Get ready for the ALA and YALSA election! In order to be able to cast your vote for ALA and YALSA President-Elects and other candidates, you need to be a current member of ALA/YALSA as of 1/31/07. Many memberships expire on Dec. 31st of each year. If that is you and you want to vote, please be sure to renew by no later than Jan. 31st. You can renew online or call 800-545-2433 (press 5).

The election opens March 15 and closes April 24. Voting will take place online. If you prefer a paper ballot, call the ALA Member and Customer Service at 800-545-2433 (press 5) or e-mail membership@ala.org by March 2, 2007.

Here is the list of candidates for YALSA’s election:

Vice President/President-Elect
Sarah Cornish Debraski
Kevin Scanlon

Board of Directors
Jana Fine
Michele Gorman
Mary Hastler

Dawn Rutherford

2009 Margaret A. Edwards Award Committee
Carrie Bryniak
Steve Crowley
Kristine Mahood
Diane Monnier
Sharon Rawlins
Stephanie Squicciarini

2009 Michael L. Printz Award Committee
Elizabeth Burns
Donna Cook
Stacy Creel-Chavez
Alison Hendon
Celia Holm
Ellen Loughran
Karyn Silverman

J. Marin Younker

Thanks to the Nominating Committee for recruiting the slate of candidates, and thanks to the candidates for their willingness to give their time and talents to YALSA!
-Beth Yoke

From ALA’s Public Information Office:
Members may choose to vote by either a web or a paper ballot. Please make sure your membership and email address are current. All paid ALA members as of Jan. 31, 2007, are eligible to vote in the 2007 election. Polls will open on March 15, 2007.

To Vote Online:
To insure that member email records are accurate, ALA conducted email tests in October 2006. Members who change their email addresses prior to January 31, 2007, need to update their information by: 1) visiting www.ala.org/profile, or 2) calling 800-545-2433 (press 5), or 3) emailing Membership@ala.org (Please state on the Subject Line “update my e-mail address”). Members who do not have an email address at home or work, but wish to vote online may want to consider signing up for a free e-mail account from a service, such as Yahoo, Google, etc.

For 2007 elections, all web voters will receive ballots between March 15 and March 17, 2007, in a 48-hour e-mail blast. This will ensure that voters have ample time to cast their ballots.

To Vote Via Paper Ballot:
As in previous elections, this year there will continue to be an extended period between the first and last date for requesting a paper ballot (from October 3, 2006 to March 2, 2007) and the last date for returning the ballots (April 24, 2007, at 11:59 p.m. CST). Paper ballots will be sent to all paid ALA members as of Jan. 31, 2007, who do not have a valid e-mail address or who request a paper ballot prior to March 2, 2007, by calling 800-545-2433 (press 5) or sending an email to membership@ala.org. Paper ballot packages will be mailed between March 15 and March 22, 2007. To ensure international paper ballot packages are delivered in a timely manner, they will be mailed between March 13 and March 15, 2007.

The ALA election domain name is https://www.alavote.org. This name allows the election broadcast email “From” line to be: 2007election@alavote.org.
The 2007 ballot meets all applicable W3C accessibility standards and can be read by common screen readers for the disabled. This allows ALA’s visually impaired members to navigate Web sites by converting text and other visual symbols to audible speech.

To learn more about the election, please go here.
-Beth Yoke

The deadline to be considered by the ALA Nominations Committee as a possible candidate for the 2007 election is Friday, September 1. If you wish to be considered, please complete the form available at this site: https://cs.ala.org/potentialcandidates/

Remember that it is critical that YALSA be fully represented on Council. Please consider becoming involved in this capacity.

C. Allen Nichols
ALA Nominating Committee

Posted by Amy Alessio

Thank you YALSA Members! From the 15% of membership who voted in last year’s election, you have increased participation to 25%!

Thank you also for passing the dues increase! While that makes me especially happy as your Fiscal Officer, you all will be enjoying the new and regional opportunities we will now be able to support.

YALSA membership also voted to increase the nominating committee from 3 to 5 members and to establish Interest Groups. A few are already getting started, but if you have a group who want to form officially on a teen topic, check out the handbook for the procedure. (YALSA page, under About YALSA, then Handbook)

Speaking of the nominating committee – they strive to offer a slate each year of truly excellent people, which can make voting hard! Thank you to everyone who took a risk in front of their peers and agreed to run for positions which require large time commitments. Many of those people wrote all about themselves on this blog and in other ways for the past 7 months since they were approached before this election. From someone who went through this last year, the process can be nerve racking.

Both the winners and the others who were not chosen represent some of the hardest working and enthusiastic of our members. It is not uncommon in our organization for people who are not elected one year to be chosen in future years. It is certain that YALSA will continue to need their valuable contributions.

Hi! I’m Beth Gallaway, a new addition to the YALSA blogging team. I’ve been charged with blogging “about ALA from a YALSA perspective.” I’ve been a YALSA member since 1998, have served on a variety of committees, am an SUS trainer, blogged the last 3 conferences for PLA, and in case you didn’t know it, I’m into video games, currently conquering Guitar Hero.

So, today, March 16, marked the beginning of ALA’s online voting. On the ballots are changes to bylaws, as well as names for selecting our next slate of councilors, board members, and folks to serve on a variety of committees.

My login (ALA membership #) and a unique password were emailed to me with instructions. I went to https://www.alavote.org/2006/ and logged in easily.

I belong to both ALSC and YALSA, so I had 2 division ballots in addition to the main ALA ballot. On each ballot, candidate names had a button next to them, labeled “bio,” Clicking the button made a new window open, showing individual credentials: resume, publications, committee work, accomplishments, and often, a personal statement. Even the bylaw changes had bios that included the original language, the proposed change, and the board’s current stance on the issue. So, even if you feel you haven’t done your homework, you can become an informed voter on the spot.

It took me about 15 minutes to complete all three ballots. If you missed the names of Youth Division members running for ALA council at large, Beth Yoke sent them out on YALSA-L a few weeks ago. The following list is not an endorsement and provided for informational purposes; I leave it up to all of you to consider the implications of having the interests of ALSC and YALSA brought to the Big ALA table–or not.

Cassandra Barnett
Elizabeth (Beth) E. Bingham
Carolyn Brodie
Luann Cogliser
Heidi Dolamore
Eva Efron
Ann Dutton Ewbank

Nancy Fredericks
Carolyn P. Giambra
Dora T. Ho
Dennis J. LeLoup
Virginia (Ginny) Moore
Ria Newhouse
M.A. (Peg) Oettinger
Brenda Pruitt-Annisette
Ellen Riordan

Frances Roscello
Barbara Silverman
Clara Sitter
Margie Thomas
Nancy P. Zimmerman

As far as the issues go, increasing dues are perhaps the biggest one. Amy Alessio outlines the benefits of a YALSA dues increase in her post on March 14. The modest $10 that YALSA is asking for means giving up seeing one movie. Or two of those fancy coffee drinks. Or not buying one gaming magazine. 🙂 And the benefits will bring us an extra $50K, now that we’ve hit 5000 members! (Congrats by the way to Marybeth Gallant, a library teacher in Ashland MA, her library is a member of the region I work for as a library trainer/consultant for youth services).

Increases in ALA dues are on the ballot this year too, with a proposed increase of $10 a year each year for three years. American Librarians Online conducted a poll in January, querying members about the proposed increase and 87% of the 510 respondents voted NO even though it has been 10 years since the last dues increase, and the cost of doing business increases each year.

I know many of our salaries have stagnated in the past few years, and perhaps the amount wouldn’t hurt so much if there were payment plans (like the amount deducted periodically from our paychecks) or if all libraries were willing to pay for staff professional memberships, but we are fortunate that dues are low compared to other professional organizations, and that we get so much bang for our bucks. How much use do you get out of ALA publications? Booklists? Website? Grants? Support? Professional Development? What’s it really worth?

For more information about ALA dues increases, check out the following:
ALA Q& A: Dues Increase:
http://www.ala.org/ala/ourassociation/governingdocs/aheadto2010/qaduesincrease.htm

Executive Director Explains Need for Dues Increase:
http://www.ala.org/ala/alonline/selectedarticles/duesincrease.htm

2006 AL Direct Straw Poll Results
http://www.ala.org/ala/alonline/aldirecta/2006pollresults/2006polls.htm

Online voting continues through April 24, 2006. If you have trouble, help is only a call or email away: User Support: call 800-974-8099 or e-mail 2006electionhelp AT alavote DOT org – note that support is monitored only from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday – Friday (excluding April 14, 2005).

~posted by Beth Gallaway

Posted by Amy Alessio

The ballots will open in a few days, and hopefully readers have had a chance to look through all of the interviews and questions on the YALSA Election Blog. When you start voting, please remember to vote Yes for the YALSA Dues increase. A $10 difference in dues will make a huge impact in YALSA services.

Since our last dues increase in 1994, we have established the Michael L. Printz Award, expanded our lists of selected books and materials and created Teen Read Week. With this dues increase we will be able to do even more:

1. Expand Teen Read Week

2. Develop 3 new awards (audiobooks, first time YA author, outstanding achievement in YA librarianship)
3. Create and disseminate new selected lists (such as Teens Top Ten and Graphic Novels)
4. Provide expanded online resources and tools to help members do their job (CE opportunities, online communities, blogs, podcasting)
5. Develop a YA Literature Symposium

Posted by Amy Alessio:

This committee has to choose the best titles for Young Adults from 2007. When I see all the input in YALSA-BK about the winners each year, I am amazed that only 15% of YALSA members vote on the ballot. Now is your chance to meet the hard working folks who will be reading hundreds of titles on this committee.

Running on the spring ballot for the 2008 Printz Committee are: Julie Bartel, Janet Buttenweiser, Donna Cook, Elizabeth Elam, Walter Mayes, Lynn Rutan, Tricia Suellentrop and Cheryl Ward.

This blog gives them a chance to introduce themselves and let you know why you may want to vote for them.

Posted by Amy Alessio:

Members of the Margaret Edwards Committee award a YA author for lifetime achievement. Running for the 2008 award committee are: Chris Carlson, Ruth Cox Clark, Erin Downey-Howerton, Kimberley Hrivnak, Kimberly Paone and Kelly Vikstrom

This forum gives members a chance to get to know candidates before voting begins this month. Candidates will introduce themselves here and let readers know why you should choose them for this committee.

Posted by Amy Alessio:

Judy Nelson is getting ready to take on the job as YALSA President after the Annual Conference in June. She asked me to post this message for Allen & Paula:

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?

Where do you see YALSA in five years? (besides closing in on being the largest division of ALA)

Posted by Amy Alessio

YALSA Board members are involved in every aspect of our organization. This year we have a very qualified and interesting slate of candidates to choose from. This blog gives members a chance to get to know them better before voting. The candidates are Erin Helmrich, Don Kenney, Kim Patton and Mike Pawuk.

Board candidates are invited to tell blog readers a little about their background and qualifications and why they are running for YALSA Board.
Members are welcome to post follow up questions.