today.

-Amanda Barnhart, YALSA President

-Tammy Dillard-Steels, YALS Executive Director

This fall, President-Elect Kelly Czarnecki will appoint members to the following volunteer groups:

Blogging Teams – Term: 12/1 to 1/1

  • Amazing Audiobooks Blogging Team
  • Best Fiction for Young Adults Blogging Team
  • Graphic Novels Blogging Team
  • Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Readers Blogging Team

Book Awards – Term: 2/1 to 1/31

  • Alex Awards
  • Margaret A. Edwards 2022 Award
  • Michael L. Printz 2022 Award
  • Morris Award 2022
  • Non-Fiction 2022 Award
  • Odyssey Award

Juries – Term: members – 3 month appointment, starting 11/1; chairs – 4 month appointment starting 10/1

  • Conference Travel Scholarships Jury
  • Collection Development Grant Jury
  • Great Books Giveaway Award Jury
  • Henne Research Award Jury
  • Best Literacies Program Award Jury
  • Writing Award Jury
  • Innovation Award Jury
  • Volunteer of the Year Award Jury

Other Groups:

  • Advocacy Resources Community Listening Taskforce (Term 9/15 to 3/31)
  • Board Development Committee (Term 1/1 to 12/31)
  • Book Awards Oversight Committee (Term 2/1 to 1/31)
  • Midwinter Paper Presentation Planning Committee (Term 9/15 to 2/1)
  • Selection Lists Oversight Committee (Term 12/1 to 1/1)
  • Symposium Planning and Marketing Taskforce (Term 11/1 -10/31)

If you are interested in volunteering on any of the above groups, please submit a volunteer form by September 15 the September 23 extended date. You must sign into your ALA account in order to access the form. Learn more about each group at http://www.ala.org/yalsa/workingwithyalsa/yalsacommittee. Questions? Contact Kelly Czarnecki, YALSA President-Elect at kellyczarnecki1@gmail.com.

Hello, YALSA members and teen advocates,

As the Chair of the 20-21 Financial Advancement Committee (FAC), I am honored to work with a wonderful group of folks to help raise funds to support our fellow members through these difficult and trying times. You might be asking yourself – what is the FAC?  What do they do?  The Financial Advancement Committee provides oversight and continued enhancement of the Friends of YALSA program, including promotion, fundraising, and donor recognition. We work with the Board and staff year-round to create and implement virtual fundraising campaigns and fundraising efforts at conferences, aimed at both members and others, to support the $19,595 worth of member scholarships and stipends YALSA gives out annually. Currently, we are already working on ideas for virtual fundraisers for the Virtual Symposium, new fundraising campaigns for 2021, and working with YALSA staff to start planning the 2021 Coffee Klatch that is held annually at the ALA Annual Conference.

You have probably noticed all of the great scholarships and stipends that YALSA gives out even if you didn’t realize that the FAC oversees the money that goes into funding these opportunities.  Friends of YALSA funds opportunities, scholarships, and grants like the shipping expenses for the Great Books Giveaway, sponsoring Spectrum Scholars and Emerging Leaders, sending YALSA members to ALA’s National Library Legislative Day, and much, much more. We all know how challenging it is right now for all of us. If you’d like to and are able to contribute, please consider becoming a Friend of YALSA or donate as part of this year’s fundraising campaign Give $20 in 2020.  Thank you for your work supporting teens in our community and supporting your colleagues near and far.

I am excited to share this year’s Financial Advancement Committee group with you! And, we hope that you will consider volunteering for this committee in the future!

Traci Glass, Chair
Stephanie Charlefour, Virtual Member
Carrie Kausch, Virtual Member
Amber Loveless, Virtual Member
Kayla Payne, Virtual Member
Shira Pilarski, Virtual Member
Celeste Swanson, Virtual Member