Each spring, the YALSA President-elect appoints members to serve on process committees and juries. These groups are the backbone of the organization, making sure that core initiatives like Teen Read Week and Teen Tech Week happen in a suitably dynamic YALSA fashion and select recipients of awards and grants. They also find ways to engage new members, support our amazing blogs, plan conference programs, maintain our wikis, and implement genius plans to support the organization, its members, and initiatives financially. ‘ And… much much much more.

In my own experience, these groups provide a perfect opportunity to get your feet wet, learn something new about the division, develop your professional chops, and of course, work with genuinely awesome people. Plus, they’re entirely virtual, so conference travel (though welcomed) is not mandatory. ‘ Volunteer forms will be collected through the beginning of February and appointments will be made in March. A list of committees and juries as well as the volunteer form, can be found here: http://www.ala.org/yalsa/workingwithyalsa/yalsacommittee.

Please feel free to get in touch with current Chairs with questions http://www.ala.org/yalsa/workingwithyalsa/committees/committeechair or contact me at shannon.peterson@gmail.com.

Thanks, and I look forward to serving with you!

For the past four months, I have been serving as the first YALSA’ Board Fellow. Applications for the next term are due December 1st . Because I am having such a positive experience, I want to share a bit about it to encourage members to apply. I will divide this up into a few different blog posts. Today, I want to address why I applied. Feel free to ask me any questions in the comments, or you can find me on Twitter @DogearedCarrie.

I have been actively involved with YALSA since 2009, which is when I volunteered to serve on the Local Arrangements committee for Annual in Washington D.C. Since then, I have served on and chaired several process committees. I have enjoyed learning about different aspects of YALSA, yet I knew there was more to the organization. When I learned about the creation of the Board Fellow, I knew it was an opportunity to learn more about the bigger picture of YALSA, how it is run, and how it fits in to ALA. Leadership skills were something else I hoped to gain if I was selected to serve.

While I had some experience in YALSA, I believed I was still fairly new to the organization. I hoped that I could be a voice on the board for those who are new to YALSA, feeling a bit overwhelmed, or don’t know where to start. I also thought I would be an additional voice as a school librarian. Surveys conducted by YALSA consistently show that school librarians often feel as if they are a minority in the organization. I knew that several YALSA board members were school librarians, but thought another one can never hurt.

Think about applying! Ask yourself: what can I do for YALSA? What could I gain from this experience? I found that I benefitted from the reflection that took place as I completed my application. Don’t forget – applications are due December 1st!

Happily, my appointments taskforce and I are swimming in applications for this fall’s selection and award committees as well as several important taskforces. For those of you that submitted a form, thank you for being willing to share your time and expertise with YALSA in this way.

Throughout the month, we’ll be filling slots with an eye toward creating strong and diverse committees. We hope to have all our work completed by the end of the October.

‘ And please remember, if we are unable to place you at this time or if you weren’t able to meet the September 30th deadline for these committees, there are a myriad of ways to be an engaged member in YALSA including:

‘ Of course, these aren’t your only options. For more information and ideas, take a few minutes to watch a Get Involved webinar.

Ever wonder what’s going on with the Division? A ton of great information can be found under the “Working with YALSA” portion of the website.’  The minutes from the YALSA Board and the YALSA Executive Committee meetings (as well as supporting documents) can be found’ there in the Governance section.

Check out the most recent draft Board minutes here

and draft Exec Committee minutes here.

Monthly President’s Report – May 2012

May is all about getting ready for ALA Annual. Also, I’m very excited that YALSA’s free Teen Book Finder iPhone/iPad app is now available in Apple’s App Store. (An Android version will be coming later this year.) If you have an iPhone or iPad, download it and check it out!

Below is a summary of activities that I have completed or am working on.


  • Committee Chairs:
    • I had phone conversations with several YALSA committee chairs about the work of their committees.
  • Committee/Jury/Taskforce Appointments:
    • I appointed members to fill vacancies on several committees.
    • I continued appointing members to fill new task forces created by Board action at Midwinter

‘ Board Activities

  • I participated, with other Board members, in an online chat about YALSA’s relationship with “Big ALA.”
  • I worked with Board members on their self-assessments.
  • I worked with Executive Committee members to create an agenda for the ALA Annual and for the Board Meeting by Conference call on June 1.

Partnerships. ‘ 

  • Mary Fellows, ALSC President, and I, along with our Presidents’ Program co-chairs, Sarah Couri and Tessa Michaelson, had a conference call to make the final arrangements for our combined Presidents’ Program at ALA Annual. ‘ I hope many of you will be able to join us bright and early Monday morning to hear Dr. Michelle Poris of SmartyPants and Stephen Abram of GaleCengage share their insights on the Digital Lives of Tweens and Young Teens. If you can’t be there, follow us on Twitter by following the hashtag #tweentech.
  • I continue to participate in the School Libraries Task Force with members of other ALA divisions.
  • I am working with Carl Harvey, AASL President, and Mary Fellows, ALSC President, to plan for the joint AASL/ALSC/YALSA Executive Committee meeting to be held at ALA Annual.


  • I wrote a post for the YALSA Blog on access to YALSA’s selected lists and awards.
  • I wrote my final President’s Column for YALS, which will appear in the Summer issue.

‘ Media & Outreach.

  • I spoke with Linda Jacobsen, a freelance writer who is working on a piece for the Greatschools.org about boys and reading.
  • I contributed statements for YALSA press releases.


Important YALSA News & Reminders

  • If you are going to Anaheim for ALA Annual, don’t forget to register for special events. If you did “bundled registration” last fall, you will need to go back in to your registration for to add special events, such as:
    • Two great half-day preconferences: Books We’ll Still Talk about 45 Years from Now and Source Code: Digital Youth Participation.
    • The Margaret Edwards Award luncheon, featuring author Susan Cooper.
    • The YA Author Coffee Klatch—your chance to get up close and personal with 35 YA authors, including Printz award and honor authors Corey Whaley, Maggie Stiefvater, Craig Silvey, Daniel Handler, Christine Hinwood, and more!
    • The Printz Award Program and Reception, with speeches from all of the honored authors.
    • To add these events if you’ve already registered through ALA registration: (1) By phone: Call ALA Registration at 1-800-974-3084 and ask to add a workshop or special event to your existing registration; (2) Online: Add an event to your existing registration by clicking this Annual Conference Registration link. Use your log in and password to access your existing registration and add events in the “Your Events” section (screen 6). Then simply check out and pay for the events you’ve added.
  • YALSA’s summer online course will be’ Making the Match: Finding the Right Book for the Right Teen at the Right Time. This six week course will take place in July 2 – August 13 2012.
  • Don’t miss June’s webinar: 10 Social Tools to Connect with Teens at your Library, with Joe Murphy.

Thank Yous and Congratulations

  • Thank you to all the YALSA members who ran for office or for awards committees. Congratulations to Shannon Peterson, who will become Vice President/President-Elect, and Vicki Emery, who will be our new Division Councilor; their terms start at the end of Annual. And congratulations to all the new members of YALSA award committees.
  • And also, thanks to the 2012 Nominating Committee for coming up with such a great slate of candidates!
  • Thanks to Katherine Trouern-Trend and her task force for developing the Teen Space Guidelines, which were just approved by the Board.
  • Thanks to Dollar General for funding the development of the Teen Book Finder app.


YALSA Membership: 5,228 ‘ (down 3.7% from last year): don’t forget to renew!

Friends of YALSA April donations: $300

Books for Teens/Booze for Books April donations: $1,164

Respectfully Submitted,

Sarah Flowers

YALSA President

Monthly President’s Report – March 2012

Below is a summary of activities that I have completed or am working on.

Completed Tasks

  • Committee Chairs:’ I had phone conversations with several YALSA committee chairs about the work of their committees.
  • Committee/Jury/Taskforce Appointments: ‘ I ‘ appointed members to fill vacancies on several committees and continued appointing members to fill new task forces created by Board action at Midwinter.

Monthly President’s Report – February 2012

March kind of sneaked up on me, I guess because February is a short month. Below is a summary of activities that I have completed or am working on. Happy Teen Tech Week!

Completed Tasks

  • Committee Chairs:’ ‘ I had phone conversations with several YALSA committee chairs about the work of their committees.
  • Board Activities: ‘ 
    • The Board had an online chat on February 1. Board members offered suggestions for the content of the selection and award committee chair and member webinars.
    • The Board met by telephone on February 29 to discuss chair quarterly reports and to take action on two requests for Board action that came from committees.
    • The Board voted to accept a proposal from the Morris Award committee to amend the eligibility rules to exclude self-published and e-book only books from consideration. The new rule will be re-evaluated after the 2013 award. Read More →

YALSA’s Board of Directors will meet via conference call on Feb. 29 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Eastern to review quarterly board reports. Any YALSA members interested in sitting in on the meeting can send a message to yalsa@ala.org to receive the phone number and access code.