The 2022 co-sponsored ALA/USBBY program will be held at the American Library Association’s Annual Conference on Sunday, June 26, 2022, in Washington D.C., from 1-2 pm. The program is titled “Celebrate Indigenous Storytelling: Books from across the Northern Border and will be held in the Washington Convention Center, Room 149A-B. Save the program now in the online Conference Scheduler

Program Description: Join the United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY) as we celebrate indigenous storytelling! Hear from Inuit author Monica Ittusardjuat, as well as the co-founding authors of Inhabit Media, an Inuit-owned, independent Canadian publishing company. USBBY, an affiliate of ALA, serves as the U.S. National Section of the International Board on Books for Young People, which was founded to promote international understanding and good will through books for children and adolescents.


Are you a member of USBBY? A diverse group, USBBY members join together to celebrate and promote international literature for children and young adults. The membership of USBBY includes authors and illustrators, publishers and editors, critics and translators, booksellers, social workers, teachers, university professors and students, librarians and parents. Membership in USBBY is open to anyone interested in its mission and starts at the individual basic rate of $50/year. Once a member, we’d love to have you volunteer to serve on one of our award, selection, or service committees! 

USBBY is governed by a Board of Directors that includes an elected Executive Committee and twelve Directors (four elected and eight appointed), who represent the USBBY membership as well as USBBY´s patron organizations: Children´s Book Council (CBC), the American Library Association (ALA), the International Literacy Association (formerly IRA), and the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

This year your ALA Appointed Directors to the USBBY Board are Sarah Hill (YALSA) and Sara Kelly Johns (AASL).

With the start of Spring, (at least where I am-it felt like it!) this month did seem like the start of new beginnings! The Board held a virtual Retreat at the end of the month. We were able to share what is working and how we can use additional support as we move forward and welcome in new members in a few short months! As my presidency winds down-it also ramps up within the last few months-with Annual conference on its way! I hope to see a lot of you in person-and online-as well. Here’s a summary of what I was up to this month:

  • Attended ALA Executive Spring Board Meeting in Chicago. It was such an honor to speak in front of the Board alongside YALSA Interim ED, LaMoya Burks! I even got to have lunch with Sam Helmick, Liaison to YALSA! They are here to support our needs to the Board.
  • Working with YALSA Board in focusing in on recommendations made by the EDI Task Force report; Promoting Professional Success for Underrepresented Groups Within YALSA. Some of the areas we’re pinpointing are doing a blind review of scholarships and grants and expanding outreach for membership
  • Held virtual YALSA Board Retreat (as mentioned above) to reset and make sure our foundation is in a good place to continue forth into next year after Annual
  • Reviewed Board Fellow applicants. The Board chose YALSA member Morgan Brickey-Jones! She has a solid record of participating in several YASA committees as well as state-wide in Texas. She’s excited to take on a totally different role than she’s had before!
  • Worked on reaching out to incoming Board Members (Congratulations Colleen, Joel, Matthew, Melissa, and Josie!) 
  • Appointed positions to the Accessibility Assembly and Social Media Marketing Strategic Committee
  • Held virtual Board Chat, weekly meetings with Interim ED, and President’s Taskforce meeting
  • Gearing up for ALA Annual 2022!

Any questions or comments, feel free to email:

2020-2021 YALSA President-Elect Kelly Czarnecki

Kelly Czarnecki (she/her)
YALSA President

YALSA is excited to announce that the 2022 Call for proposals for the YA Symposium is now open.  The Symposium will be held November 4-6 in Baltimore, MD.

This year’s theme is “Rediscovering Our Charm: Supporting Teens and Each Other in Our Libraries”

Celebrate the wonderful community of librarians at an event that captures the collaboration, excitement and innovation of what we do best!  We will explore new ways to uplift and support both ourselves and our teens through services and stories. Join YALSA, librarians, and YA authors in Baltimore, the home of Margaret A. Edwards, as we come together to learn, share and honor her vision as courageous champions of young adults.

We are looking for creative, engaging proposals for sessions that embrace the 2022 theme.  Sessions are one hour long, but you  can utilize a variety of formats from traditional PowerPoint/Slides presentations to panel discussions, or discussion groups.

If you are interested in helping the YA community rediscover their charm, please submit a proposal.  The deadline for submissions is Thursday, May 12, 2022.  Visit the submission portal to see what is required.

YALSA is looking for a representative to the Accessibility Assembly. The appointment would run through the end of June 2022 with the opportunity for a one year renewal. The Assembly is made up of representatives appointed by each Division. he Assembly focuses on accessibility issues and provides support in this area to the ALA Conference Committee.

The full charge of the committee is:

“To advance ALA’s continuing commitment to diversity and to accessibility of library and information services for all, including people with physical, sensory or mental disabilities, as reflected in the ALA policy on “Library Services to People with Disabilities [54.3.2]; to facilitate communication among ALA units, members and affiliated groups regarding issues such as equitable access to programs, services, collections, and facilities for library users with disabilities, employment of people with disabilities, and library accessibility policies; to encourage manufacturers and vendors to develop library products and materials using the principles of universal design; to advance optimal accessibility of ALA services and programs; to develop and promote strategies for the recruitment of people with disabilities into the library and information science profession; and, to advance coordinating and cooperation of efforts within ALA and the profession to meet the challenges of providing access to all.”

Conference attendance is not required. Because this is such a short appointment (though with the chance to renew!) this is a great way to give committee work a chance! Just make sure you’re a YALSA member and don’t belong to more than three committees! Contact Kelly Czarnecki, YALSA President, at if interested!

The Social Media Marketing Strategic Committee has an opening for one volunteer! If you’re considering applying for this great prospect, you’ll want to keep the following in mind:

  • YALSA Membership is required and must abide by the ALA Policy of a 3 committee limit.
  • This is a commitment through the end of June 2022 with an opportunity for renewal. As it’s a short run it’s a great way to test the waters!
  • Time commitment is gauged at 1-5 hours a week with weekly assignments and firm deadlines
  • It is recommended to have an idea of how to Tweet and post (and if you’re new at it-to practice first!)
  • Be familiar (and connect with!) current YALSA social media communication (YALSA FacebookYALSA Twitter, and YouTube)

If you’re ready to apply, the Committee Volunteer Form is here (Note: you will need to login with your member information to view).

If you have questions or would like to connect with the Board Liaison or Chair of the Strategic Committee please reach out! Kelly Czarnecki, YALSA President, ( Thank you for considering this great opportunity with YALSA!

On February 3, YALSA welcomed LaMoya N Burks, as our new Interim Executive Director. LaMoya N. Burks, is currently the head librarian at Texarkana (Texas) College’s Palmer Memorial Library, a doctoral student at Texas A&M University – Texarkana, and a longtime member leader within YALSA. Dawn Kirkpatrick, Board Director, interviewed her for the YALSA Blog.

Q: You have an extensive background working within ALA and YALSA, can you speak to some of the roles and work that you are most proud of?

I loved the opportunity to team build with Pura Belpre Task Force members even in the turbulent times of lockdown. The work continued with bright smiles on computer screens. The Committee on Legislation and Committee on Literacy moves with urgency. My first opportunity was as an intern for the Chapter Relations Committee where I spent a lot of time exploring and understanding the importance of each state’s role in the association. 

Q: What will be the most exciting aspect of your new role? The most challenging?

I am thrilled to work with staff and all of our team members across the nation to spend more time on something so precious -young lives. I am up for the challenge to improve how to invite and provide equitable services for them to inspire ideas and eagerness to explore all things in the library. The pandemic presents both known and unknown areas we can improve and strengthen our profession in an effort to support young adults. It is vital to support YALSA staff and the Board to bridge those gaps and remain abreast of trends. 

Q: Tell us a bit about your doctoral research and how you think this will benefit you in your new role.
The role of the librarian to ensure quality services is critical as we advance in society. How we continue to improve services for communities, such as in rural areas, meets economic development efforts by providing equitable access to impacting the livelihood of all people. Skills, tools, and an avenue for creativity are provided by our libraries and are certainly necessary to thrive in society. Our youth depend heavily on being heard-focus groups and design strategies can be used to invite the conversation. My research presents the scope of the librarian professional’s role and futuristic planning and action to address the information-seeking behavior of all patrons. 

Q: As Librarians we all have that favorite or most impactful book from our youth, what was this title for you?
So many. Anything by Beverly Cleary, Judy Blume, Virginia Hamilton, or Mildred Taylor, and definitely the Babysitters Club book series. My favorite thriller was Wait Until Helen Comes. As a very young child all books from the I CAN READ BOOK CLUB such as Arthur’s Tooth because my father’s name is Arthur LOL. 

Q: What are you reading? What are you listening to or watching?

I am reading Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Freire again, one of my favorites. It’s just a great motivator for me.  Also, What the Fireflies Knew by Harris, and I am anxiously awaiting my copy of The Black Librarian in America by Josey. I am finishing up Stink and the Midnight Zombie Walk by McDonald, with my boys, 

 I make a practice to remain abreast of trends weekly as much as possible with journals, news, and podcasts ranging from school, trade, and higher education, computer automation  . . and definitely a browser of all things. 

Q: What else would you like us to know about you that you haven’t had the opportunity to share yet?

As I continue in the interim position with YALSA, the growth over the next few months will present my leadership abilities, with the strength of the team and YALSA. ALA is on its way to new horizons. I challenge everyone to synergize alongside us -our association thrives with the assessment of where the profession has taken us, where we are now, and what we expect and project for the future. It begins now. 

Congratulations to the following individuals that have been elected:

Colleen Seisser

Board of Directors
Matthew Layne
Melissa Malanuk
Josie Laine Andrews

Joel D Shoemaker

Thank you all that were on the ballot this year! We’re grateful that you selected to be a part of YALSA. View the final ALA election results here. To learn more about YALSA elections or governance please visit here!

ALA Wall

I knew the end of March was approaching as I checked my calendar the beginning of this week. As I was journaling this morning I looked up at my phone to note the date-and sure enough the month of March has closed! And what a month it was! The highs and lows and storms that is typical of this gateway into spring definitely played out in all the ways…This month I was fortunate to set foot in ALA offices in Chicago and spend time with YALSA staff as well as Tracie Hall, ALA Executive Director, and LaMoya Burks, Interim YALSA ED. This is where a lot of the magic happens! Here’s a few other highlights from this month as well:

  • Supported ALA statement to stand with Ukrainian Library community.
  • Connected Booklist Liaison with the important work of the Odyssey committee
  • Worked with President-Elect Franklin Escobedo to get the word out about current volunteer opportunities. Check out his post here!  
  • Participated in several YALSA e-learning opportunities; a snack and chat presentation as a panelist with Presidential Taskforce members on re-building Teen Social Capital. (Thank you Anthony, Molly, Kaitlyn, Brooke!)
  • Introduced presenters for the member webinar with NYPL speaking on re-building Teen Social Capital (Thank you Siva, Rachel, and Darro!). And a big thank you to Carla, YALSA Program Officer, for making this happen seamlessly!
  • Welcomed Laura T. and Shaira R. to YALSA Board Chat for their feedback and expertise on their work as Taskforce members for our ongoing work with EDI. Specifically, the Promoting Professional Success for Underrepresented Groups within YALSA Taskforce. Thank you both for your time and knowledge!
  • Confirmed new Hub Manager, Stephanie Johnson!
  • Assisted Liz N., YALSA Liaison to ALA groups on a resolution for a former YALSA member
  • Preparing for Annual and vicariously enjoyed PLA! If you plan on being in DC please reach out! I’ve got a packed schedule but can always make time for a walk and/or coffee!

Any questions or comments, feel free to email:

2020-2021 YALSA President-Elect Kelly Czarnecki

Kelly Czarnecki (she/her)
YALSA President

This month felt like a shift in many things. Mask mandates across the country which usually follows a change in library services offered, preparations for ALA Annual 2022 with registration starting, an Interim Executive Director appointed to YALSA! And of course some days of warmer weather here and there. As always, we’re grateful for the hard work of the volunteers, particularly the book selection committees who have spent many months and countless hours identifying the top reads. During a time when many titles are a battleground, it’s courageous for folks to promote a diversity of books for every reader.

Here’s some of the work the Board and I have been up to:

  • Welcomed new Interim YALSA ED, LaMoya Burks at the beginning of this month!
  • Hosted the YALSA Candidates Forum along with the Board and YALSA members. ALA Presidential Candidates, Emily Drabinski and Kelvin Watson also participated
  • Appointed Stephanie Johnson as the new Hub Member Manager
  • Participated in a meeting with Teens Top Ten Chair, Shira P., Board Liaison Stacey, Staff Member Michael and former Chair Stephanie C.
  • Gave the introduction at the Morris Award Presentation and the Excellence in Nonfiction for YAs Award. Such amazing panels! Excellent work by the committees!
  • Continued working with Board members on EDI work, Promoting Professional Success for Underrepresented Groups
  • Connected with Chairs and Board liaisons regarding the February Quarterly Chair report
  • Met with YALSA Member Manager, Letitia, and new DMP Chair, Jessica to bring her up to speed
  • Preparing for ALA Annual-just around the corner!
  • Working with YALSA Division Councilor, Liz on resolutions for YALSA members
  • Worked with YALSA staff to set up a joint Connect page for AASL/ALSC/YALSA Executive Committee members
  • Met with President’s Taskforce members. A webinar and snack and chat are headed your way next month on the topic of re-building teen social capital!

Any questions or comments, feel free to email:

2020-2021 YALSA President-Elect Kelly Czarnecki

Kelly Czarnecki (she/her)
YALSA President

Friends of YALSA is happy to introduce the 2022 Campaign, With You in 2022 .

 This campaign reflects the growing importance of YALSA’s mission and work in the following areas:

  • Advocacy: educating members, library workers, the general public and policy makers about the importance of providing excellent library services to teens, and the critical role that library workers and libraries play in helping teens develop key literacy skills and a lifelong appreciation of reading.
  • Continuous Learning: creating opportunities for all members and library workers to grow through grants, providing scholarships to those in need and offering distance learning and institutes.
  • Planning for the Future: helping to attract new members and retain existing ones, creating public awareness campaigns, planning and carrying out new initiatives to pursue excellence in library service to young adults, and more.
  • Research: guiding and promoting research in the field of young adult librarianship through grants, publications and other means to ensure that the field of librarianship has the necessary knowledge to meet the needs of teens.
  • Teen Literacies: sponsoring literacy initiatives such as Teen Read Week, YALSA’s booklists and book awards, and guaranteeing YALSA’s place in the forefront of our nation’s adolescent literacy campaigns.

What else does Friends of YALSA support? 100% of your donations fund FOY’s initiatives, which includes YALSA’s Awards and Grants:

  • 2 Spectrum Scholars
  • ALA Liaison
  • Young Adult Services Symposium Stipends
  • 1 Emerging Leader
  • Frances Henne Research Grant
  • Innovation Award
  • MAE Award for Best Literature Program for Teens
  • Writing Award
  • Collection Development Grant

You may donate by credit card via the ALA Development Office’s secure website, or send a contribution by mail by downloading and completing the paper form. Send your donation to: Friends of YALSA, 225 North Michigan Ave, STE 1300, Chicago, IL 60601.

Thank you in advance for your support, gift, time and generosity.


~Kelly Czarnecki (she/her), YALSA President 2021-2022

~Joel Shoemaker, YALSA Financial Advancement Committee Chair on behalf of the Financial Advancement Committee