Hi everyone!

We are in need of members to volunteer for the Book Award and Selected List Oversight committees. Traditionally we have appointed one oversight committee for all of our book awards and selected lists, but in 2020 the YALSA Board approved the creation of a Selected List Oversight committees. We need members for both a book award and a selected list oversight committee to be separate from the Book Award Oversight committee. However, with our current volunteer shortage, we are aware that we may need to return to one committee to serve both types of committees. If that is the case for this year, I promise to work with the YALSA Board to make sure we do so.

Here’s a little bit about the committees:

Selection List Oversight Committee

The Selection Lists Oversight Committee stems from the responsibilities of the manager of The HUB having to maintain that site along with being the sole liaison to the chairs and members of the four YALSA Selection Lists (Best Fiction, Amazing Audiobooks, Great Graphic Novels, and Quick Picks). This committee assists the The Hub Manager and allows the selection lists to be stronger and will allow for responses to the needs of selection list members in a timely manner.

To ensure efficient functioning of YALSA’s selection list committees. To help interpret existing policy for committee operations based on a thorough knowledge of YALSA policy, committee operation, background, and experience. To collect, analyze and respond to quarterly chair reports. To summarize, analyze and evaluate periodically for the YALSA Board the progress and concerns of the selection list committees. To facilitate communication among selection list committees and to identify common areas of concern and identify solutions. To coordinate training and orientation for in-coming committee members. To note particular abilities of committee members in the work of the organization and to share this information with the Board and nominating committees.

5-7 members, including a chair

One year term with members have the opportunity of renewing for one second term.

Book Award Oversight Committee


To ensure efficient functioning of YALSA’s award committees. To advise committee chairs on recommended procedures for committee operations based on a thorough knowledge of YALSA policy, committee operation, background, and experience. To collect, analyze and respond to quarterly chair reports.  To summarize, analyze and evaluate periodically for the YALSA Board the progress and concerns of the award committees. To facilitate communication among award committees and to identify common areas of concern and identify solutions. To coordinate training and orientation for in-coming committee members.  To note particular abilities of committee members in the work of the organization and to share this information with the Board and nominating committees.

5 – 7  virtual members

One year term with members have the opportunity of renewing for one second term.

If you think either of these opportunities is a good fit for you, please access our Volunteer Form (https://www.ala.org/CFApps/volunteer/form.cfm) and complete it. Please make sure to indicate on the form that you are interested in the Book Award or the Selected List oversight committee, or you can also select both! I will be appointing members as I am able to review applications, and hope to have the committees appointed by the end of February. When you do apply, your application review will be expedited if you email me, President-Elect Colleen Seisser, directly.

If you have any issues accessing the volunteer form, please try to clear your cookies first and then try another web browser. If that does not work, please contact a YALSA Staff person.

Respectively submitted by

Colleen Seisser

YALSA President-Elect

In March of 2022 I saw a post via ALA Connect to apply for the ALA Liaison position in the Young Adult Library Services Association:

“Does networking with folks around the country sound intriguing? Is serving as a connector with leaders to advance youth interests your jam? You might consider applying for the ALA Liaison position at YALSA!” -Kelly Czarnecki

YALSA Past President

My answers to these questions are yes, yes and yes so I applied to volunteer as the ALA YALSA Liaison.

In May of 2022 I was contacted for a brief interview based on my application and then I was appointed by YALSA President Franklin Escobedo to the position. 

To prepare for my term of July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023, I contacted Kelsey Ford to see what Kelsey’s term entailed as the 2021-2022 liaison. Kelsey walked me through the committees that were actively meeting via Zoom and introduced me to the chairs via email as the incoming liaison to take her place after returning from ALA Annual in D.C. June 23-28, 2022.

I jumped in and had my first committee meeting representing YALSA in August of 2022 at the ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee. Most committees don’t meet in July because they just met in person at the ALA Annual Conference in June. In September I attended the YALSA 2022-2023 Board Orientation and was added to the online directory.

My favorite committee so far to attend as a liaison for YALSA is the ALA Conference Committee! My first meeting with ALA CONF was on September 20th, 2022 at 8am Pacific Time. We were able to vote for our top 2023 LibLearnX Speaker considerations in New Orleans! I was always curious to see how conference guest speakers/authors were invited to speak at conferences and now I got to take part in it! Most recently we met on Tuesday, November 29th at 8 am PT for 3 hours to go over ALA Annual in Chicago and vote for our top potential author/speakers for June 22-27, 2023 https://2023.alaannual.org

In conclusion, I highly recommend applying for this 2023-2024 position. Did I mention you have access to a $1000 stipend for attending the conferences? “If there’s financial need, up to $1,000 in total funds can be provided to the liaison to defray the cost of attending two of ALA’s signature Meetings.” https://www.ala.org/yalsa/ala-liaison 

Submitted by Ziba Perez, YALSA ALA Liaison

Young Adult Librarian II
Palisades Branch Library

If you’re interested in being YALSA’s next ALA Liaison, please watch YALSA Blog, YALSA eNews, and our YALSA Connect spaces for announcements for applying for the 2023-24 ALA Liaison position this Spring 2023. The next ALA Liaison’s term will begin July 1, 2023.

As President-Elect of YALSA, it is my role to make this year’s YALSA volunteer appointments. As I mentioned in my last post about volunteers, we have been experiencing volunteer shortages recently. I am happy to report that I have worked with YALSA Staff, Letitia Smith, to fill all of our selected list and book award committees this month of December. We have reached out to a majority of members at this point and are working to get the final appointments accepted. We also have a good list of alternates in case there is a conflict and one of our appointed members cannot accept the position. For those of you that have applied, if you don’t hear from YALSA in the coming weeks, please do apply next fall when our next round of appointments for book and selected lists open up (usually September).

A note: the Pura Belpré YALSA committee members have yet to be finalized, as it is a joint committee it is taking a little more time that we had expected.

For those of you that have been appointed we do plan to have some training for you all mid-January. I will be working with our book award and selection list oversight committee chairs to coordinate this training and I will also make sure we get some chair training scheduled in January as well. We plan to have the training recorded for easy access by members at any time.

Some good first steps for those of you who have accepted an appointment is to get familiar with your committee’s manual or policies/procedures. You can access selected lists pages that list the manuals/polices from this site: https://www.ala.org/yalsa/booklistsawards/booklists and you can access the book award lists pages from this site: https://www.ala.org/yalsa/booklistsawards/bookawards. All you need to do is click on the link with your committee name to find the list of resources. Once we get rosters finalized in the coming weeks, you will hear from your committee chair for next steps.

I also want to take the opportunity to address how the YALSA Board is working to address some of the challenges we are facing from a shortage of volunteers. Here’s what we have accomplished so far:

  1. The only member award jury that has convened this year is the Joann Sweetland Lum Memorial Grant jury. All other juried awards have been compiled into a blind review for our YALSA Board members. They will be reviewing applications and selecting winners by the end of January. Just like volunteer positions, our member awards also did not receive as many applications as in the past. Please make sure you apply next fall for one of our member awards! If not you might be missing out on a great opportunity to provide more resources to yourself and/or your library.
  2. The following committees are on hiatus until July 1 due to lack of committee members: Organization and Bylaws, Division Membership and Promotion
  3. We are currently looking to create a conference committee that would work across all conferences (LibLearnX, Annual, YALSA Symposium) for planning and coordination of events, among other duties. This doesn’t mean that the Local Arrangements and Symposium Task Forces will go away, just the way they operate will be different. We still need the volunteers on the ground at the conferences but how each of those teams are coordinated might look different. More details will come as the committee is formed
  4. Our Teen Programming HQ task force was also never convened. This task force was to take a look at the Teen Programming HQ Site (a site that will have to be moved to an ALA domain) and how to improve functionality and also how to create content, as in years past it was the former Teen Programming HQ manager that would crowdsource and create a majority of the content for the site. We hope to try again at convening the task force for next year, and in the meantime the Board will plan to also take a look at the Teen Programming HQ site as it connects with our strategic plan, and what might be able to be done at the Board level to keep the site moving forward.
  5. We are also looking at some of our strategic committees alongside our current strategic plan, and have a long range goal of combining any strategic committees that are doing similar work and/or ceasing and strategic committees that do not align with our current goals

These strategies are only in effect for this year (until July 1, 2023), and will be re-evaluated by each new President-Elect to determine, with the Board of Directors, if these strategies should continue, return to their previous iteration, or if there are new strategies that can be used.

Please be on the lookout here at the YALSA Blog and in our YALSA Connect spaces for more updates about all things volunteering! In the new year we already are planning to look for members to volunteer for the next Outstanding Books for the College Bound Selection committee, as well as new member managers for our HUB and YALSA Blogs. More information to come on those opportunities in January.

Respectfully submitted by Colleen Seisser, YALSA President-Elect

Greetings YALSA Members,

As we enter the last weeks of the year, please consider donating to Friends of YALSA (FOY). I realize not everyone has extra to give but if you do it could mean a lot to a fellow YALSA member. For example, supporting FOY may help support a fellow YALSA member with a scholarship so they can attend ALA Annual for the first time.  Every donation counts whether it’s $5 or $500. 

To encourage members to give now, YALSA is having a drawing for anyone who donates between now and the end of 2022.  The drawing prizes include a free virtual author visit with author Amparo Ortiz and 20 copies of her debut Blazewrath Games. In addition, you could also win a signed copy of Somebody that I Used to Know: A Novel by Dana L. Davis.

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season.  Please consider an end of year donation

Gail Tobin
Chair, YALSA Financial Advancement Committee

Please do not judge the following. I am a Teen Services Librarian, and I read my first volume of manga last year. (In my defense, I am a very new librarian.) When I moved to Montrose, a rural community on Colorado’s Western Slope, for my first library job, it took approximately two working days to realize that manga was a pathway to engaging a broad, diverse swathe of teens in my town. At the local middle and high schools, I saw My Hero Academia t-shirts in every direction. The first time I book-talked Spy X Family to the high school book club, folks who had never talked to me before stayed long after the bell to describe their favorite manga and anime. (I nodded along and hoped I didn’t look too clueless.) I put out an anonymous suggestion box in the library’s Teen Space, and approximately 90% of those suggestions were manga.

The point: it took approximately two days to realize manga was vitally important, especially to the teen community, and it took approximately two days to realize I was woefully under-read and unknowledgeable.

Thus, when YALSA announced the program for its 2022 YA Symposium, I swooned upon seeing the half-day pre-conference sessions devoted to manga and anime. Swooned and then fired off emails asking when I might apply for the Symposium travel stipend. Those sessions not only seemed great fits for me in theory, they proved great fits in practice.

In addition to introducing me to a variety of new titles (e.g., Rooster Fighter, Wandance) and comprehensive resources (mangainlibraries.com), Jillian Rudes’ session led participants through some close reading of manga. I have never considered myself a great visual reader. I tend to spend little time on the art and barrel through the text, effectively missing half the book. In the Manga in Libraries session, we engaged in brief exercises that slowed me down in my reading and asked me to interpret what the text and the visuals were doing on the page together, particularly as they applied to emotional development or understanding of characters. I’m not a school librarian, so I’m not regularly in situations in which I closely read a text alongside teens, but taking some time to do this myself with manga gave me tools for becoming a better reader, which gave me tools for becoming a better recommender. Before my most recent visit to the high school’s book club, I re-read the manga I’d planned to share with those tools in mind – and then, during the book talks, I emphasized elements of the art, rather than merely describing plot. While this is purely anecdotal, more books were checked out during that visit than ever before.

The afternoon I spent in the Anime Boot Camp with Jake Ciarapica and Kevin Jayce gave me similarly concrete takeaways: I’ve got a list of popular publishers, a library account with Crunchyroll that I can use to start an anime club (independently requested by teens here months ago, but I was too intimidated to try), and ideas for our first programs (thank you, Anime Trivia and discussion). I also feel at least a tiny bit more “hip with the teens,” which the presenters assured us was one great reason to talk about anime.

In terms of confidence, knowledge, and skills, the YA Symposium pre-conference gave me the boost I needed to embrace an area of Teen Services for which teens are clamoring. But, perhaps even better, I came to realize both how fun and how impactful manga and anime can be, and understanding that on a deeper level is already helping me connect on a deeper level with the teens in my community.

Amy Dickinson
Teen Services Librarian
Montrose Regional Library District

UPDATE 12/8/2022

Well dang, YALSA members you really stepped up! After I put out the call for volunteers two days ago, I got an influx of interest from members. I was able to get the volunteers needed for the Book Award and Selected List committees with plenty of alternates, but if you would still like to apply I will save your name as an alternate in case something doesn’t work out with one of the appointees.

If you do decide to apply and don’t hear from us by the end of December (when I anticipate all the book awards and selected list appointments to be finalized), please do apply again next Fall when we will appoint the next round of book and selected list committees.

A few things from reading all of your wonderful emails–you all are so talented!:

  • For Book Awards you have to apply each year, because the form changes each year and the President-Elect cannot see the previous year’s applications
  • Book and Selected list awards applications open up in September
  • Strategic Committees open up in January
  • For Book Awards and Selected lists, YALSA has a conflict of interest policy that is helpful to review when you are considering to apply
  • For everyone that is appointed, you should hear from Letitia Smith first who will send you a form that you need to complete to accept the appointment. There will be some limbo time as Letitia works to compile the rosters
  • Once the rosters are compiled and sent out, your Chair will be in touch as will I to share training information

We still need to fill out our 2023 Election Slate, so if you have ever been interested in governance work please reach out to YALSA Past-President Kelly Czarnecki via email.

As President-Elect of YALSA, it is my role to make this year’s appointments. As I transitioned into my President-Elect role this summer, I observed what my fellow Board members were already noticing and sharing: we are experiencing a volunteer shortage.

At this time, I have completed the first round of our Book Award and Selected Lists appointments. Selected Lists volunteers have been contacted last week (11/28), and Book Award volunteers will be contacted next week (12/12). However, we still need the following positions filled as I have appointed everyone who has applied this year and we have no alternates:

If you are interested in any of these positions, please fill out our volunteer form and also please email me (President-elect, Colleen Seisser) with your interest as that will expedite the review of your application and ensure I have eyes on it. You must be a current YALSA member and you must not already have three ALA volunteer commitments.

Additionally, we are also looking for members for the Pura Belpré committee. For this committee you must be a current YALSA member, you must not already have three ALA volunteer commitments, and Committee members should possess a self-declared fluent reading knowledge of Spanish. If you are interested in serving on the Pura Belpré committee please email YALSA President Franklin Escobedo and President-Elect Colleen Seisser.

Finally, we do not have enough volunteers to complete our 2023 Election Slate. If you are interested in serving as YALSA President-Elect, Fiscal Officer, or a Board Director at Large, please email YALSA Past-President Kelly Czarnecki immediately. We are past due on our slate and only have two volunteers so far. Without a complete slate, we will not be able to govern effectively next year.

I hope to have more information to you in the coming weeks about short term strategies we are beginning to employ to deal with our current volunteer shortage.

Respectfully submitted by Colleen Seisser, YALSA President-Elect

Do you want to support a cause you care about? Giving Tuesday is the perfect opportunity! Created in response to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday is also a time for people around the world to support the organizations they love. This year, you can support YALSA by participating in the Virtual Silent Auction, or by simply making a donation 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.

The Virtual Silent Auction is open now! You can support YALSA’s work by bidding on items like signed books, virtual author visits and fun YALSA swag! The auction opened on Black Friday, November 25, 2022, and closes on Thursday, December 1, at 5:00pm central. All proceeds will go to the Friends of YALSA (FOY). Visit the auction site and see what’s available to bid on: YALSA Virtual Silent Auction 2022

If you aren’t interested in participating in the silent auction you can take advantage of the inspiration of Giving Tuesday to donate directly to Friends of YALSA with the donation button on the Silent Auction site. “Giving Tuesday was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good” and “is a global generosity movement that unleashes the power of radical generosity around the world” according to GivingTuesday.org. Donating to a cause that matters to you, like YALSA, is a powerful way to support others in the field and help ensure that the work YALSA does can continue! Please consider donating on Giving Tuesday!

Gail Tobin,
YALSA Financial Advancement Committee Chair

Check out the Winter 2022 edition of YALS, the award-winning official journal of the Young Adult Library Services Association. The current issue is available to subscribers and YALSA members on the association’s “Members Only” section on its website. Once at the members only section, you will have to log-in with your ALA account in order to access the content.

Post you photos to social media and tag yalsa#22. Show your post to a YALSA staff member at registration and you will receive a YALSA Pop keychain.

ALA IT will be performing scheduled maintenance to improve your member experience at ALA.org the weekend of November 4th.

Starting at 3pm (Central Time) on Friday, November 4th through Sunday, November 6th you will be unable to log into ALA websites to make purchases, post to the Connect community, or register for professional development. All publicly available content will be accessible during the maintenance window.

We expect all services to be fully restored no later than Monday, November 7th.

Click here to learn more about the maintenance work.

Additionally, ALA is hard at work upgrading the ALA website to the Drupal 9 Web Content Management System. ALA’s goal with this effort is to build a modern, accessible, world-class site that engages members and visitors alike. The update includes easier navigation of the website, better organization of information, and improvements for mobile users. It is a long process, and the hope is for it to be completed by November 2023. This update includes migrating the YALSA website as well. There are many pages and layers, and during the migration, you may notice some differences on YALSA pages. The migrations is happening layer by layer, and members should not lose access to website.

Please also note that there is a feedback link at the bottom of every YALSA page: https://www.ala.org/yalsa/feedback.  This will help the YALSA staff quickly identify the errors that need to be corrected as the site gets updated.