We are currently looking to fill openings on our Juries and Task Forces. If you are interested in volunteering, just fill out our YALSA Volunteer Form. Be sure to have some information ready for things like what skills and professional experiences that can speak to your volunteer interests. 

To apply, begin by  accessing our volunteer form: https://www.ala.org/CFApps/volunteer/form.cfm 

Here’s a walk through on how to best fill out the volunteer form for YALSA

  1. In the first page under the bolded section” Please select the group for which you want to volunteer and click the “Continue” button” Be sure to drop down the box and select YALSA.
  2. Next, you see a page for all the different volunteer opportunities for YALSA by type. When you are looking at these lists, you can click on the link to find out the description and workload for that opportunity. 
  3. After you have reviewed the opportunities that you are interested in, the next page will show you if you have already filled out the form, and what you are still currently have an application on file for. Then below that it will show another list of opportunities that you can apply for now. Select the ones that you are most interested in. You will have to select one to continue with the form.
    • If you have an application on file for something that you are interested in, notify President-Elect Colleen Seisser that you have an application on file and that you want to volunteer again for that same opportunity
  4. The last steps of the application process are on the next page:
    • You will need to let us know if you are planning on attending any upcoming conferences. No problem if you aren’t as most of our opportunities do not require conference attendance.
    • You will have to list any current ALA/YALSA that you are currently participating in. Unfortunately there is a participation rule for ALA where you cannot be serving in more than three volunteer commitments at one time.
    • The remaining questions that follow will tell us more about you and help make sure that we do our best to appoint you to the opportunity that best fits your skills.
  5. Then you just review the information you provided and hit submit. Then you can email President-Elect, Colleen Seisser letting her know that you just applied and what opportunities you are most interested in. Many organizations, including YALSA, are experiencing a shortage of volunteers, and YALSA does not want to miss an opportunity to match you with the opportunity you are most passionate about!

YALSA’s Teen Top Ten voting is now open. Please share this link with your Teens to vote for their top 5 books.

The Teens’ Top Ten is a “teen choice” list, where teens nominate and choose their favorite books of the previous year! Nominators are members of teen book groups in fifteen school and public libraries around the country. Nominations are posted on the Thursday of National Library Week, and teens across the country vote on their favorite titles each year. Readers ages twelve to eighteen will vote online between August 15 – October 15 here on the Teens’ Top Ten site.

You can also visit YALSA’s Teen Top Ten website to see past winners, or find them in our Teen Book Finder database.

Volunteering for YALSA is easy and it will provide you with valuable professional development. We are currently looking for volunteers for…

  • Juries, Short term commitments for 3 months. Work begins in October/November. These are great opportunities to give back to YALSA as most of the work is reviewing applications for member awards! It’s very fulfilling, completely virtual work that has such a huge impact for someone. These are the juries we are looking for volunteers for now:
    • Best Literacies
    • Collection Development Grant
    • Conference Travel Scholarship
    • Great Books Giveaway
    • Innovation Award
    • Joann Lum Memorial Grant
    • Writing Award 
    • Regina U. Minudri Young Adult Scholarship
  • Task Forces, Short term commitment, usually 6 months or less
    • Annual Conference & Marketing (6 months, starting January 1)
      • Great for Illinois/Chicago residents, but not required
    • LibLearnX Marketing & Local Arrangements (6 months, starting September 1)
      • Great for Louisiana/New Orleans residents, but not required
    • National Library Legislative Day (6 months, starting December 1)
    • Symposium Planning Task force (7 months, starting December 1)
    • Teen Programming HQ Task Force (6 months, starting September 1)
  • Board development committee, 1 year
    • Completely virtual committee
    • Click here for more information about the Board Development Committee

To apply, access our volunteer form: https://www.ala.org/CFApps/volunteer/form.cfm and complete the full form, then email President-Elect Colleen Seisser and let her know what opportunity you are most interested in.

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,


Any questions or comments, feel free to email: kellyczarnecki1@gmail.com.

2020-2021 YALSA President-Elect Kelly Czarnecki

Kelly Czarnecki (she/her)
YALSA President
Photo credit: Taken by Kelly Czarnecki

The 2022 ALA Annual Conference is just around the corner and after two years of virtual participation, we are excited to see so many YALSA members and library staff in person again. YALSA has several events and program offerings scheduled at the conference and YALSA 301 will be available for in person attendees on Saturday, June 25 11a-12p EDT in WCC room 102A.* (A virtual event for YALSA 301 is in the works.) YALSA 301 shares information about opportunities for YALSA members and others participating in work related to libraries and/or serving teens to engage with YALSA on a deeper level.

There are many ways to level up your skills through YALSA engagement opportunities. Possibilities include serving as a YALSA Board fellow, holding a YALSA Board officer position, chairing an inter-divisional awards committee, or liaising with other ALA divisions and professional associations.  At YALSA 301 you can explore these and other opportunities, talk with people who are currently serving in these roles to gain a first-hand perspective, and see which of these might be a good fit for you.

We hope you are able to join us for YALSA 301! If you have any questions about the event, about leveling up your YALSA engagement, or YALSA in general, please don’t hesitate to respond. Likewise, if you cannot attend YALSA 301 but are interested in these opportunities, reach out to any of the Board Development Committee members!


The YALSA Board Development Committee (BDC):

Yolanda Hood, yogihphd@yahoo.com; Jennifer Korn, jennifer.korn@cincinnatilibrary.org; Carla Land, landc@lvccld.org; Valerie Tagoe, libraryleader77@gmail.com; Amanda Rodriguez, YALSA Immediate Past President, BDC Chair, AmandaRodriguez@kclibrary.org; Kelly Czarnecki, YALSA President, BDC YALSA Board Liaison, kellyczarnecki1@gmail.com.

*Rooms at conference are subject to change for events. Checking the scheduler beforehand is always recommended.

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

Photo credit: spring by promanex is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

The 2022 co-sponsored ALA/USBBY program will be held at the American Library Association’s Annual Conference on Sunday, June 26, 2022, in Washington D.C., from 1-2 pm. The program is titled “Celebrate Indigenous Storytelling: Books from across the Northern Border and will be held in the Washington Convention Center, Room 149A-B. Save the program now in the online Conference Scheduler

Program Description: Join the United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY) as we celebrate indigenous storytelling! Hear from Inuit author Monica Ittusardjuat, as well as the co-founding authors of Inhabit Media, an Inuit-owned, independent Canadian publishing company. USBBY, an affiliate of ALA, serves as the U.S. National Section of the International Board on Books for Young People, which was founded to promote international understanding and good will through books for children and adolescents.


Are you a member of USBBY? A diverse group, USBBY members join together to celebrate and promote international literature for children and young adults. The membership of USBBY includes authors and illustrators, publishers and editors, critics and translators, booksellers, social workers, teachers, university professors and students, librarians and parents. Membership in USBBY is open to anyone interested in its mission and starts at the individual basic rate of $50/year. Once a member, we’d love to have you volunteer to serve on one of our award, selection, or service committees! 

USBBY is governed by a Board of Directors that includes an elected Executive Committee and twelve Directors (four elected and eight appointed), who represent the USBBY membership as well as USBBY´s patron organizations: Children´s Book Council (CBC), the American Library Association (ALA), the International Literacy Association (formerly IRA), and the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

This year your ALA Appointed Directors to the USBBY Board are Sarah Hill (YALSA) and Sara Kelly Johns (AASL).

With the start of Spring, (at least where I am-it felt like it!) this month did seem like the start of new beginnings! The Board held a virtual Retreat at the end of the month. We were able to share what is working and how we can use additional support as we move forward and welcome in new members in a few short months! As my presidency winds down-it also ramps up within the last few months-with Annual conference on its way! I hope to see a lot of you in person-and online-as well. Here’s a summary of what I was up to this month:

  • Attended ALA Executive Spring Board Meeting in Chicago. It was such an honor to speak in front of the Board alongside YALSA Interim ED, LaMoya Burks! I even got to have lunch with Sam Helmick, Liaison to YALSA! They are here to support our needs to the Board.
  • Working with YALSA Board in focusing in on recommendations made by the EDI Task Force report; Promoting Professional Success for Underrepresented Groups Within YALSA. Some of the areas we’re pinpointing are doing a blind review of scholarships and grants and expanding outreach for membership
  • Held virtual YALSA Board Retreat (as mentioned above) to reset and make sure our foundation is in a good place to continue forth into next year after Annual
  • Reviewed Board Fellow applicants. The Board chose YALSA member Morgan Brickey-Jones! She has a solid record of participating in several YASA committees as well as state-wide in Texas. She’s excited to take on a totally different role than she’s had before!
  • Worked on reaching out to incoming Board Members (Congratulations Colleen, Joel, Matthew, Melissa, and Josie!) 
  • Appointed positions to the Accessibility Assembly and Social Media Marketing Strategic Committee
  • Held virtual Board Chat, weekly meetings with Interim ED, and President’s Taskforce meeting
  • Gearing up for ALA Annual 2022!

Any questions or comments, feel free to email: kellyczarnecki1@gmail.com.

2020-2021 YALSA President-Elect Kelly Czarnecki

Kelly Czarnecki (she/her)
YALSA President