Intellectual freedom, freedom to read, academic freedom. We’re all familiar with these phrases, and in so many ways, what we do as librarians and teachers is to protect the very principles of these phrases. Unfortunately, we are at a time in our history where it seems that we are not sure if we are winning battles but losing the war. Over 36 states have introduced bills that, in some way, censors language and/or curriculum and books that are used in classrooms. Political and parent groups are consistently challenging books that are used in school and public libraries and school curriculums. Citizens are even filing criminal complaints about books. Some librarians and teachers have faced this onslaught of challenges head on while others have heard horror stories and worry, even fear, that they will also face a reckoning of some sort. Through it all, however, librarians and teachers must consider what is best for students.
In this issue we want to consider what happens when we challenge intellectual freedom. This issue is open for articles that provide broad and specific discussions that address questions/topics such as (but not limited to):
What happens to our students when we censor the very materials that depict the lives that they lead, their homes, their families? Are they themselves being censored?
What constitutes truth? And, whose truth gets to have representation?
How does censoring cause further harm to marginalized groups?
Personal experiences of book and/or curriculum challenges
Proactive ways to get ahead of challenges?
Self-Censorship and the harm that it can cause
Teens who advocate for challenged books and curriculums
Events and programs that promote Banned Books Week
Please note that this is a volunteer opportunity with no monetary compensation. YALSA has the right to first refusal.
Teentober apparel is available! TeenTober™ is a nationwide celebration every October and aims 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. Check out YALSA’s Toolkit and web graphics here.
Do you want your voice to be heard on a national level regarding Teens and Teen Library Services? Do you want a leadership position within YALSA? You should consider putting your name on the 2023 slate for YALSA Board!
The Board Development Committee is looking for dedicated, committed volunteers with the skills and desire to run for several board positions: President-Elect,Director-at-Large (2), and Fiscal Officer.
The Board Development Committee is looking for the most qualified individuals and broad representation. This includes a commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion. As the YALSA Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Plan states: the vision for YALSA is to be a diverse, inclusive and equitable organization which flourishes on the exchange of ideas from different perspectives. We believe the diversity of viewpoints that comes from different life experiences, identities, cultural backgrounds, and more enables YALSA to better achieve its mission, through networking, advocacy, and professional development, the Young Adult Library Services Association empowers all those involved in the profession to provide equitable, diverse and inclusive teen services..
If you feel you have what it takes for one of these leadership roles, fill out the YALSA Governance Candidacy Form. The Board Development Committee reviews all the forms and looks for the best match of skills and background for the available positions.
If you have questions, please feel free to contact a member of the YALSA Board Development Committee; Amanda Rodriguez (firstname.lastname@example.org), Valerie Tagoe (email@example.com), Yolanda Hood (firstname.lastname@example.org), Carla Land (email@example.com), Jennifer Korn (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Kelly Czarnecki (email@example.com).
We are currently looking to fill openings on our Juries and Task Forces. If you are interested in volunteering, just fill out our YALSA Volunteer Form. Be sure to have some information ready for things like what skills and professional experiences that can speak to your volunteer interests.
Here’s a walk through on how to best fill out the volunteer form for YALSA
In the first page under the bolded section” Please select the group for which you want to volunteer and click the “Continue” button” Be sure to drop down the box and select YALSA.
Next, you see a page for all the different volunteer opportunities for YALSA by type. When you are looking at these lists, you can click on the link to find out the description and workload for that opportunity.
After you have reviewed the opportunities that you are interested in, the next page will show you if you have already filled out the form, and what you are still currently have an application on file for. Then below that it will show another list of opportunities that you can apply for now. Select the ones that you are most interested in. You will have to select one to continue with the form.
If you have an application on file for something that you are interested in, notify President-Elect Colleen Seisser that you have an application on file and that you want to volunteer again for that same opportunity
The last steps of the application process are on the next page:
You will need to let us know if you are planning on attending any upcoming conferences. No problem if you aren’t as most of our opportunities do not require conference attendance.
You will have to list any current ALA/YALSA that you are currently participating in. Unfortunately there is a participation rule for ALA where you cannot be serving in more than three volunteer commitments at one time.
The remaining questions that follow will tell us more about you and help make sure that we do our best to appoint you to the opportunity that best fits your skills.
Then you just review the information you provided and hit submit. Then you can email President-Elect, Colleen Seisser letting her know that you just applied and what opportunities you are most interested in. Many organizations, including YALSA, are experiencing a shortage of volunteers, and YALSA does not want to miss an opportunity to match you with the opportunity you are most passionate about!
YALSA’s Teen Top Ten voting is now open. Please sharethis linkwith your Teens to vote for their top 5 books.
The Teens’ Top Ten is a “teen choice” list, where teens nominate and choose their favorite books of the previous year! Nominators are members of teen book groups in fifteen school and public libraries around the country. Nominations are posted on the Thursday of National Library Week, and teens across the country vote on their favorite titles each year. Readers ages twelve to eighteen will vote online between August 15 – October 15 here on the Teens’ Top Ten site.
Volunteering for YALSA is easy and it will provide you with valuable professional development. We are currently looking for volunteers for…
Juries, Short term commitments for 3 months. Work begins in October/November. These are great opportunities to give back to YALSA as most of the work is reviewing applications for member awards! It’s very fulfilling, completely virtual work that has such a huge impact for someone. These are the juries we are looking for volunteers for now:
Collection Development Grant
Conference Travel Scholarship
Great Books Giveaway
Joann Lum Memorial Grant
Regina U. Minudri Young Adult Scholarship
Task Forces, Short term commitment, usually 6 months or less
Annual Conference & Marketing (6 months, starting January 1)
Great for Illinois/Chicago residents, but not required
LibLearnX Marketing & Local Arrangements (6 months, starting September 1)
Great for Louisiana/New Orleans residents, but not required
National Library Legislative Day (6 months, starting December 1)
Symposium Planning Task force (7 months, starting December 1)
Teen Programming HQ Task Force (6 months, starting September 1)
Board development committee, 1 year
Completely virtual committee
Click here for more information about the Board Development Committee
YALSA members-you showed up! Attending conference during a pandemic and for me-as President-you definitely feel all the things! It is the members though that showed up for the YALSA Mixer at Busboys and Poets (thank you YOUmedia and Learning Times), the small group conversations we held at YALSA 301 to talk about the possibilities of involvement in governance, the thoughtful and provoking educational presentations by members and the well-attended Coffee Klatch on early Sunday morning that brought the energy to such an enormous event!
It’s a lot to process and for the nervous system in general when many of us may have been taking a pause from large scale events for a bit. But before we put our nose to the grind again or sit behind that reference desk or whatever shape our job may take us in this week I’d also encourage you not to hesitate. Did you exchange cards with someone that you made a connection with in YALSA? Did Franklin Escobedo, incoming YALSA President, share some volunteer opportunities that you are thinking about? Are you scrolling through photos and remember how they made you feel -like you might want to do it all again (hello upcoming Symposium in Baltimore!). Don’t hesitate-just do it. Get your morning coffee (if that’s your habit) and register, sign up, send that email! If you didn’t go to conference. . . maybe you’re still curious! Like us on socials, check out our site, and reach out!
As the last blog post as your President, I also wanted to share some of the items the Board discussed at meetings this conference. Thank you to the Evaluating Volunteer Resources Task Force for your recommendations on helping YALSA align with our EDI Plan. For Board members who brought forth a document on making the member grant and scholarship applications a more fair and equitable process. This input was directly from members which shapes YALSA and in turn give us resources to better serve teens. A comprehensive agenda and documents can be found here. Minutes will be posted soon.
A huge thank you to YALSA staff as well for continuing to support our work and ‘make the magic happen.’ The information that is put online, the sponsors at our conference sessions, the membership process, the swag, the budget. . . . .all YALSA staff. Thank you LaMoya, Letitia, Carla, Ninah and Rachel!
I look forward to continuing to serve members as Immediate Past President and the incoming Board and President Escobedo where I’m needed!
What a wild and wonderful year!
Any questions or comments, feel free to email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kelly Czarnecki (she/her) YALSA President 2021-2022 Photo credit: Taken by Kelly Czarnecki
The 2022 ALA Annual Conference is just around the corner and after two years of virtual participation, we are excited to see so many YALSA members and library staff in person again. YALSA has several events and program offerings scheduled at the conference and YALSA 301 will be available for in person attendees on Saturday, June 25 11a-12p EDT in WCC room 102A.* (A virtual event for YALSA 301 is in the works.) YALSA 301 shares information about opportunities for YALSA members and others participating in work related to libraries and/or serving teens to engage with YALSA on a deeper level.
There are many ways to level up your skills through YALSA engagement opportunities. Possibilities include serving as a YALSA Board fellow, holding a YALSA Board officer position, chairing an inter-divisional awards committee, or liaising with other ALA divisions and professional associations. At YALSA 301 you can explore these and other opportunities, talk with people who are currently serving in these roles to gain a first-hand perspective, and see which of these might be a good fit for you.
We hope you are able to join us for YALSA 301! If you have any questions about the event, about leveling up your YALSA engagement, or YALSA in general, please don’t hesitate to respond. Likewise, if you cannot attend YALSA 301 but are interested in these opportunities, reach out to any of the Board Development Committee members!
It’s been a tough month for many reasons. I hope you’re taking care of yourself and able to find some time to rest and recharge if that is what is calling for you.
Here are some of the highlights from May:
-May has been a busy month for YALSA. We’re planning for Annual of course; working with the Board Development and Division of Membership Promotion to create YALSA 301 and 101 where you’ll learn more how to get involved. I’ve been meeting with my Presidential TaskForce all year to prepare for our program on Monday of conference. For more information on YALSA at ALA Annual, visit here.
-We also held our first YALSA Membership Forum since sharing the Strategic Plan with members earlier this year. We anticipate having the forums on a more regular basis. Thank you for all that were able to attend. The meeting was recorded, so if you were unable to make it, you’ll get to watch the replay.
-Membership has steadily increased each month! We are currently around 3400 of total members! Welcome everyone-we’re so glad you’re here!
-Met with ALA Continuing Education and YALSA ED to continue planning future YALSA CE offerings
-Appointed a Board rep for the ALA EDI Assembly for next term (Thank you Liz!)
-I worked with our YALSA Spectrum Scholars to include a quote from their experiences and will include in my end of year report.
-Connected those YALSA members that have stipend positions with the Executive Director so they’re ready for attending Annual.
-I shared applications for the YALSA ALA Liaison with the YALSA President-Elect and Immediate Past President.
-Attended a meeting with other Division leads (ED and President) to be informed of the recommendations TAG (Transforming ALA Governance) is presenting to Council at Annual.
Any questions or comments, feel free to email: email@example.com.
Kelly Czarnecki (she/her) YALSA President 2021-2022