One of the many topics that the Board discussed at Midwinter was the status of the Strategic Planning Committee (.pdf). The’ Strategic Planning Committee is established by YALSA’s bylaws as one of our standing process committees. Its current charge is to work with the Board throughout the planning process and between planning cycles on developing, monitoring, and promoting the strategic plan.

While all these activities remain important, the Strategic Planning Committee’s role in them has decreased in years when a new strategic plan is not being developed. In particular, the Board’s recent decision to implement standing Board committees (.pdf) to monitor each of the five strategic plan goals negates the need for additional monitoring work by the Strategic Planning Committee. We know that members are volunteering valuable time when they serve on YALSA committees. We want to make sure that time and energy is being directed to activities that are productive, not redundant.

After discussing this agenda item at Midwinter, the Board voted to put the proposed bylaws change (.pdf)–which would remove Strategic Planning from YALSA’s list of standing committees–on the spring election ballot for the consideration of the membership. If this bylaws change is approved, Strategic Planning will be sunset as a standing committee on June 30, 2014, and the committee will become a task force that will exist only in the years when a new strategic plan is being developed.

The 2014 election will open on March 19 and close April 25, so look for this proposed bylaws change affecting Strategic Planning on your ballot. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the proposed change, I encourage you to comment below or to email me or any other member of the YALSA Board. We’d love to hear from you.

Do you have a Great Idea about recruiting and maintaining YALSA members? If you enter the Great Ideas Contest you could win $250 in cash! We want current and potential members to be engaged in the work and the fun of being involved in the great work YALSA does. We are always looking for ideas to promote membership and to market YALSA to those in the profession. So get those creative ideas swirling aound in your brain and apply for the Great Ideas Contest! There will be’ 1 winner for an individual member entry.’  Talk with your staff and friends or a current committee on which you serve and come up with a winning idea.
The contest rules and scope may be found at:
Enter today and perhaps you will be the winner of $250!

Are you engaged in YA research and have ideas about how YALSA can better share yours and others work? Do have some thoughts about how YALSA can better encourage those in the field to conduct their own research on young adults? Have you thought about and come up with some ideas about how YALSA can partner with other organizations and individuals to increase research and knowledge about research in general?

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Librarians working with young adults need no proof that their services have an impact on teens and the community that surrounds them. As soon as you make that vital connection with a teen who trusts you to find a good book for them, or to show them resources for an important paper, you have influenced a life. The greater community, however, may not see the value of this intangible work. It’s taken many years to convince library boards and administrators of the importance of a librarian dedicated to the service of young adults. Now, as budgets are slashed and libraries forced to close, the need to champion the work of young adult librarians is even greater than before.’ What we really need are some Great Ideas that emphasis the urgency of young adult advocacy.

In the new Strategic Plan, Advocacy and Activism play a vital role in YALSA’s ‘ future goals. Since’ YALSA’ is an organization with members working in a variety of settings, we need a variety of Great Ideas. What does your institution do to increase awareness of teen services? What do you wish it would do? What would you do as an individual, given the time and resources?
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YALSA’s new strategic plan is on its way to taking shape after two very important sessions that took place during Annual Conference.’  On Friday, facilitator Alan Brickman led a YALSA Board workshop during which he guided conversations around the current mission statement asking how it should be updated. Then the group examined the current strategic plan, evaluating how YALSA has progressed towards accomplishing each goal in the time since the plan was developed.’ Board members prioritized the objectives and determined the lessons learned based on a pre-conference conversation about the member survey results and the perception of what goals and objectives should be YALSA’s focus for the next three to five years. Read More →