I am please to share the following YALSA President’s Program at ALA Annual 2024 in San Diego. A reminder that the session will begin with a YALSA Membership meeting at 10:30 am. Makes sure to mark your calendars, or add it to your conference schedule via the scheduler app now live. I look forward to connecting with any of you that will be attending the conference!

ALA Annual 2024 logo

YALSA’s President Program: Teen Activists and the Freedom to Read

About: Learn how teens have successfully engaged with and activated their communities around the freedom to read. This moderated panel discussion will feature teen advocates and address book banning, censorship, and how they engaged in civic leadership and built coalitions in the face of challenges. The panel will be preceded by a YALSA Membership meeting from 10:30-11am. It will take place at ALA Annual in San Diego. All are welcome!

Date/time: Monday, July 1st from 10:30a.m.-12:00p.m.

Panelists:

Teen Activist: Nationally Recognized: Da’Taeveyon Daniels

Teen Activist: Midwest: Meghana Nakkanti

Teen Activist Group: California, Golden State Readers: Gianna Goodman-Bhyat, Anais Lee, Mirabelle Lee, and Elizabeth Goldman

Respectfully submitted by Colleen Seisser, YALSA President

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!

Thank you,

Kelly

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
Photo credit: Taken by Kelly Czarnecki

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: kellyczarnecki1@gmail.com.

2020-2021 YALSA President-Elect Kelly Czarnecki

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

Photo credit: spring by promanex is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

The 2022 co-sponsored ALA/USBBY program will be held at the American Library Association’s Annual Conference on Sunday, June 26, 2022, in Washington D.C., from 1-2 pm. The program is titled “Celebrate Indigenous Storytelling: Books from across the Northern Border and will be held in the Washington Convention Center, Room 149A-B. Save the program now in the online Conference Scheduler

Program Description: Join the United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY) as we celebrate indigenous storytelling! Hear from Inuit author Monica Ittusardjuat, as well as the co-founding authors of Inhabit Media, an Inuit-owned, independent Canadian publishing company. USBBY, an affiliate of ALA, serves as the U.S. National Section of the International Board on Books for Young People, which was founded to promote international understanding and good will through books for children and adolescents.

Authors:

Are you a member of USBBY? A diverse group, USBBY members join together to celebrate and promote international literature for children and young adults. The membership of USBBY includes authors and illustrators, publishers and editors, critics and translators, booksellers, social workers, teachers, university professors and students, librarians and parents. Membership in USBBY is open to anyone interested in its mission and starts at the individual basic rate of $50/year. Once a member, we’d love to have you volunteer to serve on one of our award, selection, or service committees! 

USBBY is governed by a Board of Directors that includes an elected Executive Committee and twelve Directors (four elected and eight appointed), who represent the USBBY membership as well as USBBY´s patron organizations: Children´s Book Council (CBC), the American Library Association (ALA), the International Literacy Association (formerly IRA), and the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

This year your ALA Appointed Directors to the USBBY Board are Sarah Hill (YALSA) and Sara Kelly Johns (AASL).

We are all different, and that’s okay.  I say this statement out loud at minimum once a month, usually when confronted with the unsavory news about banned and challenged books, book burnings, etc.; activities that are, at best, seriously misguided attempts to protect young minds from being exposed to topics deemed to be above their maturity level. The empath in me is always seeking to fully understand and walk in the proverbial shoes of someone else. However, the more I peruse the list of challenged titles, the more confused I become. Our country is a gumbo of cultures enhanced by the lived experiences and traditions of diverse people whose uniqueness adds flavor to our Americanness.  Just as there is no such thing as a one ingredient recipe, neither should there be the promotion and elevation of one singular story. To say that there is not room for more than one type of story is to belie this country’s composition. Yet, somehow, in an increasingly diverse society, books featuring BIPOC and LBGTQ characters and authors continue to be targeted for such efforts.

Children and teens need to see themselves, their family structure and their communities reflected back to them in books. I won’t belabor the importance of access to materials that are windows, mirrors and/or sliding doors to their worlds and those that are different from them. However, there is an urgency in continuing this charge. To the librarians in school and public libraries, I salute you for your work in standing firm in the face of serious opposition and working to create a more inclusive and just world one book at a time, one child at a time.  Your work is instrumental in normalizing and honoring differences without “othering” and a testament to the ways our differences make for a better collective. 

The AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee on School/Public Library Cooperation has been hard at work on a resource list that will hopefully make our jobs easier in the face of so much uncertainty. Keep an eye out; it should be coming very soon!

Tamela Chambers is a branch manager at the Chicago Public Library and a member of the AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee on School/Public Library Cooperation.

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

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

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

The Rolling Stones performed a live concert in my town last month (September). The night before they played, Mick Jagger was captured in a photo standing outside a local (and quirky!) establishment completely unnoticed. The photo actually made national news because he looks so unassuming. Hiding in plain sight.  (Note-the photo in this post is not the photo discussed!) It made me think-if you were hanging out at the park with your pet, shopping for groceries down the street, or out to eat somewhere-which author would cause you to change expression if you saw them and recognized them? Jason Reynolds? Jacqueline Woodson? David Levithan? What about a YALSA member or a potential YALSA member? Those rock stars in their own right who’ve won a scholarship? Put together a program you’ve admired? Presented at a conference in a way that made you feel seen? We never know who we’re crossing paths with all the time but the potential for something-a connection, recognition-is always there.  That’s a bit how I felt with all the great interactions (albeit virtual) I’ve had with members in September. In addition to meeting regularly with the YALSA Executive Director, Board and Executive Board I also:

    • Made an appointment of  YALSA representative to the PLA Committee on Family Engagement
    • Appointed a Director-At-Large position to fill a gap on the YALSA Board
    • Speaking of rock stars – sent a request for a memorial resolution to YALSA’s ALA Liaison for Teri Lesesne
    • Responded to Board Liaisons regarding August Quarterly Chair reports
    • Appointed YALSA Liaison to ALA EDI Assembly
    • Participated with YALSA Staff in the ALA Virtual Volunteer Fair
    • Held first meeting of Implementing the President’s Theme Task Force (still seeking members!)
    • Connected with 2021 YALSA Spectrum Scholar, Cordiah Hayes
    • Along with Tammy Dillard-Steels, YALSA Executive Director, shared the YALSA 2022-2025 Strategic Plan with members and potential members (link coming soon!) in webinar format
    • Issued a statement supporting the selections from YALSA’s Great Graphic Novels for Teens list
    • Met with AASL President Jennisen Lucas
    • Appointed a YALSA representative with ALA for USBBY
    • Put a call out to members for participating on the Teen Programming HQ Advisory Board
    • Took a virtual tour of Reno with Carla Jamison, YALSA Program Officer, and representatives from the Nevada area (public, university library, etc.) for the YALSA Symposium (super excited!) in November

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

 

2020-2021 YALSA President-Elect Kelly Czarnecki

 

 

 

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

Photo credit: “Silhouette at a Sigur Ros Concert” by Tom Olliver