Every fall the executive committees of ALA divisions meet in Chicago in order to plan for the upcoming months and year. The weekend of meetings is often referred to as Fall Exec and this year’s meetings take place this weekend.

For YALSA, the Executive Committee (made up of the president, president-elect, immediate past president, secretary, fiscal officer and division councilor) meets on Friday morning and all day Saturday. On Friday afternoon YALSA’s Executive Committee members join with other division leaders at a large group meeting to talk about ALA’s strategic plan. Read More →

During the past month I have continued to work with YALSA’s Executive Director, Beth Yoke, the Executive Committee, and Board members on programs and services of the Association.


  • As a part of ALA’s strategic planning process Division Executive Directors and Presidents, Roundtable representatives, along with ALA Executive Board members and some ALA staff members participated in a strategic planning retreat. The planning was facilitated by Paul Meyer of the Tecker Consulting Group. During the retreat sessions participants discussed ALA’s mission, vision, and goals for the future. Over the next few months ideas developed at the retreat and at follow-up ALA meetings will be released for feedback to members and member groups.
  • Each fall members of ALA Division Executive Committees meet in Chicago to discuss plans for the coming year. Over the past few weeks I’ve worked with YALSA Executive Director Beth Yoke on the agenda and support materials for meetings of YALSA’s Executive Committee. Read More →

There’s been a lot of activity at YALSA since Annual Conference. In my six weeks as the President, I’ve had the chance to speak with many members, work on projects with fellow Executive Committee and Board members, and plan for future events and programs.


  • Following discussions at Annual about BBYA in particular and modernizing YALSA’s selected lists in general, the YALSA Executive Committee discussed, via phone, next steps in developing a proposal, to be fine-tuned at Fall Executive Committee Meeting. An overview of the information from that conversation is available as a pdf file.
  • The work of YALSA’s committees/juries/taskforces goes on year-round. Read More →

Yesterday, YALSA’s hard-working Board of Directors met, via conference call, to go over committee post-conference reports and follow-up on a few other items that they’ve been working on. The full agenda and documents for the meeting are available on the YALSA web site in the For Members Only section. (A member login is required to access the documents.)

In this post I want to highlight a few of the items from the meeting:

  • The YALSA Board agreed to update the charge for the Division’s Strategic Planning Committee. This is a standing committee for YALSA (which means it always exists) but at times when the Division is not actually working on a strategic plan it can be difficult for the group to continue their work. Read More →

In late July, a second round of A Day in the Life of a Library, launched. As I read posts librarians wrote for this project about how they spend their days as librarians, I started thinking how I spend my time as YALSA President. And, while it’s not a 9 to 5 job as is that of many librarians, it is something that I spend at least a bit of time on every day. I thought to myself, what about a blog post on a month in the life of a YALSA President?

It’s just over a month since I took on the job of YALSA President, and I can’t quite believe both that it’s been that long and all the conversations I’ve had about YALSA with a variety of people in that time. Don’t worry, this post isn’t going to go through every day of my first month as YALSA President, Read More →

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past few weeks, you’ve probably heard about the controversy surrounding one of YALSA’s best-known lists: the Best Books for Young Adults. Heck, you’d have to be ignoring Twitter, various journals, and this very blog to have not heard a peep about the kerfuffle.

But what really happened?

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Yesterday I was officially installed as YALSA’s President for 2009-2010. I am very excited about working with the Division and its members on an array of projects that will help support librarians working with teens.

yalsa knows risky businessOne thing YALSA will be focusing on over the next year is my presidential theme which is Risky Business. I developed this theme with the support of the Presidential Advisory Task Force. (Thanks to Frances Jacobson Harris, Lisa Lindsay, Jack Martin, Becky Mazur, Jami Mayo, and Connie Urquhart for their hep in getting ready for this year.)

YALSA knows librarians take risks every day of the year when they purchase materials that might be controversial, when they have conversations with teens which might lead to topics that are sometimes difficult to discuss, when they advocate for the programs and services teens need. In order to support librarian risk-taking, during the year YALSA will collect stories about risk from librarians, Read More →

The YALSA Board will meet via conference call from 4:30 to 6:00PM, eastern on Thurs. March 5th to discuss Post-Conference Committee/Jury/Taskforce reports and program proposals for the 2010 ALA Annual Conference.

Per ALA policy, this is an open meeting, and members who want to sit in on the call can contact yalsa@ala.org or call 1.800.545.2433 x4390 to request the dial-in number and passcode.

One of the activities of the YALSA Board Friday’s at Midwinter, is a Board Planning session. At that session Board members talk about where the Division is and where it should be headed. Topics at yesterday’s Board Planning session included the financial health of the Division, the status of the YALSA Strategic Plan, responsibilities of Board members, and Division policies and procedures.

During one brainstorming session at the meeting, each Board member was asked to write down single words (hyphenation was allowed) to describe how she would like to see YALSA remembered by the end of her term on the Board. The brainstorming wasn’t focused on specific projects, but on the direction of the Division in terms of what members should say about the organization’s work, projects, and initiatives. The word cloud below gives a visual of the words generated from that discussion. Read More →

Teen Read Week Is Almost Here! Teen Read Week starts on Sunday! Bookmark www.ala.org/teenread and have your teens begin voting for the 2009 theme (voting doesn’t open until Sunday)! The theme options are: Seek the Unknown @ your library’®, Read Beyond Reality @ your library or Unbelievable Reads @ your library.

Got a Cool Event for Teen Read Week? Tell Us! Visit YALSA’s Teen Read Week wiki and tell us what your Teen Read Week plans are! And after Teen Read Week, make sure to enter your event in the Best Teen Read Week Celebration Contest, from YALSA, AdLit.Org, Mirrorstone, 2008 TRW corporate sponsor.

Teens' Top TenAnd Don’t Forget the Teens’ Top Ten! Teens’ Top Ten voting starts Sunday as well! Encourage your teens to vote in the only booklist created entirely by and for teens! We’ve also developed a widget to add to your library blog or site to encourage teens to vote. Download the button to the left and link back to www.ala.org/teenstopten beginning Oct. 12.

Find out more news from the YALSA Office after the jump.

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