Annual Conference is coming soon, and there are tons of cool YALSA programs happening there. We’ll hopefully be seeing a lot of you at the Michael L. Printz award event, the Margaret A. Edwards luncheon, the Coffee Klatch and many more! If you haven’t gotten your ticket for one of these events, there’s still time. Plus, you can get them at the door, too. So these events are not just a chance to see something cool, they’re a great opportunity to give back to YALSA.

Proceeds from the sales go back to YALSA to support grants, awards and scholarships for members. Each year YALSA’s Financial Advancement Committee has a goal to raise $16,000 to support these grants, awards and scholarships.  So far this year we’ve raised $5,375.  Please consider giving to YALSA to help us stay on track to raise the $16,000 we need by this December.

The Financial Advancement Committee is super passionate about supporting YALSA, and we think it’s important to share that enthusiasm because we know it’s one of the building blocks that helps YALSA achieve awesomeness. Here’s what some of our committee members have to say about why they give to YALSA:

Melissa McBride:

“Giving to YALSA is something I feel strongly about! I have been a member for 12 years and an active participant in the organization for the last seven. I’m not sure I would be where I am professionally without YALSA! My years of participating on committees have allowed me to meet fabulous people, help support a wonderful organization, and most importantly given me the confidence to take an active leadership role in my school district. I can’t think of a better way of showing my appreciation than by giving to YALSA and allowing them to help out other librarians – just like me!”

Dora Ho:

“Giving to YALSA helps strengthen library services to teens through its programs and initiatives. YALSA empowers librarians to serve teens each and every day in the libraries where teens can enrich their literacy skills and engage with their community.”

Gretchen Kolderup:

“Every day, library staff change teens’ lives in both big and small ways by giving them employment opportunities, by recommending books and turning them into lifelong readers, by providing them with access to technology, by helping them pursue their personal or academic interests, by bringing like-minded teens together and building community among them, or simply by being an adult who cares about them. YALSA supports that work with webinars, toolkits, national advocacy efforts, grants and scholarships, conferences, and more, so I support YALSA by donating and volunteering my time.”

Franklin Escobedo:

“I know it can be hard to give money, especially when a lot of us aren’t rolling in the dough. But I feel that giving to YALSA doesn’t only benefit me, but it benefits all YA Librarians out there, members and nonmembers.  YALSA mission is to advocate for teens and the librarians who work with teens. I believe even if you give just a little, that little bit will go a long way to help.  YALSA is investing in our future, through leadership programs, national advocacy days, as well as helping to promote YA Services in libraries. They continue to press the point that Young Adult/Teen Services are vital to the future of libraries across this nation. We have strength in numbers, so every little donation and every large donation is going to help their cause, my cause, our cause. None of us became librarians for a fame and fortune, we became librarians because we have a passion to better society and to advocate for teens who oftentimes get overlooked in their own communities. “

Personally, I give to YALSA because I know YALSA will make something awesome out of it. That awesomeness comes out in many ways: the Future of Teens in Libraries report, the Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers list, new discoveries in the research journal, librarians and library workers who just learned something new on one of YALSA’s webinars, the look on a teen’s face when their teen services librarian gives them something fabulous to read they discovered on the Books for Teens app…I could go on.

If you want to see proof of the awesome, just check @yalsa out on Twitter. I find myself inspired by dozens of awesome things YALSA is doing for and with teens in libraries every day. Check it out. Better yet, you could give to YALSA too, and make sure we continue to create the awesome. And remember, every amount helps, no matter how little or how large.

See you in San Francisco!

P.S. Want a super easy way to donate to YALSA?  Text ALA TEENALA to this number: 41518 to make a $10 donation


Giving Tuesday helps non-profits around the globe by bringing awareness to the importance of giving back and donating to a cause. This year will be YALSA’s third year in participating, and the Financial Advancement Committee’s (FAC) goal is to raise at least $4000 to send four…yes FOUR…YALSA members to National Library Legislative Day in Spring 2015. Financial Advancement chair Jack Martin (JM) and veteran member Melissa McBride (MM) interviewed each other below about the importance of giving to YALSA and having a strong presence at Library Legislative Day.  You can help us NOW by signing on to a Thunderclap that will be released on Giving Tuesday as a means of spreading the word about our fundraising goal.

JM: Melissa, this is FAC’s third year participating in Giving Tuesday, right? What the response been like in the past?

MM: Yes, although this is only my second year participating. The response last year was wonderful, as a committee member it was so great seeing all the support for both the Thunderclap and the donations that came in on Giving Tuesday. We far exceeded our expectations and were able to send additional members to Legislative Day.

JM: I love hearing about this great response. I think our members truly understand the importance of Library Legislative Day, and they know how much of an impact it makes to have YALSA members there to rep our awesome association!

MM: As a Past President of YALSA, what does it mean for you to see such support from the members of YALSA?

JM: For me, it’s all about advocacy. I think it’s easy for us to see our members being activists by physically representing YALSA at Library Legislative Day. What I think is harder to sometimes see but even more important are those activists who are giving to YALSA–via Giving Tuesday or any other time. In fact, I see them as some of YALSA’s most important activists because they’re helping association fulfill its mission to fight for teen services in libraries all across the country. I love thinking about all of that youth-focused goodwill, and as a Past President it motivates me to do the same both locally and nationally. Plus, I think it’s important that because of all of these activists who give to us, YALSA is able to award over $150,000.00 of scholarships and awards to members. That’s big stuff!

Speaking of advocacy, we know that YALSA members often place Advocacy and Activism at the top of their list when it comes to getting support from YALSA. Can you elaborate how Giving Tuesday supports this goal in YALSA’s Strategic Plan?

MM: Giving Tuesday enables librarians and library workers to have a voice. Sending librarians and library workers to Legislative Day, who care about the same issues as other YA librarians is powerful. It sends a strong message not only to our legislators, but also to every library worker who struggles to get what they need for their patrons. There are some days when it is just nice to know that YALSA is there supporting library staff and helping us to have a voice. The resources YALSA provides are a huge help in advocating for what we do.

JM: I know a lot of YALSA members might have questions about how much they should give for Giving Tuesday. What have people given in the past?

MM: Anything! If every YALSA member just gave $1 we would far exceed our goal of $4000 (which would send 4 members to Library Legislative Day)! It’s important for people to understand that even the smallest amount is a huge help. If you are in a position to be able to donate more, then great! Give up your Starbucks for the day and help get our voices heard! I actually just finished teaching my 2nd graders about Sarah Hale and her letter writing campaign (that spanned 38 years) just to get Thanksgiving turned into a national holiday. She knew that every letter counted, just as every penny donated counts.

JM: Wow. I hadn’t thought about it in that way. Let me reiterate: if every member only gave $1, we’d reach our goal! Maybe even surpass it! But also, I know many members may be wondering how they can give. YALSA has made it really easy to give, right?

MM: YALSA has made it so easy this year!  Not only can you log onto the and donate the traditional way, but now you can text to donate! All you have to do is text ALA TEENALA to this number: 41518 to make a $10 donation to YALSA. It couldn’t be easier!
JM: This has been a great conversation, Melissa! I hope everyone out there enjoyed learning about this super important initiative, and we’ll hopefully see everyone out there on social media to support YALSA’s Giving Tuesday campaign on Tuesday, December 2, 2014.

Hello everyone! Wowsers was the Board busy at Annual conference in Chicago last month! We had some pretty substantial convos and created several new task forces, resources and committees that will provide more ways for you all to get involved. Here’s a quick recap of some highlights of what happened over the three days that we met. For more details on these items, see the official Board documents. The official minutes will also be posted in the Governance section of the website in the near future.

  • For its “mega issue” the board discussed how to better identify and promote best practices in teen services and continued the discussion at the Membership Meeting.

  • The board directed the Executive Director to work with staff to pilot a new overall schedule for celebrating YALSA’s book awards at conferences. ‘ Staff will get input from the award sponsors and publishers and then determine a new schedule to try for 2014.

  • The Board considered and tabled a request for Board action to make a change to the Morris Committee’s charge. ‘ It will be revisited once the pilot schedule has been determined.

  • The Board agreed to adopt the recommendations around Board transparency presented in a proposal from Board Fellow Carrie Kausch

  • Meeting with ALA Executive Committee representative Rob Banks and ALA Budget Analysis and Review Committee representative Clara Bohrer, the Board shared comments about ALA and YALSA continuing education efforts, the fiscal health of the organization and more.

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What’s happening in the world of YALSA Governance this week in Chicago? Lots of stuff! The Board will be meeting on Saturday, Sunday and Monday–and please count this as an open invitation to join us at our meetings–any registered conference attendee is welcome. ‘ At the start of each meeting there’s an open forum where you’ll have an opportunity to share your ideas, thoughts and opinions on issues that are important to you. Or, you can just stay for the meeting and listen in on the board discussions. You can also follow us on Twitter at @yalsa where the ingeniously talented Carrie Kausch (@dogearedcarrie) will be tweeting highlights from our decisions, discussions and more!

You can find all of our agenda items here–and, as you can see, there are a lot of topics centered around advancing YALSA’s strategic plan. Here are some highlights:

First, back at the Summit on Teens and Libraries in January in Seattle, George Needham eloquently pointed out that libraries need to stop being “grocery stores” (in so many words) and instead become “kitchens.” One way many libraries have responded to this phenomenon is by creating maker spaces in libraries. Read More →

What’s been going on in my YALSA-land last month? Find out here!

May YALSA President’s Report

Key Activities:

Co-hosted an exciting series of online discussions with the Digital Media and Learning team on These talks were inspired by talks at the National Forum on Youth and Libraries. You can watch the discussions here and read through the resource packets here.

Traveled to Washington DC to participate in Library Legislative Day where we met with key policy makers and funders including IMLS (who funded our National Forum project) and government officials to talk about issues surrounding young adults and libraries.

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It’s been another busy month in YALSA land. Here’s what’s been going on!

Key Activities:

Collaborated with the Digital Media and Learning team to build out a month-long series about Teens and the Future of Libraries for Each episode is hosted every Tuesday in May with a different topic. The full schedule is:

May 2: Kick-off: Teens and the Future of Libraries

May 7: The Importance of Youth Access to Technology in Libraries

May 14: Effectively Leveraging Social Media in Library Programs

May 21: Getting Library & IT Administrators On-Board with Leveraging Social Media

May 28: Teens and the Future of Libraries: Sharing Best Practices Read More →

YALSA and Connected Learning TV go live next month! Next week, even!

Please join moi, YALSA President, and Crystle Martin, Postdoctoral Researcher for the Connected Learning Research Network, next month for a series of free virtual chats which will explore the roles social media and teens play in the future of public and school libraries. We’ll be facilitating discussions with Renee Hobbs, Mimi Ito, Craig Watkins, Chris Shoemaker, Wendy Stephens, Joyce Valenza and many more about the challenges surrounding leveraging social media in library programs. YALSA members are invited to participate and to share what has or has not been working in their own libraries. You all will be hearing about best practices from around the globe you can ‘ implement in your library.

Participants can watch in real time, connect via Chat with others, and ask questions on Livestream join the Connected Learning Community Google+ Page, and contribute to the #futureoflibraries conversation on Twitter. Be sure to check the YALSAblog the month of May, where discussions will continue there as well.

You can find out more here, including a nifty intro video!

Each virtual chat will begin at 1pm, eastern, and you can find out more on each individual series by clicking on the titles below. ‘ Please check the pages below regularly for updates as we add more speakers.

‘· ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘  May 2: Kick-off: Teens and the Future of Libraries

‘· ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘  May 7: The Importance of Youth Access to Technology in Libraries

‘· ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘  May 14: Effectively Leveraging Social Media in Library Programs

‘· ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘  May 21: Getting Library & IT Administrators On-Board with Leveraging Social Media

‘· ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘  May 28: Teens and the Future of Libraries: Sharing Best Practices

After the last session, and YALSA will put together a free summary report with tools and resources for librarians and library workers to use in their library.

Tune in all month! I can promise plenty of awesomeness!

What’s been happening at YALSA? Tons of cool stuff! From the Common Core to Connected Learning to Taskforces, Teen Tech Week and more! It’s all here…

Key Activities:

Collaborated with ALSC and AASL to create and appoint the inter-divisional Common Core Task Force, a team tasked with developing materials to educate members of all three divisions on the Common Core.

Chaired the March YALSA Board meeting via conference call. Draft minutes from the call are online at

Attended the Digital Media & Learning Conference and met with the Connected Learning team to plan YALSA’s partnership with Connected Learning TV in May. ‘ More information is online at

Convened a key discussion with YALSA members serving on various research-focused committees around the future of YALSA’s research agenda.

Represented YALSA at the Children’s Book Council Meeting on March 22 to share YALSA’s new resources and initiatives.

Appointed several new taskforces, including the Teen Tech Week and Teen Read Week Evaluation taskforces, the Programming Guidelines taskforce and more.

Outreach & Media:

Interviewed by New Jersey Public Radio on Teen Tech Week.
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What in the world have I been up to lately? It’s all here.

Key Activities:

Worked with the Board to appoint the fabulous Carla Land as the 2013-14 YALSA Board Fellow. We are thrilled to have her as part of the team!

Worked with the Board to appoint Pam Spencer Holley to fill the vacant position of Fiscal Officer. Pam will be working closely with the Board, the Executive Committee and the FInancial Advancement Committee Chair to help YALSA members and the public better understand YALSA’s finances. Thank you, Pam!

Had an inspiring, eye-opening, amazing time at the Summit on Teens & Libraries. We learned about teens, technology, Connected Learning and so much more. Save the date for March 19 so you can participate in the first virtual town hall on leveraging partnerships between libraries and other organizations: & on Twitter: #yalsaforum.
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