UPDATE 12/8/2022

Well dang, YALSA members you really stepped up! After I put out the call for volunteers two days ago, I got an influx of interest from members. I was able to get the volunteers needed for the Book Award and Selected List committees with plenty of alternates, but if you would still like to apply I will save your name as an alternate in case something doesn’t work out with one of the appointees.

If you do decide to apply and don’t hear from us by the end of December (when I anticipate all the book awards and selected list appointments to be finalized), please do apply again next Fall when we will appoint the next round of book and selected list committees.

A few things from reading all of your wonderful emails–you all are so talented!:

  • For Book Awards you have to apply each year, because the form changes each year and the President-Elect cannot see the previous year’s applications
  • Book and Selected list awards applications open up in September
  • Strategic Committees open up in January
  • For Book Awards and Selected lists, YALSA has a conflict of interest policy that is helpful to review when you are considering to apply
  • For everyone that is appointed, you should hear from Letitia Smith first who will send you a form that you need to complete to accept the appointment. There will be some limbo time as Letitia works to compile the rosters
  • Once the rosters are compiled and sent out, your Chair will be in touch as will I to share training information

We still need to fill out our 2023 Election Slate, so if you have ever been interested in governance work please reach out to YALSA Past-President Kelly Czarnecki via email.

As President-Elect of YALSA, it is my role to make this year’s appointments. As I transitioned into my President-Elect role this summer, I observed what my fellow Board members were already noticing and sharing: we are experiencing a volunteer shortage.

At this time, I have completed the first round of our Book Award and Selected Lists appointments. Selected Lists volunteers have been contacted last week (11/28), and Book Award volunteers will be contacted next week (12/12). However, we still need the following positions filled as I have appointed everyone who has applied this year and we have no alternates:

If you are interested in any of these positions, please fill out our volunteer form and also 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.

Additionally, we are also looking for members for the Pura Belpré committee. For this committee you must be a current YALSA member, you must not already have three ALA volunteer commitments, and Committee members should possess a self-declared fluent reading knowledge of Spanish. If you are interested in serving on the Pura Belpré committee please email YALSA President Franklin Escobedo and President-Elect Colleen Seisser.

Finally, we do not have enough volunteers to complete our 2023 Election Slate. If you are interested in serving as YALSA President-Elect, Fiscal Officer, or a Board Director at Large, please email YALSA Past-President Kelly Czarnecki immediately. We are past due on our slate and only have two volunteers so far. Without a complete slate, we will not be able to govern effectively next year.

I hope to have more information to you in the coming weeks about short term strategies we are beginning to employ to deal with our current volunteer shortage.

Respectfully submitted by Colleen Seisser, YALSA President-Elect

Do you want to support a cause you care about? Giving Tuesday is the perfect opportunity! Created in response to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday is also a time for people around the world to support the organizations they love. This year, you can support YALSA by participating in the Virtual Silent Auction, or by simply making a donation to the Friends of YALSA (FOY). FOY funds are used to support over $16,000 in member scholarships, grants, and stipends, including a Spectrum Scholarship and Emerging Leader.

The Virtual Silent Auction is open now! You can support YALSA’s work by bidding on items like signed books, virtual author visits and fun YALSA swag! The auction opened on Black Friday, November 25, 2022, and closes on Thursday, December 1, at 5:00pm central. All proceeds will go to the Friends of YALSA (FOY). Visit the auction site and see what’s available to bid on: YALSA Virtual Silent Auction 2022

If you aren’t interested in participating in the silent auction you can take advantage of the inspiration of Giving Tuesday to donate directly to Friends of YALSA with the donation button on the Silent Auction site. “Giving Tuesday was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good” and “is a global generosity movement that unleashes the power of radical generosity around the world” according to GivingTuesday.org. Donating to a cause that matters to you, like YALSA, is a powerful way to support others in the field and help ensure that the work YALSA does can continue! Please consider donating on Giving Tuesday!

Gail Tobin,
YALSA Financial Advancement Committee Chair

Check out the Winter 2022 edition of YALS, the award-winning official journal of the Young Adult Library Services Association. The current issue is available to subscribers and YALSA members on the association’s “Members Only” section on its website. Once at the members only section, you will have to log-in with your ALA account in order to access the content.

ALA IT will be performing scheduled maintenance to improve your member experience at ALA.org the weekend of November 4th.

Starting at 3pm (Central Time) on Friday, November 4th through Sunday, November 6th you will be unable to log into ALA websites to make purchases, post to the Connect community, or register for professional development. All publicly available content will be accessible during the maintenance window.

We expect all services to be fully restored no later than Monday, November 7th.

Click here to learn more about the maintenance work.

Additionally, ALA is hard at work upgrading the ALA website to the Drupal 9 Web Content Management System. ALA’s goal with this effort is to build a modern, accessible, world-class site that engages members and visitors alike. The update includes easier navigation of the website, better organization of information, and improvements for mobile users. It is a long process, and the hope is for it to be completed by November 2023. This update includes migrating the YALSA website as well. There are many pages and layers, and during the migration, you may notice some differences on YALSA pages. The migrations is happening layer by layer, and members should not lose access to website.

Please also note that there is a feedback link at the bottom of every YALSA page: https://www.ala.org/yalsa/feedback.  This will help the YALSA staff quickly identify the errors that need to be corrected as the site gets updated. 

Intellectual freedom, freedom to read, academic freedom. We’re all familiar with these phrases, and in so many ways, what we do as librarians and teachers is to protect the very principles of these phrases. Unfortunately, we are at a time in our history where it seems that we are not sure if we are winning battles but losing the war. Over 36 states have introduced bills that, in some way, censors language and/or curriculum and books that are used in classrooms. Political and parent groups are consistently challenging books that are used in school and public libraries and school curriculums. Citizens are even filing criminal complaints about books. Some librarians and teachers have faced this onslaught of challenges head on while others have heard horror stories and worry, even fear, that they will also face a reckoning of some sort. Through it all, however, librarians and teachers must consider what is best for students. 

In this issue we want to consider what happens when we challenge intellectual freedom. This issue is open for articles that provide broad and specific discussions that address questions/topics such as (but not limited to):

  • What happens to our students when we censor the very materials that depict the lives that they lead, their homes, their families? Are they themselves being censored? 
  • What constitutes truth? And, whose truth gets to have representation?
  • How does censoring cause further harm to marginalized groups?
  • Personal experiences of book and/or curriculum challenges
  • Proactive ways to get ahead of challenges?
  • Self-Censorship and the harm that it can cause
  • Teens who advocate for challenged books and curriculums
  • Events and programs that promote Banned Books Week

Please note that this is a volunteer opportunity with no monetary compensation. YALSA has the right to first refusal.

If you have an article idea for this themed issue, please submit article proposals by October 21, 2022. https://www.emailmeform.com/builder/form/3bQc9KldF3R

If you know someone who has experience on this topic and would be interested in writing for YALS or have questions, please contact YALS’ editor, Yolanda Hood

Do you want your voice to be heard on a national level regarding Teens and Teen Library Services? Do you want a leadership position within YALSA? You should consider putting your name on the 2023 slate for YALSA Board!

The Board Development Committee is looking for dedicated, committed volunteers with the skills and desire to run for several board positions: President-Elect, Director-at-Large (2), and Fiscal Officer.

YALSA’s volunteer members are critical to who the organization is.  You can find out more about the responsibilities of President-Elect and Fiscal Officer here.  Information about the Director-at-Large position can be found here. These positions are elected by the membership for a three-year term. 

The Board Development Committee is looking for the most qualified individuals and broad representation. This includes a commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion. As the YALSA Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Plan states: the vision for YALSA is to be a diverse, inclusive and equitable organization which flourishes on the exchange of ideas from different perspectives. We believe the diversity of viewpoints that comes from different life experiences, identities, cultural backgrounds, and more enables YALSA to better achieve its mission, through networking, advocacy, and professional development, the Young Adult Library Services Association empowers all those involved in the profession to provide equitable, diverse and inclusive teen services.. 

If you feel you have what it takes for one of these leadership roles, fill out the YALSA Governance Candidacy Form. The Board Development Committee reviews all the forms and looks for the best match of skills and background for the available positions. 

If you have questions, please feel free to contact a member of the YALSA Board Development Committee; Amanda Rodriguez (amandarodriguez@kclibrary.org), Valerie Tagoe (libraryleader77@gmail.com), Yolanda Hood (yolanda.a.hood@dartmouth.edu), Carla Land (landc@lvccld.org), Jennifer Korn (jennifer.korn@cincinnatilibrary.org), or Kelly Czarnecki (kellyczarnecki1@gmail.com).

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!