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Results 1 - 25 of 67
1. YALSA President's Report - January 2015

Thanks again to all who braved the snowy weather to be part of the 2015 Midwinter Meetings, as well as those who chose to participate virtually with the board and other activities. It was a busy January, and I'm thrilled with all the work that members and the YALSA Board accomplished. Here's a peek at what I've been doing:


  • Currently appointing to the new Board Diversity Taskforce, which will look at and make recommendations regarding the selection and recruitment of YALSA leaders. If you’re interested in serving, please send me an e-mail and/or submit a volunteer form.
  • With Executive Director Beth Yoke and the board, finalized agendas for Midwinter YALSA Executive Committee and Board meetings.
  • Led discussions at YALSA Board meetings. Draft minutes of those discussions will be posted here.
  • Led discussions during two YALSA Executive Committee meetings. Draft minutes of those discussions will be posted here.
  • Led a Board Planning Session which focused on outcomes training and ways to incorporate outcomes into YALSA’s strategic planning process.
  • Attended formal and informal meetings with Division and ALA leaders at the Midwinter conference.
  • Highlighted the work of YALSA selection committees at the Youth Media Awards.
  • Hosted and celebrated Nonfiction and Morris award winners and finalists at the Midwinter reception.
  • Appointed members to fill vacancies on various committees.
  • Spoke with CNN regarding the importance of the Morris Award and recognizing new authors.
  • Spoke with U.S. News and World Report about teen library engagement.



  • Thank you to all the selection and award committee members and Chairs who have just completed a year's worth of hard work in recognizing great books to engage all teens (and the librarians who love them).
  • Thank you to the YALSA liaisons for attending and reporting back from ALA meetings.
  • Thank you to the YALSA Board for engaging in some mega discussions and your assistance in moving YALSA forward.
  • Thank you to YALSA staff (Beth Yoke, Letitia Smith, Anna Lam, Nicole Munguia, and Nichole O'Connor) for all that you do, both behind the scenes at conference, and for your hard work throughout the year in the YALSA office.

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2. YALSA Election: An Interview with ALA President-Elect Candidate James LaRue

Get ready to vote! The YALSA election runs from March 24 through May 1, and to help you be an informed voter, we're sharing interviews with each of the 2015 YALSA Governance and 2017 Selection Committee candidates as well as the ALA President-Elect Candidates.

Today we'll hear from a candidate for ALA President-Elect. The ALA President serves a one year term. The role of the ALA President is to be the Association's chief spokesperson and to work closely with the ALA's Executive Director in identifying and promoting library issues nationwide and internationally. A full description of ALA Presidential duties and responsibilities can be found here.

Full biographical information on all of the candidates can be found on the sample ballot.

Today we have an interview with James LaRue.

Name and current position:
James LaRue, CEO of LaRue & Associates, Castle Rock, Colorado

How do you envision your leadership as ALA President being supportive of YALSA and the work it does for teens?
My platform (see next question) very much applies to teens. I envision an engaged, even activist profession, plugged into community needs, embracing of the maker movement, and serving as proud and relentless advocates for literacy. Few investments pay off like paying attention to the next generations.

Share with YALSAblog readers the areas you intend to focus on as ALA President and why these issues are important.
My platform has three planks
1. A new push for librarians as leaders. I envision a process in which librarians identify key community leaders, leave the building to interview those leaders in their own locations, strive to understand the concerns and aspirations of those leaders' constituent, then choose library-led projects that make a difference. In this way, librarians build relationships, catalog their communities, and help set the agenda for meaningful change. It's not about us anymore; it's not even about transforming lives. It's about building great communities by becoming leaders ourselves. And teens are often an area of keen interest to a community.
2. A push for librarians to move from gatekeepers (serving only as final links in the distribution chain of content) to gardeners (coaches, partners, co-creators and publishers) of new content. There is a more democratic explosion of patron generated work around us - books, music, movies. The library should be at the heart of this revolution. Think YOUmedia at Chicago Public as just one example.
3. An all-out promotion of the importance of early literacy. A host of studies have conclusively demonstrated the power of "book abundance." Research shows that getting 500 books in the home of a child between the ages of 0-5 is as good as having two parents with Master's degrees. Librarians and teachers know this; but many others in our society do not. This is of interest not only to public and school librarians, but to academic and research libraries as well. Reading for pleasure leads not only to emotionally intelligent teens and adults, but likely results in the pursuit of further education. We need to get this information out of the library echo chamber and into our larger society.

Talk about a recent time when you supported library services for teens in your current or a previous position.
As director of the Douglas County (Colo.) Libraries, we established an "Aloha Teen Tower" - a distinct section of a new library whose collections, technology, and even furniture and furnishings, were determined by our teen advisory board's recommendations. As a sponsor of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) we paid to edit, then electronically publish, our teen award winners (using local judges). In one of my favorite programs, we hired teen library assistants -- not pages! -- to work at a higher level with other teens. I'm very pleased to report that this has been a wonderful librarian recruitment program - several of those students have now returned to us as librarians.

Why should YALSA members choose you to be ALA president?
I believe we are at a tipping point in our profession, requiring a vision of far more engaged and active librarians. I have the leadership skills and experience, the vision and communication ability to both inspire our colleagues, and the drive to promote their good work to a larger environment. In addition to my work as a librarian, I have worked with a host of media (newspaper columnist, radio and TV show host), many non-profits (including the Douglas County Youth Initiative, and the National Children's Health Study, both of which I chaired), and other groups around the county, state, and nation, to ensure that librarians have a seat at the table for important discussions, and that we made valuable - and acknowledged - contributions.

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3. YALSA Board @ Midwinter Preview: Member Survey Report and Strategic Planning

Last fall, YALSA conducted a survey to get member input on the next strategic plan. The Strategic Planning Taskforce’s official report is now available as part of the YALSA Board’s 2015 Midwinter Meeting Board Documents. You can find it at item #26 on the agenda. If you have any responses to share on the survey, we would love to hear from you!

There are lots of strategic planning activities happening at Midwinter! The Board will be dedicating its Board Planning and Board I meetings to strategic planning sessions with consultant Alan Brickman (item #1 on the agenda). Like all Board meetings, these are open to all conference attendees, and you are welcome to drop in and observe. We’ll also be live tweeting from board meetings, so please follow @yalsa for more details.

Member involvement is a key part of successful strategic planning, so YALSA’s also hosting a member planning session at Midwinter: Moving YALSA Forward on Sunday, February 1, from 1-2:30 pm. This session will be facilitated by Alan Brickman as well. Advocacy emerged as an important theme in our member survey results, and it will be the main topic explored here. We hope you’ll come and participate in this session: we need to hear from as many members as possible to make it a success! Light refreshments will be available.

If you’re not attending Midwinter--or your schedule is already too packed!--YALSA still wants to hear from you on the development of the next strategic plan. One way to be heard will be to attend the virtual town hall that YALSA President Chris Shoemaker will be hosting on February 24, 3-4 pm Eastern, via Adobe Connect. (Mark your calendars now!) Or, please feel free to email us with your comments and concerns. You can reach Chris at cinf0master@gmail.com and Joy Kim, Strategic Planning Chair, at joy.kim@gmail.com.

We hope to see many of you in Chicago!

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4. YALSA Board @ Midwinter: Advocates Advisory Panel Update

During the Annual 2014 Conference, the YALSA Board approved an agenda item that proposed a new framework to formally include the voices of professionals in related fields with similar goals and objectives. The Advocates Advisory Panel will be charged with tackling a specific area of focus related to the Strategic Plan, the Future of Library Services for and with Teens report, or other topics as identified by the Board each year. The hope is that through this process, YALSA will gain valuable outside perspective on topics that are important for teens, expand its reach through new and/or strengthened relationships, and model the kind of collaborative, collective work that is called out in the Future report.

Because the Board approved the proposal in concept, as the author, I’ve been tasked with working with the Board Standing Committee on Capacity Building to create an inaugural focus and to hammer out some of the logistics. Although there’s obviously any number of topics that might be interesting to pursue with this, we decided that one viable option would be for the panel to consider strategies that YALSA might pursue in order to connect key principles and guidelines (such as the those presented in the Future report) to LIS education. We determined that this might be a sensible place to start because:

  •  A deeper dive into the state of and needs of LIS educators in light of the report may help inform the work of the Board as well as priority content areas for subsequent Panels
  • Without connecting directly with the ways in which students in LIS programs are recruited and educated, YALSA can’t guarantee that the work recommended in the Futures report can move forward
  • An academic perspective is lacking in YALSA’s current leadership. By actively recruiting experienced LIS educators to serve on the panel, YALSA may build capacity in this area
  • Engaging the perspective of educators in other fields on this issue has the potential to create the opportunity for increased cross-pollination or future collective impact efforts

You can view the full proposal and other Board docs here. If you have questions or ideas related to this proposal, I’d love to hear them! Please feel free to connect with me at shannon.peterson@gmail.com

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5. You! Yes, YOU could run for YALSA office.

Do you have a passion for the future of teens services in libraries? Are you looking for ways to give back to the profession and to YALSA? Do you want to effect change, build new skills, and develop a killer resume in the process? If you answered yes to any of these questions, it’s time to seriously consider running for an elected position!
Over the course of the next seven months, the 2016 Governance Nominating Committee and I will be working towards developing a diverse slate of members to run for several Board positions including Director at-large, Secretary, and President. Successful candidates will run for election in the Spring of 2016 and begin their terms during YALSA’s Board III meeting at the Annual 2016 conference in Orlando.
For more information on the role of responsibilities of YALSA’s Board, please visit the Governance page which includes some handy FAQs to help get you started. There’s also a series of interviews and podcasts from past Board members in a series on this blog called “Life on the YALSA Board.”

As you ponder and check out these resources, please feel free to also connect with me anytime at shannon.peterson@gmail.com. I’ll also be at the Midwinter and Annual ALA Meetings if you’d like to schedule time for an in-person chat.

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6. YALSA Board Post-Midwinter Update

YALSA’s Board of Directors met last weekend at the ALA Midwinter Meeting. Between the blizzard and the member Happy Hour and the number of other YALSA programs, I'm pleased with the time and attention the Board spent on big issues that drive and guide YALSA and our members.

Key activities included participating in training about outcomes-based planning and assessment and strategic planning. The board also took action in some key areas, including:

The board also initiated discussion on some critical topics that may or may not lead to action down the road, depending on further information-gathering and discussions:

The full minutes of the meeting will be posted in the Governance Section of the web site later this month.

One big thing that I would like members to know about the Board’s work at Midwinter is that the group came to the consensus to shift strategic planning in a different direction. The original vision for the Board’s time at Midwinter was to create a draft plan to share out with members; however, once the discussions started it became obvious that the Board first needs to step back and have a bigger picture discussion about YALSA—what its fundamental purpose and mission is and whether that needs to evolve based on the rapid changes in libraries.

The Board voted unanimously that the focus of their work and strategic planning needs to be grounded in the findings of “The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: a Call to Action” report. This document will drive all of the work that YALSA will do over the next few years and will be the foundation on which the new strategic plan is built. If you haven’t read the report yet, I encourage you to do so. Think about what you need in order to implement the recommendations in the report and come share your ideas and thoughts at a virtual town hall session on Feb. 24th from 3:00 – 4:00pm, eastern (no advance registration is required). The input of members is a vitally important part of the strategic planning process. Member feedback helps drive the Board’s decision making, so please make an effort to attend. There will be other opportunities besides the Feb. town hall, and we’ll keep you informed about those via the weekly e-news.

Lastly, I’d also like to take a moment to thank all of the members who participated in the Midwinter Meeting, whether it was volunteering in the booth, conducting committee work, participating in sessions or more.

I appreciate all the time and talent you give to YALSA!

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7. YALSA Board @ Annual Preview: Board Advocacy Best Practices

Do you believe in teen library services?

The YALSA Board does, too, which is why we volunteer to do what we do, just as you as members, do.

As mentioned in The Future of Library Services for and with Teens report, it is imperative that YALSA continue to advocate for teens and libraries. Although discussions, projects, and groups are in place to support the general membership in their roles as advocates, the Board itself has not discussed what board members, as informed individuals, can do to support YALSA’s advocacy efforts.

In order to address this, the proposal that will be presented before the Board at ALA Annual consists of four components:

  • a plan for YALSA as an organization and as individual board members to adopt advocacy best practices
  • an update to the YALSA Board Member Responsibilities list to include advocacy efforts
  • an update to the YALSA Board Member contract to include advocacy efforts
  • a Board Member Advocacy checklist

Together, as a board, as an association, and with you, we want to amplify our voices to ensure that teens everywhere have access to the excellent teen library services that all communities deserve.

More information may be found in the board documents for ALA Annual that will be posted today and Monday, June 16th, 2014.

Questions, concerns or suggestions? Please send them to the following members of the YALSA Board Standing Committee on Advocacy:

Candice Mack (Chair)
Email: cmack [at] lapl.org
Twitter: @tinylibrarian

Jennifer Korn
Email: Jennifer.Korn@cincinnatilibrary.org
Twitter: @korncakes

Chris Shoemaker
Email: cinf0master@gmail.com
Twitter: @doseofsnark

Thanks for all that you do for and with YALSA! Hope to see you at ALA Annual in Vegas!

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8. YALSA Board @ Annual Preview: Incentives for Members to Implement Futures Recommendations

“The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: A Call to Action” report represents a much needed resource to address how libraries are serving teens and provides recommendations on how libraries will address the challenges to continue serving this growing population.

We know YALSA members are reading, sharing, and implementing the findings of the report in their libraries. Our Future of Teens and Libraries Taskforce is already hard at work creating promotions and talking points that we can all use. But the YALSA Board knows the importance of supporting and honoring members who have been inspired to rethink and remarket teen services. This proposal offers some suggestions on how YALSA can support and promote those implementing recommendations from the report.

Read more about this and other Board documents here.

Sarah Sogigian, @sarahatmls, sarah@masslibsystem.org

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9. Taskforce opportunities

The neon lights and clinking machines of Annual are now behind us, but YALSA committees work year round to keep teen services moving forward and thriving. While in Las Vegas the Board voted to create two new taskforces, and I’m looking for members who are interested in volunteering!

The first is an update to the “Young Adults Deserve the Best: Competencies for Librarians Serving Youth.” These are incredibly helpful guidelines that help set a baseline for teen services. With the release of the Futures Report, the guidelines need to be updated.

The full charge for the Competencies Update Taskforce is:
Review the current document called “Young Adults Deserve the Best: Competencies for Librarians Serving Youth” and update the language and content, as needed, to ensure it reflects the mission and core values of teens services as described in The Future of Library Service for and With Teens: A Call to Action. Provide a draft by December 15th for the Midwinter meeting in January, a revised draft for the Spring Executive meeting, and submit a final report with recommended changes for Board consideration by Annual 2015. Taskforce size: 5 – 7 virtual members, including the Chair. Term of service: August 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015.

One of the other big issues the board discussed centered on diversity and equipping teen service staff with the tools and resources they need to work in increasingly diverse communities. If you’ve got experience building cultural competencies into programs, collection development, or library service, please consider volunteering to make sure all teens see themselves reflected at their library.

The full charge for the Cultural Competence Taskforce is:
Adapt existing exemplary resources, and as needed, create new ones to help members learn how to incorporate cultural competencies into their everyday work and how libraries can strengthen competencies in order to increase their relevance and value as a partner in their community. Activities include: creating a cultural competencies toolkit; expanding the diversity page on YALSA’s public wiki and encouraging members to contribute to the content there; creating a cultural competence self-assessment; as requested by the YALSAblog Manager & YALS Editor, identify individuals to create cultural competence-focused content; and increase member awareness of existing cultural competency resources from the ALA Office for Diversity and ALA Affiliates. Taskforce size: 5-7 virtual members, including the chair. Term of appointment: September 1, 2014 through August 31, 2015.

Please contact me with any questions, and fill out a volunteer form if you’re interested in serving!

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10. President’s Report – July and August 2014

Greetings YALSA members! I hope all your back to school activities have gone well, and that you’re enjoying busy libraries and packed programs. I’m sending along a combined July / August President’s report this time around, but will be back to monthly reports after this.

  • Attended ALA inauguration brunch following Annual 2014 closing Session
  • Conducted board orientation session for new board members
  • Conducted Board Development conversation regarding activities and duties of board standing committees
  • Finished appointments to 2016 Printz, Edwards, and Non-fiction committees
  • With executive Director, identified YALSA members to serve as liaisons or representatives to ALA Committees and Affiliate groups.
  • With YALSA Board, nominated YALSA representative for IFLA

Outreach and Media:

  • Spoke with Booklist, Christian Science Monitor, and Forbes about YA literature and genre trends.
  • Presented Future of Library services for and with Teens to Suffolk Cooperative Library System administrators .

Thank yous:

  • Thanks to all the chairs, committee members, and board members who completed their terms on June 30th, 2014.
  • Thanks to all the members who attended the “Deciding” what’s next for YALSA” program at ALA Annual and provided feedback to help shape the next strategic plan.
  • An enormous thanks to Dollar General for funding the new Android Teen Book Finder app and additional literacy projects. See a video of the projects here.


  • At the end of July, YALSA membership was at 5,130, up 0.9% over July 2013.
  • In June, YALSA raised $7,306.50. In July, YALSA raised $180.

Upcoming events

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11. Fall Appointments Update

Happy Fall!

I just wanted to thank our members for the 537 volunteer committee applications that were submitted and to give everyone an update on the award and selection committee appointments process!

The appointments task force was finalized in October and award and selection committee chairs were selected. The appointments task force and I are still working on filling all of the award and selection committee member vacancies, but rosters should be finalized soon.

Appointing the local arrangements committee for Midwinter 2015 is the next priority.

ALA Appointments: There has been one ALA Appointment call to review the general ALA appointment process. The slate for the nominating committee has not been officially presented, but does include one YALSA member.

ALA President Elect Sari Feldman has put out a call for volunteers for the ALA committees listed below. Please let me know if you are interested in being recommended for any of them. The ALA application form closes this Friday, November 7, 2014.

It’s been a pleasure and privilege to go through all of the your applications. Thank you so much for your dedication to YALSA and to teen library services!


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12. Quick update from YALSA Executive Committee

It’s been a bit busy since October, but I still wanted to get this posted, especially since it impacts a lot of what the YALSA Board does at Midwinter, and Midwinter is fast approaching!

In October YALSA’s Executive Committee gathered in Chicago for two and a half days of meetings. The first day was a great chance to work across divisions, roundtables and ALA with presidents, president-elects, and past presidents, as well as ALA staff. Like YALSA, ALA is currently doing strategic planning, and that was the focus of our work together. The new plan from ALA will focus on three areas: advocacy, information policy and professional development. You can learn more and join the discussion in ALA Connect.

Once that was done, the Executive Committee focused on issues impacting YALSA. That included:

  • Moving to an outcomes based approach to planning and assessment in YALSA
  • Getting the new Margaret Edwards Trust up and running and discussing its potential for funding literacy related projects
  • Prioritizing next steps for the association based on the recommendations in the report, “The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: a Call to Action
  • Talking about best practices in change management and how to incorporate them into the work of the Board
  • Reviewing a report from the Student Member Engagement Taskforce
  • Analyzing YALSA member survey results and discussing implications the results have on YALSA’s next round of strategic planning
  • Reviewing a draft of YALSA’s upcoming Programming Guidelines, which we anticipate will be finalized by February
  • Making preliminary plans for strategic planning activities for the Board and for members at the ALA Midwinter Meeting

The full agenda and accompanying documents are available in the Governance section of the web site for you to review. No final decisions were made, as the Executive Committee isn’t a decision making body, but these discussions will help inform future Board meetings and decision making. Many of these same topics will be on the Board’s agenda for Midwinter. In some cases the Executive Committee might choose to write up a request for Board action about an issue or idea that came out of the October discussions.

Right now, YALSA’s Board is developing the agenda for our meetings at Midwinter, and I’m busy asking Board members to complete documents or help address agenda items. If you have any ideas for agenda items or requests for board action, please contact me by the end of December. Once the agenda is finalized in January, I’ll share a blog post with you highlighting some of the issues and topics on the agenda.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or comments.

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13. Governance Preparations for Midwinter

It’s time to start schedule planning for Midwinter, marking off the chunks of time in your calendar or conference planner, factoring in coat buttoning, hunting for scarves and gloves, and all those other winter weather factors!

While YALSA’s Board of Directors will be meeting at the ALA Midwinter Meeting Jan. 30 – Feb. 2, we’ll be using some of our sessions a bit differently this year. Instead of three separate sessions to meet to discuss association business, the first board session on Saturday will be a facilitated strategic planning session for board members.  This session is part of a months’ long effort to develop a new strategic plan for YALSA.  There will also be a strategic planning session for YALSA members at Midwinter from 1:00 – 2:30 on Sunday in room W192b of the convention center.  During the spring we’ll also host virtual feedback sessions for members, and we hope to have a new plan finalized by no later than June.

The board will meet on Sunday and Monday at Midwinter to address current governance matters.  All board sessions are open, and any registered conference attendee is welcome to sit in.
For the Sunday and Monday meetings, the board will be addressing a wide variety of topics, including: adopting best practices in change management, bringing more diversity to the YALSA leadership, year two of rolling out activities that support the recommendations in the report “The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: a Call to Action,” prioritizing use of YALSA endowments funds for 2015, and more.

Right now, YALSA’s Board members are working hard to finalize the agenda and develop the related documents.  Our goal is to post them online in the Governance section of the web site on January 16th.

To learn more about what YALSA and the Board have going on at ALA’s Midwinter Meeting, visit http://tinyurl.com/YALSAmw15.
If you’re not attending the Midwinter Meeting, be sure to follow YALSA on Twitter, as Board members will be Tweeting news and board actions.

Have questions?  Feel free to contact me: @doseofsnark or cinf0master@gmail.com.  I’m excited about the work that has been done since Annual and Fall exec, and look forward to working with the board and members to keep moving YALSA forward!

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14. YALSA President's Report

Greetings YALSA members! I hope all your New Year activities have gone well, and that you’re in the swing of winter programming, test preparation, and Midwinter planning!
Here’s a quarterly report on the things that I’ve been doing as YALSA President!


  • Attended ALA Fall Exec meetings and participated in ALA strategic planning session.
  • Met with YALSA Exec Board members to discuss strategic planning, Midwinter preparation, and other governance issues.
  • Hosted Member Town Hall to explore the results of YALSA’s member survey.
  • Completed strategic appointments due to resignations.
  • Conducted YALSA’s Board September Conference Call.
  • Conducted YALSA’s Board December Conference Call.
  • With the YALSA Board, approved Amazing Audiobooks policy changes, as submitted by the Amazing Audibooks chair.

Outreach and Media:

  • Discussed YA book to movie trends and the role libraries play in promoting popular literature with “The Daily Circuit” radio program for Minnesota Public Radio.
  • Spoke with Multiversity Comics about graphic novels and comic books in libraries.
  • Attended New England Library Association Conference in Boxborough, MA.

Thank yous:

  • Thanks to all chairs for submitting their quarterly reports for the Board Standing Committees to review and discuss.
  • Thanks to all the members who attended the YA Literature Symposium in Austin, Texas.
  • An enormous thanks to Best Buy for their generous support of Teen tech Week 2015.
  • Thanks to all members who donated to YALSA’s Giving Tuesday efforts, and YALSA’s year-end appeal.


  • At the end of November, membership was at 5,203, an increase of 1.3% over last year.
  • In November, YALSA raised $125, and $1,931 for Giving Tuesday.
  • 491 symposium registrants, up from 488 in 2012.

Upcoming events:

  • Midwinter Meeting is rapidly approaching – Jan 29 through Feb 2. Will you be in Chicago? Check out the YALSA wiki for activities and happy hours.
  • Mark your calendars for the next YALSA Town Hall,, happening February 24th at 3 pm EST in Adobe Connect.
  • Planning for Teen Tech Week? The theme this year is “Libraries are for Making”.

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15. Virtual Town Hall

Hey YALSA members, I want to hear from you!

In recent years, the President and Board of Directors have held virtual town halls to hear great ideas, get feedback on activities, and talk through goal areas in YALSA’s mission. On May 7th at 2 pm EST, we’d like take the broad view and talk through your overall YALSA experience. Specifically, we’ll be covering the following four questions:

  • What is it about the organization that has earned your loyalty?
  • What does YALSA do that frustrates you?
  • What are three things that YALSA could do that would add the most professional value to the career of teen librarians?
  • What are your three biggest concerns or needs?

Your thoughts can help YALSA become an even more responsive and relevant organization, so please, speak up! We’ll be meeting via this Adobe Connect space. Chat and audio will be available, but virtual bonus points will be given to those with a microphone too! Feel free to log-in at anytime in the next week to test your device’s capability and setup.

Thanks and I look forward to talking with you.




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16. Broader Award and Selection Committee Participation Proposal

As you might expect, YALSA’s Board is busily preparing for our many meetings at the Annual Conference which is of course, right around the corner! What you might not know however, is that the Board also holds quarterly meetings via conference call in addition to monthly chats and ongoing discussions via our electronic forums.

Over the coming weeks, we’ll be talking about topics that have since been refined from last month’s Spring Executive Committee meeting. This week’s conversation is about a proposal which calls for a slight member eligibility change in the policies of all of YALSA’s award and selection lists. The rationale for the change cites a desire to open the relatively few number of selection and award committee volunteer positions (in relation to the large number of applicants) to a broader spectrum of the membership, to ensure fairness and consistency across committees, and to preserve the integrity of the lists and awards (because a wider representation of experts provides the opportunity for more diverse perspectives, which improves the quality of the work).

The proposed changes are as follows:

Suggested Wording for Selection Committees
Add the following to the Policies and Procedures of all selection committees. “Members who have served two consecutive years as a member and/or administrative assistant may not be appointed to the same committee for three years from the conclusion of their last term. This guideline will not apply to the Chair. In extreme circumstances, and at the President’s discretion, an exception may be made if a committee member resigns suddenly. The President, after discussion with the Committee Chair, may determine that the best course of action is to fill the vacancy with an experienced committee member, and appoint a member in good standing who successfully served on the committee in question during the previous three years.”

Suggested Wording for Award Committees
Members who have completed one term on an award committee may not be appointed to the same committee for three years from the conclusion of their last term. This guideline will not apply to the Chair. In extreme circumstances, and at the President’s discretion, an exception may be made if a committee member resigns suddenly. The President, after discussion with the Award Committee Chair, may determine that the best course of action is to fill the vacancy with an experienced committee members, and appoints a member in good standing who successfully served on the committee in question during the previous three years.

What do you think about these changes? Feel free to share your thoughts with me at shannon.peterson@gmail.com and/or any current Board member.

Thanks for reading.

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17. Update to YALSA social media policy

Wow, just a little over a month to go until Vegas! Frankly, I need more time – especially as the board continues to refine the agenda and topics we’ve been discussing. One topic that the board will be discussing prior to Annual comes from the Spring Executive Committee meeting, and relates to the YALSA social media policy and the conflict of interest guidelines. Based on feedback from chairs, as well as conversations with other division leaders, the board is considering an update to the social media policy and conflict of interest guidelines.

YALSA members are big users of social media, and it’s only grown since the policy was first adopted. With the continued blending of online presence with personal and professional identities, updating the social media policy ensures that YALSA and YALSA members are able to meet a high standard of integrity and avoid conflicts of interest. These impact award committees, as all parts of those committee conversations are confidential. Selection committees that have open meetings and discussions are not impacted by these changes.

There are two changes proposed to the social media policy.
1. YALSA modify the existing social media policy to state “Committee appointees must not discuss books on social media that are eligible for their award in any way that could lead to a conflict or lack of confidentiality in regards to their committee. This includes posting personal reviews in spaces such as social review sites, blogs, or other platforms that are not closed YALSA forums.”
2. YALSA adopt a review policy related to award committee service that states “Committee members may not publish signed reviews of titles that are eligible for their particular award during their term of service in professional journals (print and/or electronic) or other professional and personal outlets.” YALSA’s Conflict of Interest guidelines will also be updated to reflect this information.

Please send any feedback on the proposed changes to Chris Shoemaker or any current board member.



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18. May President’s Report

May 2014 President’s Report

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) is a national organization of librarians, library workers, and advocates whose mission is to expand and strengthen library services for teens, aged 12-18. Through its member-driven advocacy, research, and professional development initiatives YALSA builds the capacity of libraries and librarians to engage, serve, and empower teens.


  • Attended National Library Legislative Day in Washington D.C. with Executive Director Beth Yoke. We met with staff members representing Senators from the HELP and Commerce Committees, as well as the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Alliance for Excellence in Education, Pew Research Center’s Internet Project, and the Afterschool Alliance.
  • Worked with various individuals and YALSA member groups to provide feedback  to Barb Stripling, ALSC and AASL leaders for a ALA Council resolution on Eliza Dresang, a well-loved library leader and GSLIS Instructor who passed on April 21st.
  • Wrote a “From the President” column for YALS.
  • Facilitated a town hall with the Board and members on organizational experiences.
  • Worked with Executive Director Beth Yoke on a draft agenda for YALSA Board meetings a the ALA Annual conference and solicited Board feedback.
  • Solicited feedback from ALSC and AASL executive committee members for our joint executive meeting at ALA Annual.
  • Provided feedback to ALA leaders and representatives on ALA/Division meetings at ALA Annual.
  • Held virtual discussion with the Board and voted on a policy aimed at Broadening Participation in YALSA’s award and selection committees.
  • Provided feedback to various Chairs and Taskforces.
  • Provided feedback to board members on draft proposals for YALSA meetings at ALA Annual.
  • Spoke with a reporter from MTV on Young Adult Literature.
  • Wrote a report for the ALA Executive Board and Council on 2013-2014 activities.


  • Applications for YA Literature Symposium stipends are due June 15th! The Symposium will take place November 14-16th in fun-filled Austin, Texas.
  • Interested in what the YALSA Board will be talking about at Annual? An agenda will be posted here at least two weeks prior to the conference.
  • Register now for YALSA’s summer e-course on Critical Evaluation of Young Adult Literature with the fab Teri Lesesne and Karin Perryof Sam Houston State University’s Library Science Department. Instruction begins on July 1st and ends on August 12th.
  • Spread the word! Teens ages 12-18 can throw their name in the ring until August 1st to win a chance to become a Hub blogger during this year’s Teen Read Week.


  • Many thanks to Emily Sheketoff and the ALA Washington Office for scheduling and partnering with YALSA on meetings at National Library Legislative Day.
  • Huge props to everyone who registered for YALSA’s National Library Legislative Day Thunderclap! Almost 400 individuals and institutions participated to achieve a social reach to over 240,000 people.
  • Thank you to Chair Jennifer Korn and the Legislative Committee for their hard work on updating the Tweet Your Senator and Representative maps and early preparations on District Days.
  • Thanks to Sarah Levin, Robin Kurz, and Lisa Lechuga for sharing your experiences as Library Legislative Day stipend winners with awesome posts via the YALSAblog!
  • Thanks to Sarah Kepple and Rachel McDonald for hosting a webinar on the awesome new Advocacy Benchmarks! YALSA members can access this and other YALSA webinars free of charge through YELL, YALSA’s e-learning library.
  • Cheers to all of those who have shared expertise and participated in the 100 Days till Summer Countdown series. Check out YALSA’s Summer of Reading and Learning Ning for more information.

YALSA membership for April stood at 5,134 members (-0.5% difference from this time last year), FOY (Friends of YALSA) received $25 in donations.

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19. YALSA Board @ Annual Preview: Programming and Collaborations Best Practices

YALSA’s Future of Library Services for and with Teens report highlights “partnering strategically to reach beyond the library’s walls” as one of the five fundamental elements that will need to shift in order for libraries and communities to successfully work for and with teens” (p. 21-24).

On the YALSA Board agenda for discussion at Annual is a proposal to discuss what resources would be most helpful to members in this area – is it best practices document, a toolkit, coaching or something else entirely?

You can read the full proposal when the Board documents go online next week.

Please share your thoughts with me, Maureen Hartman or on twitter: mlhartman, YALSA President Shannon Peterson or any other Board member via e-mail or twitter so we can respond with the best solution for members.

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20. YALSA Board @ Annual: Fiscal Officer Report

Because my partial term as YALSA Fiscal Officer ends at the conclusion of this Annual Conference, I wanted to share some ideas for the Board of Directors to keep in mind as new projects arise. YALSA has a very ambitious agenda with new projects likely to arise based on the paradigm shift noted in The Future of Library Services for and with Teens.  Knowing this, my report reminds the directors to be sure there are sufficient finances available to take on a new project, or grant money already promised, or decide the project is so important, they’re willing to take it on and fundraise as they go.

Although it is easy to find the revenue generated from different projects, it is harder to determine the expenses, especially the staff time involved with various activities, and it is suggested to try to determine staff time on some random projects.

Board members can help to “advertise” some of YALSA’s Continuing Education offerings by citing a specific product on their signature file. In addition, they should get in the habit of always bringing handouts about YALSA products to their local and state conferences.

This past year one of the Board conference calls was devoted to finances and I recommend that practice continue with one call per year devoted to YALSA’s financial picture. Although financial information is found in each Executive Director’s Report, it would also be useful to spend 10 to 15 minutes once a quarter to discuss these finances via conference call, being sure to allow time to answer questions.

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21. YALSA Board @ Annual Preview: Creating awareness via a national celebration

The Board is exploring the possibility of a designated day celebrating all aspects of teen library services. With such an event, teen library services would be celebrated across the country as a way of advocating
these essential services to library administrators, community-members, and legislators.

This Board document, along with all others, will be live on June 13.

We’d love to hear your thoughts! You can email or tweet (@korncakes) me, YALSA President Shannon
Peterson (email or @shantasmagoria), or any of the Board members.

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22. YALSA Board @ Annual Preview: YALSA Business Plan

This document is actually more interesting than one might think from the title as it provides a great overview of YALSA’s financial needs and accompanying revenue sources while also giving you a good idea of the many activities in which YALSA is involved.

After reading a brief executive summary [I] and YALSA’s mission [II], the Plan launches into some background about the division and its governance structure [III]. But then you reach some of the meat as all the YALSA products are listed and described from seals for award books to the continuing education items, including institutes, the dues structure [did you know that our dues pay for only 30% of YALSA’s needs?], periodicals, books and other publications, TRW and TTW products, event tickets and so on [IV].

My favorite parts were the market [V] and competitor analyses [VI]. It was interesting to read the demographics of our target audience for sales, which pretty much tells us the demographics for librarians. To read the competitor analysis piece of the plan makes you realize that there are others in a similar field, such as VOYA or School Library Journal, who also look for subscribers from the same small community. There are even competitors within ALA as PLA, ALSC, AASL and YALSA have some similar programs leaving our members always having to make decisions as to what event to attend or what publications to buy. Results of the actual sales are found in the section titled Marketing Sales [VII] with some of the problems and concerns of various items described. Most informative is a chart showing the trends in sales and, after looking at it,  it becomes obvious that some products and services need to be removed or modified.

Take a look at ticket sales for events at conference and it will become very obvious, based on the decline in these sales, that there needed to be changes. Not as many people can attend conference and many of them go home late Sunday or early Monday morning, so why do we have the Printz program and reception on Monday night?  Time for a change to see if the Friday night time works better. Meals at hotels are only going up, thus why not try the Edwards Award celebration as a brunch instead? This way the price of a ticket can be kept down.

The last three sections illustrate YALSA’s Operations [VIII] and staff structure as well as the interwoven relationship of ALA and YALSA. A look at YALSA’s finances beginning in 2007 is provided; 2007 finances do not show the effect of the 2008 recession that hit America[IX]. Financial information for both the Morris Endowment fund and the Leadership Endowment fund are also provided. And the final section of Evaluation and Assessment [X] cites YALSA’s financial goals and ways members can learn about the financial pieces through such documents as the Executive Director’s Monthly Reports.

I strongly recommend you read Board Document #20 Business Plan FY014 to FY017. It’s only 15 pages and reads very quickly. Learn about YALSA – you’ll appreciate our division even more.

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23. YALSA Board @ Annual Preview: Member Access to Virtual Board Space

Ensuring that YALSA is a transparent organization so that the whole membership is aware of what is happening and how it is happening has been at the forefront of many recent YALSA Board discussions. The Board has worked hard to maintain open lines of communication with the membership in several ways, including holding Town Hall meetings with the membership several times throughout the year, posting Twitter handles on the Board contact page, and posting blogs (like this one) about action items and decisions so that the membership can stay informed.

YALSA Board meetings are also open meetings at both Midwinter and Annual conferences, and any YALSA member is welcome to attend and see what is going on in them. But, did you know that the Board holds regular meetings and engages in ongoing discussion and voting throughout the year? To help members engage in the governance process and provide increased access to information, the YALSA Board will be discussing a proposal that would allow any YALSA member access to the YALSA Board’s ALA Connect space.

What does this even mean? It means that if the proposal passes non-Board YALSA members could log onto ALA Connect and see all the work that the YALSA Board does in between conferences in what has traditionally been a closed group. Some of the benefits to doing this include:

  • Giving YALSA members who want more information about how decisions are made and tasks are accomplished that information in one convenient place,
  • Allowing many more members than could fit in a face-to-face meeting the ability to see the Board in action,
  • Keeping the majority of the YALSA Board’s work all in one place.

The Board has been doing a lot to make the organization as transparent as possible, and this could be another step in that process. To learn more about this proposal, visit the link for all the Board documents for ALA Annual in Las Vegas here (It goes live June 13th.)

To add your thoughts to the discussion or ask a question, please leave a blog comment post or contact us!

Carla Land- @AnimeGoddess or landc@lvccld.org

Shannon Peterson- @shantasmagoria and shannon.peterson@gmail.com

YALSA Board contact page: http://www.ala.org/yalsa/board-directors

Carla Land, YALSA Board Fellow 2013-14

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24. YALSA Board @ Annual Preview: Advocates’ Advisory Panel

According to YALSA’s The Future of Libraries for and with Teens report, libraries “must look to other organizations and individuals who share similar values about empowering and supporting teens in gaining the skills they need to be engaged citizens.” The library board will be considering how they may be able to accept that challenge at the Annual Conference in Las Vegas.

Up for discussion is the creation of an Advocates’ Advisory Panel. The Panel, made up of non-members in related fields (afterschool agencies, research, youth development, education), would serve as an ad-hoc group to advise the YALSA Board on various topics related the Future of Library Services for and with Teens Report, the 2015 strategic plan, and other topics as identified by the Board. They would also act as informed advocates in sharing news and updates related to YALSA and the teen library services community with their respective networks.

I look forward to further exploring how this might work in just a few weeks. Check out this and other Board docs to learn more. Questions? Ideas? Feel free to contact me: @shantasmagoria, shannon.peterson@gmail.com

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25. YALSA Board @ Annual Preview: Draft Policy of Ethical Behavior

YALSA members dedicate an enormous amount of time and energy to serving on task forces, juries, advisory boards, committees, and the Board of Directors; as well as acting as editors, member managers and bloggers. YALSA’s board has been discussing ways to ensure that members have a successful committee experience, both in terms of personal skill building and accomplishing the tasks of the committee.

One piece of that discussion was the interest in setting minimum guidelines for member participation via a policy on ethical behavior, so that members interested in service have a better sense of the time commitment and behaviors expected of them, while also seeing the resources and support YALSA makes available. The goal is to inform members of what is expected of them, while also letting them know what to expect from YALSA. Having clear expectations communicated to all those involved in the work of the association makes for a better experience, opens access to support, and benefits all the volunteers involved as well as those who use YALSA products and YALSA as an association.

Take a look at the document once it goes live on June 13th, and then let us know what you think. You can reach out to any of the document creators. Our contact information is listed below.


Shannon Peterson
Shannon.peterson at gmail.com

Chris Shoemaker
Cinf0master at gmail.com

Jack Martin
Hillias at gmail.com

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