Monthly President’s Report – July 2011

My first month as YALSA President has been a busy one. Below is a summary of activities that I have completed or am working on.

Completed Tasks

  • Presented two webinars for new chairs of ‘ process committees, task forces, and juries about their roles and responsibilities.
  • Presented (with Beth Yoke) a webinar for new board members about the relationship of YALSA and ALA.
  • Had phone conversations with several YALSA committee chairs about the upcoming work of their committees.
  • Had phone conversation with Lesley Farmer, YALSA’s IFLA representative, about the upcoming IFLA Conference and about what information about YALSA she should share there.
  • Set up the @yalsapresident Twitter account, and began tweeting information about YALSA activities and linking to articles on teens and libraries.
  • Filled a vacancy on the Best Fiction for Young Adults committee.
  • Appointed members to a task force charged to write a manual for the Odyssey Award Committee.

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About a month and a half ago, YALSA members elected Jack Martin as 2012-2013 YALSA President. While he was interviewed for the YALSA Podcast during the elections as a candidate, I had some more questions for him now that he’s just weeks away from officially beginning his term as President-Elect. Jack kindly agreed to answer those questions for me.

What was the first thing you did when you learned that you’d won the election?

I called my husband and my mom to tell them the good news!
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April was a month of celebrations as we acknowledged and celebrated School Library Month along with both National Library Week and National Volunteer Week during the week of April 10-16, 2011. And as always we celebrated Support Teen Literature Day on the Thursday of National Library week with the announcement of the 2011 Teens’ Top Ten nominations and the launch of the ‘ Teen Read Weekâ„¢ website.

Along with thanking all of our hardworking members and library workers this month, I also want to send out a special thank you to the 2011 Summer Reading TF chaired by Charli Osborne. This newly appointed group, not only came together to begin their task, but quickly organized themselves, reviewed and judged the’  entries submitted for the Dollar General Summer Reading Grants. These $1,000 grants were given to 20 YALSA members who were recognized for an outstanding proposal of teen-focused summer reading programs.’ ‘ ‘  Read More →

Teen Tech Week kept us all busy in March as we explored and shared the joys of technology with our teens. Thank you to all the YALSA members who participated in Teen Tech Week activities with the teens in your libraries!’ â€¦and speaking of YALSA members, have you ever wondered just who it is that makes up the YALSA membership? Here is a’ snapshot that shows just who your fellow members are:

Total membership: 5,416 (1.3% increase over this time last year)

11% are academics

24% are students

26% are school librarians

37% are public librarians

2% are other (retirees, friends, etc.) Read More →

Happy Teen Tech Weekâ„¢, YALSA members! Thanks go out to the Margaret Edwards Trust for funding the TTW mini grants, and thanks to the TTW Committee for the great e-resources they created.’  Many thanks also to Stephanie Kuenn, who submitted the application for a Carnegie Whitney Grant. Our application was successful and we received an ALA Carnegie Whitney Grant to self-publish a book focused on summer reading programs to be edited by Kat Kan. Thank you also to the WrestleMania Reading Challenge Jury for judging submissions and announcing the regional winners of the WrestleMania Reading Challenge. Details on the contest, winners and the next round of the challenge can be found here.’  Thanks to the Mattel Foundation and WWE for funding the program. Read More →

January brought a busy start to the year with ALA’s Midwinter Meeting beginning shortly after the New Year. Board members were kept busy attending board planning, governance meetings and many other activities to show support to our leaders and membership. The Division and Membership Planning Committee put a tremendous amount of work into planning YALSA 201 and I would like to thank Melissa McBride and her committee for the hard work they all did. The Financial Advancement Committee, headed by Pam Spencer Holley also put an enormous amount of work into the Not so Silent Auction that YALSA hosted to raise money for The development of resources for librarians so they can promote award winning books to their teens. This was a wonderful event that could not have happened without the dedication of Pam and her entire committee. I would also like to thank all of the committee chairs and their members; members at large; authors; businesses and everyone else who so generously gave of their time, services and materials to come up with such creative baskets to auction off! It was a fun-filled night full of YALSAtinis, laughter and fun and we raised about $4,000 through it all!

December is always such a busy month and this one was no exception. As soon as the holidays were over and done with, many of us were all off and running (or flying as the case may be) to San Diego for the ALA Midwinter Meeting in January. ‘ Most of December was so busy with Midwinter prep work that there wasn’t much time for anything else, but we did see one fantabulous new edition that kicked off just before the holidays.’  The Hub, ‘ YALSA’s new blog specifically dedicated to young adult literature was launched by blog Member Manager Sarah Debraski! Many thanks Sarah for leading YALSA’s successful new blog venture!

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October is a great month to spend as a YALSA member. Members celebrated Teen Read Weekâ„¢ by engaging teens in numerous programming events meant to encourage them to spend more recreational time reading for the fun of it. A new round of the WrestleMania Reading Challenge kicked off with teens signing up at participating libraries and pledging to read books and compete in bookmark competitions for a chance to attend WrestleMania in Atlanta next spring. Read More →

September was a month full tying up loose ends and kicking off new projects. The YALSA Executive Committee is preparing to meet for our annual fall meeting in Chicago on October 22-23. October will be just as busy as we all gear up for Teen Read Weekâ„¢ and the kick off of the Wrestlemania Reading Challenge …Thank you’s this month go to Pam Spencer Holley for participating in an interview with Lini S. Kadaba of the Philadelphia Inquirer for an article on Ellen Hopkins and why teens love her books. mk Eagle gets a huge thanks for leading her bloggers through another successful round of 30 days of back to school blogging. Maria Gentle, who has volunteered to translate YALSA’s updated Competencies for Librarians Serving Youth into Spanish for YALSA also deserves a big YALSA thank you.’  Read More →

August proved to be a busy month that included attending my first ever BCALA conference in Birmingham, AL, conference calls with chairs of various YALSA committees, and calls from the press for various interviews.

‘ Thank You’s

  • Thanks to the hard work of the 2010 Nominating Committee led by John Sexton, we are one step closer to having a full slate for the 2011 YALSA elections. Watch for more information on the candidates on the blog, and make plans now to attend the Coffee with the Candidates Forum at the Midwinter in San Diego, CA.
  • Thank you also to the YALSA office staff led by Executive Director Beth Yoke who worked with ALA’s Development Office to write and submit a grant to Dollar General.’  YALSA was awarded $70,000 to fund summer reading and Teen Read Weekâ„¢ efforts in 2011, including mini grants to libraries, creating Spanish language TRW materials and distributing sets of the 2011 Teens’ Top Ten winners.
  • Thanks to all the members and groups who have donated items to YALSA’s Not so Silent Auction so far.’  Amy Alessio is compiling a dessert cookbook to auction off at the event.’  She still needs recipes from members, and it’s not too late for you to participate.’  The deadline to turn in your recipe is Sept. 30th.’  There’s an easy to use template at’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘  Read More →