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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Governance, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. The exception should become the rule in the World Health Organization

After the West African Ebola epidemic of 2014, hardly anyone contests that the World Health Organization (WHO) made fatal mistakes during the crisis. It reacted too late and did too little to contain the outbreak before it got out of control. And it once again exposed its deeply entrenched dysfunctions that make it so difficult for the organization to live up to its role as the central standard setter, coordinator and crisis manager in global health

The post The exception should become the rule in the World Health Organization appeared first on OUPblog.

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2. President's Report - September 2015

Happy Fall!

Here is what I worked on in September:

Accomplishments

  • After board discussion, called for board to vote to approve location for the 2016 YA Services Symposium
    • The 2016 YA Services Symposium will be held in Pittsburgh, PA
  • Filled various strategic committee vacancies
  • Led second monthly chat with the YALSA Board, where we discussed YALSA’s Brand and Reputation
  • After board discussion, called for board to vote on Rachel McDonald’s board vacancy
    • The board vacancy will be left open until next YALSA election in Spring 2016
  • Met with colleagues at Wattpad, National Writing Project, Connected Learning Alliance, and DeviantArt to discuss possible design challenge partnership in conjunction with Teen Tech Week 2016's theme: Create It @ Your Library
  • Completed bundled registration for ALA Midwinter and ALA Annual 2016
  • RSVP'd to attend ALA Information Policy workshop at ALA Midwinter

Works in Progress

Stats & Data

  • Friends of YALSA raised $0 in September 2015
  • Membership: 5,088 (down -0.8% over this time last year)

Last, but certainly not least -

THANK YOU

  • All of our members for all that you do to support teens and teen library services in your communities, every day!

Until next time!

Respectfully submitted,

Candice Mack, YALSA President

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3. My Year As YALSA Board Fellow

When I received my acceptance letter as YALSA’s 2014-2015 Board Fellow I was so ecstatic. I’d been involved in YALSA before I even began my time in library school at Drexel University. First serving on the Fabulous Films for Young Adults Committee and then YALS editorial Advisory Committee and the Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults Committee. But this I knew would give me a different experience that I was looking forward to, especially thinking at the time that I would love to run for an opportunity to sit on the YALSA Board of Directors.

Well, my year as Board Fellow did not disappoint. In fact, it proved to be so much more than what I bargained for when I first started out. I had certain tasks to fulfill as described in the YALSA Board Fellow Program - a major task of which was to undertake a project for the year. Stemming from a mega issue discussion, I quickly realized that the conversation of board diversity needed to continue and, with the help of Beth Yoke and Shannon Peterson, I put together a board document that would later be discussed at ALA midwinter 2015 and voted on to be moved forward via the work of a task force. I agreed to Chair this taskforce and work is currently underway to make suggestions for how YALSA can increase and maintain ongoing diversity among the board of directors.

In addition to that project, I’ve met and worked with some awesome people, and contributed in other areas like:

  • Liaised with three committees where I was tasked with being a source of assistance to help them with their work including conflict solving, discussing creative ideas and suggestions and just being a general support system for their overall work.
  • Reached out to new members on a regular basis in an effort to help them navigate their way through the mounds of YALSA member offerings and to provide a support systems for feedback and questions.
  • Participated in monthly board discussions around projects and conversations that stemmed from previous board meetings, executive meetings and new topics.
  • Worked on other projects like that of the Standing Board: Member Recruitment & Retention subcommittee that examines the chairs quarterly reports and give feedback in regards to YALSA’s strategic direction and overall purpose.
  • Contributed to various discussions in our ALA Connect group that leads to the board voting on various projects and also different Google docs discussions that helps prepare and further develop certain board documents to bring to full discussion of the board.
  • Shared information on social media, particularly twitter that mostly included updates from meeting as well as topic discussions and other YALSA happenings to help build board transparence and inform the members of activities as they occurred.
  • Served as a speaker for a panel on Capital Hill titled “Kids, Learning, and Technology: Libraries as 21st Century Creative Spaces.”

I grew professionally from my involvement as YALSA Board Fellow. One of the most important experiences I gained was to see YALSA from a big picture perspective as opposed to the smaller areas that I had been involved in when serving on those prior committees. Whereas my personal view had been focused on urban public library teens and services (because naturally that’s the library area where I’ve been working), my view grew to all types of public and school libraries in addition to other youth serving organizations. I became more aware of ideas and circumstances that affect a much larger youth population as opposed to just the focus area of urban public library settings where I've mostly worked.

Being a Board Fellow can open such bigger-picture thinking, which can prove to be beneficial in various professional decision-makings. There’s also potential to gain a variety of skills and experiences too that can be valuable in everyday life as well as in one's career. These encompass areas such as time management, teamwork, problem-solving/critical thinking, project management, and leadership.

Overall, it has been a very busy year for me considering that shortly into my term as board fellow I began a new career role within a new organization and had to adjust accordingly. Everything considered, my board fellowship has been quite an awesome and rewarding experience. Now I have a much greater knowledge of all the work that the YALSA Board of Directors, Beth Yoke and the YALSA staff do to keep the fabulous youth serving YALSA organization striving and remaining relevant to us and our work in serving diverse sets of teens and communities.

Since becoming a member, I've valued YALSA dearly. After this year of developing such valuable insights and experiences, I dare say that I value this organization much more. Now that my term has ended, I look forward to continue to be actively involved in YALSA by completing my term as Chair of the YALSA board Diversity Taskforce and then looking at other areas where I can still contribute and learn. It's time for the next person to be selected and the application process is open for the 2016-2017 Board Fellow. If you are interested I encourage you to read over information about the program and reach out to current board members and past board fellows to get feedback and submit your application by the December 1st deadline. I hope, as it is for me, that this opportunity will be one you remember fondly throughout your career.

Nicola McDonald, the 2014-2015 YALSA Board Fellow is the Chair of YALSA's Board Diversity Taskforce and a Library Manager at NYPL.

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4. 3-2-1 IMPACT! Inclusive and Impactful Teen Services

Which young people in your community could be most positively impacted by services that your institution currently provides or could provide?

Are there foster youth, homeless teens, teen parents, teens from military families, incarcerated youth, disabled teens, LGBTQ teens, immigrant teens, teen English Language Learners, or teens from various cultural, ethnic, racial or socioeconomic backgrounds in your communities who could really use the library’s help to succeed?

What would that assistance or those services look like?

My YALSA presidential initiative, “3-2-1 IMPACT! Inclusive and Impactful Teen Library Services,”
focuses on building the capacity of libraries to plan, deliver and evaluate programs and services for and with underserved teen populations. It is a call to action to all of our members to take a close look at our communities, identify service gaps and address needs by using or contributing to YALSA resources like the Future of Library Services for and with Teens report, Teen Programming Guidelines, our new Teen Programming HQ and more.

Visit YALSA's wiki to find and share information about serving diverse teens and building cultural competence. For a list of selected resources relating to building inclusive services for and with teens, check out this flyer (.pdf).

Other activities that we hope to work on this year include collecting stories from members who are reaching out to underserved teen populations and sharing best practices and/or advocacy messages, creating spaces or pathways for members who are focusing on the same teen population to connect with one another, providing continuing education to help members reach out to specific populations and also gain leadership and cultural competence skills/knowledge, and compile existing and/or create new resources to help members serve various underserved teen populations.

As YALSA President, I’m excited about harnessing the passion, energy and activism among all of our members to help create positive, inclusive, impactful change for and with the teens that we serve in our communities. I’m looking forward to working with all of you and to the amazing work that we are all going to do together this year.

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5. President's Report - July & August 2015

Happy End of Summer and Back-to-School!

I’m so excited to be sharing my first YALSA President’s Report!

It’s been a whirlwind since ALA Annual, and here’s what I’ve been working on since then:

Done & Done!

  • Appointments to Edwards, Printz & Nonfiction Committees
  • Assigning Board liaisons to Strategic, Selection & Award Committees
  • Assign Board Members to Standing Board Committees
  • Column for Fall 2015 issue of YALS
  • Virtual training for New YALSA Board members
  • YALSA blog post on Presidential Initiative: 3-2-1 Impact! Inclusive & Impactful Teen Services
  • Worked with YALSA Board to appoint Renee McGrath to fill Krista McKenzie’s vacancy on the YALSA Board
  • Had first call with the Whole Mind Group, who YALSA is working with on Strategic Planning
  • With Chris Shoemaker, hosted first monthly chat with the YALSA Board, where we discussed YALSA’s Standing Board Committees
  • Interviewed candidates for Member Managers for the Hub blog and Teen Programming HQ; appointed Molly Wetta as new Hub Member Manager and Jessi Snow as new Teen Programming HQ Member Manager

Works in Progress

  • Filling Strategic Committee vacancies
  • Filling Rachel McDonald’s Board vacancy
  • Appointing YALSA representatives to ALA groups
  • Strategic Planning
  • Preparing for YALSA’s YA Services Symposium & Fall Executive Committee meetings
  • Seeking content experts for Teen Programming HQ
  • Seeking out partnerships with ALA ethnic caucuses, ALA LGBT Round Table, ASCLA, Wattpad, National Writing Project, Connected Learning Alliance, DeviantArt and more

Media & Outreach

Stats & Data

  • Friends of YALSA raised $1,155 in June 2015
  • Friends of YALSA raised $436 in July 2015
  • Membership: 5,113 (down -0.3% over this time last year)

Important Deadlines

  • Oct. 1 - Deadline to submit a volunteer form to be on YALSA's upcoming award, selection and strategic committees! More information here

Last, but certainly not least -

THANK YOU

  • All of our members for all that you do to support teens and teen library services in your communities, every day!
  • Chris Shoemaker, YALSA’s immediate Past President, for passing the torch and mentoring current President-Elect Sarah Hill
  • YALSA’s ALA Annual 2015 Local Arrangements Committee, for a terrific job coordinating travel tips & info and local YALSA events in San Francisco
  • YALSA Board, for your hard work, leadership and enthusiasm - I know it's going to be a great year!
  • YALSA Staff, especially Beth Yoke, Letitia Smith & Nichole O'Connor, for your assistance and support with association logistics

Until next time!

Respectfully submitted,

Candice Mack, YALSA President

 

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6. YALSA Members on ALA and Council Committees? Yes!

A huge thank you to everyone who volunteered by the Oct. 1 deadline to serve on YALSA selection, award, and strategic committees and task forces! I'm still busy reading through hundreds of committee volunteer forms and hope to have the process finalized by the end of the month.

In the meantime, don't forget that as YALSA members, you're also a member of ALA! And that means that you can apply to be on an ALA or Council committee. Serving on an ALA or Council committee provides members with leadership training, networking opportunities and experience in working on specific association topics.  Additionally, your service on ALA committees strengthens YALSA by ensuring that the Division is well-represented throughout the organization.

Express your interest in​ ALA ​committee service by filling out a volunteer form. When you click “submit” at the end, your completed form will be sent to ALA President-Elect Julie Todaro for consideration by either the Committee on Appointments (for ALA and Joint Committees) or the Committee on Committees (for Council Committees). The committees will carefully review your completed form and consider your requests and preferences. This form closes on Friday, November 6, 2015, and appointments are made throughout the spring of 2016, with terms starting July 1, 2016. To volunteer, please complete and submit the form electronically (be sure to select ALA in the drop-down menu on the main form to volunteer for both ALA and Council committees).

Potential ALA Committee members should:

  • Consider whether they can attend Annual Conferences and Midwinter Meetings while serving on a committee in order to participate in the F2F meetings and activities of the committee.  Check with the current chair to see if attendance is required.
  • Have an interest in the work of the committee, and relevant experience or skills to contribute to the group.
  • Have the time and skills needed to work between conferences via email, conference calls, Google docs, Skype, etc.

Additional information:

  • Committee descriptions are found on the ALA website.
  • Members may serve on no more than three committees (across ALA, Divisions, etc.) at a time, and may only serve on one Council committee at a time.
  • Consider volunteering as an intern! Serving as an intern is a great way to gain valuable ALA experience. The Intern Program is open to any ALA member who has never been appointed to a position on an ALA or Council Committee, nor held an elected office within ALA or any unit of ALA (including Divisions, Round Tables, etc.).
  • Please note that the italicized committees below have specific requirements. Please review the text in parentheses before volunteering for these committees.

The ALA Committees are:

  • Accreditation
  • American Libraries Advisory
  • Awards
  • Chapter Relations
  • Conference
  • Constitution and Bylaws
  • Election (members responsible for travel costs to ALA Headquarters in Chicago one day per year in late April or early May)
  • Human Resource Development and Recruitment Advisory
  • Information Technology Policy Advisory
  • Literacy
  • Literacy and Outreach Services Advisory
  • Membership
  • Membership Meetings
  • Public and Cultural Programs Advisory
  • Research and Statistics
  • Rural, Native and Tribal Libraries of All Kinds
  • Scholarships and Study Grants
  • Training, Orientation and Leadership Development
  • Website Advisory

The Council Committees are:

  • Budget Analysis and Review
  • Council Orientation (current or former ALA Councilors are desired)
  • Diversity
  • Education
  • Intellectual Freedom
  • International Relations
  • Legislation
  • Library Advocacy
  • Organization
  • Policy Monitoring (only ALA Councilors with terms through 2018 are eligible)
  • Professional Ethics
  • Public Awareness
  • Publishing
  • Resolutions (must have experience as an ALA Councilor or have served on a Council Committee)
  • Status of Women in Librarianship

The ALA Joint Committees are:

  • ALA-Children's Book Council (meets twice a year in NYC and members cover their own travel costs)
  • ALA Society of American Archivists/American Association of Museums

For technical assistance or for more information on the committee appointments process, contact Kerri Price, staff liaison to the Committee on Appointments and the Committee on Committees.

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7. YALSA Election: An Interview with YALSA Board Candidate Kate McNair

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 Board Director-at-large. YALSA Board members serve three-year terms, during which they jointly determine YALSA's policies, programs, and strategic direction, in accordance with YALSA's bylaws. They attend both virtual and in-person meetings and serve as liaisons to YALSA's committee chairs and members. A full description of Board 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 Kate McNair.

Name and current position:
Kate McNair, Teen Coordinating Librarian, Johnson County Library (Overland Park, KS)

What best qualifies you for being a YALSA Board Member?
Experience and Passion are two qualities that will make me an effective and driven YALSA Board Member. As a young librairan I found a home in YALSA that has driven me to work hard for our organization. I have served on many committees and taskforces, and have learned something valuable from each about how our profession and our organization works. I want both YALSA as an organization to succeed, and YALSA members to get something meaningful from their membership. I am committed to making YALSA the best organization it can be.

Talk about the experience you’re bringing to the position with leadership, advocacy, and impact on teen services in the library?
Through YALSA I have had a variety of experiences on committees and taskforces, both as a member and as a chair. I have served on President's Program taskforces and the Margaret A. Edwards Award Selection Committee. I have had the honor to chair the Midwinter Institute Taskforce, YA Literature Symposium Taskforce and Financial Advancement Committee. My work with YALSA has taught me just how diverse a community we serve (both librarians and teens) and where my own strengths can help YALSA most. I am an organized, driven and effective individual who can help get things accomplished. I think my talents have been leading me to the YALSA Board for the opportunity to tackle big-picture topics and look at the organization as a whole. My work with YALSA has greatly informed my work at Johnson County Library, where I just celebrated my 7th anniversary. Using the YALSA report The Future of Libraries for and with Teens we are implementing more ideas of connected learning into our programs and services by expanding our makerspace and target teens.

How can being a YALSA Board Member help make a difference with issues teens may be struggling with?
As a teen librarian YALSA supports me and broadens my horizon. I hope that by serving on the YALSA Board I can help to continue to grow the organization that has given so much to me as a young Librarian. By supporting our librarians we can help support our teens. YALSA has also done an amazing job of bringing the teen voice into our organziation's work through the Teens' Top Ten Award (Johnson County Library has been a nominating group for 4 years), the BFYA Teen Feedback Session, teen contributors to our blogs, and teen participation at conferences. We also support the amazing work that impacts teens by giving awards for literature and advocacy programs that encourage the improvement of our services to teens.

What are some ways that being a member of a YALSA governance committee can help serve as an even better connector to helping libraries become thriving learning environments for teens?
I hope that by being a YALSA Board member I can hear about all the amazing things that are happening in our profession, by connecting with the best and brightest of YALSA, and disseminate that knowledge and experience throughout the organization. I hope that I can help to play the crucial role of connector between right ideas and the right people to build a spark into a fire.

Share a recent example(s) where you made a shift to better focus on the current needs of teens.
Over the past 18 months I have totally shifted my work in Johnson County based on the Future of Library Services for and with Teens report from YALSA and the concepts of Connected Learning forwarded by the organization. As an organization we are moving to more connected programs, interest-based learning opportunities and informing learning structures. YALSA's call to action on this topic resonated with me and has moved the direction my career has taken for the better.

Why should YALSA members choose you to be a member of the governance committee?
I am someone who will work passionately and effectively to make YALSA a better organization for teens and for our members. I have found a home in YALSA and I want to give back to the organization and the people that taught me so much and gave me the opportunities to learn and grow. I want to pay forward what past YALSA Board members and committee chairs have given to me and put my skills in project management, communication, problem solving, leadership and vision to work for YALSA.

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8. Capital flight from Africa and financing for development in the post-2015 era

The more money you make, the more you lose. That is the story of Africa over the past two decades. Indeed, along with the impressive record of economic growth acceleration spurred by booming primary commodity exports, Africa continent has experienced a parallel explosion of capital flight.

The post Capital flight from Africa and financing for development in the post-2015 era appeared first on OUPblog.

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9. YALSA Exec committee Update

On April 17th YALSA’s Executive Committee met by conference call for its semi-annual meeting to discuss several ongoing and two new issues.  The agenda and related documents for this meeting can be found in theGovernance section of YALSA’s web  site.  Some highlights from the meeting include:

  • Talking through possible next steps in order to advance YALSA’s strategic planning effort.  YALSA will be putting out an RFP to identify a consultant who can support YALSA leaders as we work to become more outcomes focused and to develop a new plan for YALSA that aligns with the Futures Report
  • Thinking about how the work of the relatively new board standing committees can be organized to best support the mission of YALSA and increase the impact of the great work that member committees, juries, taskforces and advisory boards do
  • Discussing the draft FY16 budget and talking about how best to prioritize activities and align resources in order to best support members in the coming fiscal year
  • Reviewing the recommendations from the Selection Committee Evaluation Taskforce, whose work has focused on examining the six award committees to look for opportunities to improve or streamline processes in order to make the work of these groups easier and more coordinated.

There were two items we did not have time to get to, but that we plan to explore in our virtual work space: determining an oversight process for YALSA’s upcoming teen programming database and thinking about targeted member recruitment.  The minutes of this meeting can be found in the Governance section of YALSA’s web site.  It’s important to note that YALSA’s Executive Committee is not the decision making body of the organization, and that no decisions were made during the meeting.  The Committee may, however, decide to advance some of the discussions and/or make some recommendations to the board for their meeting in June.  YALSA’s Board of Directors has just begun to explore the topics and issues they feel are a priority to discuss at their June meeting,  If you have any recommendations for areas of focus for the board, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.  It’s an exciting time for YALSA and I’m grateful to be able to work on behalf of such enthusiastic and creative members!

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10. YALSA Member Town Hall - May 14th

I hope you will join me from 8:00 – 9:00pm, eastern, on Thursday May 14th for the next YALSA Member Virtual Town Hall!

I’ll be providing an update on what YALSA leaders and staff have been doing to realign YALSA’s programs and services towards the Futures Report in order to better serve members.  Some exciting new resources are coming, so don’t miss the chance to get the inside scoop!  I’ll also build in lots of time so members can share their thoughts on other actions you’d like YALSA to take to better support you in your efforts to implement the recommendations in the report.

Advance registration is not required and the event will be held via YALSA’s webinar platform, Adobe Connect.  The event will be recorded for anyone who cannot attend some or all of the live session.

Looking forward to chatting with you soon!

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11. YALSA Nonfiction: Action Required

Dear YALSA community

I have been a passionate advocate for teenagers, and for their reading, for decades. Being passionate means caring -- which thus may also mean advocating, questioning, disputing existing rules and structures. That is why, many years ago, I worked with Michael Cart to bring about the Printz award, and with the Los Angeles Times to create their YA award. If there is one area about which I am equally passionate it is the grand and glorious field of nonfiction for all ages. And so, I have taken the liberty of suggesting to the YALSA board that it is time for us, all of us, to take a look at what truly constitutes excellence in YA nonfiction -- what are the kinds, and types, and subgenres of nonfiction, and what criteria should there be for evaluating them. In this article I discuss what I have proposed to the board, and why.  The official board document (.pdf) is available on the YALSA web site in the Governance Section.  I hope you all will add your voices to the discussion here, or in SLJ -- or that we can discuss this in person at Annual, or any one of the many conferences and workshops where I get to meet you. Nonfiction is growing and changing, teenagers need for quality nonfiction is growing, and thus it seems to me time for all of us to weigh in on what makes for true YA Nonfiction Excellence. What do you think?

 

Marc Aronson has been an avid advocate for teenagers and their reading for many years. He served on the committee that drafted, and later evaluated, the rules for the Michael Printz prize, and he suggested the YALSA Excellence in nonfiction award. As an author of nonfiction he won the first Sibert award and, with Marina Budhos -- his wife -- was a finalist for the YALSA Nonfiction award. Their next book, which will be published in 2017, centers on another couple who were artists and collaborators: the photographers Robert Capa and Gerda Taro. Aronson is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the MLIS program at Rutgers University.

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12. YALSA Board @ Annual Preview: Selection & Award Committee Participation Policy

Have you ever submitted a volunteer application to express interest in serving on a YALSA selection or award committee--only to hear back that the President-Elect and Appointments Task Force were not able to find a spot for you this year? If so, you’re not alone. YALSA is fortunate to have many talented members who are eager to serve on our selection and award committees--nearly 600 applications were submitted for spots on 2015-2016 committees!--but each year, of course, there are only a limited number of committee spots available.

This is one of several reasons why the Board will be discussing the possible creation of a selection and award committee participation policy that would open up the committees for broader participation by the YALSA Membership at ALA Annual in San Francisco. The official Board doc is Item #29 on the YALSA Board’s Annual Conference Agenda.

The proposed policy outlined in the document would institute uniform guidelines for participation in selection and award committees, addressing topics such as as term lengths, maximum years of consecutive service, and frequency of award committee service. As you’ll see when you read the Board doc, this proposal follows up on a recommendation from the Selection Committee Evaluation Task Force that such a policy be explored and created. The proposal is also data-driven, based on an analysis of ten years of committee service records.

Take a look at the document and let the Board know if you have comments, questions, or concerns. We know that this is a proposal that, if adopted, could potentially impact many of our member volunteers, so we value your thoughts and input. There are lots of ways to share your feedback with us!

Thank you!

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13. YALSA Board @ Annual Preview: Aligning YALS to the Futures Report

heading for YALS
One of the items on the agenda for the YALSA Board at Annual Conference in San Francisco is a discussion of YALS and how to make sure that the official journal of the association is in line with the findings and recommendations of YALSA's Future of Library Services for and with Teens: A Call to Action report. The Board document - under new business - presents some things for the YALSA Board to think about including:

  • A revised function statement for YALS that focuses on the YALS Advisory Board having an active role in developing an editorial calendar for the journal and to make sure that YALSA's resources and initiatives are successfully highlighted in the publication.
  • An updated task list for members of the YALS Advisory Board. Each YALSA committee and/or advisory board has a yearly task list. For 2015/16 the YALS Editorial Advisory Board (as outlined in the Board document) will work with the YALS editor to develop a new model for the publication including focal points for columns and features, as stated above work on an editorial calendar, and provide feedback on a new design for the journal.
  • Changes to the format of YALS which includes re-thinking the recurring theme issues and encouraging authors of articles to also submit digital content for inclusion in the YALSAblog.

The YALS proposal for the Board is an action item which means that it is expected the Board will make a decision about the proposal at Annual Conference. If all or parts of the proposal are approved by the Board then it is expected that the changes will go into effect by early 2016.

YALSA Board meetings are open to all so if you will be at Annual Conference in San Francisco, feel free to stop by and hear what the Board is talking about. You can find the full Board agenda and supporting documents on the YALSA website.

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14. Board wrap-up from Annual 2015

I'm very proud of all the work that the 2014-2015 YALSA Board has accomplished, and wanted to share with you some of the highlights of our work from Annual last month.

  • The board approved the proposed Professional Values document, which outlines nine core values that define professionalism for those who work for and with teens through libraries
  • The board discussed Member Recruitment and directed the Standing Board committee on Member Recruitment & Engagement to explore the issue further and bring recommendations back to the board
  • The board discussed ways that YALSA might better support members in their Collection Development  and content curation efforts and determined a first step would be to compile resources on YALSA’s wiki
  • The board passed a policy designed to encourage a broader segment of the membership to participate in Selection Committees .  Beginning Feb. 1, 2016 any individual who has served on any YALSA award committee will need to wait two years before they’re eligible to serve on another YALSA award committee
  • The board voted to establish an Award & Selection Committees Oversight Committee to help ensure that these committees have the support they need to run smoothly
  • The board decided to put a proposal to the membership to vote on tying YALSA Dues to the Consumer Price Index, which will appear on the 2016 ballot
  • The board got an update on what is being done to align resources and activities with the Futures Report
  • The board approved a petition to establish a Teen Mental Health Interest Group.

To learn more, check out the Board agenda and documents as well as the meeting minutes.

At the conclusion of the board meeting, I turned over the reins to Candice Mack, who will be the awesome 2015 – 2016 YALSA President.

The Board’s next meeting will be at the 2016 ALA Midwinter Meeting, Jan. 8 – 12. We're looking forward to seeing YALSA members in Boston! And remember, YALSA's YA Services Symposium is coming up in Portland, Oregon, November 6 - 8.

Thanks for all that you do to make YALSA an amazing association and I enjoyed working with you all this past year!

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15. 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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16. 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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17. 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:

Activities

  • 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.

Updates

Gratitude

  • 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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18. YALSA Election: An Interview with YALSA President-Elect Sarah Hill

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 the candidate for President-Elect. The President-Elect serves a three-year term: President-Elect the first year, President the second year, and Immediate Past-President the third year. The President-Elect is a member of YALSA's Executive Committee, along with the President, Past President, Fiscal Officer, Secretary and Councilor.

The President-Elect's primary job is to learn the role of the President, and to make committee appointments. The President-Elect also has all the normal duties of a Board member.' A full description of the President-Elect's 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 Sarah Hill.

Name and current position:
Sarah Hill, Information Services Librarian at Lake Land College in Mattoon, Illinois

What best qualifies you for being YALSA President?
I’ve been very active in YALSA selection committees and was appointed to the 2013 Printz and 2015 Odyssey Award committee. I served on the Alex Award committee in 2008 & 2009 and was chair in 2010. I also served on the Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults committee and on the RUSA/YALSA Young Adult Reference Committee. I moderated an ALA graphic novel panel in 2010, and have presented at many local and state conferences

For many years, I was very active in Illinois School Library Media Association and served as a board member, treasurer, and president. I participated in many committees, planned conferences and workshops, and strived to improve school librarianship in Illinois. In my three-year term as president-elect/president/past-president of ISLMA, I served on the AASL Affiliate Assembly and attended AASL Region 3 workshops representing my state. Since taking my new position at a community college library, I’ve stepped back from leadership roles in ISLMA, but still participate on the Abraham Lincoln Illinois High School Book Award reading committee, which is how I got my start in ISLMA years ago.

Talk about the experience you’re bringing to the position with leadership, advocacy, and impact on teen services in the library?
I bring a unique view to YALSA leadership because I worked as a high school teacher librarian for twelve years, and was a curriculum director for the last three of those years. I’m currently in my second year as a community college librarian providing instruction and reference help to students and faculty. I’ve always had to be an advocate for libraries and young adult literature in my buildings in order to save my physical space, budget, and job!

In YALSA, I've been very active on reading selection committees and have a reputation as a responsible, hard-working committee member. I'm very good at managing time and money and do not like to waste either. I may not be the best writer (I know my weaknesses!), but I communicate professionally and appropriately to get tasks completed successfully.

How can being YALSA President help make a difference with issues teens may be struggling with?
This is a difficult question. At my community college, I’m making a difference because I serve on the college’s Inclusion & Diversity Education Task Force and as a Safe Zone facilitator, which means I train faculty and staff to be more knowledgeable and supportive of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders, and allies. As a librarian, I help my patrons with the issues they choose to talk to me about, and as YALSA president, the best I can do is to listen and respond to members. Our members know why teens are struggling and our organization responds by creating resources and providing professional development to help librarians serve those teens.

What are some ways that being a member of a YALSA governance committee can help serve as an even better connector to helping libraries become thriving learning environments for teens?
YALSA governance committee members are the YALSA members who have a direct responsibility to make good things happen. My experience in organizations has taught me that sometimes change is slow, and the governance committee members are the ones who need to keep hammering away to create change and make improvements. By listening to our members, the governance committee can make sure that their issues and problems are being addressed, which will improve library services to teens.

Share a recent example(s) where you made a shift to better focus on the current needs of teens.
After working in high schools as an English teacher, librarian, and curriculum director for 14 years, last year I started working as the Information Services Librarian at Lake Land College in Mattoon, Illinois. I’m the only librarian besides my director, so that means I’m in charge of instruction and reference. I’ve been focusing on weeding and collection development lately, and I received a $2,500 LSTA grant to provide training to students and faculty about the Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards. The library purchased 141 award-winning non-fiction books in the areas of science, technology, arts, engineering, and mathematics for ages K-12. The items were added to the juvenile collection of our library that supports our education students and daycare on campus. By addressing this need, our students and staff are more knowledgeable about how a library can support state and national standards in the classroom and at home.

Why should YALSA members choose you to be a member of the governance committee?
Throughout my library career, I've praised YALSA as the national organization that has helped me the most. I've always worked with teens, and I believe that YALSA helps me stay on top of what teens want. I read YALSA blogs, follow YALSA peeps on Twitter, and stay connected with my professional learning network to learn more about teens, books, and technology. I couldn't do my job without my network and would like to give back to the organization that has helped me grow in my professional and personal life. As YALSA president, I will do my best to steer YALSA in the direction that will improve library services to teens, whether in public, academic or school libraries.

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19. YALSA Election: An Interview with YALSA Councilor Todd Krueger

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 the candidate for YALSA Councilor. The Councilor serve a term of three years commencing at the adjournment of the final ALA Council meeting of the annual conference following their election. The YALSA Councilor is also a member of the YALSA Executive Committee, as well as the Board of Directors.

The YALSA Councilor’s primary job is to serve as a member of the YALSA Board, attend all meetings of the ALA Council, report to the YALSA Board about Council agenda, vote as directed by the YALSA Board, represent YALSA’s position on Council, and report to the YALSA Board about Council actions.

A full description of the Councilor’s 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 Todd Krueger.

Name and current position:
Todd Krueger, Selector, Collection Development, Baltimore County Public Library, Towson, Maryland

What best qualifies you for being a YALSA Councilor?
I have worked within many governing bodies and have learned the best ways to understand the matters at hand in a legislative process. Communication is key, and making certain that the issues facing teen librarians and teens in libraries are brought forth as necessary before the ALA Council. Conversely, reporting any items of note regarding teen librarianship and service to teens that are raised by ALA Council members back to the YALSA Board and membership at large. Using soft skills can often be the difference between getting the desired result for an organization and being left on the wrong side of the vote. My experience within YALSA has largely been on selection committees, but I have numerous colleagues who serve and continue to serve on ALA Council and the ALA Executive Board who have given me considerable understanding of the work of that body.

Talk about the experience you’re bringing to the position with leadership, advocacy, and impact on teen services in the library?
I have chaired several committees within and outside of my public library system that focused on services to teens, particularly with regard to collection needs. These have given me an understanding of the ever-moving target of what teens are looking for from their libraries. Always making sure that teens are considered when teen programming, building renovation, and staff development needs (for example, best practices for staff interaction with teens) are raised has been critical to my constant advocacy for this population.

How can being a YALSA Councilor help make a difference with issues teens may be struggling with?
I believe it's vital that the YALSA Division Councilor, among all councilors that have served and continue to serve teens make it a priority to remind fellow councilors of the needs of young adults. I have had a longstanding focus on teen literature, collection development, and intellectual freedom. Issues regarding these subjects continue to arise in the form of materials challenges, censorship, and selection decisions. As the lines blur of the borders of adolescence, both on the tween side and for younger adults, YALSA is positioned perfectly to advocate for an ever-growing group of library users.

What are some ways that being a member of a YALSA governance committee can help serve as an even better connector to helping libraries become thriving learning environments for teens?
It is critical that teens have a place to be comfortable to self-educate. If that means becoming lost within the pages of a novel, or socializing with other teens, or following a path of personal interest, teens need to know all that the library can be for their growth. This may mean individual attention but can also be as simple as the right programming for the right group of teens at the right time. Constantly reassessing the needs and wants of the given crop of teens cannot be overstated. As a member of the governance committee I would advocate for ways to best use the often limited resources currently in place, while always being ready to pivot to reallocate resources as changes occur.

Share a recent example(s) where you made a shift to better focus on the current needs of teens.
These days, teens are continually overscheduled. Few have the opportunity to spend time reading more than a handful of free reading titles over the course of a given year, aside from the exceptional readers. Using data that showed how titles circulated among readers in my library system, I was able to clear out a lot of never or rarely used materials, and allow readers to more easily browse the teen collections at our twenty locations. This allowed me to identify just how quickly the reading tastes of teens changes in my community.

Why should YALSA members choose you to be a member of the governance committee?
It's important for teen librarians to be constantly aware of the current needs of the teens they serve, given the short window of time that a connection can be made. After serving on a number of YALSA and other selection committees, I am looking forward to transitioning to the governance side of advocacy for teens. There is so much potential in each of the young people we work with; let's use our energy and focus to prepare the teens we encounter for successful young adulthood and beyond.

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20. YALSA Election: An Interview with YALSA Board Candidate Diane Colson

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 Board Director-at-large. YALSA Board members serve three-year terms, during which they jointly determine YALSA's policies, programs, and strategic direction, in accordance with YALSA's bylaws. They attend both virtual and in-person meetings and serve as liaisons to YALSA's committee chairs and members. A full description of Board 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 Diane Colson.

Name and current position:
Diane Colson, Teen Services Librarian, Nashville Public Library

What best qualifies you for being a YALSA Board Member?
YALSA has been instrumental in my own professional growth. I can’t imagine developing the breadth of expertise that I have without all the booklists, programming ideas, and leadership opportunities obtained through YALSA. In addition to offering professional development, YALSA is the place to find others who share respect and empathy for teen library patrons. I love this environment, and want to help preserve and expand YALSAland.

Talk about the experience you’re bringing to the position with leadership, advocacy, and impact on teen services in the library?
When I was first hired as a Youth Services librarian in 1998, teen programming was one of several rotating responsibilities at my library. For a few months out of a year, librarians would “do YA,” and then move on through Outreach, School Age, Toddler Time, etc. I held on to the conviction that teens needed full-time attention, and as the years passed, it finally came to be. Of course, this wasn’t accomplished by me alone, but I believe that my constant participation in YALSA activities (book selection committees and processing committees alike), as well as conduction workshops on Teen Services through local library groups, helped keep the pressure steady.

How can being a YALSA Board Member help make a difference with issues teens may be struggling with?
I’m a believer in the power of YALSA, the support it offers librarians who work with teenagers. But a strong organization doesn’t function in a vacuum. There must be the invisible hand at work to keep the organization cohesive and relevant. That’s the beauty of Board members with frontline experience; the needs of adolescents are a familiar landscape.

What are some ways that being a member of a YALSA governance committee can help serve as an even better connector to helping libraries become thriving learning environments for teens?
The YALSA Board provides a very large framework for all kinds of teen librarian connections. Within this framework are committed librarians working in many settings, such as public libraries, public and private schools, and universities of all stripes. In addition to inspiring and supporting collaborations, YALSA, through the work of governing committees,promotes national programs such as Teen Read Week. The numerous awards, lists, and blog posts introduce quality materials for bookshelves. YALSA is also a critical point of connection for librarians looking to stay current with relevant technology that enhances the appeal of teen spaces.

Share a recent example(s) where you made a shift to better focus on the current needs of teens.
At my library, I had been neglecting paper booklists over online ones. It occurred to me that there is still a need for both. Hard copies of booklists covering common genres are very helpful to browsing patrons at the point of service, and not all teens have access to a personal computer.

Why should YALSA members choose you to be a member of the governance committee?
I am mostly hoping for an opportunity to pay back all the wonderful opportunities I’ve enjoyed on selection committees – the fun stuff! I’m invested in YALSA. If my years of experience can used to further support this organization, then I would be proud to serve on the YALSA Board.

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21. YALSA Election: An Interview with YALSA Board Candidate Adrienne Strock

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 Board Director-at-large. YALSA Board members serve three-year terms, during which they jointly determine YALSA's policies, programs, and strategic direction, in accordance with YALSA's bylaws. They attend both virtual and in-person meetings and serve as liaisons to YALSA's committee chairs and members. A full description of Board 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 Adrienne Strock.

Name and current position:
Adrienne Strock, Teen Library Manager at the Nashville Public Library

What best qualifies you for being a YALSA Board Member?
I’m currently the chair of the Future of Teens and Libraries taskforce where we are working to raise awareness of and practical implementation of The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: A Call to Action. I also served as a mentor to two protégés through YALSA’s Virtual Mentoring Program.

In addition to being a teen librarian, I have been a teen services library administrator and manager and am passionate about serving teens. I’ve been a Teen Services Manager and Branch Manager at the Maricopa County Library District, YOUmedia Manager at the Chicago Public Library, and now Teen Library Manager for the Nashville Public Library.

Talk about the experience you’re bringing to the position with leadership, advocacy, and impact on teen services in the library?
Leadership: As a library manager and administrator, I have led committees, system-wide projects and programs, oversaw multimillion dollar budgets, and have overseen a staff as large as 18 across multiple sites. Though my leadership experience is strong, my leadership style--which is collaborative with high expectations—is my strongest leadership tool.

Advocacy: I think that there are small and big ways to be an advocate for teens in the library, but my favorite ways are the small ones whether it be responding positively to those that want to limit teen access to libraries to allowing teens to participate in library decisions or be their own advocates.

Impact: I’m a strong fan of assessments, statistics, and teen feedback as ways to make improvements and measure success. As the Teen Services Manager at the Maricopa County Library District, I relied on customer and staff surveys as well as teen focus groups to improve the SRP which resulted in a 17% increase in teen participation in my first year and a 21.2% increase my second year. I recently worked on an outcome assessment survey for teens at the Nashville Public Library. The information we collect will help us to begin a shift in services in the future.

How can being a YALSA Board Member help make a difference with issues teens may be struggling with?
I think that the best way a YALSA Board Member can make a difference when it comes to issues teens struggle with is to first be aware of the issues the teens at your library and at other libraries face, then be aware of issues all teens face nationally, and lastly be a voice to raise awareness of these issues and advocate for and develop solutions to these challenges for and with teens.

What are some ways that being a member of a YALSA governance committee can help serve as an even better connector to helping libraries become thriving learning environments for teens?
I think that the best way to help libraries become thriving learning environments for teens is to provide library workers and advocates with practical, real world examples, advice, and guidance on what it takes to develop a thriving learning environment for teens through handouts, stories, articles, videos, conversations, and other resources. Additionally, encouraging library workers to step out of their comfort zones, try out new ideas, involve teens in planning and leadership decisions, and then share their stories with others through YALSA will also encourage library workers to explore what a strong learning environment could look like at their library.

Share a recent example(s) where you made a shift to better focus on the current needs of teens.
I started my position at Nashville Public Library in July, and—although the Main Library has had a teen center for a long time—a separate teen services department at the Main Library is somewhat new, too. We’re still building a dedicated teen services staff team, which has allowed me to develop a vision for teen services into several phases:
First, I’ve been able to use The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: A Call to Action as a roadmap for what teen services could look like at our teen center.

Second, from that roadmap I developed a draft of strategic outcomes and a library impact assessment survey that I distributed to 49 of our teens.

Third and fourth, once the teen center is fully staffed the team will collaborate on the original roadmap and utilize the teen survey results as well as through conversations and direct feedback from teens to improve our vision for services for and with teens at the Main Library.

I see the public library as an informal learning space for teens but I also see it as a space where teens have a say and are provided with leadership opportunities to determine what learning looks like. With the plan outlined above.

Why should YALSA members choose you to be a member of the governance committee?
I see the role of a YALSA Board Member as bringing practical and tangible resources to YALSA members and those involved in teen services in libraries. For that reason, I will always try to connect the work of YALSA directly to our work.

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22. 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 ALA candidates can be found on the ALA Election Information page.

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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23. YALSA Election: An Interview with YALSA Board Candidate Crystle Martin

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 Board Director-at-large. YALSA Board members serve three-year terms, during which they jointly determine YALSA's policies, programs, and strategic direction, in accordance with YALSA's bylaws. They attend both virtual and in-person meetings and serve as liaisons to YALSA's committee chairs and members. A full description of Board 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 Crystle Martin.

Name and current position:
Crystle Martin, Postdoctoral Research Scholar, Digital Media and Learning Hub, University of California, Irvine.

What best qualifies you for being a YALSA Board Member?
I have leadership experience ranging from conference chairing, to managing the YALSAblog, to being on advisory boards for journals and other professional organizations. As a postdoctoral researcher fellow, I am continually cultivating relationships with leaders across disciplines at universities, libraries, and community centers nationwide. Through my research, I am able to positively affect the lives of youth by using the results to impact the design of youth programming. I collaborate with other scholars and librarians on grants, writing, and research, which has helped me to develop excellent communication skills.

Talk about the experience you’re bringing to the position with leadership, advocacy, and impact on teen services in the library?
I have been the Member Manager for the YALSAblog for the past year. My leadership experience also includes being the AERA (American Education Research Association) Special Interest Group Chair (SIG), for the Media, Culture, and Learning SIG for the past two years, as well as organizing for a variety of academic conferences. I advocate for teens in every professional setting in which I am involved. For example, I petitioned to change the focus and name of Media, Culture, and Learning (formerly Media, Culture, and Curriculum), so that the SIGs focus would include research on informal learning spaces of youth. The valuation of the skills and experiences youth develop in informal spaces creates opportunity for a stronger sense of agency and more engagement with learning.

How can being a YALSA Board Member help make a difference with issues teens may be struggling with?
As a researcher, I have studied how youth learn in their interest-driven spaces. Many youth in these situations learn and develop very useful skills in these informal spaces, but they have difficulty making connections between their informal and formal spaces. This means youth learning is undervalued. Helping teens make these connections and receive formalized recognition for their skills, not only can strengthen their educational and career paths, but supports the agency of the youth as well.

What are some ways that being a member of a YALSA governance committee can help serve as an even better connector to helping libraries become thriving learning environments for teens?
Being on the YALSA governance committee offers the opportunity to work with others, with a variety of expertise, interested in creating the most superior learning environment for teens. Together, through combined experience of the members, new solutions can be reached.

Share a recent example(s) where you made a shift to better focus on the current needs of teens.
In my most recent research, I am focusing specifically on the needs of non-dominant youth. Non-dominant youth are often exposed to less STEM oriented funding. For me, the shift occurred when I moved from exploring information literacy and learning of youth online to working in libraries so that I could more directly impact youth. Libraries offer great spaces for the creation and proliferation of innovative programs that not only bring youth into the library but also offer opportunities to learn and experience new things, exposing them to potential future paths. My current research project focuses on the creation, implementation, and improvement of STEM coding programming for underserved youth, with the long term plan of having the programming accessible to libraries across the country.

Why should YALSA members choose you to be a member of the governance committee?
If elected, I will focus on bringing the research community and the practitioner community into closer conversation. My goals are twofold: 1) Get cutting edge, up-to-date research into the hands of practitioners in order to provide the highest quality service to youth; 2) Connect researchers with practitioners so that they are able to conduct research that is in line with the needs of youth and librarians in these spaces. My unique expertise and background makes me particularly well-qualified to bridge the gap between research and practice to create more effective experiences for youth.

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24. YALSA President's Report - February 2015

February President’s Report
Just a quick update from a short month! The Board has been having quite a number of conversations related to strategic planning, and I invite you to the next town hall – May 14th at 8pm EST to be part of the discussions!
Activities

  • Hosted YALSA member town hall to discuss member implementation of the recommendations from the Futures report.
  • Led a Board Planning Session which focused on outcomes training and ways to incorporate outcomes into YALSA’s strategic planning process.
  • Prepared board standing committees for revised quarterly chair report review process
  • Appointed members to fill vacancies on various committees.
  • Facilitated online discussion and voting for student engagement taskforce, programming guidelines, and the president’s program.
  • Spoke with Santa Rose Press about teens and library usage

Updates

  • Elections begin March 24 and run through May 1.
  • Congratulations to the winners of YALSA’s writing awards: Shari Lee, Sarah Ludwig, Jaina Shaw, and Anna Tschetter.
  • See you in San Francisco, Lisa Castellano, Lauren Lancaster, and Alicia Tate, the winners of YALSA’s Conference Travel Grants.
  • Happy collection development to Kay Hones, Christy James, and Joan Yarsa, whose libraries are receipts of materials from YALSA’s Great Books Giveaway
  • Special shout out to Sarah Hashimoto and Robin Fogle Kurz, the winners of YALSA’s Volunteer of the Year award.
  • Peggy Hendershot brought diversity to the forefront of her teen discussions and won the MAE award for best literature program
  • Smooth ordering to Brandt Ensor, Jean Forness, Graig Henshaw, Carolann MacMaster, Emma McCandless, Brooke Nelson, Emily Otis, and LaRaie Zimm, the winners of the MAE collection development grants.

Stats

  • Membership - 5,168 members in Jan, up 1% over this time last year
  • Donations - $2,029.21

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25. YALSA Election: An Interview with ALA President-Elect Candidate Joseph Janes

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 ALA candidates can be found on the ALA Election Information page.

Today we have an interview with Joseph Janes.

Name and current position:
Joseph Janes, associate professor and chair of the MLIS program at the University of Washington Information School

Share with YALSAblog readers the areas you intend to focus on as ALA President and why these issues are important. How do you envision your leadership as ALA President being supportive of YALSA and the work it does for teens? (*Note: Janes combined these two questions into one answer).
There are two primary things I’d like to do as president, each of which play to my strengths: first, to tell our story to the wider world, and second, to help us think together about how to move forward. Those of us who work with young people are among the most important members of our profession, because so much of what they do and how they do it sets the pattern for the way people think about libraries and librarians for the rest of their lives, and that story deserves telling.

In particular, those of you who work with teens and young adults are all thinking hard about how to serve a population increasingly defined by their relationships both to technology and through technology. The ways in which they use tools like social media and gaming, for self-expression and reaching out to others, in no small part help to define who they are and who they are likely to be, which will have profound effects not only on them as individuals but on our greater society as well. This is just one example of how we all need to proceed creatively and thoughtfully and bravely toward finding the right ways forward, drawing on our traditions and innovating like crazy, to better understand and serve our communities and clienteles.

Talk about a recent time when you supported library services for teens in your current or a previous position.
Well, neither of these is terribly recent  but there are a couple of things I’m very proud of. At the very beginning of the Internet Public Library project, one of the students from the first group suggested we add a Teen Division to the plans for a story hour (the only thing I insisted be in the project). That was Sara Ryan, who is now at Multnomah County and an established YA author, and she and her colleagues did a splendid job, identifying and organizing the earliest of Internet resources aimed at teens, and I’m delighted that, 20 years later, that’s still a part of IPL.

Then I was privileged to be asked to serve as an expert witness on behalf of ALA for the Federal CIPA lawsuit. In one of those odd twists of fate, one of the lead plaintiffs in that case was a young person from Portland who wanted to find resources on gender identity but was prevented from having their Internet access unblocked, and sued. We met in Philadelphia, testifying on the same day. Then many years later, we received an application to our masters’ degree program from a familiar name! Since then, we’ve become good friends, there’s a great job and a family in the mix, and I’m happy to have been able to be a part of all of that.

Why should YALSA members choose you to be ALA president?
I love this profession; I tell my students at orientation, and anybody who’s considering it, that librarianship is the best, most important, most fulfilling thing you can do with your life. We are one of that handful of professions which has the human record in our care, the record of everything that has gone before, and what we do keeps that record available for generations to come. That is noble and vital work, now more than ever before, and I envy my students who will get to work with tools and ideas my generation can only dream of. I want to leave my profession better than I found it, and if I’m lucky enough to become president, I’ll work as hard as I can to do just that, and I’d appreciate your support. Thanks!

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