I am please to share the following YALSA President’s Program at ALA Annual 2024 in San Diego. A reminder that the session will begin with a YALSA Membership meeting at 10:30 am. Makes sure to mark your calendars, or add it to your conference schedule via the scheduler app now live. I look forward to connecting with any of you that will be attending the conference!

ALA Annual 2024 logo

YALSA’s President Program: Teen Activists and the Freedom to Read

About: Learn how teens have successfully engaged with and activated their communities around the freedom to read. This moderated panel discussion will feature teen advocates and address book banning, censorship, and how they engaged in civic leadership and built coalitions in the face of challenges. The panel will be preceded by a YALSA Membership meeting from 10:30-11am. It will take place at ALA Annual in San Diego. All are welcome!

Date/time: Monday, July 1st from 10:30a.m.-12:00p.m.

Panelists:

Teen Activist: Nationally Recognized: Da’Taeveyon Daniels

Teen Activist: Midwest: Meghana Nakkanti

Teen Activist Group: California, Golden State Readers: Gianna Goodman-Bhyat, Anais Lee, Mirabelle Lee, and Elizabeth Goldman

Respectfully submitted by Colleen Seisser, YALSA President

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. 

Hi everyone!

I am pulling this report together on the last day of July which means I have been YALSA President for one month! For these reports, I am going to do my best to report to you, the YALSA members, what I have been working on each month. I will do my best to include bigger picture items and highlight as much of the work we do in governance each month as I can, though I am sure that I will unintentionally miss something.

I also want to take the time to give thanks each month. Thank you to all our YALSA volunteers! And especially to our newly appointed Strategic Committee, Advisory Board, and Task Force chairs. I have met with a majority of them so far this month (and have more meetings scheduled for next month) and I am so excited to be working with each of them as they are bringing an enthusiasm to their work this year that I am so impressed by. I can’t wait to see what we accomplish together this year.

Special shout out to our 2022-23 and 2023-24 Teen’s Top Ten Committees. We had a rocky year last year for Teen’s Top Ten. We started to recover when a past TT10 chair, Stephanie Charlefour, stepped in this spring to work with the committee to make sure we had a Top 25 list out in May. Stephanie is currently working with incoming chair, Karen Scott, to make sure the transition goes smoothly so this year’s committee can hit the ground running.

Finally, a big thanks to the YALSA staff! To Letitia for reading my mind when it comes to the different volunteer appointments and replacements we have to take care of together. To LaMoya for continuously pushing YALSA forward and for making sure our budget planning stays on track. And finally, to Sandra Ramirez. Sandra’s last day as our Communications Specialist was Friday, 7/28. YALSA works with a temporary agency right now to fill this Communications Specialist position, so we do see some turnover in the position that occurs quickly. Sandra did great work for YALSA and was very easy to work with. Thankfully, she is pursuing another opportunity so we wish her all the best!

Completed

  • Worked with YALSA Staff, Letitia Smith, to fill the remaining spots on our Strategic Committees to the best of our abilities. We still have openings on the following committees:
  • Reviewed and updated all the YALSA Board Member onboarding documents
  • Provided Board Training to all Board members on July 17
  • Introduced all the Board Liaisons to their committees (these change every July as we start a new Board year)
  • Set the Board meeting and Executive Committee meetings for the 2023-24 year. This year we will be transitioning to monthly meetings for both. The schedule will be posted soon on the YALSA website.
  • Met with the following chairs to review goals/projects for their strategic committees (meetings scheduled through August with additional chairs):
    • Celeste Swanson, Division Membership & Promotion
    • Josie Andrews, Presidential Initiatives Implementation Task Force
    • Kirsten Caldwell, Social Media Marketing
    • Gail Tobin, Financial Advancement
    • Traci Glass, Organization and Bylaws
  • Participated in interviews for the YALSA Executive Director position with ALA staff, YALSA’s ALA Executive Board Liaison, our Past-Past President, Past President, and YALSA Staff
  • The YALSA Board did some work this month to catch up on items that were lost in the transition from the last Board year (7/1/2022-6/30/2023) to this current Board year (7/1/2023-6/30/2024):
    • Appointed Kate Denier as YALSA Secretary due to a resignation
    • Approved the Endowment Planned Activities for FY23 worksheet (delayed from last fall)
    • Selected a Board Fellow (we are hoping to contact all applicants soon with the results of our decision)

Ongoing

  • Working with the YALSA Staff and Executive Committee to finalize the FY24 budget
  • I sat in on a YALSA Symposium Planning and Marketing task force meeting earlier this month–I am so excited for YALSA members to see our final schedule! The Task Force is really putting a dynamic conference together. Registration will open in the next couple of weeks!
  • Our first YALSA Board meeting will be on Monday, August 21. The agenda is being put together this week and among other topics, I hope we will be able to review the assignments of YALSA Board Strategic committees as well as looking at membership communication ideas for the YALSA Board this year.

Stats to report:

Official YALSA membership numbers as of *April 2023*
Total YALSA membership – 3,247
Personal memberships – 3,040
Organizational memberships – 195
Corporate memberships – 12