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.

Are you planning on going to ALA Annual in June 2022? Would you like to write about your experience for YALSAblog? We’d love to feature you as a guest blogger! 

As a reminder, YALSAblog posts are typically 500-750 words. We ask that bloggers link to YALSA information when relevant – there are some guidelines on the blog that might help you out herehere, and here

And here’s an example of what these ALA Annual recap posts look like: https://yalsa.ala.org/blog/2018/07/05/ala-2018-annual-recap-from-a-first-time-attendee/ 

Feel free to reach out to Kelly Czarnecki l if you’d like to write a post about ALA Annual, or if you have any questions about deadlines.

This is a guest blog post from the 2021-2022 AASL/ALSC/YALSA School & Public Library Cooperation Committee.

It’s that magical time of year. Flowers are blooming, the sun is shining, and Summer Reading planning is in full swing! This is the time of year when I get to work most closely with my school librarian colleagues. I am a Family Services librarian in a suburban public library. I’m lucky to be in a town that really loves its libraries, both public and school. We get to see kids after school all year, and we hear a lot about the fabulous author visits and book recs that their school librarians bring to them. We plan programs and recommend reading to build on the learning that happens at school, and the school librarians likewise guide students to further develop learning they’ve started in public library programs. Summer, of course, is different. That daily exchange of learning changes shape, as school days transform into summer camp days and engagement in our public library’s Summer Reading program. Still, even without physically entering their schools, families’ connections to their school libraries remain strong. The biggest question that we get over the summer is, “What do the schools say that we should read?”

What a child should read is always a tricky question to answer. Our school librarians and reading specialists fully agree with my Family Services team that children should read books that interest them, not simply books that fall at a particular reading level. Yet “What do the schools say that we should read?” expresses a lot of valid concerns, which should not be brushed off with a simple, “Read whatever you like!” There’s the question, “What should we read to be ready for class next year?” of course. There’s also, “I miss my fabulous school librarian. What would they recommend?” School, and the school library, is so central to students’ lives all year—it’s only logical that we should do what we can to celebrate that connection and keep it strong over the summer!

To make the transition to Summer Reading as seamless as possible this year, my school librarian colleagues and I started meeting in March to plan a joint Summer Reading list. We’re working together to create online and print book lists, centered around a guide to text complexities that the schools share with parents. We’ll all throw in the books that we know our students love, along with new favorites. We will ensure that the public library owns every book on the recommended reading lists so that access will be easy for families. We will also build information about our public library’s Summer Reading activities and theme—and even some thematic recs!—into the Summer Reading guide that the schools distribute. The schools will provide guidance for parents to create thematic text sets for their kids over the summer, and all of our Family Services team will be ready to help families in this endeavor. Our Family Services team will visit every school for a Summer Reading kickoff assembly in June. All of the schools’ Summer Reading info will include links to our public library’s webpage, and our webpage will link to the schools’ lists. We’ll bring a little of the schools into the public library for the summer (including the best-loved books of all the kids’ favorite school librarians!), and the schools will welcome us into their classrooms as the year winds down. “What do the schools say that we should read?” Exactly what your public library says you should! And a marvelous variety it is! 

Rebecca Fox is the Assistant Manager of Family Services at New Canaan Library. When she’s not at the library, you can find her curled up with a book or a crossword, or crafting goofy bead animals. You can reach Rebecca at rfox@newcanaanlibrary.org. 

The ‘School-Pub’ Update

Last year, the AASL/ALSC/YALSA School & Public Library Cooperation Committee was charged with developing an informational list of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) resources and brainstorming ways to ensure the resources remain relevant and up to date. The committee is pleased to announce it has presented the ‘Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Resource Exchange for ALA Youth Divisions (AASL, ALSC, YALSA)’ to the three divisional presidents and now await guidance on where it will be hosted. On behalf of last year’s committee chair and myself, I thank all of our committee members for their hard work and insight in developing this document. 

Our committee now looks forward to working on our next charge: constructing some strategies for how our youth services libraries can all work together in the face of the current climate of book challenges. 

Jodi Silverman is the Youth Services Department Supervisor of the North Plainfield branch of the Somerset County Library System of New Jersey. She is a 2020-2021 ALA Emerging Leader and the 2021-2022 Chair of the AASL/ALSC/YALSA School & Public Library Cooperation Committee. When not designing escape rooms for teens, you can find her playing MMOs and running virtual karaoke get-togethers. You can reach Jodi at jsilverman@sclibnj.org.

We’re currently looking for volunteers to serve on YALSA strategic committees and task forces.  What’s a strategic committee?  These are all the committees that help move our association forward. They include both a year commitment or less.  This is a list of the current volunteer opportunities:  

AASL/ALSC/YALSA Committee on School & Public Library Cooperation: This joint committee will identify, develop, promote and disseminate information on effective cooperative or collaborative projects that link schools and public libraries.

Division & Membership Promotion: Help spread the word about YALSA and welcome our new members! 

Editorial Advisory Board (for YALS & the YALSAblog): To serve as advisor to the co-chairs of the Advisory Board, the editor of YALS and the YALSAblog Member Manager, on the overall content of the journal and blog. To take an active role in determining content for both publications and an annual editorial calendar that identifies timely topics as well as authors for articles and blog posts.

Education Advisory Committee/Board :  The role of the Education Advisory Committee is to assist with providing appropriate and timely topics for continuing education offerings to the Executive Director and Program Officer for Continuing Education and Development and to identify qualified individuals to facilitate continuing education sessions.

Financial Advancement: This is the committee that helps supports YALSA mission by fundraising.  The part of the work is writing thank you notes to members who have donated.  They also help raise money through silent auctions at conference and at the symposium.  One year we had shot glasses!  

Hub Advisory Board: The Hub Advisory Board participates in the development and maintenance of the Hub and follows the guidelines for the site as set out by the YALSA Board of Directors. The Advisory Board also serves in an advisory capacity to the Member Manager of the site and assists with the collection of content for the site, generates ideas for content, works on getting teen and library staff input and feedback, facilitates marketing and PR as needed, and writes for the site as needed.  

Organization & Bylaws: To periodically review the Bylaws and, when necessary, to recommend revision and amendment to improve them for the effective management of the Division, for the achievement of its stated objectives, and to keep them in harmony with ALA Constitution and Bylaws; to study and review committee functions, recommending changes in committee structure; to regularly review and when necessary recommend and draft revision of content for the YALSA Handbook; and to make recommendations on other appropriate policy and process matters.  The O&B Committee will be instrumental in the coming year as we begin to implement our new strategic plan.

Research:  To stimulate, encourage, guide, and direct the research needs of the field of young adult library services, and to regularly compile abstracts, disseminate research findings, update YALSA’s National Research Agenda as needed.

Research Journal Advisory Board: Oversee the peer reviewing process as outlined in the Refereeing Process Guidelines as approved by the YALSA Board of Directors.  The JRLYA Board also serves in an advisory capacity to the Member Editor of the journal by assisting with the solicitation of contributors and articles as well as generating ideas for topical articles or themes, when requested from the Member Editor

Teens’ Top Ten: To facilitate the exchange of information and galleys of books published within the current and previous publishing years among the voting teen group members as well as the non-voting members; to annually prepare the “Teens’ Top 10” list for Teen Read Week; and to coordinate the public electronic vote. To assist with the collection and vetting of applications from libraries who wish to host an official reading group.

Teen Programming HQ Taskforce: This is a new taskforce that will assist the Teen Programming HQ manager find and assist with putting teen programs into the HQ. 

Social Media Marketing Committee:  I chaired the taskforce prior to this became a committee, if you are a social media maverick at your library this is the committee for you!  The mission is to help promote and share the work of our selection lists and awards though various social media platforms, i.e., twitter, Instagram, Facebook.  

Teen Civic Engagement Committee:  To create resources, training, and events that support members in centering engaging diverse teen voices and elevating the issues that are important to them; to highlight all aspects of civic engagement programming, with a special focus on teens being heard, counted, and active during elections; explore partnership opportunities with other ALA divisions or groups to develop trainings, toolkits, or other resources.

CALA YALSA Joint Taskforce:  This is a very exciting new task force: To determine a booklist to highlight and promote Chinese American creators and characters to commemorate the 50th anniversary of CALA. To select titles for the list in conjunction with ALSC (to begin work in February 2022). To provide recommendations to the board for review. To make changes as necessary depending on feedback from the YALSA Board. 

President’s Program Planning Taskforce:  This last one is for me.  When I go from President-Elect to President, this task force will help me shape my theme and eventual program for Annual 2023 in Chicago.  This is from the charge of the task force: To provide support, guidance and advice to the YALSA President in the implementation of their theme.  Activities may include working with the President to review Organizational and Implementation Plans to develop and coordinate appropriate theme-related goals, activities, and initiatives.

If you have questions about the committees or task forces feel free to email the chair of each group, you can find their contact info here

Any other questions don’t hesitate to email me.  You can fill out the volunteer form here.  

I look forward to working with you! 

Franklin Escobedo
President-Elect 2021-2022
fescobedo@cityoflarkspur.org
Follow me on twitter: @adrithian

Do you have in-depth knowledge of a disability related topic?  Are you the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) expert at your library?  Are you a person with a disability or a disability rights ally who wants to share your knowledge?  Let’s talk!

The Accessibility Assembly is looking for volunteers to help us update the Library Accessibility Toolkits: What You Need to Know, ALA’s seminal resource on library access for patrons and staff with disabilities.  These toolkits are the front line resource for libraries on accessibility issues.  They provide information and resources for both patrons and staff.

If you are interested or just want to find out more, please respond directly to Lauren Kehoe at lsk221@nyu.edu

The first months of 2022 have flown by and registration for ALA’s Annual Conference has begun.  We are still looking for volunteers who live in the DC area to help with Local Arrangements and Marketing.   It’s a short volunteer term so it’s not too lengthy.  Volunteers will assist during the conference and what better way to meet other YALSA members in your area if you don’t know them already!  I know from personal experience its always nice to meet members in their hometowns, since you have the knowledge of the best places to eat and see! 

Here is the description of the task force: 

Annual Conference Marketing & Local Arrangements Taskforce – Washington DC

  • To plan and implement YALSA local arrangements activities in close cooperation with YALSA’s Program Officer for Conferences & Events, including assisting on-site with logistics for YALSA programs.
  • To work with YALSA’s Communications Specialist prior to the conference to create and disseminate online marketing materials that promote YALSA’s presence at the ALA Annual Conference. 

Committee members are expected to attend Annual. 5 – 7 virtual members including the chair. Term: 6 Months, January 1 to June 30 

And it’s March, so it’s really only 3 months now!  

If your interested in volunteering please contact Letitia Smith lsmith@ala.org or myself Franklin Escobedo fescobedo@cityoflarkspur.org 

I’ll see you too in DC!

Franklin Escobedo
YALSA President-Elect 2021-2022

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

We’ve begun planning for the next Young Adult Symposium which will be held in Baltimore! We’re nlooking for volunteers who live in the Baltimore area for the YA Symposium Local Arrangements Committee as well as volunteers for the YA Symposium Planning and Marketing Taskforce. Taskforce members can live anywhere in the country.

Here are the details about the committee and taskforce.

YA Symposium Local Arrangements Taskforce:
To work with YALSA’s Program Officer prior to the conference to identify venues for and plan YALSA activities in Baltimore, such as city tours and dine-arounds.  Support the Symposium on-site by introducing speakers, moderating panels, assisting with setting up for special events, welcoming attendees, and more. Committee size: 5 to 7 members including the chair.  Term: January 1 through
November 30.  Size:  5 to 7 members; members conduct planning virtually but are expected to attend the Symposium.

YA Symposium Planning and Marketing Taskforce:
To assist YALSA’s Program Officer with the planning and marketing of the conference, including vetting papers and proposals, vetting scholarship applications, assisting the Program Officer with identifying authors and keynote speakers, and leveraging social media tools to promote the event and scholarship
opportunities, and more. Members will regularly share content via social media and through their state and local networks to build excitement for and share information about the event. Members will work with YALSA’s Communications Specialist to assist with the implementation of a marketing plan. Size: 5 to
7 virtual members, including the chair. Term: January 1 through November 30

To sign up, fill out the volunteer form here: https://www.ala.org/yalsa/getinvolved/getinvolved (click on the Committee Volunteer form under sign up). Don’t forget you’ll need to log into the ALA website to complete the form.

If you have questions feel free to email me.

Franklin Escobedo
YALSA President-Elect 2021-2022
fescobedo@cityoflarkspur.org