Be a Candidate for ALA Office

The 2009 ALA Nominating Committee is already at work and the 2008 election hasn’t even started, but it’s never too soon to plan ahead. With that thought in mind, I wanted to remind all our members to think about running for ALA Office. The 2009 ALA Nominating Committee will begin its work at Midwinter 2008 in Philadelphia by discussing possible candidates. That work will be enlarged upon at Annual, with a final list due to the ALA Executive Committee in the fall of 2008.

How does that affect you? Well, it’s time to start thinking about running for Council or ALA President. The Committee will submit two names for ALA President and 34 names for ALA Council and you could be one of those names. If you would like to be considered for one of these spots, please send your name, a brief bio, and a paragraph as to what you have to offer for either the Councilor or the President’s position to Pam Spencer Holley [] by Monday, January 8, 2008. Questions can be sent at any time to Pam at the same e-mail address

With Teen Read Week just around the corner, why not begin your celebration of Teen Reading with YALSA, the Readergirlz and “31 Flavorites!” The Readergirlz divas and YALSA will be hosting 31 of your favorite authors for 31 days in October — all in honor of Teen Read Week.

Chat nightly at 5 PM PST/8 PM EST with an amazing lineup of today’s most popular teen authors. And don’t miss the grand finale on October 31st with a special chat that will be held at 9 PM PST/MIDNIGHT EST) featuring Stephenie Meyer. More details are available at

Authors participating in the Readergirlz celebration include Ann Brashares, Andre Norton, Holly Black, Deb Caletti, Dia Calhoun, Janet Lee Carey, Cecil Castellucci, Rachel Cohn, Chris Crutcher and many more!

Special thanks to author and Readergirl Justina Chen Headley for lending her talent, energy and enthusiasm to the idea of this Readergirlz/YALSA collaboration. This great project offers teens another option to keep reading for the fun of it this October by providing a fun, relevant way for connecting with reading, authors and books!

Please take a minute to share your thoughts about YALSA’s two publications for members, YALS & YAttitudes, by responding to a short survey available at

Your feedback is essential for ensuring these excellent publications continue to give you the information you want and need!

Thank you,
Paula Brehm-Heeger
YALSA President, 2007-2008

Now is the time to apply if you would like to be among the new group of ALA Emerging Leaders! More information on the Emerging Leaders program – including an application to be considered for a spot as a 2008 Emerging Leader — is available at .

YALSA will sponsor one member to participate in the Emerging Leaders program this year. The application to be considered for YALSA sponsorship is now available at

The application period to apply to the Emerging Leaders program and to apply for YALSA sponsorship to the program is the same: July 1 – August 15, 2007.

YALSA will select one member to participate in the Emerging Leaders program and will provide $500 per conference (midwinter, 2008 in Philadelphia and annual, 2008 in Anaheim) to defray travel costs (your employer may also wish to contribute toward transportation and lodging).

It is possible to be selected to participate in the Emerging Leaders program even if you are not selected by YALSA for sponsorship. If you are interested in being an Emerging Leader you may wish to consider submitting both the general application and the application for YALSA sponsorship.

–Paula Brehm-Heeger

YALSA President, 2007-2008

Kevin & Sarah:

Thanks for all your great answers to the many questions posted so far! Just a few more:

What advice would you offer a Director for supporting someone wanting to work with YALSA? If Directors cannot afford to send staff to conferences, what are other ideas for encouraging staff to be involved in YALSA? Can you offer any examples – current or any time during your career, when your Director or administration was particularly helpful in supporting your involvement in YALSA?

And speaking of conferences and involvement, this brings me to a question current YALSA President, Judy Nelson, asked last year’s Presidential candidates:

Now that you’ve decided to commit yourself to YALSA for the next three years, what won’t you be doing in your spare time?

Hi Sarah & Kevin:

Here are a few more questions for you:

Spreading the word about YALSA and library service to teens is an important task for the Division President. What training or mentoring have you done to spread the YA word to other professionals? Who has mentored or made a difference in your professional life?

YALSA is lucky to have members with a very wide variety of backgrounds and experiences, including brand new members and long-term members. What services do you feel YALSA provides that are particularly valuable for new members? Long-term members? What are your ideas for reaching those groups of members?

And finally, just for fun, what are some of your favorite YA books, authors and/or movies?

Posted by Paula Brehm-Heeger

Kevin & Sarah, here are a few technology related questions, including one from Past-President Pam Spencer Holley:

What’s your favorite emerging technology and how do you see that kind of technology impacting service to teens in the future?

How should YALSA address the training issues related to teen services librarians and new technologies in a sustainable, ongoing way?

Past-President Pam Spencer Holley asks:

One aspect of the YALSA Presidency that caught me by surprise was the great amount of time that must be spent responding to YALSA matters. You’ll find that you’re communicating to individual members, committees, and even the entire division, and it’s one of your most important tasks.

Making the best use of your time, and the technology that’s available, how do you see yourself communicating with YALSA members and committees?

Posted by Paula Brehm-Heeger:

Thanks to Sarah and Kevin for their answers to the first set of questions! Here are a few more to help YALSA members get to know both of you a bit better:

Why are you running for YALSA President?

Talk about your experience serving teens, including in your current position. Tell us about a favorite teen-focused or teen-created project or program you helped develop while working directly with teens. Why was/is it your favorite?

What are your interests outside of library work?

Posted by Paula Brehm-Heeger

Welcome back to Election Forum on the YALSA blog! Last year was the first time we were able to utilize our blog to help members get to know the candidates for the various YALSA offices a bit better. This was such a great success that we’ll once again be posting questions for our candidates, beginning with questions for Sarah Cornish Debraski and Kevin Scanlon, our candidates for YALSA Vice-President/President-Elect.

The outcome of the election will affect everyone, so please use this forum as a chance to learn about candidates running on the spring ballot.

I will be posting questions for the President-Elect category. Other members of the YALSA Board will soon be posting questions for candidates running for other positions within YALSA, including the Board of Directors and the Printz and Margaret A. Edwards committees. YALSA members are welcome to follow up on their responses with further questions.

We encourage lively discussion and debate as appropriate to the topic, but of course no personal comments or attacks will be allowed.

Polls for the ALA 2007 election open on March 15 and close at 11:59 p.m. CST on April 24!

Here is the first round of question for Sarah and Kevin:

Tell us about your experience within YALSA and ALA, including what positions you have held in our Division and in the larger ALA structure.

Which positions were your favorites and why, and how did those experiences help you develop the important skills necessary to be YALSA President.

I hope many of you had a chance to attend the ALA Midwinter conference in Seattle – great city and great conference!

As YALSA’s President-Elect, I will soon be appointing members to our very important process committees (examples include the Youth Participation Committee and the Outreach to Young Adults with Special Needs Committee) and award juries (examples include the Sagebrush Award Jury and the Frances Henne Award Jury). These appointments will begin this spring and will be completed by the ALA annual conference in June.

If you’re thinking about joining a YALSA committee, or if you are currently serving on a committee, award jury or task force and your term will expire in June 2007, now is the time to fill out your committee volunteer form.

Many process committees can and do include virtual members. If you can’t attend conference, please consider volunteering for a process committee as a virtual member!

If you filled out a form last year, it is still vital that you fill one out again this year in order to be considered for the new round of appointments.

Not sure what your options are? Check out YALSA’s Committee and Task Force Descriptions page.

Thanks for all you do on behalf of YALSA!

Paula Brehm-Heeger
YALSA President-Elect, 2007