The YALSA Board of Directors is always looking for ways to incorporate innovation into our overall mission to expand and strengthen library services for teens and to build the capacity of libraries and librarians to engage, serve, and empower teens and young adults. One of our core functions is to provide continuing education to librarians and library workers who serve teens.

We are all aware that because of the rapidly changing nature of how information is created and delivered, librarians must constantly learn new skills to be effective in our daily work. In addition, we know that in today’s world, learning happens everywhere, and YALSA wants to help librarians and library workers get recognition for the skills they are acquiring outside traditional settings. In looking for ways to be innovative in our approach to CE, YALSA was fortunate enough to be able to partner with Mozilla, the Macarthur Foundation, and HASTAC in their Badges for Lifelong Learning Project.

In March, YALSA, in cooperation with Badgeville, was awarded a $75,000 grant to create a Badges for Learning project that will increase YALSA’s capacity to deliver professional development in an exciting, innovative way. Read More →

Monthly President’s Report – March 2012

Below is a summary of activities that I have completed or am working on.

Completed Tasks

  • Committee Chairs:’ I had phone conversations with several YALSA committee chairs about the work of their committees.
  • Committee/Jury/Taskforce Appointments: ‘ I ‘ appointed members to fill vacancies on several committees and continued appointing members to fill new task forces created by Board action at Midwinter.

Monthly President’s Report – February 2012

March kind of sneaked up on me, I guess because February is a short month. Below is a summary of activities that I have completed or am working on. Happy Teen Tech Week!

Completed Tasks

  • Committee Chairs:’ ‘ I had phone conversations with several YALSA committee chairs about the work of their committees.
  • Board Activities: ‘ 
    • The Board had an online chat on February 1. Board members offered suggestions for the content of the selection and award committee chair and member webinars.
    • The Board met by telephone on February 29 to discuss chair quarterly reports and to take action on two requests for Board action that came from committees.
    • The Board voted to accept a proposal from the Morris Award committee to amend the eligibility rules to exclude self-published and e-book only books from consideration. The new rule will be re-evaluated after the 2013 award. Read More →

If you work in a public library and care about young adult services, there is something simple you can do to help advocate for teen services.

March 30 is the deadline for the 2012 PLDS (Public Library Data Service) survey. Published yearly by PLA, the PLDS Statistical Report contains a wealth of information about public library finances, collections, annual use figures and technology. If you’ve never looked at the PLDS Statistical Report, it’s worth checking out. Your library director probably has a copy.

In 2007, the PLDS survey included a series of questions about young adult services. This was the first national survey about young adult library services since 1994, when the National Center for Education Statistics did a survey. In 2007, 1,672 libraries received the survey, and 904 responded. Of those, 890 responded to the YA services questions. This was good information, but we could do better, and we have a chance, because PLDS is including the young adult services questions again in this year’s survey.
Read More →

There has been some discussion on blogs and in the Twitterverse about a recent change on YALSA’s website.

First, let me state that all of YALSA’s awards and annotated lists are open to anyone for free. YALSA members simply log in to the site (which you have to do anyway if you are going to access ALA Connect, for example). Non-members are asked to provide their name and email address, and answer two questions about their interest in YALSA resources.

The purpose of this change, which is not expected to be temporary, is three-fold. On the one hand, one of YALSA’s Strategic Plan goals is member recruitment. Obviously people who are already coming to our website are candidates to become members. By collecting their email addresses, we can send them information targeted to their areas of interest, and perhaps gain some new YALSA members in the process. The second purpose is to find out more about who is using the website and how, so that we can do an even better job of serving both members and non-members. The third purpose is to identify and cultivate a list of advocates for teen services.’  Now more than ever we need to reach beyond the library community to engage people in advocating on behalf of libraries. Advocacy and activism is another goal in YALSA’s strategic plan, and organizations such as NTEN (The Nonprofit Technology Network) identify what YALSA is doing—collecting email addresses of those who support our cause—as a best practice for not-for-profits. Read More →

Monthly President’s Report – January 2012

What a month! Midwinter was busy-busy-busy, but also a lot of fun. I had a fabulous time emceeing the Youth Media Awards and the Morris/Nonfiction Awards Event. It was great to see so many YALSA members: at the Midwinter Institute, at the Midwinter Trivia Night FUNdraiser, at meetings, at the YALSA Happy Hour, at the Youth Media Awards event, and at the AASL/ALSC/YALSA joint membership reception.

Below is a summary of activities that I have completed or am working on. Read More →

The YALSA Board of Directors had a jam-packed agenda at Midwinter. Minutes will be available soon, but meanwhile, here are some of the major decisions that we made.

Note that the Board voted to establish several new task forces. If you are interested in being on any of these task forces, please submit a volunteer form right away.’  Read More →

Monthly President’s Report – December 2011

December was all about getting ready for Midwinter.

Below is a summary of activities that I have completed or am working on.

Completed Tasks

  • Committee Chairs: Had phone conversations with several YALSA committee chairs about the work of their committees.
  • Board Activities:
    • Participated in Board Chat on planning for Midwinter.
    • Chaired YALSA Board meeting by conference call to discuss chair quarterly reports.
    • The Board had several discussions on ALA Connect and conducted several votes, all of which will be included on the Midwinter agenda. Read More →

“There’s something in my library to offend everyone.”

So read a favorite t-shirt of Dorothy Broderick, a legend in YA librarianship, a great defender of intellectual freedom, and an unforgettable personality. Dorothy died Saturday, Dec. 17, at 8:45 p.m.

Dorothy ‘ was an active member of ALA, including YALSA. Her work was recognized repeatedly in the library field, from the prestigious Robert B. Downs Intellectual Freedom Award in 1987 to the Grolier Award from ALA in 1991 and the Freedom to Read Foundation’s Roll of Honor Award in 1998.

Dorothy’s greatest contribution to YA librarianship, however, is the mentoring and personal guidance she gave to hundreds of librarians throughout her career, as a librarian in the field, a professor at five major library schools, an author, and through her work as editor of VOYA (co-founded with her partner, Mary K. Chelton, in their home in 1978).

YALSA and YA librarianship wouldn’t be what it is today without Dorothy. The YALSA Board of Directors offered a resolution in her honor in 2007, calling her “the glue that that bound many of us together in earlier YALSA years,” and noting her “wicked wit,” which belied a “a heart of gold, a brilliant mind, a love of librarianship, [and] a strong sense of right and wrong.”

In my early days in YALSA, in the 1990s, Dorothy was still attending conferences. It was always a delight to see her, and to hear her asides about whatever was going on at the time. Dorothy was also one of the first editors to publish my writing—articles and reviews in VOYA–so I am personally grateful to her. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to know her and work with her.

She will be missed, but never forgotten. ‘ The Board of Directors, and all of YALSA, are grateful to Dorothy for everything she gave to YA librarianship. Our thoughts are with Mary K. and their family.

Sarah Flowers, YALSA President