Hello members (and conference goers),
Today the YALSA board began its meeting at this Annual Conference. It’s very exciting to see how much we’ve already accomplished!
The Board officially approved the creation of several new member groups: Intellectual Freedom interest group, Outreach to Young Adults with Special Needs interest group, Partnerships Advocating for Teens interest group, Professional Development interest group, and Serving Older Teens interest group.
The Board accepted the YALSA-TV Taskforce’s final report and voted to appoint a group to begin implementing the ideas contained in the report.
A proposal to form a Past Presidents Committee was approved.
A proposal to create an all virtual reader’s choice list was approved.
A few items on the agenda were moved (our agenda gets adopted with flexibility, which allows us to do this), including item #14 (Modernizing the Selected List Portfolio) which has been moved out of the action portion of the agenda and into the discussion portion.
Official minutes from the Board meeting will be posted after the conference, but I hope this message gives some insight into what sorts of things occur during Board meetings. If you are interested in considering serving on the YALSA Board or learning more about association governance, I encourage you to consider sitting in on all or part of a meeting.

Sarah Debraski
YALSA President

Hello YALSA world!

I am so excited to be here in Chicago at the ALA Annual Conference. Along with the rest of the Board I’ve been busy reading our Board documents and preparing for the meeting, as well as for our other scheduled events.

We’ll be covering many items during the course of the agenda including some that propose new ways of serving members.

I find it useful to gain context and history by reading past minutes of prior Board meetings. These can be accessed here:


All Board meetings are open. There have been a couple of schedule changes to the agenda. Item #21 will be addressed around 5pm on Saturday and item #14 will be addressed around 11am on Monday.

I look forward to seeing many of you very soon!

Sarah Cornish Debraski

YALSA President

The YALSA Board is comprised of dedicated, thoughtful, lively member leaders who come together to discuss the direction of our association.’  Recently, Board member Sandra Payne resigned from the Board due to personal reasons.’  We thank Sandra for her service and will miss her.’  According to the YALSA Bylaws,’ ‘ Vacancies other than those provided for in these Bylaws shall be filled by the Board of Directors by appointment until the next annual election, at which time two candidates shall be nominated to fill each unexpired term.” (Article XIII, Section 15) The Board of Directors has appointed Jerene Battisti to fill this position.’  Jerene will begin serving immediately and through the next Annual conference.

Read More →

On June 9 YALSA hosted an online chat about the economy and its impact on libraries, teen services, and you. The chat was a great experience—I really enjoyed hearing so many different voices chime in, and the opportunity to answer questions in real time. This was definitely the sort of thing that I believe is “engaging the YALSA community”! It seemed clear that more online chats were in YALSA’s future and so I’d like to announce our next one:

On Wednesday, July 1, 8-9pm EST YALSA will host an online chat in ALA Connect. The topic for this chat will be Summer Reading Programs for teens. Read More →

Yesterday I was in Washington, D.C. with hundreds of other librarians for National Library Legislative Day.’  It was inspiring to see so many people come out for this event (I saw some familiar YALSA faces there with their state delegations.)’  As it was my first time at this event I was a bit unsure what to expect.’  Since we talk a lot about a barrier to advocacy being lack of confidence, I thought you might like to know a bit about what it was like. Read More →


Happy National Library Workers’ Day! We know you do a great job working with and for teens, and hopefully you know it too!

Five Reasons Why YA Librarians are Better than Google:

5. Google locates only web sites, while YA librarians find all types of resources in any format.
4. Google requires you to design your own searches, but YA librarians help you plan an effective search strategy.
3. Google leaves it up to you to sort through the mountain of results, while YA librarians assist you in selecting information to meet your specific needs.
2. Google provides no quality control, but YA librarians always have a Plan B if your search yields no results.
1. Google is an inanimate web site with no ability to offer moral support, but YA librarians are real people who can dispense things like encouragement, high fives and even hugs.

Thanks for all the hard work you do to ensure that teens get the best library service!

Sarah Cornish Debarski
YALSA President

As I mentioned previously, YALSA has been working to identify ways to involve members more, especially virtually. Interest Groups and Discussion Groups are a great way to increase member participation in a relevant way. I’m pleased to tell you that all standing committee chairs have been asked to discuss with their committees whether or not a DG/IG would be a more appropriate setup for their committee. Read More →

We’re only ten days in to the 28 Days of Advocacy and already you’ve read many inspiring posts on how to be an advocate for libraries and teen services.’  I hope that many readers have emailed, phoned, or written an elected representative to seek support for libraries.’  However, I know that it can be intimidating to do those things.’  Fear not!’  There are other ways to be an advocate and you might already be doing them.’  I’m talking about everyday advocacy.’  What can you do in your daily life to promote and seek support for teens and libraries? In a word, TALK. Read More →

In the past several months you’ve heard me talk about the member survey-why we were doing it, how to see the results, and so on. Now I’d like to go into depth about some of the findings. In the survey members indicated that the two things they most wanted were to get more involved and to have more virtual opportunities. I would guess that this is even more true now as libraries are cutting travel budgets to conferences. In the coming months the Board will be working with Chairs to find ways to increase participation in YALSA, especially virtually. Read More →

Thank you to everyone who responded to the recent member survey!’  If you’d like to look at the results they can be found online.

Thanks to the Division Membership and Promotion Committee for analyzing the survey results and reporting the information to the Board.’  You can expect to read more about the survey results soon, as well as see new actions and ideas based on the results.’  Again, thanks to everyone who participated!

Sarah Debraski

YALSA President