Hello YALSA members and readers of the YALSA blog!

At the ALA Annual Conference in Washington DC last week, I was inaugurated as the 2019-2020 YALSA President. Having served on the YALSA Board since 2015, it was an honor to become President-Elect in 2018. Over the years, it has been my pleasure to meet many of you in person at ALA events and/or at YALSA Symposia, and I’ve been in contact with many members virtually. My hope is to engage with as many YALSA members as possible during my year as President! I’ll do my very best to continue the amazing leadership of our past YALSA presidents, including my terrific predecessor, Crystle Martin. It’s always critical for the president to work closely with colleagues on the YALSA Board and our Executive Director, Tammy Dillard-Steels and her staff to fulfill the mission and vision of the organization and our ongoing strategic plan. Finally, you will come to know my enthusiasm for the concept Teens First and all that entails.

A little bit about my work life and background: for nearly fifteen years I have been employed as a Selector in the Collection Development department at the Baltimore County Public Library in Towson, Maryland. This affords me the opportunity to help shape the library system’s collection, including areas of interest to YALSA members such as our teen and graphic novel collections. This has allowed me to become acutely aware of the trends of what materials teens using our branches are seeking out, and I hope to learn from YALSA members in diverse communities around the country and internationally about the relationship between teens and their libraries, in terms of collections, services, programs, and interactions. I’m originally from the Midwest and in my career I have worked as a bookseller, research librarian, rare books librarian, library director and more.

The theme of my presidency is Striving for Equity Using YALSA’s Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff. Each month, from August through May, we will look at one of the ten competencies and think about them through an equity lens. More information about that in the weeks ahead.

Please let me know if you have any questions for me and the YALSA Board!  Feel free to contact me at todd.yalsa@gmail.com with any thoughts you have about YALSA and your place in the organization.

I’ll reiterate this intentionally: I am very much looking forward to engaging with the membership in as many ways as possible.

Thank you for reading, and for your support!

Todd Krueger, YALSA President 2019-2020

P.S. Happy Canada Day to our Canadian members and to all in the “True North” who serve teens!

 

Photo by Paula Willey

It was brought to the attention of the YALSA Board regarding a lack of knowledge and marketing for the current selection lists created and developed by our YALSA Hub Bloggers and committee members. Our lists, like Amazing Audio, Quick Picks, Great Graphic Novels, and Teens Top Ten, and the hardworking members who create them have not gotten as much attention as they should since the move to the YALSA Hub.

The solution the Board has discussed is to create a team whose main focus is highlighting and marketing the content generated by the selection committee. This would include working with the blog list coordinator, publicizing lists in Cognotes at the Midwinter and Annual conferences, creating social media postings and branding, and highlighting selection list members on the blog.

Other recommendations include:

  • Create an Instagram account for the division and for marketing the selection list to reach teen users.
  • Maintain an online record of past members.

If you would like to join us, the meetings are open and any individual who is registered for the conference may sit in.

Board I, Saturday, June 22, 1-5 PM, Washington Convention Center, 155 link

Board II, Sunday, June 23, 4-5 PM, Washington Convention Center, 155 link

The agenda may be viewed here

And the specific document (Item #24) may be viewed here

In May, the YALSA Board approved a new Board Member Contract. This document is signed by all Board members and it stipulates what responsibilities the Board members have to the organization, as well as the responsibilities that the organization has in regards to the Board members.

The current YALSA Board Member Contract was approved on January 16, 2010. Since then the Board’s work has evolved to include more year-round governance discussions and decision-making by board members. The contract was also updated to better reflect the time commitment involved in serving as a YALSA Board Member.

If you are interested in more info, Board Document #10 shows both the old contract as well as the new one that was agreed upon.

See the full agenda of the Board of Directors at ALA Annual in Washington D.C. All Board meetings are open to attendees, and you can learn more about the Board meetings on the YALSA Conference wiki.

Each year YALSA’s incoming president works with the Board of Directors to establish a taskforce to coordinate activities in support of the president’s upcoming theme for the year. Since the presidential theme is based on an aspect of the organizational plan, the taskforce helps YALSA accomplish its goals and provides an opportunity to leverage member expertise.

Incoming President Todd Krueger submitted board document #11 for discussion last month as we prepared for our upcoming meeting at ALA Annual. The upcoming Presidential theme will be: Striving for Equity using YALSA’s Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff. This theme connects the organization’s adopted EDI Plan and Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff, both fundamental components of YALSA’s work. The Board virtually discussed and voted to establish the taskforce to begin work in July.

To learn more, read board document #11 on the 2019 Annual Conference Agenda.

Interested in getting involved with YALSA? Read about ways to participate and sign up for YALSA e-News for information on current volunteer opportunities.

For the past couple of years, YALSA has had a task force working with ALSC and REFORMA to re-envision the Pura Belpré Award.

The Pura Belpré Award, established in 1996, is presented to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth. It is co-sponsored by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), and the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking (REFORMA), an ALA affiliate.
The award is named after Pura Belpré, the first Latina librarian at the New York Public Library. As a children’s librarian, storyteller, and author, she enriched the lives of Puerto Rican children in the U.S.A. through her pioneering work of preserving and disseminating Puerto Rican folklore.
The award is now given annually. It was given as a biennial award from 1996 through 2008.” Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/belpremedal/belpreabout)
Read More →

For the past two years, I have been YALSA’s rep on the ALA Conference Committee.  When I first was assigned this position, I was thinking we would be planning the far future Conferences, picking the cities we would have our conferences in.  My imagination ran wild about what we would be doing as a committee.  In reality, I was assigned the role as a Division Rep, which means not only do I represent YALSA, I represent, along with a few other Division Reps, the ALA Divisions.  While I’ve been at one meeting where we were told that 2039 Annual Conference would be in Washington DC and I know I’ll be retired when this conference comes to pass, it wasn’t what I originally thought it was going to be.  It’s been much more fun.

One of the primary functions we have on the committee is to help set up the schedule for the Annual conference.  Working with the ALA Conference Staff all the committee members as a group work our way through all the selected meetings and put them in their time slots, while the ALA Conference Staff pick the rooms these meetings will fit into.  Juggling all the various nonmoving components that make up the conference, Council meetings, Board meetings, and major sponsored programs etc.   Once we have decided where all the programs fit into the schedule, the ALA Staff load full schedule onto the scheduling app and the various websites, and this is what I’m here to talk about.
Read More →

The YALSA Board embarked on an ambitious plan to weave equity, diversity and inclusion principles into all aspects of their work. This began with the Board approval of an EDI plan in October 2018 and continues as the Board creates a new Strategic Plan. In this work it’s essential that the YALSA Board, staff and member leaders have a common understanding of EDI principles and how to move from EDI awareness to intentional implementation strategies. Board Document 28 proposes a way to accomplish this work through  a continuing education plan that begins with a full day training at ALA Midwinter 2020, the training will focus on :

  • An introduction to structural racism in the United States and its current impact on Black, Indigenous and Youth of Color
  • Developing a  shared EDI vocabulary
  • Leveraging a framework for engaging in difficult conversations about race, equity, diversity and inclusion

At Annual in Washington, D.C., the YALSA Board will review recommendations for the EDI focused full-day training for YALSA Board and staff. Learn more in Board Document 28.

See the full agenda of the Board of Directors at ALA Annual in Washington, D.C. All Board meetings are open to attendees, and you can learn more about the Board meetings on the YALSA Conference wiki.

As a result of YALSA’s Division and Membership Promotion committee’s evaluation of membership engagement surrounding volunteer opportunities in 2018, one recommendation was acted upon right away: to evaluate the effectiveness of YALSA 101, 201 (currently inactive), and 301 sessions. Read more about the YALSA DMP recommendations in Board Document 5. Here are some of the reasons why the Division and Membership Committee recommended evaluating these sessions, that focus directly on sharing information with members and potential members about volunteer and leadership opportunities:

  • To review the effectiveness of the information shared in each session
  • Whether YALSA needs to reinstate the 201 session: This session was previously held during Midwinter to focus solely on volunteer opportunities but these 201 sessions have not been held for the last few years
  • To consider how these sessions (normally held at ALA Conferences) could be replicated at YALSA Symposium and online for a virtual audience

Earlier this year, the YALSA Board’s direction to the President was to appoint a task force no later than March 1st, to explore and evaluate YALSA 101, 201, and 301 sessions and recommend changes, with findings to be presented to the Board by Annual 2019. Learn more in Board Document 8.

See the full agenda of the Board of Directors at ALA Annual in Washington D.C. All Board meetings are open to attendees, and you can learn more about the Board meetings on the YALSA Conference wiki.

In the last half of 2018, YALSA’s Division and Membership Promotion Committee did a deep dive to evaluate YALSA’s membership engagement around volunteer opportunities. Here are some key highlights of their evaluation and recommendations for improvements:

  • Increasing communication about the specific work done by the committees, task forces, and juries. Specifically, calendars or timelines, desired skills, and member workloads or expectations for each group.
  • Improved communication after a member has submitted a volunteer application, including but not limited to increasing awareness on volunteer opportunities that are still open after specified positions have been filled.
  • Improving the transparency of various volunteer and committee work using social media.
  • Create a requirement that YALSA committees, task forces, and juries share their work via YALSA blog posts (where applicable–some committees cannot do this per the confidentiality of their work).
  • Create a task force to evaluate YALSA 101, 201 (currently not active), and 301 sessions to evaluate their effectiveness, and the possibility to additionally hold them at other conferences or virtually.
  • Survey current YALSA volunteers about how they want to be acknowledged for their work.

At Annual in Washington, D.C., the YALSA Board will review recommendations by the Division and Membership Committee and may discuss what further actions need to take place or need to be assigned to committees, the YALSA Board, or YALSA Staff. Learn more in Board Document 5.

See the full agenda of the Board of Directors at ALA Annual in Washington, D.C. All Board meetings are open to attendees, and you can learn more about the Board meetings on the YALSA Conference wiki.

Proposed YALSA By-Law Change

On the 2019 ballot, YALSA members will see a proposed by-law change:

To amend the YALSA Bylaw, Article V, Board of Directors Sec. 1 by changing the number of Directors‐at‐Large from seven to six and to add an Advocacy Member.

 

The section will now read:
The Board of Directors shall be composed of the President, President‐elect, the Immediate Past President, seven six Directors‐at‐Large, the Fiscal Officer, the Secretary, and the Division‐Elected YALSA Councilor. The Executive Director, the Board Fellow, the Advocacy Member and the chairs of the Strategic Planning, Financial Advancement and Organization & Bylaws Committees serve ex officio (without vote).

Why are we asking for this by-laws change?

  • This change was embraced by the Board as part of the 2015 – 2016 strategic planning process, and is included in the first-year Implementation Plan. It is also part of the current
    2018-19 Implementation Plan.
  • The inclusion of advocates to the Board who work beyond the library teen services space can bring a unique perspective and help broaden the organization’s outlook on serving youth.
  • A more diverse Board can strengthen its capacity by bringing in relevant skills or knowledge from beyond the library community.
  • By including advocates on the Board, YALSA is modeling the behavior it wants members to adopt at the local level in terms of reaching out into the community to forge partnerships that increase their ability to meet teen needs.
  • The viability of this idea has been demonstrated by the recruitment of Kathy Ishizuka to the 2017 slate and her subsequent election to the Board and service.
  • A three year commitment may not be ideal for this type of position, so adding the Advocacy Member position as an “ex-officio” position allows for the greatest flexibility.
  • An outcome of this position would be a mutually beneficial partnership where there is a sharing of knowledge, experiences, and support for both partners to grow together.

To learn more about the backgroung that led to this change, see the following:
2017 Midwinter Conference Board Document #27, “Broadening the Board’s Composition”

2016 Annual Conference Board Document #4, “Organizational Plan Potential Bylaws Impact”

Dealing with Disruption and Competition to the Association Industry

Other 2019 ALA Election Resources

Looking for help learning more about ALA Council candidate info? Andromeda Yelton has provided a quick and easy site to extract information about each candidate’s unit membership: ALA Council Candidate Sorter 2019 . This is especially helpful, if you’re interested in seeing which candidates for Council are also YALSA members as you can filter them accordingly on this site.

Please also refer to recent YALSA Blog posts for all 2019 YALSA Canditiate Interviews: