Currently a petition is circulating among ALA members that attempts to put a measure on the ALA spring ballot in an effort to overturn the most recent decision by ALA Council to change the language of the job announcement for the next ALA Executive Director from “MLIS preferred” (or CAEP/school librarian equivalent) back to MLIS required. YALSA’s Board of Directors strongly favors retaining the current status that prefers that candidates hold the MLIS/CAEP degree rather than require it. We feel that in order to effectively lead a professional organization the size and scope of ALA, a person’s skill as an association executive is critical. If there is a degreed librarian with these skills, that would be most desirable.

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ALA Council is the governing body of ALA. Council meets during Midwinter and Annual, with significant electronic communication in between.

In January, I posted about Council decisions related to youth issues after Midwinter.

A brief summary of issues with implications for the youth we serve that were taken up by Council at the most recent conference can be found below:

  • Council adopted a resolution (CD#37) Reaffirming ALA’s Commitment to Basic Literacy. While there was discussion disputing the need for such a resolution as well as the perceived implication that one literacy was being privileged over another, the majority passed a statement of support. This resolution can serve as a reminder that literacy is a core service all libraries support and is essential in helping teens become productive adults. Read More →

8430121091_c719b48483ALA Council is the governing body of ALA. Council meets during Midwinter and Annual, with significant electronic communication in between.

I’m an ‘at-large’ Councilor, which means I’m not representing a particular state, ALA division, or roundtable like some other Councilors do. For example, all divisions (like the youth ones, ALSC, AASL, and YALSA) have an ALA Council representative. There’s also an Executive Board and Council Officers as well. While the structure of Council might sound complicated and can be at times, every Councilor there has an important role.

Though not every issue Council discussed at Midwinter had to do with our service population, I have briefly summarized those issues which did apply below:

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ALA Council passed a resolution this morning in Support of Intellectual Freedom in Tucson Unified School District Mexican American Studies Program.
The full text of the WHEREAS clauses can be found on the Office of Intellectual Freedom site here.

The resolve clause reads:
1. Condemns the suppression of open inquiry and free expression caused by closure of ethnic and cultural studies programs on the basis of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.
2. Condemns the restriction of access to educational materials associated with ethnic and cultural studies programs.
3. Urges the Arizona legislature to pass HB 2654, “An Act Repealing Sections 15-111 and 15-112, Arizona Revised Statutes: Relating to School Curriculum.

This resolution was moved by the Intellectual Freedom Committee and supported in principle by YALSA, among other divisions, committees and round tables.

The IFC also recommended that the resolution be sent to the Tucson Unified School District, the State of Arizona Department of Education Superintendent of Public Instruction, each member of the State of Arizona Legislature, the Governor of Arizona, United States Congressman Grijalva, and the United States Secretary of Education.

When I heard about the ALA Executive Board during a conference, I was curious to know what kind of youth representation they had and what that actually meant. While there are several members on the current ALA Executive Board that are also youth division members, Dora Ho (Lost Angeles Public Library), YALSA and ALSC member and newly elected ALA Executive Board member, agreed to answer a few questions for the YALSA blog. Her term officially started after this past annual conference in New Orleans. Read More →

Candidates for ALA President and Council have been announced. Council candidates include the following YALSA members:

Thomas Brogan – Young Adult cluster Specialist, Brooklyn Public Library
Robbie Nickel – Librarian, Sage Elementary School, Spring Creek, NV
M. A. (Peg) Oettinger – Retired, Warminster, PA

YALSA provides these names for informational purposes only, not as an endorsement. It is important to note, however, that these candidates’ experience as YALSA members will provide our division membership with representation at the ALA Council level.

If you believe YALSA should have greater representation on ALA Council, it is not too late to add your name to the 2011 ballot! If you would like to run for ALA Council, you need to submit a completed petition to ALA by February 2, 2011. The petition requires you to get 25 signatures from ALA members who support your bid for Council. More information on the petition process and the electronic petition form can be found on the ALA website. Serving on ALA Council is one way to advocate for better ALA support of school and young adult librarianship, so please consider submitting a petition to run in the 2011 Council election.

Voting in the 2011 election will begin in March. If you will be attending Midwinter in San Diego, please take advantage of the following opportunities to get to know the candidates:

*ALA President-Elect Candidates’ Forum from 6:00 to 7:30 pm on Sunday, January 9th at the San Diego Marriott & Marina, room Marina F

*YALSA Coffee with the Candidates from 10:30 to noon on Sunday January 9th in convention center room 9

Posted on behalf of John Sexton
Chair, 2011 YALSA Nominating Committee
Membership information current as of November 30, 2010.

Some interesting discussion going on over on the ALA Council email list. Raise your hand if you don’t know what Council is….

Ah, I thought so.

Council is one of the ALA über-committees, responsible for policy and governance for the entire association. Think of it like Congress…there are elected representatives from every chapter, division, round table, and whatnot. I’m an at-large Councilor, nearing the end of my three year term. Not much YALSA representation on Council at the moment, so you should think about running.

At the moment, Councilors are discussing ALA Connect on the listserv. Some are trying it out, posting discussions there. Some contend that it’s better to keep discussion all in one place, rather than scattered around in a bunch of places where you have to go look for it.

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Recently I’ve written posts about the YALSA committee appointment process and the value of participating in YALSA via its various committees.’  Of course that involvement is essential to the success of YALSA. Along with involvement in the Division, it’s also important for YALSA members to participate in the larger ALA governance and ALA community.’  One way to do that is to get your name on the ballot to run for ALA Council.

Why would you want to do that? The video below provides some good reasons. Read More →