Get ready to vote in this year’s YALSA election! To help you make informed decisions, we’re sharing interviews with each of the 2020 YALSA Governance candidates. Voting will take place from March 9 through April 1. To help you further prepare for the election, be sure to check out a sample ballot!

The President-Elect serves a three-year term — first as the President-Elect, then as the President during the second year, and finally as the Immediate Past President during the third year. The President-Elect is a member of the Executive Committee alongside the President, Immediate Past President, Division Councilor, Fiscal Officer, Secretary, and Executive Director. The Executive Committee works with its ALA counterpart to build ties between the two organizations and helps with the fiscal oversight of YALSA.  A full description of the President-Elect’s duties and responsibilities can be found here .You can learn more about ALA elections here.

Name and current position: Franklin Escobedo, Library Director of the Larkspur Library

What best qualifies you for being President-Elect?
I have been an active member of YALSA for the past twelve years. Serving on committees, juries, selection lists, the Printz Award committee, and serving three years on the YALSA Board. Before running for the Board, I really wanted to learn about our association, and over this time I have seen the association grow and change. While our association has changed in many ways, it’s still focused on serving and supporting our members. 

What do you see as the primary role of the YALSA Board?
I still believe the primary role of the YALSA Board is to speak for the membership. Part of the role is to help guide the association to develop resources and services for our members and those working with teens on a daily basis. The Board’s role is also to oversee the financial health of the association to assist the Executive Director in making decisions that ensure the continued viability of YALSA.

How would you embed the concept of “teens first” in the work of the board?
The concept of “teens first” has been around for few years now. As librarians, it’s a parallel to outcome-based programming. For every decision we make about programming, readers advisory, and professional development, “teens first” is the ultimate outcome. How will the decision impact the teens we serve and how do the decisions we make empower the teens we serve?

What is the most pressing issue facing YALSA today?
The most pressing issue is the same one facing ALA itself: member retention. The association cannot work without the support of its members. For many members, we’re paying our own dues without the support of the libraries we work for. YALSA needs to continue to innovate and create resources that our members can use to develop their careers.  

What would be the most exciting aspect of this position? The most challenging?  
The most exciting part for me is the opportunity to lead YALSA and to help guide the future of our association. When I first became involved in YALSA, I was the YALSA liaison for the GLBT-RT (now the Rainbow Roundtable). I did this for four years early in my career. As an observer of the Board, it was always hard to hold back when issues were being debated and decisions were being made. As a member of the Board while serving as Secretary, it was exciting being able to be part of the decision-making process. I loved this part of the work. The most challenging part is anticipating the future and the future needs of our teens. While many of us are currently at home due to the ongoing health crisis, I worry about the immediate future. How can we continue to provide robust services to teens through the online environment and how do we reach teens in the age of information overload? What resources and tools can we provide to our members to help them work with teens via online resources? 

What else would you like voters to know about you?
While I may be a Library Director now, I began my career as a Young Adult Services Librarian. As I always remind colleagues that have moved up in their organizations, we still work with teens. We have the opportunity to help shape the library and library services that impact teens by developing a library-wide “teens first” attitude.

What are you reading? What are you watching?
I’m currently reading a few books: Docile by K.Z Szpara, The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson, and The King of Crows by Libba Bray. I’ve just started watching Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker. I’m loving it!

Hi everyone,

As we continue to adjust our lives to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, I wanted to send a short message of assurance that YALSA continues to support its members during this unprecedented crisis. Our mission states that we support library staff in alleviating challenges that teens face, and this may be the greatest challenge of our time. COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the United States, and as testing ramps up, it is a foregone conclusion that many, many more cases will be diagnosed in the coming days and weeks. Healthy teens and young people, thankfully, seem to be able to weather the virus themselves, but as we know, they also have a tendency to feel invincible. Young people sometimes do not realize the consequences of their actions; in this case, unknowingly spreading the virus throughout the community and to those who are immunocompromised, along with the elderly. These are two populations that have not had the same rate of success dealing with the lethal strain. If you are in communication with teens, please encourage them to stay at home with their families or guardians as they are able. Community spread must be tempered to prevent the virus from wreaking havoc with our lives.

Your YALSA virtual volunteer work is always appreciated; however, during this difficult time, we understand that committee, task force, and/or jury work has taken a backseat to your daily life. While there may be an opportunity to get things done, as many of us now have unexpected “downtime”, the YALSA Board and YALSA staff understand that not every volunteer has the same amount of time or mental energy to devote to these projects. We will continue to assess previously stated deadlines and goals as the days go on.

If you haven’t yet, please read the message from ALA Executive Director Tracie D. Hall about the ALA response to COVID-19, and check out the #LibrariesRespond information on the ALA site, which also addresses the xenophobia that sadly has already become associated with this outbreak.

The CDC has provided resources to deal with manage anxiety and stress as we work through this uncharted territory. Keeping yourself healthy and uncompromised is of paramount importance.

Something to consider, depending on your current work and life schedule: if you haven’t cast your ALA/YALSA ballot yet, this may be a good chance to do so. Virtual ballots arrived to your email on file with ALA last Monday through Wednesday, March 9-11. The election ends April 1, 2020, at 11:59pm. If you have not received an ALA ballot for the spring election, contact the ALA office for more information.

Edited to add, 12:15pm March 17, 2020: The ALA Executive Board has just released a statement, encouraging all libraries to be closed to the public.

Thank you as always for the work you do for and with teens, and please, stay safe and healthy.

Todd Krueger, YALSA President 2019-2020 | Twitter: @toddbcpl

YALSA leadership hosted a candidates forum on Friday, March 6 to hear from ALA President-Elect candidates Patty Wong and Steven Yates, along with candidates for YALSA offices, including President-Elect, Fiscal Officer, and Directors at Large.

ALA President-Elect Candidates

Steven Yates www.voteyatesala.com 

Steven is Assistant Director of the School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Alabama. He previously was a school and public librarian. Steven shared his vision for the library community to harness the power of positive passion and ACTT (Advocacy, Cultural competency, Training, and Transparency).

Patty Wong www.votepattywong.com

Patty is city librarian at Santa Monica Public Library. She began her career as a youth librarian and has served 30+ years at public libraries in California. Patty highlighted the need for transparency during this time of change at ALA, changing demographics and equitable access and services, as well as the library community coming together to leverage our influence.

Following the candidates’ brief statements, Steven and Patty answered questions posed by forum attendees. Discussion touched upon resilience of the organization and ability to attract younger membership, SCOE and the proposal to combine youth divisions, as well as advocating for longterm federal funding for libraries.

Next, candidates for YALSA offices introduced themselves and fielded attendee questions.

YALSA President-Elect  Candidates
  • Franklin Escobedo
  • Kelly Czarnecki
Fiscal Officer

Kate Denier

Directors at Large
  • Susannah Goldstein
  • Dawn McMillan
  • Joel Shoemaker (not in attendance)

Click here for a video recording of the forum. View the sample ballot.

The polls for the 2020 ALA election will open at 9:00 a.m. CT on Monday, March 9. Polls will remain open through Wednesday, April 1 at 11:59 p.m. CT.  Check your email for voting URL and information.

YALSA’s Board Development Committee has assembled the following slate for the 2020 YALSA Election:

President-Elect
Franklin Escobedo
Kelly Czarnecki

Fiscal Officer
Kate Denier

Directors at Large
Susannah Goldstein
Dawn McMillan
Joel Shoemaker

To run on the slate as a petition candidate, members can submit a petition form between now and Nov. 4, 2019, via the eForm available in YALSA’s Handbook. Please note that you must first log into your ALA account in order to access the form. Find out more at Election FAQ. Learn more at www.ala.org/yalsa/workingwithyalsa/election. Please direct any questions to the Board Development Committee chair, Sandra Hughes-Hassell.

YALSA is excited to announce its 2019 election results. The following individuals have been elected:

President-Elect
Amanda Barnhart

Secretary
Josie Watanabe

Fiscal Officer
Jane Gov

Board of Directors
Trixie Dantis
Karen Lemmons
Ryan Eduardo Moniz
Charli Osborne
Valerie Tagoe

To learn more about YALSA elections or governance, please visit www.ala.org/yalsa/workingwithyalsa/governance.

Get ready to vote in this year’s YALSA election! To help you make informed decisions, we’re sharing interviews with each of the 2019 YALSA Governance candidates. Voting will take place from Monday, March 11 through Wednesday, April 3. To help you further prepare for the election, be sure to check out the recording of our YALSA Candidates’ Forum from March 7th!

The YALSA Fiscal Officer shall be an elected member of the YALSA Board, shall serve a one-year term of office and shall also serve on the YALSA Executive Committee. The primary responsibility of the Fiscal Officer is to work with the Board, Financial Advancement Committee and Executive Director to ensure the fiscal health of the association through proper financial oversight so that there are adequate resources for the organization to fulfill its mission. The Executive Committee works with its ALA counterpart to build ties between the two organizations and helps with the fiscal oversight of YALSA.  A full description of the Fiscal Officer’s duties and responsibilities can be found here. You can learn more about ALA elections here.

Name and current position: Jane Gov – Youth Services Librarian – Pasadena Public Library

What best qualifies you for being Fiscal Officer?
I have been an active YALSA member since joining ALA as a student in 2009. I was formerly the Financial Advancement Committee (FAC) Chair. As FAC Chair, I worked closely with the Fiscal Officer to meet fundraising goals. The committee provides oversight and enhancement of the Friends of YALSA program–particularly in fundraising promotion and donor recognition to support member awards, grants, and scholarships.
I am currently serving as a YALSA Board Member-at-Large–a role I’ve held since finishing my term as FAC Chair two years ago, so I understand the commitment being a board member requires.

Why did you decide to run for a YALSA office? What excites you about serving on YALSA Board?
Being on the YALSA Board has built my confidence in advocacy and drives me to do things I never thought of doing before—such as presenting and sharing my teen services knowledge to other professionals, writing to congressional representatives, taking advocacy leadership roles in my local community, and applying for funding. Being on the YALSA Board makes me a better librarian, a more informed advocate, and a more skilled mentor to teens. I would also like to make an impact on YALSA’s next Organizational Plan and am excited about transitioning from the current Plan.

What do you see as the primary role of the YALSA Board?
Although the primary role of a board member is to set policy (not necessarily carry out policies), the creation of the strategies to carry out the policies will drive the mission of YALSA. Ideally, the board develops techniques that are not only feasible and in the best interests of our members, but is also fiscally appropriate, aligns with the mission, and puts teens first.

How do you envision working with the YALSA Board to further the mission of YALSA?
As a board member, I envision finding solutions to implement strategies, strengthening my critical lens in the process, and asking how can we do better and what do members need. As Fiscal Officer, I envision my role is to work with the Board, staff, other division fiscal officers, and Financial Advancement Committee to ensure fiscal health and to keep the Board abreast of fiscal developments within ALA and other divisions.

What areas of YALSA’s Strategic Plan do you think you can best contribute to? Why?
I’ve served on all three of the Standing Board Committees; each Board Committee oversees a major strategic goal: Funding & Partnerships, Advocacy, Transforming Teen Services. As Fiscal Officer and former FAC Chair, I would best contribute to Funding and Partnerships since the primary responsibility is to work with the Executive Board to ensure the fiscal health of the organization.

What is the most pressing issue facing YALSA today?
Like many organizations, member engagement is the most pressing issue for YALSA. In order to sustain the Organizational Plan, keep YALSA relevant, and ensure fiscal health, member engagement should be strong. This means making strides to cultivate diverse relationships and retain the interest of those who serve teens in any capacity through or with a library.

If elected, how will you help YALSA members (in their daily work, in their careers, other)?
I’m passionate about member engagement and have some ideas in how YALSA can improve in this area. Local engagement is valuable in connecting with members’ daily work and communities.
Since assuming the role of teen librarian at Pasadena Public Library in California about five years ago, I’ve significantly revamped our volunteer program and community partnerships, increased teen program attendance by 220%, and doubled teen program offerings. Additionally, the teen volunteers are staying longer and are more engaged in our library and community services. These successes were partly due to my involvement with YALSA and YALSA resources. I hope to engage members to enrich and improve teen services and help them with challenges they face in their careers.

What else would you like voters to know about you?
The cast of my background is wide, so I try to make all decisions with thoughts of how various levels of teen advocates will view it, and how these decisions can sustain the organization. I truly believe in YALSA’s mission and that the support, resources, and services provided are crucial for library staff.

Proposed YALSA By-Law Change

On the 2019 ballot, YALSA members will see a proposed by-law change:

To amend the YALSA Bylaw, Article V, Board of Directors Sec. 1 by changing the number of Directors‐at‐Large from seven to six and to add an Advocacy Member.

 

The section will now read:
The Board of Directors shall be composed of the President, President‐elect, the Immediate Past President, seven six Directors‐at‐Large, the Fiscal Officer, the Secretary, and the Division‐Elected YALSA Councilor. The Executive Director, the Board Fellow, the Advocacy Member and the chairs of the Strategic Planning, Financial Advancement and Organization & Bylaws Committees serve ex officio (without vote).

Why are we asking for this by-laws change?

  • This change was embraced by the Board as part of the 2015 – 2016 strategic planning process, and is included in the first-year Implementation Plan. It is also part of the current
    2018-19 Implementation Plan.
  • The inclusion of advocates to the Board who work beyond the library teen services space can bring a unique perspective and help broaden the organization’s outlook on serving youth.
  • A more diverse Board can strengthen its capacity by bringing in relevant skills or knowledge from beyond the library community.
  • By including advocates on the Board, YALSA is modeling the behavior it wants members to adopt at the local level in terms of reaching out into the community to forge partnerships that increase their ability to meet teen needs.
  • The viability of this idea has been demonstrated by the recruitment of Kathy Ishizuka to the 2017 slate and her subsequent election to the Board and service.
  • A three year commitment may not be ideal for this type of position, so adding the Advocacy Member position as an “ex-officio” position allows for the greatest flexibility.
  • An outcome of this position would be a mutually beneficial partnership where there is a sharing of knowledge, experiences, and support for both partners to grow together.

To learn more about the backgroung that led to this change, see the following:
2017 Midwinter Conference Board Document #27, “Broadening the Board’s Composition”

2016 Annual Conference Board Document #4, “Organizational Plan Potential Bylaws Impact”

Dealing with Disruption and Competition to the Association Industry

Other 2019 ALA Election Resources

Looking for help learning more about ALA Council candidate info? Andromeda Yelton has provided a quick and easy site to extract information about each candidate’s unit membership: ALA Council Candidate Sorter 2019 . This is especially helpful, if you’re interested in seeing which candidates for Council are also YALSA members as you can filter them accordingly on this site.

Please also refer to recent YALSA Blog posts for all 2019 YALSA Canditiate Interviews:

Get ready to vote in this year’s YALSA election! To help you make informed decisions, we’re sharing interviews with each of the 2019 YALSA Governance candidates. Voting will take place from Monday, March 11 through Wednesday, April 3. To help you further prepare for the election, be sure to check out the YALSA Candidates’ Forum on March 7th!

The President-Elect serves a three-year term — first as the President-Elect, then as the President during the second year, and finally as the Immediate Past President during the third year. The President-Elect is a member of the Executive Committee alongside the President, Immediate Past President, Division Councilor, Fiscal Officer, Secretary, and Executive Director. The Executive Committee works with its ALA counterpart to build ties between the two organizations and helps with the fiscal oversight of YALSA.  A full description of the President-Elect’s duties and responsibilities can be found here.You can learn more about ALA elections here.

Name and current position: Amanda Barnhart – North East Branch Manager – Kansas City Public Library

What best qualifies you for being President-elect?
I believe my two year experience as the YALSA liaison best qualifies me for the role of President-elect. My service in this capacity has provided me with an insight into the functions of eleven ALA groups and has impressed upon me the importance of collaboration to accomplish varying goals. In this role, I have contributed to such activities as developing the form for reporting on liaison conference activities and participating in ALA working groups to update six documents for the upcoming Intellectual Freedom manual (10th ed.). In addition to supporting the eleven ALA groups, I have solicited input from them on our initiatives and shared our work. All of these efforts require staying abreast of YALSA board work and sharing information in a timely manner to YALSA leadership, the YALSA membership, and the ALA groups by phone, email, e-lists, the YALSA e-newsletter, the YALSAblog, and ALA Connect. It also requires attendance for the related conference calls, virtual meetings and in-person conference meetings scheduled by these ALA groups. Also, I have served on YALSA committees for the Advancing Diversity Task Force (6 month term), Organization and Bylaws (1 year term), and Teen Read Week (2 year chair term and 2 year member term). Your vote for me would be supporting an individual who is knowledgeable on current YALSA board work and has experience in connecting YALSA’s accomplishments to ALA groups.

How do you envision furthering the mission of YALSA as the President-elect?
I would continue to support the furthering of collaboration with partners. My effort invested towards building stronger ties to the ALA groups demonstrated the importance of working together to increase our impact.

What are some ways that being a member of the YALSA Board can help you serve as an even better connector to helping libraries become thriving learning environments for/with teens?
I have fifteen years of experience in library services and programs for and with teens, nine of which I was a library support staff member. In addition, my role shifted into branch management this past year where I support staff in our work and in the concept that “We All Serve Youth.” We can best serve our teen populations when everyone has a hand in contributing towards that goal and those combined efforts enrich the opportunities we provide for continuous learning in libraries.

What about YALSA’s Organizational Plan excites you most and why?
Knowing that the current YALSA 3-year organizational plan will be reinvisioned and aligned with the strategic plan that the board is working on, I am most excited to see a new organizational plan that continues to emphasize the importance of diversity, but further incorporates equity and inclusion into its focus. YALSA’s new Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) plan supports the development of continued conversation and education in these areas as well as provides opportunities for greater action, evaluation and accountability for activities around these concepts. The work we put into increasing our knowledge around EDI will strengthen our efforts in library services for and with teens. I am also eager to continue to see our work impacting continuing education opportunities for all library staff. At every level of my career I have found YALSA resources to benefit my work and community’s needs and in my latest managerial role I continue to take a cue from YALSA’s Recommended Actions for Stakeholders, which can be found in the resource Transforming Library Services For and With Teens Through Continuing Education.

How would you embed the concept of “teens first” in the work of the board?
The “teens first” mindset provides a wholistic approach in supporting the youth in our communities and this foundation is crucial in reaching some of our most vulnerable teen populations. These two words are the core of who we are and what we do and I would continue to articulate this emphasis throughout the membership.

Why should YALSA members choose you to be a member of the board of directors?
I committed myself to supporting teens in libraries for many years, even before I realized I wanted to continue to do so as a career choice. It is with pride that I run for office and pledge my service to YALSA in this role for an organization that has created numerous resources that guide my work. I thank you for your time in reading my comments and in participating in this next electoral process.

Get ready to vote in this year’s YALSA election! To help you make informed decisions, we’re sharing interviews with each of the 2019 YALSA Governance candidates. Voting will take place from Monday, March 11 through Wednesday, April 3. To help you further prepare for the election, be sure to check out the YALSA Candidates’ Forum on March 7th!

Serving three-year terms, YALSA Board Members-at-Large are responsible for jointly determining YALSA’s current and future programs, policies, and serving as liaisons to YALSA’s committees, juries, taskforces and advisory boards. Members work year-round, and attend in-person meetings at ALA’s Midwinter and Annual Conferences. A full description of Board duties and responsibilities can be found here. You can learn more about ALA elections here.

Name and current position: My name is Charli Osborne and I’m the Youth Services Coordinator at Southfield Public Library, which is in an inner ring suburb of Detroit, Michigan.

What best qualifies you for being Board Member-at-Large?
As an inveterate volunteer, I’ve been an active member of YALSA for more than twenty years. In that time I have served on numerous process and award committees – everything from Organization and Bylaws to the Volunteer Award Jury to the Printz Award Committee, so I am familiar with the organization, its mission and its goals. This past year I was honored to serve as the chair of the Morris Award Committee. I temper my organizational experience with twenty-two years of public library service focused on youth and teens.

How do you envision furthering the mission of YALSA as Board Member-at-Large?
Not every library is supportive of staff that work with teens and youth, or of teens in general. My real world experience working within my library, my library cooperative, my state library association and YALSA help me to be an effective advocate for teens and the library staff that serve, encourage and mentor them. I believe that experience is an asset to further the mission of YALSA.

What are some ways that being a member of the YALSA Board can help you serve as an even better connector to helping libraries become thriving learning environments for/with teens?
I want to help teens become the best they can be – the best students, the best members of their community, the best people. Part of that is allowing them the freedom to suggest and to fail, to dream and to attempt. Not everyone is going to win the first time, or every time, or even any time, but providing the space and opportunities for our teens to become the humans they are meant to be is one of the things that is most fulfilling to me, personally as well as professionally. Having the library be the space that helps those things happen? That is the heart of it all. Being a YALSA Board member would help me to serve teens in a larger than my own community way.

How would you embed the concept of “teens first” in the work of the board?
I have a standard teens first concept, in both my library and my work with YALSA. At my library, we are constantly looking for ways to tie the library into the greater world at large, by working within our library community and by bringing our teens’ experiences and knowledge in to help expand library services. My advocacy for teens led me to gather statistics and lead focus groups to justify and create one of three fully staffed Teen Areas (at the time) in the state of Michigan. I helped create the strategic plan for my first library and made sure that teens’ voices were heard in that planning.

Why should YALSA members choose you to be a member of the board of directors?
I believe librarianship is a service profession. Those services don’t stop in that in-between age when children age out of youth programs before they become adults. I’ve always been an advocate for teens and their rights, including teen specific spaces and services in the library. Bottom line is that I want teens to succeed and become well-rounded individuals with a taste for reading and a love for the public library. That’s why I am a public librarian and belong to YALSA. Working on the Board would give me a first-hand chance to help further the goal of teen service by helping other librarians to also foster those values.

Get ready to vote in this year’s YALSA election! To help you make informed decisions, we’re sharing interviews with each of the 2019 YALSA Governance candidates. Voting will take place from Monday, March 11 through Wednesday, April 3. To help you further prepare for the election, be sure to check out the YALSA Candidates’ Forum on March 7th!

Serving three-year terms, YALSA Board Members-at-Large are responsible for jointly determining YALSA’s current and future programs, policies, and serving as liaisons to YALSA’s committees, juries, taskforces and advisory boards. Members work year-round, and attend in-person meetings at ALA’s Midwinter and Annual Conferences. A full description of Board duties and responsibilities can be found here. You can learn more about ALA elections here.

Name and current position: Karen Lemmons, Library Media Specialist, Detroit School of Arts

What best qualifies you for being Board Member-at-Large?
My relationship with teens that I teach and serve at my school; my committee work with the other youth divisions; previous offices I held in AASL, CSK Book Awards Committee and BCALA.

How do you envision furthering the mission of YALSA as Board Member-at-Large?
I envision furthering the mission of YALSA by continuing to help teens with the resources they need to become productive and successful.

What are some ways that being a member of the YALSA Board can help you serve as an even better connector to helping libraries become thriving learning environments for/with teens?
Contribute to and implement  YALSA action plans; work with local community partners and organizations; advocate the need for libraries with supporting data and reports.

How would you embed the concept of “teens first” in the work of the board?
I would embed the concept of “teens first’ in the work of the board by speaking for teens who are underrepresented and disenfranchised.

Why should YALSA members choose you to be a member of the board of directors?
YALSA members should choose me to be a member of the board of directors because I care about teens and their well-being.  i’m a hard worker, committed and dedicated to service.