YALSA is lucky to have so many active involved members in our association. If you are looking for a way to get even more involved, you can volunteer for an ALA committee (These are different from YALSA committees and appointments to these committees are not made by YALSA.) The online form is now available at:’  http://cs.ala.org/alacommittees/volunteer.html The form allows members to select a 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice of committees to volunteer for.’  You will be asked to provide the following information:

  • on their past and current ALA service to committees, offices and as an Emerging Leader or Spectrum Scholar
  • education
  • ALA participation on committees, offices, and related activities
  • State, regional, and other library associations participation (committees, offices, activities, including dates
  • Number of years as ALA member

The deadline for completing the online committee volunteer form is December 5, 2008.
The form also includes a URL link to the ALA-Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA) online committee volunteer form.

Sarah Debraski

YALSA President

Want to have fun with your YALSA buddies at your state conference? Get to know new people and let them know about YALSA? It’s not too late to apply to host a YALSA event at your state conference! For more information about “Road Trip ’09” and to fill out application, check out the wiki page.

Sarah Debraski

YALSA President

Dear YALSA Members,

I’m excited to tell you about a new goal for YALSA, developed for my theme, Engaging the YALSA Community, and in response to feedback from the new member survey.’  The goal is to have a YALSA event (social event, program, or exhibit hall booth) at every state conference in 2009.

YALSA members always have a great time at our national conference, wouldn’t it be nice to mingle with your fellow local YALSA members? I hope you’ll consider sponsoring a YALSA social event at your local conference next year, or look into one of the other options.

For more information about this initiative, Road Trip ’09, check out the wiki entry

Here you’ll find out exactly what is involved in this initiative and how you can be a part of it!

Sarah Debraski
President, Young Adult Library Services Association

Hello YALSA Members,

There is still one week left to take the 2008 YALSA Membership Survey.’  As of now about 16% of the membership has completed survey–thank you!’  We’d still love to hear from the rest of you.’  This survey will help the YALSA Board and YALSA staff determine the wants and needs of our members.’  YALSA prides itself on being a responsive organization, but we can only do that if we hear directly from members.’  The survey should only take a few minutes to complete and can be found here.

Thank you,

Sarah Cornish Debraski

YALSA President

YALSA’s Board of Directors was hard at work at the 2008 ALA Annual Conference. Here are some of the key decisions the Board made that I thought members would be interested in:

  • Strategic Plan: The Board adopted a new strategic plan, with 5 goal areas: membership engagement & retention, research, advocacy, continuing education and marketing. You can read the full plan
  • Research: The Board voted to establish an online research journal and directed YALSA’s Research Committee to develop the mission and goals for the journal as well as the refereeing process.
  • Mentoring: The Board voted to establish a taskforce to develop guidelines for implementing a pilot round of a mentoring program that includes a reverse mentoring component and best practices from other mentoring projects, to be implementing in the 2010 fiscal year.
  • Read More →

Whew! What a busy, exciting, thoughtful, fun, educational conference! It definitely takes a few days to settle back into “real life” after a conference.’  My head is always spinning with new ideas, my mind is filled with thoughts of people I’ve met and conversations we’ve had, and my imagination has undoubtedly been captured by lots of new books. Read More →

On Saturday, March 29 the Wrestlemania Reading Challenge championships were held in Orlando, FL at the Orlando Public Library. I was thrilled to attend this event as YALSA Vice-President. I got to share the stage with Jimmy “the Mouth of the South” Hart, former manager to Hulk Hogan and also the Hart Foundation. This event is the culmination of a program that began back in Teen Read Week 2007. At that time teens were challenged to read a book or magazine a week for 10 weeks. They could then submit an essay. Ten regional finalists had their essays chosen as the best, and it was those ten teens who were competing in Orlando. Five teens in grades 7-8 read Terry Trueman’s novel Stuck in Neutral, while five teens in grades 9-12 read Matt de la Pena’s novel Ball Don’t Lie. Both authors were there to serve as judges during the championship, which was set up like a quiz show. I’m happy to say that while the teens were incredibly excited and thrilled to meet the professional wrestlers at the event, they were also excited and thrilled to meet these authors. In fact, one teen told me that to meet Matt de la Pena and actually get to talk to him about his novel and find out if things she thought about the novel were what he intended was an amazing experience for her. How’s that for a great testimonial to what a great program this is?

The wrestlers at the event were the Miz, Matt Striker, and CM Punk, and they asked the questions about the books. You didn’t have to be a wrestling fan to appreciate the showmanship and stage presence they had. They really made the event a lot of fun and definitely brought a lot of noise to the library. Backstage I appreciated how genuinely nice they were to all the kids. It was definitely clear that although just two teens would ultimately win the ringside seats to Wrestlemania XXIV, every one of the ten teens who had made it that far was a winner.

It was a close win in the grades 9-12 category, but ultimately Ajoura Gwinn was the winner; in the grades 7-8 category David Silva won.

Thanks to everyone at the Orlando Public Library who helped prepare for this event. It was a great morning and a great YALSA collaboration!

Sarah Debraski

YALSA Vice-President

Thank you to our three candidates for YALSA President-Nick Buron, Sarah Flowers, and Linda Braun–for taking the time these past few weeks to answer the questions in this forum and giving all our YALSA members the opportunity to get to know them better.

  • Why are you running for YALSA President?
  • When you are Past President and people reflect back to your presidential year, what do you hope they will remember about you?

Good luck to all our candidates and thanks again for giving such thoughtful answers!

Remember, ALA polls open March 17 and close April 24. Please make sure your voice is heard by casting your ballot!

Sarah Debraski
YALSA President-Elect

Hello again to our presidential candidates!

We’ve heard from you about your skills and strengths and your thoughts about our organization. This time, please tell us about your experiences serving teens, including in your current position. Please tell us also about one of your favorite teen-focused or teen-created program/event which you helped to develop. Why was it a favorite?

And, please tell us a little bit about what you like to do outside of library work.

Thank you,

Sarah Debraski


Thanks to Linda, Nick, and Sarah for their answers to the second set of election questions. this is such a great way to get to know more about our candidates. For our third set of questions we have two from me and two from a Past President.

Sarah Debraski
YALSA President-Elect

How will you make time for this larger volunteer role in your life? How will you balance your board chair responsibilities with your personal and professional responsibilities?

Everyone has different skills they bring to a board and an organization. What do you believe is your particular strength that you will bring to leading the YALSA Board?

What do you think the biggest challenge facing our organization is?

From Past President Judy Nelson:

What do you see as the long term change that will occur in your life as a result of serving on the YALSA Board?
How will this experience help you move your goals forward?