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

Thank you to all the YALSA members-some who are Chairs and committee or task force members that attended the virtual 2022 YALSA Virtual Winter meeting on Saturday January 15.

The agenda and documents -consent, discussion and information-can be found here. YALSA staff submit their reports and then various member positions within YALSA contribute theirs as well. The reports give insight as to the work the organization has done since July 1.

To recap the discussion items of the meeting-of which the board documents are also linked on the YALSA Board Agendas, Documents, and Minutes page. The Board approved the Chinese American Reading Lists proposed by the CALA/YALSA joint Taskforce. This will be an exciting enrichment to CALA’s 50th anniversary in March 2023! The Board is grateful for the work of the Committee in putting together this information. We also discussed proposed policy updates that were submitted from the Amazing Audiobooks and Quickpicks Committees. They worked on incorporating the YALSA EDI statement which is great! There are a few changes to be made to the documents for the Board to approve the changes. We’re grateful for the hard work that was put into these Board documents as well.

Our next Board Meeting will be at ALA Annual in Washington D.C.! (Registration opens in February!)

If you’re a YALSA member you’ve likely gotten the information through YALSA E-News or your email that the YALSA Board will be meeting this Saturday 1/15 for Board Meeting I and II. Please register via the information that you were sent and we look forward to having you in attendance!

If you’re not yet a member but want to attend the meeting, now is a great time to join today! It is a great space to see if you’re interested in taking a future role with governance. We will provide a recap here on the blog about what was discussed. The agenda is online here. There are several documents brought forth by the hardworking committees including suggested policy updates for Amazing Audiobooks and Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers. The Board will also be discussing developing reading lists featuring Chinese American writers/characters in order to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Chinese American Librarians Association.

Just a note that the YALSA Board has more flexibility of when to meet as you’ll notice we’re not meeting during LibLearnX which will take place the following weekend.

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

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

While I know many of you who have submitted applications to volunteer have been waiting with bated breath. As part of my duties as YALSA President-Elect is to make those appointments. Before I ran for President I had talked to several Past-Presidents about the process, which seemed very overwhelming and very difficult. Having to sort through lots of volunteer applications finding the right fit for each committee. However, the opposite has happened and after talking to the current president Kelly Czarnecki and past-president Amanda Barnhart over the past several years we’ve had fewer and fewer members volunteering. 

We the three Presidents of YALSA have seen that the pandemic has affected membership and staffing in all our libraries making it very difficult.  Since the beginning of the pandemic YALSA membership and ALA membership has declined.  Many libraries suffered budget cuts and we all have friends who lost their jobs or who have left the field all together.  Many of us who remained have had more duties assigned to them to cover the staffing shortages.  I myself found myself taking on another department besides the library when my City began cutting the budget.  Both Amanda and Kelly have had to seek out members to fill in unexpected vacancies on committees, taskforces, and juries due to members having to withdraw from serving because of the pandemic and job stress.

This has also delayed appointments since I’ve been trying to track down volunteers, with the help of the YALSA Office.  The other obstacles have been around for a while, but I feel that they often get forgotten or unless it’s affected you as a member you might know what those are.     

These are three obstacles that have been a challenge for making appointments or for volunteers able to commit:

ALA’s 3 Committee Rule: This rule is in place to ensure that ALA members who are in other Divisions or Roundtables are not over committing themselves. A lot of times members like myself will volunteer with a roundtable or another division, and with YALSA. Whichever group gets you first, once you are on three committees you won’t be able to serve on something else until that appointment ends. While you might be rolling off the committee before the term begins, this sometimes blocks us from appointing someone.  

YALSA’s 3 Year Cooling Off Period for Award Committees: This rule was instituted back in 2014 with the hopes of making the Award committees accessible to more of the membership. This also brought us into line with the other divisions who also have a cooling off period from serving award committees. However, with the lack of volunteers highly qualified members have been turned away from serving when we could use their expertise. I’m currently working on a proposal to shrink this down to two years.  

Conference Attendance: This has been one of the biggest barriers for many members who want to volunteer. The cost of attending a conference is large, especially for librarians who have to foot the bill. A lot of libraries are also still restricting travel for members. This past summer the YALSA Board voted to make the summer attendance virtual for the award committees. Which I had also thought covered the winter conference. There is currently a proposal under discussion by the board to make the winter attendance optional. This would allow members who want to attend the YMAs can go, but other committee members who cannot attend will not be obligated to attend. We’re hoping this will open volunteer opportunities for members who cannot attend the conference but want to lend their expertise. 

This last one is currently holding up the invitation to members who have volunteered for the Award Committees. We’re hoping to change the language of the invitation to reflect the change if passed. ALA considers the invitation a binding contract and we cannot change the language after the appointment has been accepted.  

I’m also still looking for volunteers to serve on the Quick Picks and Amazing Audio blogging teams. For those of you who have volunteered invitations should be going out soon.  

If you’re interested in serving on the blogging teams, please fill out the volunteer form: https://www.ala.org/yalsa/getinvolved/getinvolved .  

If you have questions just send me an email at: fescobedo@cityoflarkspur.org

Thank you again for volunteering. 

Franklin Escobedo
YALSA President-Elect 2021-2022

 

YALSA’s Board Development Committee has put together the following slate for the 2022 YALSA Election which the current YALSA Executive Board has approved. We’re excited to announce the following candidates:

President-Elect:
Yvette Garcia
Colleen Seisser
Secretary:
Joel Shoemaker
Directors-at-Large:
Josie Andrews
Matthew Layne
Melissa Malanuk
Carrie Sanders
Melanie Wachsmann
Thank you to the Board Development Committee for their work; Todd Krueger (Chair), Edith Campbell, Dora Ho, Karen Lemmons, and Sarah Sogigian. The election will be held mid-March through mid-April. For more election information, visit the Election FAQ page here. For questions, contact the Board Development Chair here.

I recently read a Tweet about how we went from October 1 to October 30th in three days. Though I could probably say that about most months! Glad to be here! I’m writing this post while the YALSA Symposium is kicking off. YALSA staff are arriving in Reno. I will be attending virtually and can’t wait for the recap from those that went in-person! So much work went into YALSA’s signature event!

  • One of the highlights for October was attending the ALA Legislative Summit on Saturday, October 16 led by ALA’s Office of Intellectual Freedom (OIF). Check out their site to remind yourself that you’re not alone when difficult situations might come up regarding challenges at your library or community. The YALSA Board Advocate, Stacey Shapiro and I attended this virtual session where we learned about OIF as a supportive and knowledgeable resource. Especially now with coordinated efforts regarding against Critical Race Theory as well as many LGBTQ+ materials. A draft of the Legislative Summit Toolkit-in-Development was shared, and will be disseminated when finished.
  • Met with researchers for an IMLS Grant with Michigan State University partnering with YALSA on AI literacy program in underserved communities. There will be a lot of information coming out for libraries to use! 
  • Appointed Board Secretary -Carrie Kausch. So glad that Carrie accepted the position! (According to the bylaws the President appoints positions in an emergency when they need to be filled). Carrie also serves as Liaison to the Teen Civic Engagement Taskforce and Core YALSA Toolkit Taskforce. 
  • Met with Kevin Strowder, Executive Director of ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services (ODLOS) along with Tammy Dillard-Steels, YALSA Executive Director. Wow-what a resource! Kevin even has a background with youth which is of course a plus! Expect to hear from him at an upcoming YALSA webinar! He is a wealth of information on YALSA continuing to move forward with making EDI part of our culture. 
  • Attended the ALA EDI Assembly along with Kelsey Ford, YALSA’s ALA Liaison. There were breakout rooms where we discussed ideas for key issues such as barriers to advancement/retention in the field for marginalized groups.
  • Put together a timeline for YALSA’s work with EDI based on Board Documents to start.
  • Appointed a YALSA Liaison to the ALA Chapter Relations Committee (CRC). Thank you Dana Fontaine!
  • Co-presented with Marie Harris on our publication with Rowman and Littlefield, Connecting Teens with Technology at the Library. Great representation of LIS Students present!
  • Interviewed a potential candidate for the Hub Manager position.
  • Attended parts of the BARC/F&A meeting (Budget Analysis and review Committee and Finance & Audit) along with Kate Denier, YALSA Fiscal Officer, and Tammy Dillard-Steels, YALSA Executive Director (+ many others!)
  • Connected with Board Liaisons and Chairs of various committees and Task Forces.A whirlwind for sure! Thank you to the members especially for supporting YALSA! Any questions or comments, feel free to post below or email: kellyczarnecki1@gmail.com.

 

 

 

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

Photo credit: “fall leaf” by JustyCinMD is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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

Greetings! We have another great volunteer opportunity for our members with the Chapter Relations Committee (CRC)! The YALSA Liaison would be asked to relay the information to the YALSA Board and members as appropriate. The first meeting is right around the corner-on Tuesday, October 5.

If you’re looking for ways to be more involved with YALSA and want to try something new-this might be just the right fit for you!

In terms of time commitment; the CRC usually meets between 2-4 times per year, depending on the Chair. The Committee always meets in the winter (for the formally Midwinter Meeting) and at the ALA Annual Conference in the summer.  The CRC will continue to meet virtually as long as ALA’s meetings and conferences are virtual. It is not necessarily required for the representative to attend, it is just held for YALSA’s member leaders to be able to relay pertinent information to the CRC.

If you are interested in representing YALSA, you are required to be a YALSA member and abide by the ALA policy of a three committee limit. Contact Letitia Smith, Membership and Marketing Manager, (lsmith@ala.org) if interested.

For additional background information on the purpose of the CRC: it is to develop and recognize Chapters (state library associations) as integral components of ALA; to encourage discussion, activities and programs that support the mutual interests of ALA and the Chapters; to advise when requested on proposals and actions of other ALA units that may affect Chapters; to provide a forum wherein Chapters can share ideas and concerns of common interest and identify common needs and goals; to communicate these Chapter needs and goals to ALA and ALA goals, programs and priorities to the Chapters; to encourage and maintain a cooperative and supportive relationship among ALA, its units, and the Chapters; to formulate and review periodically requirements for Chapter status; and to serve as an advisory committee to the Chapter Relations Office