Thanks to Linda, Nick, and Sarah for their answers to the second set of election questions. this is such a great way to get to know more about our candidates. For our third set of questions we have two from me and two from a Past President.

Sarah Debraski
YALSA President-Elect

How will you make time for this larger volunteer role in your life? How will you balance your board chair responsibilities with your personal and professional responsibilities?

Everyone has different skills they bring to a board and an organization. What do you believe is your particular strength that you will bring to leading the YALSA Board?

What do you think the biggest challenge facing our organization is?

From Past President Judy Nelson:

What do you see as the long term change that will occur in your life as a result of serving on the YALSA Board?
How will this experience help you move your goals forward?

Welcome again to the election forum on the YALSA blog. Thanks Linda, Sarah, and Nick for your great answers to the first questions. Now, on to today’s questions:

Spreading the word about YALSA and library service to teens is an important task for the Division President. What training or mentoring have you done to spread the YA word to other professionals? Who has mentored or made a difference in your professional life?

YALSA is lucky to have members with a very wide variety of backgrounds and experiences, including brand new members and long-term members. What services do you feel YALSA provides that are particularly valuable for new members? Long-term members? What are your ideas for reaching those groups of members?

And finally, just for fun, what are some of your favorite YA books, authors and/or movies?

Sarah Debraski
YALSA President-Elect

Get Connected to Teen Tech Week

Registration may be closed, but Teen Tech Week plans are just starting to heat up!

First, make sure you’ve ordered your official Teen Tech Week products by Monday, Feb. 18 to have them arrive by Teen Tech Week using standard shipping. (And hurry—products are going fast; we’ve already sold out of Tune In bookmarks and the TTW 2008 Set).

If you’re stumped for ideas, find inspiration at the Teen Tech Week Wiki, from the resources page at the Teen Tech Week Web site, or by picking up a copy of Get Connected: Tech Programs for Teens, by RoseMary Honnold for YALSA (Neal-Schuman, 2007)!

Make sure to bookmark ! During Teen Tech Week, encourage your teens to vote for next year’s theme as well as take part in the Be Smart Wired Survey on teen’s online habits. Both will be open for voting starting March 2.

Get the Jump on Annual

Early bird registration ends in just three weeks, so it’s a good time to finalize your summer plans and join YALSA in Anaheim, June 26-July 2!

We’re offering two preconferences—Got Tweens? Serving Younger Teens and Tweens and Turn Teens on to Reading through Booktalks—as well as special events—Edwards Award Luncheon, the Printz Awards Reception, and the Young Adult Authors Coffee Klatch.

Find more details about registration and housing at the ALA Annual Web site or the YALSA @ ALA Annual Conference Wiki.

Get Smart with YALSA’s E-courses

Looking to expand your knowledge? Got a few extra professional development dollars to spend? Then look no further than YALSA’s roster of Summer E-courses. Three six week classes, taught by YALSA experts, will take place from July 7 to August 18. Classes include:

  • Making the Match: Finding the Right Book for the Right Teen at the Right Time
  • Reaching Teens with Gaming
  • Tech Tools for Teen Leadership

Registration opens May 18. To learn more, visit YALSA’s Summer Online Courses page.

Get Ready for the First Young Adult Literature Symposium

YALSA’s first biennial Young Adult Literature Symposium, How We Read Now, will be Nov. 7-9 in Nashville! Details on registration and more will be posted later, but you can find out the program slate now (and see the papers to be presented) by visiting the Young Adult Literature Symposium Web site.

Get Out the Vote

The YALSA elections will begin soon! Balloting begins March 17. Check out the YALSA Slate of Candidates!

Check back to the YALSA Blog every Thursday for a rundown of news and updates from the YALSA Office. Send your questions and comments to Stevie Kuenn, YALSA Communications Specialist, at

Welcome back to Election Forum on the YALSA blog! For the past two years we have utilized our blog to help members get to know the candidates for the various YALSA offices a bit better. This has been such a great success that we’ll once again be posting questions for our candidates, beginning with questions for Sarah Flowers, Linda Braun, and Nick Buron, our candidates for YALSA Vice-President/President-Elect.
The outcome of the election will affect everyone, so please use this forum as a chance to learn about candidates running on the spring ballot.
I will be posting questions for the President-Elect category. This year bloggers will be posting additional questions to the Board, MAE and Printz Candidates! YALSA members are welcome to follow up on their responses with further questions.
We encourage lively discussion and debate as appropriate to the topic, but of course no personal comments or attacks will be allowed.

Polls for the ALA 2008 election open on March 17 and close on April 24 at 11:59 p.m. CST on!

Here is the first round of questions for Sarah, Linda, and Nick:

Tell us about your experience within YALSA and ALA, including what positions you have held in our Division and in the larger ALA structure.

Which positions were your favorites and why, and how did those experiences help you develop the important skills necessary to be YALSA President?

Sarah Debraski
YALSA President-Elect

Make sure you’re ready to vote in the 2008 ALA Election! Only members whose dues are up to date as of January 31, 2008 will be eligible to vote. Click on “Join/Renew ALA” from to renew your dues, if necessary.

If you prefer to vote online, be sure ALA has your correct email address. If a snail mail ballot is your preference, be sure ALA has your correct postal address. You can update your contact info online by following these steps:
1. start at, clicking on “Login” in the upper right corner
2. log in w/ your email address and password

3. click on “view my ALA”
4. then click on “update my profile”
5. add or change any contact information
6. click the red “save and continue” button

To learn more about the ALA election, go to, scroll down and click on the “ALA Election 2008” icon. To view the slate for YALSA, go to the Election section of YALSA’s blog.
-Beth Yoke

YALSA’s Nominating Committee has finalized the slate for the 2008 election. The slate is:

VICE PRESIDENT/PRESIDENT-ELECT (two candidates minimum)
Linda Braun
Nick Buron
Sarah Flowers

FISCAL OFFICER (two candidates minimum)
Mary Hastler
Ritchie Momon

SECRETARY (two candidates minimum)
Francisca Goldsmith
Tricia Suellentrop

BOARD MEMBER (six candidates minimum)
Angela Carstensen
Ruth Cox Clark
Shari Fesko
Monique le Conge
Sandra Payne
Gail Tobin

Cindy Welch

2010 EDWARDS AWARD COMMITTEE (6 candidates minimum)
Terry Beck
Roxy Ekstrom
Kathie Fitch
Cathy Lichtman
Mary Anne Nichols

Maren Ostergard

2010 PRINTZ AWARD COMMITTEE (8 candidates minimum)
Priscille Dando
Teri Lesesne
Jack Martin
Richie Partington
Sheila Schofer

Ann Theis
Cheryl Karp Ward
Carlisle Webber

Thank you to the members of YALSA’s Nominating Committee for the time and effort they put into the development of the slate. The 2008 Election polls open March 17th. In order to be eligible to vote in the election, members must be in good standing (i.e. have their dues paid up) by January 31st, 2008. For more information on the ALA election visit the ALA Election web page.
If you think you’re interested in running on the 2009 slate, it’s not too early to start planning! Michael Cart will be chairing the next Nominating Committee. You are welcome to contact Paula Brehm-Heeger, Michael, or me with any questions.

-Beth Yoke

Attention all librarians, teachers, bloggers, and teens!

Votin’ is our sacred American duty!

It’s time to encourage your teens to cast their vote for the Teens’ Top 10

Sponsored by YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association) and the YA Galley Committee

The Teens’ Top 10 is the only book award list that is recommended and awarded solely by teens.

***Teens have been reading! 15 teen groups sifted through Advance Reader’s Copies/Galleys to find the best books for teens published in 2006 and 2007.

***This year, 25 titles made it through the laborious process and were nominated for the Teens’ Top 10. In order to be nominated, a book must be selected by 3 different teens from within these 15 groups.

***Now, we need teens from all over the United States to vote on the Top 10!

To do List

For Librarian — Set up a voting station and inform your teens with the 5 W’s about Teens’ Top 10 voting. For more information about the Teens’ Top 10 (as well as promotion ideas), please visit the website. Get the information below into teens’ hands

For Teens — Voting opens during Teen Read Week, October 14-20, 2007. We want to know which titles you think deserve the title of Teens’ Top 10. Twenty-five titles have been nominated by teens just like you as the best reads of 2006-2007. Read as many of the titles as you can before October 14, 2007. Teens should visit the website to place their vote anytime during Teen Read Week. We look forward to seeing which books YOU think are the best of the best.

For bloggers — Get the word out about this important initiative.

The YA Galley Committee will count all of these votes to come up with the official list of Teens’ Top 10 for 2007.

Without further ado, these are the 25 nominated titles for Teens’ Top 10 2007:

1. Firegirl by Tony Abbott

2. Clay by David Almond
3. Road of the Dead by Kevin Brooks
4. Secrets of My Hollywood Life by Jen Calonita
5. The Loud Silence of Francine Green by Karen Cushman

6. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
7. How to Ruin a Summer Vacation by Simone Elkeles
8. In Search of Mockingbird by Loretta Ellsworth
9. The Christopher Killer by Alane Ferguson
10. What Happened to Cass McBride by Gail Giles

11. Hello, Groin by Beth Goobie
12. River Secrets by Shannon Hale
13. Shock Point by April Henry
14. Bad Kitty by Michele Jaffe

15. Born to Rock by Gordon Korman
16. New Moon by Stephanie Meyer
17. Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City by Kirsten Miller
18. Prom Anonymous by Blake Nelson
19. Maximum Ride: School’s Out-Forever by James Patterson

20. Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
21. Penelope Bailey Takes the Stage by Susanna Reich
22. All Hallows Eve (13 Stories) by Vivian Vande Velde
23. Skin by Adrienne Maria Vrettos
24. The Unresolved by T.K. Welsh

25. Flora Segunda: Being the Magickal Mishaps of a Girl of Spirit, Her Glass-Gazing Sidekick, Two Ominous Butlers (One Blue), a House with Eleven Thousand Rooms, and a Red Dog by Ysabeau S. Wilce

For more information about the Teens’ Top 10, please visit

(Posted on behalf of the YA Galley Committee)

YALSA members: please take a moment to vote for co-conveners of the YALSA gaming interest group in the poll online at:

You MUST be a YALSA member to vote; have your ALA membership card handy! The two candidates with the most votes will be co-conveners for July 2007-June 2008. Choices and candidate statements follow; you can also write in a candidate.

Polls close at 11 PM EST June 30, 2007.

FYI: The purpose of the YALSA Teen Gaming Interest Group is to discuss
issues relating to teens and gaming and to develop and disseminate best practices in collections, programming, and related topics in the field of gaming (including video, computer, internet, handheld, mobile, board, card, and miniatures) for young adults ages 12-18. The group meets at Midwinter and Annual. Bring a program to share, a game recommendation, or your questions about starter collections or successful gaming events. Check out online discussions in ALA’s Online Communities, and Recommended Games Lists on the YALSA Wiki.

Please choose a convener for the YALSA Teen Gaming Interest Group. The two candidates with the most votes will be co-conveners for July 2007-June 2008. Choices and candidate statements follow; you can also write in a candidate.

Kelly Czarnecki: “Kelly Czarnecki has served as co-convener of the YALSA Gaming Interest Group for 2006-2007 where she helped add content to the YALSA wikiat, invited speakers to the meetings at conference, and posted updates to members and attendees. She is active with teens and video gaming programs at her library in Charlotte, NC and writes a column for YAttitudes on a variety of game activities as well as School Library Journal. Kelly would like to see the interest group continue to work toward developing a selection list of games which was started by Beth Gallaway and continue to be a resource for libraries working with teens for gaming programs.”

Beth Gallaway: “As founder of the group, I’d like to see out the first three years of this Interest Group and help shape how YALSA Interest Groups work. I’ve been pleased to work with Kelly to put on three meetings that have had a program element and look forward to coordinating our first program in Anaheim in ’08 on programs related to gaming that aren’t tournaments. I’ve been gaming since I was five and travel around the country doing workshops on how libraries can appeal to gamers with programs, services and collections;my book on Gaming & Libraries comes out at the end of year.”

Jami Schwarzwalder: “Games, like teens, are often misunderstood, and as a leader for the YALSA gaming interest group it would be my honor to help support librarians, defend gaming, foster new initiatives in gaming services, as well as encourage gaming programs to become as common as preschool story time. Since I was young I’ve been involved in the world of gaming. As a child, gaming served as a way to socialize with my mother and friends. As a teen, I interacted in unique worlds available through Role Playing Systems, designed video games, and my own imagination related to tabletop games. In college I studied education, and soon discovered that gaming had many educational elements that also benefits today’s teens and children. While in library school, I evaluated many games and developed a collection policy. Both are now available online at my website I’ve also worked with individuals from the game industry to promote partnerships with schools and libraries.”

Results will be announced by July 1 2007. Thanks for your participation.

ALA electronic polls close in just six days, on April 24! I got a reminder today from YALSA President Judy Nelson, and am pleased to report I DID vote, last week. It only took a moment to find the email with the password I’d been sent last month so I could log in, and in less than 20 minutes, I got through all three ballots, for ALA, ALSC, and YALSA. The clickable bios make it really easy to choose your candidates, even if you haven’t been following coverage on division blogs or library journals. (Note: you can catch up on YALSA candidates via the posts tagged “Election” at

Judy reports two items on the YALSA ballot:

  1. Proposal to amend the Bylaws to increase member representation on the Board of Directors by increasing the number of Directors-at-Large from six to seven. (YALSA’s explosion to 5000+ members merits this change)
  2. Proposal to amend the Bylaws to add a Secretary position to the Board of Directors, which will also serve on the Executive Committee. (another result of rapid growth, and need for accurate and timely record-keeping)

For informational purposes, a list of AASL/ALSC/YALSA members running for ALA Councillor at Large follows. For our concerns to be represented, we have to be at the table. I am not endorsing any candidate in particular, but encourage you to vote for your youth services colleagues.

Brenda Pruitt Annisette
James F. Bennett
Walter Betts
Diane Chen
Sarah Flowers
Carolyn Lowe Garnes
Catherine Greene

Elaine Harger
Plummer Jones, Jr.
Marilyn McCroskey
M.A. Oettinger
Sylvia Mora Ona
Melore Ranney Norman
Annemarie Roscello
Clara Sitter
Lynn Strickland

J. Linda Williams

Vote today!

I voted in the election, have you? ALA has been the leader in making the voting process absolutely painless and simple. No need to find the right # pencil or a stamp. Just log in and make your selections. Remember, the leadership we have is the one we elect. No fair complaining about something unless we all vote. There is still plenty of time to make your vote count.

Posted by Teri Lesesne