YALSA’s Program Committee is looking for your input! Our committee coordinates YALSA’s member webinars and evaluates conference program proposals, and we want to know what you need and prioritize in your continuing education; what topics would be most helpful and what experience levels are you looking for. Please take a moment to complete our short survey. Thank you!

SURVEY LINK: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LJPHR9R

YALSA is currently looking for volunteers for the YALSA Programming Committee. This committee was formerly named our Education Advisory Committee.

Our current Education Advisory Committee has done great things things this year by offering members a wealth of education opportunities like “Information Safety, Identity Protection and Anti-doxxing Measures for Librarians” and “Preparing Yourself for YA Book Challenges”.

This year the YALSA Board has voted and passed a change to the EAC charge that will allow for the committee to be YALSA’s programming jury, or they will vet all submitted programs to YALSA whether for webinars or for conferences. This is a change from what is currently happening where conference program submissions are vetted through various groups. Changing to having one committee jury our program submissions aligns with ALA and bring us to a standard that other divisions practice.

Here’s the change to the charge:

Current Education Advisory Committee Charge:
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.

New YALSA Programming Committee Charge:
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. To serve as the division program jury for Annual Conference and the YA Symposium using the ALA Program Rubric. This includes vetting papers and proposals for YALSA Conferences. Assisting members in finding partners for LibLearnX programming.
Committee Term: 1-year term starting in July. Task force size: 5- 7 virtual members, plus a chair.

If you are interested in volunteering for YALSA’s Programming Committee, which will begin work on July 1, 2023, please complete YALSA’s Volunteer form using this link: https://www.ala.org/CFApps/volunteer/form.cfm 

As you fill out the nomination form, please refer to my post from last fall: How to Fill Out YALSA’s Volunteer Form.  Please email me (President-elect, Colleen Seisser) with your interest as that will expedite the review of your application and ensure I have eyes on it. You must be a current YALSA member and you must not already have three ALA volunteer commitments.

Respectfully submitted by Colleen Seisser, YALSA President-Elect

Hello Friends!

Do you ever feel like you want to represent YALSA and the awesomeness of being a teen librarian? You are pretty great after all! Some say that being a teen librarian is like being a bright, shiny unicorn, but how can you convey that to everyone? (Aside from surrounding yourself 2pm-6pm with teenagers…) Did you know that YALSA has merch now?

yalsa | ALA Graphics Gift Shop (alagraphics-gift-shop.myspreadshop.com)

Throw on a YALSA T-shirt or a Teentober shirt and let everyone know that you are a teen whisperer, here to advocate for teenagers in the library! Or get a pin for your bag. They say “Do what you love, love what you do…at the library!” and let’s be honest, that sentiment is true for librarians AND teens, so maybe check your budget and pick some up as Teentober prizes! Or if you have a favorite teen who likes pins, let them know! (I know, we don’t “have favorites”, but also yes we do.)

Times are hard right now, and sometimes supporting an organization by giving money can seem like a big commitment, but supporting an organization and getting a T-shirt or a pin? Well then! On behalf of the Financial Advancement Committee, I hope you’ll consider it!

Respectfully summitted by Amber Loveless, Financial Advancement Committee

This is a late response but very much welcomed.  Here is our last interview with members of the current YALSA Board.  Ever wanted to get to know the YALSA Board of Directors more? Here’s your chance!

Photo of Ex-Officio, Gail Tobin, Financial Advancement Committee Chair of the Board of Directors
Gail Tobin, Ex-officio FAC Chair

Name: Gail Tobin

Title & Library: Hanover Park Branch Manager, Schaumburg Township District Library

Role on the Board: Ex-Officio, Financial Advancement Committee Chair

Year on the Board: 1st year (although I was a past Board member back in 2009-2014)

What does YALSA mean to me?

GT: YALSA is where I started in ALA. The Division has always been on the front-line advocating for and supporting teens in libraries and those who work with them. I have met so many smart, talented people and learned a lot from them over the years.

What are your hopes for the future of teen services?

GT: I hope teen services will continue to be a core service for libraries across the nation, and libraries will be a safe space for teens to be themselves, learn, and have fun.

What is your favorite YALSA Committee or Committee that would love to be on again?

GT: I’ve been on so many process and award committees over the years that it’s hard to choose just one. I particularly liked the book committees – Great Graphic Novels, Morris, Edwards – because I got to read (and re-read) and discuss so many wonderful authors, and they made me read (and like!) some I would never have picked up on my own. And I got to work with and become friends with amazing people on those committees.

What’s your ultimate comfort food?

GT: My mom’s spaghetti with meat sauce. Every time I make it I can’t get enough. And cheese – any kind of cheese!

What TV show or Movie do you watch on repeat? Or a book that you love reading when you’re in between new books?

GT: I don’t have a single favorite, but there are a few I’ll watch on over and over if they come on, like Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings or Star Trek and ok, Chronicles of Riddick.

What would you do or where would you go if you won the lotto? 

GT: If I won the lottery I would pay off all my debt and visit every National Park.

Want to run for YALSA Board?  We’re looking for candidates for the 2024 ALA Election. If you will be at ALA Annual Conference in Chicago this summer, join us at YALSA 301 to learn more about YALSA Governance. Want to find out what the duties and responsibilities of the Director at Large are for the YALSA Board? Find them in the YALSA Handbook here.   If you’ve been thinking about it, why not fill out the nomination form today? Just click here.

Ever wanted to get to know the YALSA Board of Directors more? Here’s your chance! We’ll be posting fun mini-interviews with each board member all month long so you can get to know them a little better.  As I interviewed myself I thought best to save mine to the end.

Photo of YALSA Board President, Franklin Escobedo, selfie with Haku dragon neck pillow onboard an airplane.
Franklin Escobedo, YALSA President 2022-2023

Name: Franklin Escobedo

Title & Library: Library Director, currently job hunting

Role on the Board: President

Year on the Board: 2nd year in this role

  1. What does YALSA mean to me?

FE: YALSA has always been my professional family. We’ve grown together.  We’ve made friends, and we’ve lost friends.  Yet we all have the same passion for libraries and supporting teens that come into our libraries.  Even though my role has changed in my career, I still have the same passion for making sure that teens are treated with respect and made to feel welcome.  I’ve been around long enough to see the fruits of our labors.  The teens who came to my programs now bring their children to the library and have fond memories of their time spent there.  This wouldn’t have happened without YALSA creating standards and developing resources for libraries nationwide.  YALSA wouldn’t be YALSA without all of us.

2. What are your hopes for the future of teen services?

FE: My hope for teen services is that it will continue to be a priority for libraries across the country.  It remains a core service in every library and is given as much attention and respect as children and adult services.  We all know that our future library use is made or broken during our teenage years.   I have friends from my generation that had a bad experience and still won’t step foot or cast a vote for the library.  All because of a bad experience they had as a teen.

3. What is your favorite YALSA Committee or Committee that you would love to be on again?

FE:  I’ve learned so much from all the committees, taskforces, and juries I’ve been on.  My first committee is still my favorite Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults.  While it got sunsetted several years ago, I still feel it was one the best resources we produced each year.   It was a great way to see what teens were really reading solely based on the popularity of the title.  While I read books I hated, I knew the teens in my library loved them.  It was one of the most enjoyable committees I served on, and we all became great friends. 

4. What’s your ultimate comfort food?

FE: My go-to is Hawaiian Pizza, but it’s really the pineapple.  When I was growing up, we only had pineapple occasionally around the holidays, but it was part of the Hawaiian pizza.  Now I can find it pre-cut at the grocery store, so I tend to eat it all the time now.

5. What TV show or Movie do you watch on repeat? Or a book you love reading when you’re between new books?

FE: My go-to comfort TV show is 30 Rock, it still makes me laugh.   So many books I love, but J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings is the one I read on repeat. 

6. What would you do or where would you go if you won the lotto?

FE: I would go to Puroland, Hello Kitty’s magical kingdom 1 ½ miles outside of Tokyo, Japan. 

Want to run for YALSA Board?  We’re looking for candidates for the 2024 ALA Election. If you will be attending the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago this summer, join us at YALSA 301 to learn more about YALSA Governance. Want to find out the duties and responsibilities of the YALSA President? Find them in the YALSA Handbook here.   If you’ve been thinking about it, why not fill out the nomination form today? Just click here.

Ever wanted to get to know the YALSA Board of Directors more? Here’s your chance! We’ll be posting fun mini-interviews with each board member all month long so you can get to know them a little better

Photo of Board Fellow, Morgan Brickley-Jones with two thumbs up.
Morgan Brickley-Jones, Board Fellow

Name: Morgan Brickley-Jones

Title & Library:  Director of Community Engagement, UTA Libraries

Role on the Board: Board Fellow

Years on the Board: 1st year

Tell us a little about yourself. Who is this years Board Fellow?

MBJ: Hello, I am your YALSA 2022-23 Board Fellow, Morgan! I have been an on-and-off member of YALSA for roughly ten years, and the Board Fellow position was my first experience working with the actual YALSA Board. I am the Director of Community Engagement at the University of Texas at Arlington Libraries. 

How did you first get involved with YALSA?

MBJ: My first committee volunteering experience was with YALSA- in 2014, I volunteered for the Teens Top Ten Committee. This committee gave me valuable experience working with colleagues in a virtual, asynchronous environment. During that time was an active book reviewer and enamored with book selection committee work, so when my Teens Top Ten service had ended, I quickly applied to be on the Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers committee. This committee was foundational in my experience working with librarians from different types of libraries at ALA annual conference. I loved every minute of my two years on Quick Picks and really do remember my time on that committee fondly.

What made you decide to apply to be the Board Fellow?

MBJ: Over the past few years, I doubled down on my work volunteering with my state-level committees and let my YALSA and ALA members lapse. Recently, I was putting together my resume and dossier for promotion and started to wonder about what I could do to contribute to ALA and YALSA again. I contacted the now YALSA’s immediate past president, Kelly Czarnecki, and she gave me a list of opportunities. I was attracted to the Board Fellow position because it seemed to be what I needed then, lower stakes than a full board member but it is given the opportunity to look behind the curtain. The YALSA Board Fellow position has given me just that ability- I have been able to work with YALSA board members. I have seen board initiatives pass and other issues discussed among colleagues working to reach a consensus.

Why do you think the Board Fellow is an important part of learning about YALSA Governance?

MBJ: I think that the Board Fellow position is ideal for YALSA members at all different stages of your journey. If you have dedicated your volunteering to committees, the Board Fellow position will let you know if board work is your next step. It is also an excellent idea for YALSA members looking to get more involved with the organization’s governance. I better understand how the big picture of YALSA functions and just how vital volunteers are to the framework of YALSA and ALA.

If you have been thinking about YALSA Governance are not ready to make the three-year commitment.  The Board Fellow position is the first step in seeing what kind of work the board is doing.  Morgan mentioned that being the board fellow was a look behind the curtain, and many of the past board fellows have said similar in past blog posts.  All the YALSA Board meetings are open to members, the Board Fellow positions allows them to see the work that happens in between the meetings.  Some of the work done by the board is swift, but much of the work is a long slow march that can take a few years to complete. If you are interested in becoming the Board Fellow apply here.  If you have questions, feel free to contact Morgan or any of the YALSA Board Members for more information. 

Ever wanted to get to know the YALSA Board of Directors more? Here’s your chance! We’ll be posting fun mini-interviews with each board member all month long so you can get to know them a little better. 

Photo of Dr. Abigail Phillips, YALSA Director-at-Large
Dr. Abigail Phillips, Director-At-Large

Name: Dr. Abigail Phillips

Title & Library: Assistant Professor, School of Information Studies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Role on the Board: Director at Large

Year on the Board: 2nd year

What does YALSA mean to me?

AP: To me, YALSA means a compassionate and empathetic division that supports the needs of youth service librarians and library workers.

What are your hopes for the future of teen services?

AP: I would love learn more about the ways in which librarians and library workers can best support the emotional and mental health needs of teens. Teens are dealing with so much and deserve support adults in their lives.

What is your favorite YALSA Committee or Committee that you would love to be on again?

AP: I really enjoyed my time on the Frances Henne Research Grant committee. I love reading about research and learning more about the wide range of research out there focusing on teens and teen services.

What’s your ultimate comfort food?

AP: Grits, being from the South, and probably mac and cheese.

What TV show or Movie do you watch on repeat? Or a book you love reading when you’re between new books?

AP: Parks and Recreation for days! One of my all-time favorite books is “Furiously Happy” by Jenny Lawson.

What would you do or where would you go if you won the lotto? 

AP: I would travel the world, read as much as possible, and being responsible I guess, pay off student debt.

Want to run for YALSA Board?  We’re looking for candidates for the 2024 ALA Election. If you will be at ALA Annual Conference in Chicago this summer, join us at YALSA 301 to learn more about YALSA Governance. Want to find out what the duties and responsibilities of the Director at Large are for the YALSA Board? Find them in the YALSA Handbook here.   If you’ve been thinking about it, why not fill out the nomination form today? Just click here.

Ever wanted to get to know the YALSA Board of Directors more? Here’s your chance! We’ll be posting fun mini-interviews with each board member all month long so you can get to know them a little better. 

Photo: Selfie of Liz Nebeker with puppy on shoulder.
Liz Nebeker, YALSA Division Councilor

Name: Liz Nebeker

Title & Library: Instruction Librarian, Lone Star College- CyFair

Role on the Board: Councilor

Year on the Board: 2nd Year

 What does YALSA mean to me?

LN: To me, YALSA is a source of encouragement, advocacy, and learning. Being able to connect with fellow library workers focused on serving young adults, especially now, inspires me.

What are your hopes for the future of teen services?

LN: I hope that teen services becomes less of a target for censorship. I hope people see the potential of encouraging our teens to be productive, thoughtful, and educated will lead to a better future.

 What is your favorite YALSA Committee or Committee that you would love to be on again?

LN:  My favorite YALSA Committee that I would LOVE to be on again is Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers. This committee encourages all readers.

What’s your ultimate comfort food?

LN: My ultimate comfort food is macaroni & cheese with hotdogs. It was something I was able to make myself after-school. It reminds me of when I would spend my afternoons reading.

What TV show or Movie do you watch on repeat? Or a book that you love reading when you’re in between new books?

LN: A movie that I watch anytime it is on is the original Jurrasic Park. I love the book as well.

 What would you do or where would you go if you won the lotto? 

LN: My bucket list trip is London. I am planning to go the summer of 2025.

Want to run for YALSA Board?  We’re looking for candidates for the 2024 ALA Election. If you will be at ALA Annual Conference in Chicago this summer, join us at YALSA 301 to learn more about YALSA Governance. Want to find out what the duties and responsibilities of the Division Councilor are for the YALSA Board? Find them in the YALSA Handbook here.   If you’ve been thinking about it, why not fill out the nomination form today? Just click here.

Ever wanted to get to know the YALSA Board of Directors more? Here’s your chance! We’ll be posting fun mini-interviews with each board member all month long so you can get to know them a little better. 

Josie Laine Andrews, Director-At-Large

Name: Josie Laine Andrews

Title & Library: Teacher-Librarian, Nevada Union High School

Role on the Board: Director at Large

Year on the Board: 1st year

What does YALSA mean to me?

JA:  YALSA is a source of professional support and guidance for people who are in the unique position of working for and with teens. YALSA provides a sense of community for those working in teen services and helps teen library staff address and confront the issues that we face in our jobs through professional development, communication, and support. 

What are your hopes for the future of teen services?

JA: I would love to see more avenues for teen voices to be amplified, especially those in marginalized communities. It is critical that teens have the access and freedom to read and access information without judgment and fear. 

What is your favorite YALSA Committee or Committee that you would love to be on again?

JA: It’s my first year, but I loved working with CALA (make sure you check out their upcoming presentations) and I am excited to chair the President’s Task Force this coming year. 

What’s your ultimate comfort food?

JA: Any type of carb! 

What TV show or Movie do you watch on repeat? Or a book that you love reading when you’re in between new books?

JA: I’m GenX so any shows from the 80s or 90s make me super nostalgic and I can get sucked right in. When I am between books, I read the New Yorker and do the crossword puzzle!

What would you do or where would you go if you won the lotto?

JA: There are so many places to explore! I would definitely try to see as much as possible around the globe! 

Want to run for YALSA Board?  We’re looking for candidates for the 2024 ALA Election. If you will be at ALA Annual Conference in Chicago this summer, join us at YALSA 301 to learn more about YALSA Governance. Want to find out what the duties and responsibilities of the Director at Large are for the YALSA Board? Find them in the YALSA Handbook here.   If you’ve been thinking about it, why not fill out the nomination form today? Just click here.

Ever wanted to get to know the YALSA Board of Directors more? Here’s your chance! We’ll be posting fun mini-interviews with each board member all month long so you can get to know them a little better. 

Matt Layne, Director At Large

Name & Library: Matt Layne,

Title & Library: Patron Experience Librarian, O’Neal Library

Role on the Board: Director-at Large

Year on the Board:  1st year

1.    What does YALSA mean to me?

 ML: YALSA means advocacy. Advocating for young adults and for the librarians who serve them. I try not to lose sight of the importance of our work in creating safe spaces and experiences for young people and librarians around the United States and the world.

What are your hopes for the future of teen services?

ML: I hope for a future where all young people are able to freely be their authentic selves while being treated with the respect and admiration they deserve. I hope for libraries and schools that are able to offer unbiased and well-researched non-fiction resources. I hope for books that reflect the beautiful diversity of the young people we represent.

What is your favorite YALSA Committee or Committee that you would love to be on again?

 ML: I have been lucky enough to serve on three committees; Morris, Printz, and Best Fiction for Young Adults.. Each one has offered me unique opportunities to build friendships with other teen advocates from all over the world. I would happily serve on any of the committees again, but for my next act, I would love to delve into Great Graphic Novels.

What’s your ultimate comfort food?

 ML:  I am a sucker for ice cream. I love to get vanilla ice cream and doctor it up with all sorts of weird things like hot honey, or balsamic reduction, or even sea salt and olive oil.

What TV show or Movie do you watch on repeat? Or a book you love reading when you’re between new books?

ML: I LOVE Star Trek, so I’m always turning on classic episodes when I’m between books and other shows. Bookwise, I have read the Lord of the Rings series multiple times over the years. When we first went into lockdown, it’s the series whose pages I first returned to.

What would you do or where would you go if you won the lotto?

ML: If I won the lottery, I would open a really cool bookstore with lots of space for folks to study and groovy drinks. I might even call it The Library.

Want to run for YALSA Board?  We’re looking for candidates for the 2024 ALA Election. If you will be at ALA Annual Conference in Chicago this summer, join us at YALSA 301 to learn more about YALSA Governance. Want to find out what the duties and responsibilities of the Director at Large are for the YALSA Board? Find them in the YALSA Handbook here.   If you’ve been thinking about it, why not fill out the nomination form today? Just click here.