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: kellyczarnecki1@gmail.com.

2020-2021 YALSA President-Elect Kelly Czarnecki

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

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: kellyczarnecki1@gmail.com.

2020-2021 YALSA President-Elect Kelly Czarnecki

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

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.

Sincerely,

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

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

So many highlights this month! Of course January is near and dear to many for the announcement of the Youth Media Awards. What an honor to shine the light on the enormous work the committees have done to bring forth the titles from amazing authors. As I was recording I did catch myself a few times feeling the impact of the words in these books. I’m sure if I was in person and on stage, a tissue box would be sitting near by!

While many of us probably have some exciting weather stories to share from January- we hopefully can continue to put the cold in our review mirror if that’s not our jam!

Such a busy month to the start of the new year!

As always-grateful for the work of the YALSA Staff, the Board, and all the Volunteers that make up the wonderful organization of YALSA!

Any questions or comments, feel free to post below or email: kellyczarnecki1@gmail.com.

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

 

“Snow” by timo_w2s is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Thank you to all the YALSA members-some who are Chairs and committee or task force members that attended the virtual 2022 YALSA Virtual Winter meeting on Saturday January 15.

The agenda and documents -consent, discussion and information-can be found here. YALSA staff submit their reports and then various member positions within YALSA contribute theirs as well. The reports give insight as to the work the organization has done since July 1.

To recap the discussion items of the meeting-of which the board documents are also linked on the YALSA Board Agendas, Documents, and Minutes page. The Board approved the Chinese American Reading Lists proposed by the CALA/YALSA joint Taskforce. This will be an exciting enrichment to CALA’s 50th anniversary in March 2023! The Board is grateful for the work of the Committee in putting together this information. We also discussed proposed policy updates that were submitted from the Amazing Audiobooks and Quickpicks Committees. They worked on incorporating the YALSA EDI statement which is great! There are a few changes to be made to the documents for the Board to approve the changes. We’re grateful for the hard work that was put into these Board documents as well.

Our next Board Meeting will be at ALA Annual in Washington D.C.! (Registration opens in February!)

If you’re a YALSA member you’ve likely gotten the information through YALSA E-News or your email that the YALSA Board will be meeting this Saturday 1/15 for Board Meeting I and II. Please register via the information that you were sent and we look forward to having you in attendance!

If you’re not yet a member but want to attend the meeting, now is a great time to join today! It is a great space to see if you’re interested in taking a future role with governance. We will provide a recap here on the blog about what was discussed. The agenda is online here. There are several documents brought forth by the hardworking committees including suggested policy updates for Amazing Audiobooks and Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers. The Board will also be discussing developing reading lists featuring Chinese American writers/characters in order to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Chinese American Librarians Association.

Just a note that the YALSA Board has more flexibility of when to meet as you’ll notice we’re not meeting during LibLearnX which will take place the following weekend.

Greetings all! What a year it’s been! We’re a few days into the new year as I wrap up last month. Even in unsettling times, I hope you were able to experience some moments of ease and will continue to do so as we welcome in 2022. Here are some highlights from December:

Membership numbers (reported from August 2021):
Personal members of YALSA: 3,239
Renewals: 201 (this is an 11.6% increase from 2020)
New members: 90 (this is also an increase from 2020)

  • Directed the Board to continue responding to the History of Four EDI Taskforce Report recommendations
  • Submitted a President’s column for upcoming YALS issue. Co-written with social worker. (YALS is a great member-perk! Chock-full of useful information-free to members)
  • Worked on promoting the need for and appointing interested members to YALSA’s Division and Membership Promotion Committee.  (We still have openings to this important committee. Fill out the Committee Volunteer Form if you are interested!)
  • Continuing to seek a Member Manager for the Hub by reaching out to folks and updating call for applicants. Thank you Board Member, Director-At-Large Traci Glass for stepping in as interim!
  • Posted about YALSA’s partnership with Michigan State and Indiana University regarding Artificial Intelligence
  • Met with YALSA President’s Taskforce to develop ideas to continue moving forward on re-building social capital for and with teens
  • Working with AASL/ALSC to determine joint Executive Committee meeting
  • Working with Chairs and Board Members to submit board documents for January meeting (*more information will be shared on this within the next week or so)
  • Called for vote from Board Members for several Board Documents (will be linked here soon) regarding Virtual Option for Award Committees as well as Extension of Evaluating Volunteer Resources Taskforce. Others currently under discussion.

As always, grateful for the passion and work from dedicated volunteers to YALSA! Take a moment to look back on 2021 for all that you’ve accomplished and we’ll continue moving forward-one day at a time! Here’s to 2022!

Any questions or comments, feel free to post below or email: kellyczarnecki1@gmail.com.

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

 

“I Remember When the Future was Unevenly Distributed” by cogdogblog is licensed under CC BY 2.0

You may be aware that YALSA is partnering with Michigan State University and Indiana University for an AI literacy program for youth in underserved communities. The libraries involved in the project include the San Diego Central Library (San Diego, CA), Carroll County Public Library (New Windsor, MD), and the Capital Area District Library (Lansing, MI).  The following is an interview with Dr. Heerin Lee and Dr. Kayhun Choi who are leading the project. This will be a great resource for working with teens and AI!

Q: Please introduce yourself and briefly explain how you are partnering with YALSA.

A: Heerin: Hello! I am Heerin Lee, a Principial Investigator (PI) of a project called “AI & Co-design in public libraries: Empowering underserved youth to cultivate symbiotic relationships between Artificial Intelligence (AI) and their communities.” I am an assistant professor in the department of media and information at Michigan State University, working in the field of Human-Robot Interaction (HRI). I design and evaluate robots for social good with the aim of empowering socially marginalized groups, including people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, racial minorities, and older adults.

Kahyun: Hi, I am Kahyun Choi, a co-PI of this project. I am an assistant professor of Information and Library Science at Indiana University Bloomington. I am an expert in AI models for music digital libraries. I bring my experience of developing and teaching an introductory and intuitive machine learning course to this project. When I am not working, I love to spend time with my husband and daughter, do yoga, and listen to audiobooks, podcasts, and music.

Heerin & Kahyun: YALSA as a partner will publicize our open-source education materials developed within this project to librarians all over the US. These materials will include a detailed process of how we develop our program and how we run it including a summary of each session, main takeaways, lessons learned, and suggestions for future literacy programs. YALSA will also help us develop AI literacy webinars for librarians, promote the program, and perform other marketing activities via their outlets, such as social media, weekly newsletter, e-blast and other platforms.

Q: What interests you most about AI, and what led you to it as a course of study?

A: Heerin: While AI influences many people, only a relatively small population of engineers determine how the public interacts with AI in everyday life. The public’s limited access to AI knowledge stems from the fact that it is mostly disseminated by higher education programs. In particular, these programs mostly focus on computational aspects of AI rather than on social and ethical aspects. This could reinforce a digital divide and inequity issues at a national level. Thus, I thought it is crucial to run AI literacy programs through sustainable infrastructures like public libraries where community members, regardless of their socioeconomic backgrounds, have access to AI knowledge.

Kahyun: About 15 years ago, I got fascinated by powerful emotions coming from music. Instead of becoming a singer-songwriter, I built an AI model that could understand music emotions to some degree by capturing relationships between audio signals and emotions. Ever since, I have developed AI models that can annotate music, song lyrics, and poems with topics, emotions, and genres. While developing and offering an introductory AI course based on music applications to students without technical backgrounds, I realized the importance of intuitive and accessible AI education for the public and, particularly, underserved populations.

Q: Why did you choose public libraries to focus your research?

A: Heerin & Kahyun: As I briefly explained in my answer above, I think it is significant to disseminate AI knowledge through well-developed infrastructures so that many people have access to it regardless of their socioeconomic status. Economically underserved communities, in particular, are vulnerable to AI’s negative consequences as they are largely excluded from the decision-making process of envisioning AI technologies in society. Since the internet emerged in the mid-1990s, public libraries, as early adopters, have long played a critical role in enhancing the public’s technology literacy in the US. As we enter an era of increased AI technology in our society, libraries have tremendous potential for nurturing AI literacy.

Q: Is there anything you hope that youth will gain with AI as a result of your project?

A: The two main components of our program are 1) Module 1—Understanding core concepts of AI, and 2) Module 2—Envisioning AI for local industries. With these two modules, we hope youth not only learn core AI concepts, but also get more actively engaged with their local civic issues as AI co-designers. For example, we will introduce local media stories about AI in their communities and discuss how technological issues are closely entangled with social issues. Our program will develop critical thinking capabilities, enabling youth to understand AI-related social issues in their communities and actively participate in public discourse about AI technologies.

This project particularly adopts an asset-based approach, which is a pedagogy built upon a critical race theory that views students from socially underserved communities not as people with deficits but as people with “community cultural wealth.” We hope this process help students see themselves as people with their own knowledge and position them as people who can utilize AI knowledge. This will also help them more easily become co-designers in our participatory design sessions.

Q: What is the timeline of your project -or when people can expect to see more information?

This is a two-year project that started in Aug 2021. We are currently recruiting youths and their teachers for interviews to understand how they think about AI and their career paths. Based on findings, we will build and evaluate the two AI education modules by Aug 2022. Subsequently, we will run the AI education workshops with the materials in three public libraries one by one, the Capital Area District Library in Lansing, Michigan, the San Diego Central Library in San Diego, California, and the Carroll County Public Library in New Windsor, Maryland, until May 2023. After the workshops, we will disseminate our findings and materials through YALSA, our website, and conferences.

Q: If people want to read more about the grant, where can they find it online?

A: The grant proposal, which includes detailed project design, is available online. https://www.imls.gov/grants/awarded/lg-250059-ols-21 If you want more information, feel free to contact us at heerin-at-msu.edu.

 

 

 

We’d like to thank the Hub’s current member manager, Sara Beth Coffman for the tremendous work and dedication she’s put into The Hub the past year.

You may have seen previous posts for this position. We’re still seeking! If you want to try it out short term such as 3 months and see if this is a good fit for you-we encourage you to still apply!

The most common feedback I’ve received from inquiries-and understandably so-is how much time is expected to be devoted per week. If selected, that will be up to you, the manager. You will also have a team you are working with.  A rough estimate from past managers is to plan for 4-8 hours a week. This will ebb and flow throughout the term as well. You will be in great hands with Board Liaison Traci Glass, who has written for the Hub before and can help guide you each step of the way.

The other most common response I receive is the qualifications feel somewhat daunting and folks may feel they are not eligible. While it is true that there is a bit different process to this position than some other volunteer positions in terms of qualifications-don’t let that hold you back from applying even if you don’t think you meet everything 100% perfectly!

If there are any questions or concerns, please contact Kelly Czarnecki, YALSA President (2021-2022); kellyczarnecki1@gmail.com. If you’re ready to apply please send a resume and cover letter to YALSA Member manager; Letitia Smith at lsmith@ala.org as soon as possible.

For qualifications and responsibilities, please review a previous post. Thank you for your interest!

 

 

 

Greetings all! Sending some fall energy your way! The highlight of this month has definitely been the YALSA Symposium in Reno. So much hard work went into what was a phenomenal event. Thank you all for making this hybrid (virtual/in-person) learning and networking opportunity a huge success!

This time of year means different things to everyone depending on what traditions (if any) you may participate in. I know I typically feel the winter months gain speed though for others it might be ‘normal’-just a bit colder-again dependent on where one resides. At any rate, whatever your unique experience may be, thank you for your involvement with YALSA and your continued work to help teens have quality access to library programs and services!

Contributions I made this month as YALSA President:

  • Assisted with the YALSA Symposium; recorded several introductions, attended virtual sessions and participated in the virtual Board info session. Called to vote on Symposium 2022 location (Baltimore here we come!)
  • Connected over email with Sam Helmrick, YALSA Liaison for ALA Executive Board
  • Held meeting for Presidential Taskforce to re-build teen social capital! So excited to work with such great volunteers!
  • Extended the Hub Manager assignment for one more month. Grateful for Sara Beth!
  • Connected with the Chair, Melissa, and Board Liaison, Carrie, for the Teen Civic Engagement Committee
  • Met with AASL/ALSC Presidents to develop a charge for the Interdivisional Committee on School/Public Library Cooperation. Thank you Jennisen and Lucia!
  • Wrote an article for the Presidents Column for the upcoming YALS issue on Adulting
  • Contributed to updating the DMP charge along with Board Member Karen Lemmons and YALSA ED, Tammy Dillard-Steels
  • Created EDI timeline draft for the Board as a recommendation from ODLOS Director, Kevin Strowder, to see our progress
  • Appointed a new Chair, Rebecca Denham, for the Evaluating Volunteer Resources Taskforce
  • Supported the ALA Statement on Censorship

Any questions or comments, feel free to post below or email: kellyczarnecki1@gmail.com.

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

 

Photo Credit: “Deer” by Kelly Czarnecki