Judy Nelson submitted written questions to Rod Hersberger. Here are his responses:
1. Please tell us a few ways in which you think division contributions are integral to the success of ALA financially.

a. Divisions pay overhead (indirect costs) on certain activities and programs.

b. Division publishing activities support ALA.
c. Division staff are also ALA staff and contribute to other ALA programs, but the division pays the salaries.

2. At times, it is hard to plan our programs and initiatives, as we are dependant on information from other departments within ALA. How would you help facilitate reporting and communication between departments such as PIO or Publishing and the divisions they work with?

a. The first approach, naturally, is for your Executive Director to try to obtain more timely information. If these kinds of issues cannot be handled within the ALA organizational structure, there may be serious, underlying problems that need to be escalated up the chain of command.
b. For financial difficulties, you can ask your BARC liaison and the ALA accounting staff for assistance.
c. As Treasurer, I would want to be sure other avenues have been exhausted before trying to intervene. I would take only the most serious of problems to the ALA Executive Director.

3. What are some ways that ALA can reach outside of the library community to bring new revenues and initiatives to our organization and to divisions?

a. I would look for partnerships with vendors of youth life style products such as sports gear and apparel, skate boarding apparel and so forth.

b. Also, I think all the various makers of video games have a responsibility to youth to promote literacy, reading and learning, since their products compete with reading.

Don’t forget to vote! Polls open March 15th. For more information go to the ALA 2007 Election page.
-Beth Yoke

Judy Nelson submitted written questions to the candidate for ALA Treasurer, Jo Ann Pinder. The questions and her responses are provided below.

1.Please tell us a few ways in which you think division contributions are integral to the success of ALA financially.
Many members only join ALA so that they can join a division.
Divisional national conferences provide revenue to ALA in the form of new members and overhead from profits.
The work of the Divisions is more closely related to the practicing librarian. This practical information shows in a very tangible way why ALA membership is beneficial.
I have been active in 3 ALA Divisions, serving as president and councilor of one. I understand the needs of the divisions and their importance to the success of ALA. As ALA Treasurer, I will bring this experience and perspective to the office. The strength of ‘big ALA’ comes from its Divisions.

2. At times, it is hard to plan our programs and initiatives as we are dependant on information from other departments within ALA. How would you help facilitate reporting and communication between departments such as PIO or Publishing and the divisions they work with?

This is a staff issue and one out of the direct purview of the elected officers. But, as a member of the Executive Board I would make issues of this nature known to the Executive Director and facilitate the communication needed to solve the problem.
3. What are some ways that ALA can reach outside of the library community to bring new revenues and initiatives to our organization and to divisions?
Good question. Looking for ways to increase revenue makes the accomplishment of our mission easier. The fundraising of ALA has greatly increased since I became active in the association. But these funds are not always what the Divisions need or want. More focus needs to be placed on division needs for the dollars gained. In order to do this, the divisions need more of a say in ‘big ALA’ work. Before we spend the time and energy on outside sources, we need to examine how we can make better use of our existing revenue. There are some ways that we can make better use of our dollars. (While every political candidate talks about ‘cutting the fat’, as an active member of ALA, I have seen first hand areas where we can be more cost-effective.)
That said — looking to natural partners and grant sources in a systemic way in coordination with all of ALA interests in mind, should be done.

Don’t for get to vote! Polls open March 15th. For more information visit ALA’s 2007 Election page.

-Beth Yoke

At the 2007 Midwinter Meeting candidate for ALA President-Elect, Nancy Davenport, visited YALSA’s Board of Directors. Here is a summary of what she had to say:

For her presidency she would encourage members to think about library as place. In Nancy’s opinion, libraries should be everywhere—even in people’s kitchens. Libraries should extend themselves and collaborate and create connections (create connections is her theme). She feels ALA really needs to find librarians to work with young people because there’s a shortage. According to Nancy, ALA hasn’t done recruitment fairs—she thinks ALA should do them as a part of national conferences. She mentioned she went to YALSA’s Gaming Night at the Midwinter Meeting, and feels it’s important to listen to youth and find out what they want from libraries. She talked about DC Public libraries and working with them to increase programming for teens—she worked to get money from the mayor to stay open later and do teen programming.

The Board asked Nancy three questions. Here is how she responded. Please note, these responses are paraphrased here. They are not exact quotes.

What do you feel the divisions’ relationship is with ALA?
Nancy felt that the divisions are getting richer and the association was getting poorer.

How would you ensure that the youth divisions would be equitably represented on ALA committees? There are 3 different youth divisions, but ALA often treats them as one entity.

Nancy said that each division brings a different perspective and that each voice should be represented at the table. She would do it by “inviting you to the table.”

Can you tell us about a time when your supported library service to teens?
She said that she has worked to help the school librarians as a parent. As interim director of library services at DC Public, she created a safe place for teens. She has hired teens to work in libraries as a means of luring other teens to the library.

The ALA/YALSA Election begins March 15th. Don’t forget to vote! Go to the 2007 Election page to learn more.
-Beth Yoke

At the 2007 Midwinter Meeting candidate for ALA President-Elect, Jim Rettig, visited YALSA’s Board of Directors. Here is a summary of what he had to say:
Jim opened by saying that he admired what YA librarians do and talked about the importance of keeping teens engaged. He mentioned the importance of legislative advocacy and ALA’s role in that. He felt that ALA does a great job of defending intellectual freedom issues. In Jim’s opinion ALA has a couple of long term challenges: 1) lack of diversity in the profession and the high attrition rate for librarians under 35. ALA needs to engage the youth and minorities by finding new ways of participation for members. Committees shouldn’t be the only method for participation. Wants to collaborate with state and other library groups on the diversity issue. 2) ALA-APA: Jim wants a fiscally sound ALA-APA so it is able to better advocate for salaries and expand its certification program.

The Board asked Jim three questions. Here is how he responded. Please note, these responses are paraphrased here. They are not exact quotes.
Can you please elaborate on a statement you made in a meeting one of our Board members attended where you said that divisions are a drain on ALA?
Jim responded by saying that he never made such a comment. Jim mentioned that the terms of the Operating Agreement weren’t being followed. He said some divisions have become wealthy, but at the same time that ALA has not. According to Jim, divisions are the “profit-center” of ALA.

How would you ensure that the youth divisions would be equitably represented on ALA committees? There are 3 different youth divisions, but ALA often treats them as one entity.
Jim responded by saying he would rely heavily on the division vice-presidents to put forward good names for committee appointments.

Can you tell us about a time when your supported library service to teens?
Jim said that he sent a letter to the editor of his local paper on the filtering issue when CIPA was being challenged. He said teenagers needed a way to get sensitive information and that it is important not to put barriers in their way to accessing information.

The ALA/YALSA election polls open March 15th. Don’t forget to vote! Go to the 2007 Election page for more information.
-Beth Yoke

The 2009 Michael L. Printz Award Committee is charged to select from the previous year’s publications the best young adult book (“best” being defined solely in terms of literary merit). Now is your chance to meet the hard working folks who want to spend the next year reading, and rereading, and rereading, and taking extensive notes on hundreds of titles competing for this prestigious award.

Running on the spring ballot for the 2009 Printz Committee are: Elizabeth A.Burns, Donna S. Cook, Stacy L. Creel-Chavez, Alison M. Hendon, Celia Holm, Ellen Loughran, Karyn Silverman, and J. Marin Younker.

Candidates:

  1. Please introduce yourself.
  2. Tell us what experience has prepared you for the challenge of selecting the best book of the year based on literary merit.
  3. And, give us one YA title, published in 1998 or before, that you think would have made an excellent Printz Award Winner if the award had been in existence then. Hmmm….

Thanks!
Cindy Dobrez
2007 Michael L. Printz Award Chair

Kevin & Sarah:

Thanks for all your great answers to the many questions posted so far! Just a few more:

What advice would you offer a Director for supporting someone wanting to work with YALSA? If Directors cannot afford to send staff to conferences, what are other ideas for encouraging staff to be involved in YALSA? Can you offer any examples – current or any time during your career, when your Director or administration was particularly helpful in supporting your involvement in YALSA?

And speaking of conferences and involvement, this brings me to a question current YALSA President, Judy Nelson, asked last year’s Presidential candidates:

Now that you’ve decided to commit yourself to YALSA for the next three years, what won’t you be doing in your spare time?

Hi Sarah & Kevin:

Here are a few more questions for you:

Spreading the word about YALSA and library service to teens is an important task for the Division President. What training or mentoring have you done to spread the YA word to other professionals? Who has mentored or made a difference in your professional life?

YALSA is lucky to have members with a very wide variety of backgrounds and experiences, including brand new members and long-term members. What services do you feel YALSA provides that are particularly valuable for new members? Long-term members? What are your ideas for reaching those groups of members?

And finally, just for fun, what are some of your favorite YA books, authors and/or movies?

Posted by Paula Brehm-Heeger

Kevin & Sarah, here are a few technology related questions, including one from Past-President Pam Spencer Holley:

What’s your favorite emerging technology and how do you see that kind of technology impacting service to teens in the future?

How should YALSA address the training issues related to teen services librarians and new technologies in a sustainable, ongoing way?

Past-President Pam Spencer Holley asks:

One aspect of the YALSA Presidency that caught me by surprise was the great amount of time that must be spent responding to YALSA matters. You’ll find that you’re communicating to individual members, committees, and even the entire division, and it’s one of your most important tasks.

Making the best use of your time, and the technology that’s available, how do you see yourself communicating with YALSA members and committees?

Posted by Paula Brehm-Heeger:

Thanks to Sarah and Kevin for their answers to the first set of questions! Here are a few more to help YALSA members get to know both of you a bit better:

Why are you running for YALSA President?

Talk about your experience serving teens, including in your current position. Tell us about a favorite teen-focused or teen-created project or program you helped develop while working directly with teens. Why was/is it your favorite?

What are your interests outside of library work?

There are supportive leaders.

In ALA, many decisions are made within the ALA council, and YALSA would like to invite you to share your voice as a Councilor at Large. All you need to be an ideal candidate is passion and time, as well as 25 signatures of support from fellow ALA members.

The deadline for completing the forms is January 30, 2007. A hard copy must be completed and sent to:

Keith Michael Fiels, Executive Director
American Library Association, 50 East Huron Street
Chicago, IL 60611

You can complete the biographical information out at the ALA website

If you have any questions contact Beth Yoke (byoke at ala.org) or Lois Ann Gregory-Wood, ALA council Secretary at lgregory at ala.org or 1-800-545-2433 ext. 3204