Get ready to vote in this year’s YALSA election! To help you make informed decisions, we’re sharing interviews with each of the 2024 YALSA Governance candidates. Voting will take place from March 11 through April 3, 2024.

Serving three-year terms, YALSA Board members are responsible for jointly determining YALSA’s current and future programs, policies, and serving as liaisons to YALSA’s committees, juries, taskforces and advisory boards. Members work year-round, and attend regular Board meetings. A full description of Board duties and responsibilities can be found here. You can learn more about ALA elections here.

What is your name and current job position?
Amber Creger (she/hers), Youth Department Director, Schaumburg Township (IL) District Library

What best qualifies you for being on the YALSA Board of Directors?
My experiences as a Youth Services Manager, ALA Councilor, and Fiscal Officer of ALSC have given me a healthy understanding of how to collaborate and compromise with others, along with practical ALA institutional knowledge of how to get things done within the organization. For almost 20 years, I have been an active YALSA member and have served as chair on a number of process committees. I feel I’m an ideal well-round candidate for this position.

How do you envision furthering YALSA’s mission if elected to this position?
YALSA is currently in a state of flux and I plan to continue the work of our current President and President Elect to stabilize our division by advocating for more staff to provide support to our members and volunteers. Secure new avenues of funding that promote financial security to the division, and to continue to advocate for Teens and Teen services in our libraries.

What is the most pressing issue facing YALSA today?
YALSA member are passionate library workers, who know how to get things done. Unfortunately, our division, currently does not have a fully staffed office. I do appreciate all that ALSC’s ED Alena Rivers and her staff doing in this interim period, but it’s hard to move YALSA’s mission and vision forward without fulltime staff to support the work being carried out.

Hi everyone!


I am finally finding the time to write this month’s president report post LLX! Thank you for your patience as I took a month off, attended LLX, was sidelined with Covid, and am now returning with a report this month.


So the YMA’s were pretty fantastic, weren’t they! I have so many TBR titles now, and we definitely had some exciting announcements. And also a big thank you to all our Book Awards and Selected Lists committees, and our Book Awards and Selected Lists Oversight Committee! You all did extraordinary work this year and I am so grateful you all stepped up and volunteered this year!


Speaking of our 2024 awards, thank you everyone for your patience as staff work to post the current winners, nominees, and our YALSA Selected Lists on our website. Some of you may or may not know that YALSA has faced some staffing challenges recently. In December our newly hired Executive Director resigned suddenly and our long term Membership Manager, Letitia Smith, retired. YALSA had to pivot quickly, and I will be eternally grateful to ALSC Executive Director, Alena Rivers, for stepping in as YALSA’s Interim Executive Director.


I am going to go into some details now, so bear with me: Currently YALSA is in good hands with Alena but we are in sort of a holding pattern because we have a limited staffing capacity and our focus right now is really on the big items like budgeting, conferences, and volunteer work. Alena is the Interim YALSA executive Director, we have our full time temp communications specialist (Camille Alcazar), Ninah Moore works part time for YALSA helping us coordinate conferences and awards, and Alena has been approved to hire another temp full time position.


Alena will also be working with the YALSA Board to plan our FY25 budget. The budget planning process starts on the staff side this month and then it will be brought to the YALSA Board once there is a draft budget to review. So YALSA is going to get the resources it needs to continue operations. We are moving forward with the idea that Alena will be our Interim Executive Director for the foreseeable future, as ALA is focusing its resources on the ALA Executive Director search. I expect once that has been completed, we will look to have conversation with ALA leadership for next steps for YALSA.


Right now, the support we need are the member volunteers that can continue to move YALSA forward in the work that we have traditionally expected from our volunteers. Thank you so much to everyone who has volunteered this year! I am not sure you know it, but you all have really been the glue that holds YALSA together and provides excellent services and resources to our members. For those of you who are interested in volunteering for YALSA we will be recruiting for our strategic committees coming up in about a month or two! Watch our YALSA Blog and YALSA’s Connect Space for ore information!

All of that to say– please keep checking in if you need something from the YALSA Board or YALSA Staff. I am always happy to get an email from a member and work to find solutions for any challenges you are facing.


Completed Activities

  • The YALSA Board Programming and Resources Strategic Committee proposed that a TeenTober Task Force be created this spring to evaluate the event. More details can be read in their Board document proposing the formation of the task force
  • President Seisser completed thank you letters to all outgoing chairs
  • President-Elect Garcia competed the winter appointments and worked with the Book Awards and Selected Lists Oversight committee co-chairs, Isaiah West and Erin Durrett, to present committee and chair training



Ongoing Activities

  • President Seisser is working with Interim Executive Director Rivers to address a need for an awards ceremony celebrating the Alex, Morris, Nonfiction, and Edwards awards. The Printz Award has been secured for ALA Annual and Booklist staff will be working with YALSA staff for the event.
  • President Seisser is working with the Board Development Committee to promote our upcoming YALSA slate for the elections opening in March. Watch the YALSA Blog and YALSA’s Connect Space for interviews with the candidates
  • The YALSA Board has received reports from the YALSA Symposium Evaluation task force and YALSA’s Division and membership Promotion committee that will be presented at our February Board meeting. The Symposium Evaluation task force conducted a member survey and examined data to make recommendations for the future of the YALSA Symposium, and the Division and membership Promotion committee held a focus group at Symposium of which the results are documented in the report for the Board to discuss.

Respectfully submitted by Colleen Seisser, YALSA President

Hi All,

This training will be recorded.

Award and Selection list training will take place on:
January 31, 2024, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Member training will take place from 1- 2 p.m.
Chair training will take place from 2 – 3 p.m.

Zoom information will be posted shortly. Please email me your questions at yvette.yalsa@gmail.com.

Hi everyone!

I will keep this month’s President Report short and wish everyone a very happy holiday! 

Thank you to those of you who attended the 2023 YALSA Symposium in St. Louis! A big thank you to all the YALSA Volunteers and staff that made this year’s Symposium such a fantastic learning and networking experience. A thank you as well for all the publishers and authors that attended the event and to the St. Louis Public Library for hosting attendees and providing a tour of the Central Library. 

Though attendance was down this year at around 350 attendees, I know those that attended will agree with me when I say that I felt a great energy from those in attendance and learned so much. As attendance has been falling in recent years, the YALSA Board voted to create a Symposium Evaluation task force in 2022 and the task force was formed in 2023. The task force is charged with evaluating data and member surveys to create a report for the YALSA Board with recommendations for the future of the YALSA Symposium. They will look closely at such things like if we should return to having a bi-annual Symposium, if there should be a virtual component to the Symposium, if the Symposium should be rebranded and its content reconfigured, or if there is a different time of year to hold the Symposium. There are so many other ideas and the YALSA Board really looks forward to the task force’s report.

Ongoing Activities

  • Now that Symposium is over, we have to start looking to attend LibLearnX and to plan YALSA sessions and events at ALA Annual.
    • The YALSA Board is currently discussing what a future YALSA Presence at LibLearnX should look like, since the conference is still early on in its new format and we have yet to know how YALSA fits in 
    • The YALSA Board is also working with our Book Awards committees to address the Awards Ceremonies for the Alex, Morris, Nonfiction and Edwards awards due to the change in format of LibLearnX and the evaluation of our current YALSA Symposium evaluation Task force of the YALSA Symposium
    • The Board is also working with YALSA Staff to determine what events we will hold at the Annual conference in addition to the educational sessions. We hope to find a way to bring back our YALSA Social! 
  • The Presidential Initiatives Implementation Task Force is hitting the ground running under the leadership of the new chair, Clare. Here’s what’s in the works:
    • As President, I have been able to partner with Booklist to moderate a panel at the Annual 2023 conference and the YALSA Symposium regarding Teen Services staff dealing with book challenges and censorship
    • Clare and I have connected with Graphic Novels and Comics Roundtable and United Against Book Bans and will bring back ideas to the task force
    • One idea that is still in development is regarding how to aggregate resources for our YALSA members to access. We know there are so many valuable tools out there for dealing with challenges and censorship and we want to be able to share them with our members so they are easy to access in times of need. 
    • Another project in development is thinking about how we can mobilize our regions so that there can be people to turn to when library staff working with teens are facing challenges and censorship. We are exploring the idea of creating YALSA Interest groups for this. 
    • Finally at ALA annual 2024 we are also looking to put together a Presidential program session on the topic: Freedom to Read.

Respectfully submitted by Colleen Seisser, YALSA President

Giving Tuesday is just around the corner. This annual, global day of giving unites us around meaningful causes and encourages us to give back. Giving Tuesday is the perfect time to for YALSA supporters to celebrate our continued mission and to help raise important funds for the year ahead.

One way you can take advantage of the inspiration and spirit of Giving Tuesday is by participating in YALSA’s Virtual Silent Auction. Take a look at the Virtual Silent Auction website and find something that speaks to you! The auction opens on Black FridayNov. 24th at 12 pm Eastern and runs through Friday, December 1st at 9pm Eastern. All proceeds will go to the Friends of YALSA (FOY). FOY funds are used to support over $16,000 in member scholarships, grants, and stipends, including a Spectrum Scholarship and Emerging Leader.

Not interested in bidding on an item? You can still support a cause that matters to you – the work of YALSA! – by donating directly to the Friends of YALSA (FOY) through the “Donate” button on the Silent Auction site.

I know there are many organizations worthy of your support and I hope YALSA is among them! Your contribution will be reinvested to support others in the field and help ensure that the work YALSA does can continue.

Gail Tobin,

YALSA Financial Advancement Committee Chair

YALSA’s awards & blogging committees are filled. Thank you to all the volunteers who have accepted positions on all the various committees. Please send questions to yvette.yalsa@gmail.com.

New Opportunity – Scholarship Jury:  We are currently seeking 5-7 members to serve on the Regina Minudri Yound Adul Scholarship jury.  This scholarship is specifically for a Masters degree candidate in Library Science who intends to work professionally with young adults.

Please complete the volunteer form. You will need to click on “NEXT” at the bottom of the committee list, to get to the “Select Committees” section highlighted at the top to volunteer for the Minudri jury.

Future Opportunities: The next round of volunteer appointments will feature YALSA’s strategic committees, such as the Programming Committee. Our programming committee selects ALA annual sessions, works with ALA to suggest e-learning courses, and plans members’ webinars. 

Hi everyone!

I will be keeping this report short and sweet since I am getting ready to take the 4.5 hour drive from the Chicago suburbs to St. Louis tomorrow for our 2023 YALSA Symposium! I cannot wait to see those of you attending the Symposium. I unfortunately have to cut my attendance short and will be leaving Saturday afternoon due to a death in my family. But I know the time that I will be there will be so great!

This year’s Symposium Planning & Marketing Task Force has done an incredible job of putting together a fantastic conference filled with so many learning and networking opportunities, as well as finding some awesome authors to attend as well! So much thanks goes out to the task force members: Amy Ojserkis (chair), Caroline Aversano, Heather Beverly, Asuncion Cora, Ginny Edwards, Meagan Looney, and Scot Smith.

A couple of other items to note:

Our Friends of YALSA Silent Auction is now accepting donations for the Silent Auction. If you have any unique teen services or YA Lit items that you would like to donate to the YALSA Silent Auction, please get in touch via our YALSA events email: yalsaevents@ala.org. Additionally, the Silent Auction will open November 24: You can start to bid on items on Friday, Nov. 24 at 12 pm Eastern. The Silent Auction will close on Friday, Dec. 1st at 9 pm Eastern.  You can find more information by following this link about donations: https://yalsa.ala.org/blog/2023/10/16/yalsas-silent-auction/ Then watch YALSA’s eNews and social media for the auction link when bidding opens.

We announced our Teen’s Top Ten List!! You can watch the video announcement using this link or see the full list here: 

All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir. Razorbill

Five Survive by Holly Jackson. Electric Monkey

Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh. Feiwel & Friends

I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys. Penguin

Icebreaker by Hannah Grace. Pig and Bear Publishing

Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School by Sonora Reyes. Balzer + Bray

Gallant by VE Schwab. Greenwillow Books

Nothing More to Tell by Karen McManus. Delacorte Press

The Rumor Game by Dhonielle Clayton and Sona Charaipotra. Disney

Some Mistakes Were Made by Kristin Dwyer. HarperTeen

I am happy and sad to announce that YALSA Membership Manager, Letitia Smith, retired November 1. She is still going to be around during our transition as we onboard a new Executive Director for advice and historical information sharing. I know so many of you have had the pleasure to work with Letitia. I can say that I have valued every minute of working with her and she was a bright spot for me during all my years volunteering for YALSA. I could go on and on about Letitia, but I know she would hate that, haha!

Finally, look for an announcement by ALA the week of November 13 for the new Executive Director of YALSA! I cannot wait until you all meet our new staff leader!

Completed Activities

  • Much of the work this month has been working on replacing volunteers and board members, as well as work for anticipated YALSA staffing changes. I am happy to report that as of this report, we are now working with a full board of directors. We have filled our vacant positions and resolved any ongoing participation issues. 
  • Another major part of my time this month has been working with staff and volunteers in preparation for the YALSA Symposium. 

Ongoing Activities

  • President-Elect Yvette Garcia and I have connected with the GNCRT and will be exploring possible collaboration opportunities in November. 
  • The YALSA Board is currently in the midst of a discussion about YALSA’s participation in the LibLearnX conference. We are still trying to find our place in the conference and how we can make it work with the Symposium happening only a couple of months before. I have also reached out to other Division Presidents for their input as well and how their Divisions are working to have a presence at LibLearnX. We likely won’t have anything to put in place for the 2024 LibLearnX conference but starting discussions now will put us in a good place for 2025.
  • Also, in progress is a discussion about ALA Annual and the different YALSA activities that we want to make sure are in place in addition to our fabulous member educational sessions. This discussion includes evaluating awards ceremonies and how we can move to celebrate all of our Book Awards, as well as making sure we schedule a membership meeting, President’s program, and YALSA Social.

Respectfully submitted by Colleen Seisser, YALSA President

November is International Game Month! International Games Month (IGM) is an annual celebration of games, play, libraries and learning that any library in the world can join, and costs absolutely nothing to register for!

IGM has only the most flexible of entry requirements – you have to have some sort of game-related activity in or around your library during the month of November. That’s all! The games can be videogames on a library console, tabletop games, social games, party games, traditional folk games – whatever you think will work for your individual library and community.

Registration involves filling out a questionnaire that tells us a bit about your library and your plans for the event, and then gives you information about the donation options available to your library. You can also sign up for some international inter-library events that will give your community the chance to connect to other library communities all over the world.

We also have a promotional materials with posters, logos, and press materials to help you promote the event in your library. And there’s a blog at https://games.ala.org which publishes updates weekly on a range of topics to help inspire ideas, discussion, and of course learning around games and play in libraries.

International Games Month is a non-commercial, volunteer-run library initiative under the auspices of the American Library Association in partnership with the Australian Library and Information Association, Nordic Game Week, Finnish Game Week, Associazione Italiana Biblioteche, and the Public and Mobile Library Group of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals sponsored by a number of quality game publishers and distributors.

Respectfully submitted by Liz Nebeker, YALSA Councilor

YALSA’s Symposium in St. Louis, MO is fast approaching. Whether you are attending or not or just love auctions, you can take part in the virtual silent auction! We are putting a call out to YOU for silent auction items!! Signed books, local interest goodie baskets, themed baskets, etc. Please let us know if you are willing to donate to YALSA’s Silent Auction. If you do donate, we just ask that you take a picture of the donation and be willing to send it to the auction winner. Please contact YALSA at yalsaevents@ala.org with your donation details. All proceeds will go to the Friends of YALSA (FOY). FOY funds are used to support over $16,000 in member scholarships, grants, and stipends, including a Spectrum Scholarship and Emerging Leader. 

Respectfully submitted by Angelique Kopa, Financial Advancement Committee member

Hi everyone!

Happy TeenTober! I hope all of you are enjoying YALSA’s nationwide celebration to celebrate teens, promote year-round teen services and the innovative ways teen services helps teens learn new skills, and fuel their passions in and outside the library. 

TeenTober Logo

First, a reminder that our Board Development committee is looking for candidates for next year’s slate for the following positions: President-Elect, YALSA Division Councilor, and two Board Directors at Large. Successful candidates will stand for election in the spring of 2024 and begin their term on July 1, 2024 during the ALA Annual Conference in San Diego, CA. For more information on the responsibilities of each role on the Board, please visit the Governance page which includes some handy links under the topic Get Involved in Governance. If you are ready to put your name forward, please submit via the online nomination form.

Symposium Registration is open! 

Highlights include: Jason Reynolds, MAE Award winner, speaking on Saturday, November 11th at the Awards luncheon reception (*tickets are an additional cost). TWO excellent Pre-Conferences “Supporting Teens to Fight For Their Right To Read” and “Level Up Your Graphic Game” (*not included with general registration, sign up for an extra fee). A wide variety of sessions focusing on trends and issues in teen services and literature, our popular galley grab and book blitz, and a free tour of the St. Louis public library! Not to mention the fabulous authors who will be there, including but not limited to:

Edward Underhill, Lynn Painter, Mason Deaver, Crystal Maldonado, Alexene Follmuth, Kasie West, Terry J. Benton-Walker, Ari Tison, Dale Walls, Federico Erebia, Jaime Jo Hoang, Deb JJ Lee, Sarah Myer, Thien Pham, Victoria Ying, Edward Underhill, Samantha Markum, Margaret Owen, and Kelly Andrew

Congratulations to J Hodnett and Valerie Tohom as they have been selected to receive the 2023 Young Adult Services Symposium library worker (J Hodnett) and student stipend (Valerie Tohom) from YALSA! 

Make sure to get your room at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis Arch by Wednesday, October 18 to get the YALSA room rate! Get your room here

Completed Activities

  • The YALSA Board determined our next membership meeting will be held to introduce our new YALSA Executive Director to our membership. An announcement is still forthcoming, so please continue to watch the YASLA eNews and the ALA website. There will also be an in person membership meeting this summer at the ALA Annual conference. 
  • I completed onboarding our 2023-2024 YALSA Board Fellow. An announcement of appointment will be in the upcoming YALSA eNews. I also started onboarding our 2023-24 YALSA Board Advocate who will also be announced via YALSA eNews soon.

Ongoing Activities

  • Working to fill a Director at Large vacancy as well as managing two short term leave absences from the Board
  • Completing tasks for YALSA 2023 Symposium as well as preparing for a panel presentation “How to Navigate Book Challenges in the Teen Services Space”. I presented this panel with colleagues at ALA Annual in partnership with Booklist, and I am very excited to bring it to Symposium. Please join me, Sheila Michaels, Shannon Vanderhyde, Rachel Colias, and Kathleen Breitenbach on the morning of Saturday 11/11, as we discuss working with challenges and censorship as library staff working with teens.
  • Discussions continued with the Board regarding the update of the operating agreement and how this will affect overhead costs. In September, I also met with other Division Presidents so we could share our questions and concerns with each other.

–Respectfully submitted by Colleen Seisser, YALSA President