YALSA needs your help!

We are soliciting feedback through Aug. 20 to help us select YALSA’s continuing education sessions for ALA’s 2013 Annual Conference in Chicago June 22-26.’  The anonymous feedback you provide will help determine what programs will be featured at the 2013 Conference.

If you get a chance, please read descriptions of potential program and preconferences and vote online at www.surveymonkey.com/s/annual2013programs.

Questions? Contact Nichole Gilbert at ngilbert@ala.org.

The YALSA Board met three times at ALA Annual in Anaheim. Over those three meetings, the Board had some substantial discussions, set up some new task forces and ad hoc Board committees, approved two new committee manuals, and moved forward on several other items. For more details on these items, see the official Board documents at http://www.ala.org/yalsa/workingwithyalsa/governance/board/annual2012. The official minutes will also be posted in the Governance section of the website in the near future. The summary is below:

New Task Forces

  • A president-elect advisory task force to work with president-elect Shannon Peterson on defining her presidential theme and setting her goals.
  • An appointments task force to work with president-elect Shannon Peterson to help her make committee appointments during the coming year.
  • A 365 Days of YA task force to create and disseminate a calendar of easy to implement teen services resources aimed at new teens services librarians, library generalists, and paraprofessionals.
  • A state library association outreach task force to reach out to YA sections and roundtables of state library associations and school library associations to strengthen ties with these like-minded organizations.
  • A youth engagement task force to find ways to involve teens in the work of the YALSA Board by identifying and implementing projects in conjunction with Teen Advisory Groups.
  • A capacity-building task force to focus on the capacity-building goal of YALSA’s strategic plan.
  • A task force to create a manual for virtual selection committees.
  • A YALSA/ALSC/AASL task force to look at issues around the Common Core Standards.

Read More →

Although the YALSA Board of Directors does a lot of work online and on the telephone throughout the year, our face-to-face meetings at ALA Midwinter and ALA Annual are big occasions for us to have some weighty discussions and make some major decisions. The agenda and board documents for Annual are now available online at www.ala.org/yalsa/workingwithyalsa/governance/board/annual2012. All members are welcome to attend any Board meeting.

The YALSA Board meeting at Annual is actually three separate meetings:

  • Saturday, from 2:30-5:30, in the Convention Center, Room 211A
  • Sunday, from 4-5:30, in the Convention Center, Room 211B
  • Monday, from 1:30-3:30, in the Convention Center, Room 212 B

Read More →

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

Each year, YALSA sponsors preconference workshops and programs for the ALA Annual Conference. Through May 31, we’re seeking your proposals for a conference presentation at next year’s event in Chicago, June 27 to July 2. As you can see from our request for proposal, next year we are emphasizing creative conference proposals, highlighting best practices and innovations in five priority areas:

  • Young Adult Literature/Readers’ Advisory
  • Advocacy & Activism
  • Programming & Outreach
  • Research & Best Practices
  • Teen Spaces (physical & virtual)
  • Youth Participation

What innovations have you brought in these five areas? What inspiration have you found in our 30 Days series that could apply to them? YALSA is as creative and innovative as its members, which is to say very creative and highly innovative. So fill out our Annual 2013 request for proposal and tell your peers about everything you’ve accomplished at your library!


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 →

When it comes to advocating for teen services, many of us have had to justify the importance of our role to our communities, library boards, and sometimes even fellow staff members; the unfortunate reality is that we will need to continue doing so for the unforeseeable future. With cuts to staffing and operating hours affecting how we do our day-to-day jobs, it can be easy to put advocacy on the back burner instead of keeping it at the forefront of all that we do. As we rush from program to program, patron to patron, we could all use more help advocating on behalf of the teens we serve. What better resource than the teens themselves to help promote libraries and, more specifically, teen services! 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.

Are you excited about the YALSA elections? They are coming up soon (March 19th-April 27th), and your participation is vital! This is your chance to help determine the who will be deciding on those books featured in our wonderful awards in the next few years. Many positions are appointed, but three lists rely on elections to fully populate them. This year the positions open on the YALSA awards slate are (the full slate with candidates is available on the YALSAblog):

  • Margaret A Edwards
  • Excellence in Nonfiction
  • Michael L. Printz

While you are no doubt very familiar with the awards themselves, you might be less familiar with what is expected of the folks serving on those committees.
Read More →