As you know, the ALA/YALSA election season has started. Polls are open March 19 through April 27 and YALSA has candidates on the association’s slate running for governance positions and candidates running for awards positions. In this post I’ll talk about the governance positions and provide information on resources you can access to learn more about the positions. The information should also help you think about what you want to consider when you cast your ballot. (Next week 2012 YALSA Nominating Committee member Dawn Rutherford will post on the awards slate with information on those positions.)

This year the positions open on the YALSA governance slate are (the full slate is available on the YALSAblog):

  • President-elect/President
  • Board of Directors
  • YALSA Councilor

Read More →

In February we are posting interviews with each of the 2012 Candidates for YALSA Award Committees. This week we are focusing on the Excellence in Non-fiction Award Committee. ‘ Each day this week we’ll post an interview with one of the candidates for that committee. We are posting alphabetically by candidate’s last names. ‘ 

The YALSA Nominating Committee for 2012 has been working hard to select candidates for this year’s election. The Excellence in Nonfiction Award Committee honors the best nonfiction book published for young adults (ages 12-18) during a November 1 – October 31 publishing year. The Committee is made up of eight members, including the chair. You can read the Committee policies and procedures on the YALSA website.

This is your chance to get to know this year’s candidates nominated to serve on the Excellence in Nonfiction Committee. Don’t forget the polls are open March 19 through April 27.

Today we have an interview with Maria Gentle. Read More →

In February we are posting interviews with each of the 2012 Candidates for YALSA Award Committees. This week we are focusing on the Excellence in Non-fiction Award Committee. ‘ Each day this week we’ll post an interview with one of the candidates for that committee. We are posting alphabetically by candidate’s last names. ‘ 

The YALSA Nominating Committee for 2012 has been working hard to select candidates for this year’s election. The Excellence in Nonfiction Award Committee honors the best nonfiction book published for young adults (ages 12-18) during a November 1 – October 31 publishing year. The Committee is made up of eight members, including the chair. You can read the Committee policies and procedures on the YALSA website.

This is your chance to get to know this year’s candidates nominated to serve on the Excellence in Nonfiction Committee. Don’t forget, polls are open March 19 through April 27.

Today we have an interview with Molly Collins. Read More →

I’m back, both literally and figuratively. I just attended ALA Midwinter Meeting in Dallas and with a great group of hard working YALSA members we taped interviews with the YALSA candidates. They have been posted for you to listen to. This is just one more way to give you the information you need to make an informed decision about our potential officers and award committee members.

I followed up Midwinter with a visit to my mom in Washington DC. Now, going to Washington always makes me think about our system of government and the fact that it requires individuals to take action. In fact I think about what Winston Churchill said about our form of government. He said “It is said that democracy is the worst form of government, except all the others that have been tried.” Read More →

For the second year during Midwinter YALSA sponsored a Coffee with the Candidates. This event gives members of the association the chance to meet with those running for governance positions (on the 2012 slate) to ask questions about why each candidate is interested in running, what they think they bring to YALSA, and so on. Last year and this year I was impressed both with the questions being asked and with the thoughtfulness of the candidates in answering member questions. The small group speed networking format of the Coffee is perfect for getting to know each other.

At the beginning of the program all of the candidates agreed to be interviewed by members of YALSA’s 2012 Nominating Committee. You can listen to these informal interviews by selecting the links below. (You will also get a sense of the atmosphere of the Coffee via the background noise – including shouts of excitement and laughter.) Read More →

Happy New Year! Have you made some resolutions? Well, I want to challenge each and every one of you to add one more resolution to your list. Here it is:

As a member of YALSA, one of the 5,300 members who have put their money where their mouth is in support of teens across the world, I challenge you to be a role model to your teens.

But you say you already are?

Each of us believes in the work we do, we believe that our teens are the future and we work very hard to provide them with great reading selections, fun and excellent opportunities to try new things, safe places to come and hang out, opportunities to give back through their libraries and communities, and we provide positive role models. Read More →

Hi! I’m Beth Gallaway, a new addition to the YALSA blogging team. I’ve been charged with blogging “about ALA from a YALSA perspective.” I’ve been a YALSA member since 1998, have served on a variety of committees, am an SUS trainer, blogged the last 3 conferences for PLA, and in case you didn’t know it, I’m into video games, currently conquering Guitar Hero.

So, today, March 16, marked the beginning of ALA’s online voting. On the ballots are changes to bylaws, as well as names for selecting our next slate of councilors, board members, and folks to serve on a variety of committees.

My login (ALA membership #) and a unique password were emailed to me with instructions. I went to https://www.alavote.org/2006/ and logged in easily.

I belong to both ALSC and YALSA, so I had 2 division ballots in addition to the main ALA ballot. On each ballot, candidate names had a button next to them, labeled “bio,” Clicking the button made a new window open, showing individual credentials: resume, publications, committee work, accomplishments, and often, a personal statement. Even the bylaw changes had bios that included the original language, the proposed change, and the board’s current stance on the issue. So, even if you feel you haven’t done your homework, you can become an informed voter on the spot.

It took me about 15 minutes to complete all three ballots. If you missed the names of Youth Division members running for ALA council at large, Beth Yoke sent them out on YALSA-L a few weeks ago. The following list is not an endorsement and provided for informational purposes; I leave it up to all of you to consider the implications of having the interests of ALSC and YALSA brought to the Big ALA table–or not.

Cassandra Barnett
Elizabeth (Beth) E. Bingham
Carolyn Brodie
Luann Cogliser
Heidi Dolamore
Eva Efron
Ann Dutton Ewbank

Nancy Fredericks
Carolyn P. Giambra
Dora T. Ho
Dennis J. LeLoup
Virginia (Ginny) Moore
Ria Newhouse
M.A. (Peg) Oettinger
Brenda Pruitt-Annisette
Ellen Riordan

Frances Roscello
Barbara Silverman
Clara Sitter
Margie Thomas
Nancy P. Zimmerman

As far as the issues go, increasing dues are perhaps the biggest one. Amy Alessio outlines the benefits of a YALSA dues increase in her post on March 14. The modest $10 that YALSA is asking for means giving up seeing one movie. Or two of those fancy coffee drinks. Or not buying one gaming magazine. 🙂 And the benefits will bring us an extra $50K, now that we’ve hit 5000 members! (Congrats by the way to Marybeth Gallant, a library teacher in Ashland MA, her library is a member of the region I work for as a library trainer/consultant for youth services).

Increases in ALA dues are on the ballot this year too, with a proposed increase of $10 a year each year for three years. American Librarians Online conducted a poll in January, querying members about the proposed increase and 87% of the 510 respondents voted NO even though it has been 10 years since the last dues increase, and the cost of doing business increases each year.

I know many of our salaries have stagnated in the past few years, and perhaps the amount wouldn’t hurt so much if there were payment plans (like the amount deducted periodically from our paychecks) or if all libraries were willing to pay for staff professional memberships, but we are fortunate that dues are low compared to other professional organizations, and that we get so much bang for our bucks. How much use do you get out of ALA publications? Booklists? Website? Grants? Support? Professional Development? What’s it really worth?

For more information about ALA dues increases, check out the following:
ALA Q& A: Dues Increase:
http://www.ala.org/ala/ourassociation/governingdocs/aheadto2010/qaduesincrease.htm

Executive Director Explains Need for Dues Increase:
http://www.ala.org/ala/alonline/selectedarticles/duesincrease.htm

2006 AL Direct Straw Poll Results
http://www.ala.org/ala/alonline/aldirecta/2006pollresults/2006polls.htm

Online voting continues through April 24, 2006. If you have trouble, help is only a call or email away: User Support: call 800-974-8099 or e-mail 2006electionhelp AT alavote DOT org – note that support is monitored only from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday – Friday (excluding April 14, 2005).

~posted by Beth Gallaway