A common question that I get, especially from new board members, is about where funds come from to support YALSA and its members.  The answer is pretty straightforward, although not one many people expect.  Member dues make up only about a third of YALSA’s total funding.  The other two thirds comes from product sales (award seals, books & e-learning); events (YA Services Symposium & ticketed events at ALA conferences); grants; corporate sponsorships; interest from YALSA’s endowments; and individual donations.  Many people are surprised to learn that funds from ALA or the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) are not a part of YALSA’s annual budget.  Actually, YALSA receives important services from ALA, such as HR and legal counsel, but not regular financial support.  IMLS offers competitive grants that YALSA is eligible for, and we have been awarded two.  If you’re interested, you can learn more about YALSA finances in my latest annual report.

All the funds that come into YALSA, from whatever source, are used to

  1. Provide members with services and support, like free monthly webinars and the summer learning grants we now have available
  2. Create and share resources with the library community, at no cost to library staff, such as our short, informational videos and newest toolkit about teen literacies

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As of this morning, YALSA is $205 away from reaching our end-of-the year fundraising goal of $1,000. If we hit our goal, a donor has agreed to match it with a $1,000 donation of their own! Please consider making a donation to Friends of YALSA, which supports $16,000 worth of grants, scholarships and awards each year for library staff. Donations can be made online, and details are here: http://www.ala.org/yalsa/givetoyalsa/give. Donations can also be made via text message. Simply, text ALA TEENALA to this number: 41518 to make a $10 donation to YALSA. Thank you for your support and have a wonderful new year!

ALSA and Baker and Taylor are proud to support the continuing education endeavors of librarians across the country. They offer not one, not two, but three great scholarships to help YALSA members who have never attended ALA Annual the opportunity to do so. And it is a wonderful opportunity. I was lucky enough to win in 2011 and be able to attend Annual in New Orleans. It was a very satisfying experience and allowed me to connect with my teen librarian colleagues and YALSA members in a way I never had via the online environments of list-servs and websites. That one conference gave me the confidence to continue to volunteer for YALSA committees and taskforces, Since 2011, I have had the opportunity to help YALSA’s strategic goals by serving on several different process and selection committees and it has been incredibly rewarding.

The criteria for these grants are pretty simple and available on the website. To paraphrase: you need to be a member of ALA/YALSA, one to ten years experience working with teens (for the Baker and Taylor scholarships only), and you have never attended an ALA Annual conference. For the Broderick scholarship (which is open to MLIS students), you must be currently enrolled in ALA accredited graduate MLIS program. The deadline for applying is December 1. Still not convinced that attending Annual is worth it? Here is what some of the previous years winners have to say.

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Interview with Heather Gruenthal, recipient of the Friends of YALSA (FOY) scholarship to attend National Library Advocacy Day in Washington, DC.

By Gregory Lum

I had the pleasure to visit with Heather at the 2012 ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim.’  Both Heather and I served on YALSA’s Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers selection committee in 2011.
GL: Tell me a little bit about where you work and what your focus is?
HG: I have been a Teacher Librarian in the Anaheim Union High School District in Anaheim, California for twelve years.’  We are a high school district, so I have been exclusively serving teens in grades 7-12. My main focus in working with teens is to get them to read, particularly the teens who are considered “at risk” and are placed in intervention classes.’  Many teens do not read because they can’t find anything interesting, and when they don’t practice reading for enjoyment they find it much more difficult to tackle their academic reading.’  Using YALSA’s selection lists, particularly Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers has helped me find books for teens with a wide variety of interests.’  My co-teachers have remarked on how much their students’ reading habits and abilities improved because they were actually reading something that was interesting to them.’  Students who couldn’t be forced to read more than 5 minutes at the beginning of the semester were suddenly begging for more time to read.’  Some students even confessed that they had never read a book all the way through to the end until that year.’  These kinds of interactions are what make my job worthwhile.
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I am stingy with my hard-earned money. So when I decide to donate to worthy organizations and causes you can be sure I feel confident my money will be used in a responsible manner, supporting causes that match my values and passions.

That is why I donate to Friends of YALSA every year. Like you, I am passionate about teens and teen library services. I actively seek out the ideas, inspiration, and motivation YALSA provides through blogs, listservs, publications, conferences, etc., etc. I also want to support my colleagues in their efforts to provide excellence for our young people. The grants, scholarships, and awards offered to members by YALSA enhance our entire profession.

I invite you to donate to Friends of YALSA along with me. Your support will be a positive influence for teens and those who serve them. Your money will indeed be used in a responsible manner as YALSA continues to give us the capacity to engage, serve and empower teens.

Please donate today. If we can raise $2000 by the end of August we will receive an additional $1000 from a generous donor. So each of your dollars will actually be worth $1.50!! What a great deal!!

Any amount is welcome, and it will only take a moment of your time to donate. The URL is: www.ala.org/yalsa/givetoyalsa/give

Thank you so much for your support.

ALA Annual Conference’ is an absolute blast.’  It can also be expensive.’  Registration, travel expenses, spending money when you get somewhere, it all adds up.

‘ However!’  There are ways to go to Annual in Anaheim’ next June on the cheap.’  It will take some planning (and maybe some begging) but every little bit helps when it comes to covering the cost of your conference.

If you’re still in library school, the ALA will knock about $100 off registration, since encouraging library school students is important, as well as experiencing the hustle and bustle (READ: publisher receptions) of librarianship first hand.’ 

Regardless of whether or not you’re in library school, there are grants, fellowships and scholarships that can help finance your conference.’ ‘ 

  • 3M/NMRT Professional Development Grant‘ – Helps finance attendance at ALA Annual. It covers round trip airfare, lodging, conference registration fees and some incidental expenses. Must be a personal ALA/NMRT member working within the territorial U.S.
  • AASL’ Frances Henne Award‘ – This $1,250 award recognizes a school library media specialist with five years or less experience who demonstrates leadership qualities with students, teachers and administrators, to attend an AASL’ conference or ALA Annual Conference for the first time. Applicants must be AASL personal members.’ 
  • ACRL/DLS Haworth Press Distance Learning Librarian Conference Sponsorship Award‘ provides $1200 to help defray the costs of travel to and participation in the ALA Annual Meeting and a’ plaque sponsored by Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group. Read More →

Teen Tech Week Registration Ends 2/16: Getting ready for Teen Tech Week? Be sure to register by Tuesday! Registration gets you access to this year’s theme logo. This year’s theme, Learn Create Share @ your library, fosters teen creativity and positions the library as a place to explore technology. Know what you’re doing? Tell us on our wiki. Teen Tech Week is March 3-7.

Last Day to Order TTW Products: Tuesday is also the last day to order Teen Tech Week products and have them arrive in time for your celebration, using standard shipping. Check out posters, graphics and more at the ALA Store. Purchases from ALA Graphics support the work of YALSA and ALA.

After the jump, find out how to register for YALSA’s preconferences at ALA Annual Conference in D.C.,’  information on applying to be a Spectrum Scholar, deadlines to volunteer for a YALSA Committee, and more!

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On the last day I was in D.C. for the annual conference, I spent part of it with the McKinley Technology High School media specialist, Gloria Reaves, whom I heard speak at Computers in Libraries conference earlier this year. I met some of the teachers working with the inner city youth on a concentration in technology including biotechnology, information technolgy, or broadcast and digital media. I talked to teens that had won Gates scholarships to pay for their entire college tuition (undergrad and grad), winners of Carnegie scholarships for the summer to investigate video game design, and students who developed 3D models in partnership with the American Cancer Foundation to look at how cancer affects the body. Rick Kelsey, who is the director of the IT Curriculum not only has an obvious passion for working with the students (incedentally one student was borrowing his car to buy a suit for his award ceremony), but believes that just because the students might come with poor social or math skills, if you give them the tools and resources, they will respond in a positive way. I am grateful for their inspiration and the time they took to show off the great work their students are doing.
What have others experienced at their public or school library in giving teens technology tools to learn?

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki