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1. 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.
Activities:

  • 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.

Statistics:

  • 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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2. 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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3. 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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4. 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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5. 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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6. 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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7. 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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8. 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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9. 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.

Activities

  • 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.

Updates

  • 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.

Gratitude

  • 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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10. 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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11. 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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12. 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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13. 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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14. 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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15. August President’s Report

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) is a national association 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.

  • Held a conference call with Ritchie Momon of the Road Trip Taskforce and Elizabeth Hanisian of the State Association Outreach Taskforce about the Board decision at the Annual conference to merge those two groups into one superdynamo. Many thanks to both Elizabeth and Ritchie for their dedication to helping move these important member engagement opportunities forward. Be on the lookout for a YALSA presence at a state conference near you! And in the meantime, why not use these free materials to share information and organize a meetup in your own area?

  • Appointed members to serve on vacated committee positions and newly formed taskforces on  MakerSpaces, Professional Values, Administrator Resources, and Student Member Engagement.  There are still several slots available, feel free to let me know if you  have the time and inclination.

  • Finalized a list of  amazing YALSA members to serve as representatives to seventeen ALA committees and assemblies.

  • With YALSA Executive Director Beth Yoke, finalized agendas and documents for the August Board Conference Call.  The bulk of this call is to discuss Chair reports and  assess  progress of the annual task list. 

  • Held a Board chat on “best practices” and what is needed by members on a national level.  If approved by the board this month, the  standing committee on  research and best practices will make recommendations on the ideas discussed in this forum, as well as those collected during the YALSA membership meeting at ALA Annual.

  • Discussed digital trends in libraries  for a story in EdWeek.

  • With the Executive Director and with feedback from the Executive committee,  interviewed and selected a candidate for the  Hub Manager position.  Many thanks to the amazing group of people that applied and congratulations to  the talented Allison Tran, who was selected.

  • Discussed a plan of action for the year with the President’s Program Planning Committee Chair, Linda Braun.  Many thanks to Linda and the rest of the committee for their willingness to  jump in and think outside the box for what I’m sure will be  a thought-provoking process and program.

  • With President-Elect, Chris Shoemaker, planned the September Board chat on member recruitment and engagement.

  • Mark your calendars! The Board will be hosting a discussion with members on Wednesday, October 2nd at 2 p.m. EST.  More information can be found on the YALSA Blog.

YALSA News

  • Teen Read Week is right around the corner! Connect with colleagues and plan your programs by registering at the official Ning.

  • Voting has begun for Teen’s Top Ten! Vote for your faves through October 19th and check out the TTT Tumblr.

  • The YALSA Advocacy page is looking more inspiring than ever, especially with the inclusion of the recently updated Advocacy Toolkit!

Gratitude

Thanks again to all of our generous Teen Read Week partners including Soho Teen, Blink, Dollar General, Scholastic, and ALA Graphics.

Thanks to our incoming process committee Chairs and committee members for starting your terms strong!

And thank you to our YALSA and Hub bloggers!  I never fail to be energized by the content that  you share on these amazing resources.

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16. A crisis of European democracy?

By Sara B Hobolt and James Tilley


During November 2012 hundreds of thousands of people across Europe took to the streets. The protesters were, by and large, complaining about government policies that increased taxes and lowered government spending. This initially sounds like a familiar story of popular protests against government austerity programmes, but there is a twist to the tale. Many of the people protesting were not aiming their ire at the national governments making the cuts in spending, but rather at the European Union. In Portugal, people carried effigies of their prime minister on strings and claimed he was a ‘puppet of the EU’; in Greece people burned the EU flag and shouted ‘EU out’; and in Italy people threw stones at the European Parliament offices. It was, at least for some people on the streets, not the incumbent national politicians in Lisbon, Athens, and Rome who were to blame for the problem of the day, but rather politicians and bureaucrats thousands of miles away in Brussels.

The economic crisis in Europe has illustrated that citizens are increasingly blaming not just their national governments, but also ‘Europe’ for their woes. This raises the question of whether citizens can hold European politicians to account for the outcomes for which they are thought to be responsible. The notion of democratic accountability relies on the critical assumption that voters are able to assign responsibility for policy decisions and outcomes, and sanction the government in elections if it is responsible for outcomes not seen to be ‘in their best interest’. This process, however, is clearly complicated in the multilevel system of the European Union where responsibility is not only dispersed across multiple levels of government, but there are also multiple mechanisms for sanctioning governments.

Symbolique 2006

Democratic accountability in multilevel systems can be viewed as a two-step process, where specific requirements need to be met at each step to allow voters to hold governments to account. The first step is one where voters decide which level of government, if any, is responsible for specific policy outcomes and decisions. This depends on the clarity of institutional divisions of powers across levels of government, and the information available about the responsibilities of these divisions. The second step is one where voters should be able to sanction the government in an election on the basis of performance. This depends on government clarity: that is the ability of voters to identify a cohesive political actor that they can sanction accordingly.

Both of these steps are important. Assignment of responsibility to a particular level of government is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition to be able to punish an incumbent at the polls. To do so, voters also need to know which party or individual to vote for or against. Yet, the EU lacks a clear and identifiable government. Executive power is shared between the European Council and the European Commission, and legislative power is shared between the Council of the EU and the European Parliament. The primary mechanism through which citizens can hold EU institutions to account is via elections to the European Parliament. Unlike in national parliamentary systems, the majority in the European Parliament does not ‘elect’ the EU executive, however. Despite the formal powers of the European Parliament over the approval and dismissal of the European Commission there is only a tenuous link between the political majority in the Parliament and the policies of the Commission, not least since there is no clear government-opposition division in the Parliament. Despite current attempts to present rival candidates for the post of Commission president prior to the European Parliament elections in May, there is still no competition between candidates with competing policy agendas and different records at the EU level. Without this kind of politicised contest it is simply not possible for voters to identify which parties are responsible for the current policy outcomes and which parties offer an alternative.

As a consequence, the classic model of electoral accountability cannot be applied to European Parliament elections. Even if citizens think the EU is responsible for poor policy performance in an area, they find it difficult to identify which parties are ‘governing’ and punish, or reward, them at the ballot box. This has broader implications for trust and legitimacy. When people hold the EU responsible for poor performance, but cannot hold it accountable for that performance, they become less trusting of the EU institutions as a whole. Thus the danger for the EU is that every time the system fails to deliver — such as during the Eurozone crisis — the result is declining levels of trust and a crisis of confidence in the regime as a whole, because voters lack the opportunity to punish an incumbent and elect an alternative. In other words, the lack of mechanisms to hold EU policymakers to account may lead to a more fundamental legitimacy crisis in the European Union.

Sara Hobolt and James Tilley are co-authors of Blaming Europe? Responsibility without accountability in the European Union. Sara Hobolt is the Sutherland Chair in European Institutions at the European Institute of the London School of Economics and Political Science. James Tilley is a university lecturer at the Department of Politics and International m Relations at the University of Oxford and a fellow of Jesus College, Oxford.

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17. Look beneath the vote

OUP-Blogger-Header-V2 Flinders

By Matthew Flinders


Hands up if you’ve heard of National Voter Registration Day? And in the somewhat unlikely event that you have, did you realise that it took place last month?

If this momentous milestone passed you by, you’re not alone. Whatever 5 February means to the people of the United Kingdom, it’s safe to assume that electoral participation doesn’t figure prominently. This is not a surprise; it reflects a deep-seated public disengagement from politics, as indicated by the fact that only two thirds of eligible voters in the 2010 general election actually voted. Throughout the twentieth century, general election turnouts almost always exceeded 70%, but that’s a level of participation that has not been seen since 1997. Incidentally, the highest turnout since 1900 was 86.8% in January 1910, though only rate-paying men over the age of 21 could vote.

Low voter turnout is clearly a problem, but arguably a much greater worry is the growing inequality of that turnout. As a recent report from the Institute for Public Policy Research makes clear, the United Kingdom is very much a ‘divided democracy’, with electoral participation among the young and the poor declining dramatically. In the 1987 general election, for example, the turnout rate for the poorest income group was 4% lower than for the wealthiest. By 2010 the gap had grown to a staggering 23 points. A similar pattern is observable in relation to age groups. In 1970 there was an 18-point gap in turnout rates between 18–24-year-olds and those aged over 65; by 2005 this gap had more than doubled to over 40 points, before narrowing slightly to 32 points in 2010. ”If we focus on participation within these age-groups,” the IPPR report concludes “we can see that at the 2010 general election the turnout rate for a typical 70-year-old was 36 percentage points higher than that of a typical 20-year-old.”

If this isn’t bad enough there is little evidence that young people will simply start voting as they get older. On the contrary, the IPPR’s research suggests that “younger people today are less likely than previous generations to develop the habit of voting as they move into middle age.” These trends mean that politicians tend to address themselves to the older and richer sections of society – the people, in other words, that are most likely to vote. This, in turn, reinforces the views of the young and the poor that politicians don’t care about them. And that, naturally, leads to even greater political estrangement.

So what’s the solution? How do we re-establish a connection between ordinary people and politicians? In particular, how do we persuade the young and the poor that the political system really does have something to offer them?

Blue checkmark on vote checkbox, pen lying on ballot paper

The answers lie not in quick fixes or technological solutions – such as the introduction of compulsory voting, changing the ballot paper or promoting ‘digital democracy’ – but in adopting a fundamentally deeper, richer and more creative approach to democratic engagement. People will only vote – be they young or old, rich or poor – when they understand why democratic politics matters and what it can deliver. Therefore, to increase electoral participation we must focus on promoting the public understanding of politics from all perspectives (conservative, traditional, radical, etc.) in a way that demonstrates that individual responses to collective social challenges are rarely likely to be effective. It’s this deeper understanding, this notion of political literacy promoted by Sir Bernard Crick and defined as ‘a compound of knowledge, skills and attitudes’ that citizens can use to navigate the complex social and political choices that face us all. Political literacy can be seen as a basic social requirement that empowers people to become politically aware, effective, and engaged while also being respectful of differences of opinion or belief.

In this regard, the message from survey after survey is a dismal one. Large sections of the British public appear to know very little about the political system. Even relatively basic questions such as “What do MPs do?” or “What’s the difference between Parliament and the Executive?” tend to elicit a mixture of mild embarrassment and complete bafflement.

Given that levels of political literacy are so low, it’s little surprise that many people choose not to vote. They’re unaware of the very real benefits the political system delivers for them (clean water, social protection, healthcare, education, etc.) and they no longer believe that they can become the engine of real social change. And yet they can. Worse, by opting out of elections they risk diminishing their representation as politicians focus their messages on the groups that do vote. Young people are constantly reminded that to be “uneducated” – let alone innumerate or illiterate – is to risk deprivation and vulnerability, but in many ways to be politically illiterate brings with it exactly the same risks. Moreover, the impact of declining political literacy isn’t only felt at the individual level. With so many people in society alienated from politics, democracy itself is weakened

Such arguments are by no means abstract concerns. On 7 May 2015, a General Election will be held on the basis of individual voter registration rather than the previous system of household voter registration. Research suggests that although this transition is likely to increase electoral security it may also result in a considerable decline in levels of electoral participation amongst – yes, you’ve’ guessed it – the young and the poor.  This is not a reason to turn back from individual registration but it is a reason to step-back and acknowledge that if we’re really serious about healing a divided democracy, then we need to focus on promoting engaged citizenship through different channels and processes. We need to take some risks and stir things up, but most of all we need a long-term plan for fostering political literacy.

Matthew Flinders is Founding Director of the Flinders author picSir Bernard Crick Centre for the Public Understanding of Politics at the University of Sheffield and also Visiting Distinguished Professor in Governance and Public Policy at Murdoch University, Western Australia. He is the author of Defending Politics (2012). 

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18. YALSA Election: An Interview with Board Candidate Rachel McDonald

Get ready to vote! The YALSA election runs from March 19 through April 25, and to help you be an informed voter, we’re sharing interviews with each of the 2014 YALSA Governance candidates.YALSA_173x79

We will start with the candidates 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.

Candidates, who will be presented in alphabetical order, were asked to craft “Twitter-length” responses (i.e. around 140 characters). Full biographical information on all of the candidates can be found on the sample ballot.

Today we have an interview with Rachel McDonald.

Name and current position: Rachel McDonald Teen Librarian, King County Library System.

Why did you decide to run for a YALSA office? What excites you about serving on YALSA Board?  

After getting to know YALSA by serving on task forces & selection committees, serving on the board is the logical & exciting next chapter.

What areas of YALSA’s Strategic Plan do you think you can best contribute to? Why? 

Having served on the YA Advocacy Benchmarks Task Force, I’m excited to educate and empower our members to do more advocacy.

What is the most pressing issue facing YALSA today?

Advocating for our members whose positions, whether in school or public libraries, are often in jeopardy. Let’s show everyone how much we’re needed!

What priority activities should YALSA take on to address the “paradigm shift” as described in The Future of Library Services for and with Teens report?

We need to encourage librarians to facilitate connected learning with teens and provide opportunities for them to connect with mentors.

What attributes have helped you succeed professionally?

I welcome the opportunity to collaborate and learn from others, but still do my research so I can back up the positions I hold.

What do you see as the primary role of the Board?

Using the strategic plan as a guide, the primary role of the board is to help our members better serve teens in their communities.

If elected, how will you help YALSA members (in their daily work, in their careers, other)?

I look forward to helping library staff & teen advocates connect by sharing research, best practices, & advocacy tools.

What else would you like voters to know about you?

I believe my collaborative skills & vision will help move YALSA forward as we continue to look for ways to engage & support our members.

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19. YALSA Election: An Interview with Board Candidate Jennifer Korn

Get ready to vote! The YALSA election runs from March 19 through April 25, and to help you be an informed voter, we’re sharing interviews with each of the 2014 YALSA Governance candidates.YALSA_173x79

We will start with the candidates 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.

Candidates, who will be presented in alphabetical order, were asked to craft “Twitter-length” responses (i.e. around 140 characters). Full biographical information on all of the candidates can be found on the sample ballot.

Today we have an interview with Jennifer Korn.

Name and current position: Jennifer Korn, TeenSpot Manager, The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.

Why did you decide to run for a YALSA office? What excites you about serving on YALSA Board?  

Serving on Board will allow me to give back to YALSA and to lead the organization in a way that supports my fellow teen serving professionals to reach their potential.

What areas of YALSA’s Strategic Plan do you think you can best contribute to? Why? 

Advocacy and continuous education because of my past and present involvement in both of these activities within my library system, regional organizations, and YALSA.

What is the most pressing issue facing YALSA today?

The decrease in support for teen-focused, school and public library services as illustrated by a reduction of allocated resources and dedicated professionals.

What priority activities should YALSA take on to address the “paradigm shift” as described in The Future of Library Services for and with Teens report?

Advocating for the necessity of teen library services needs to be a top priority – advocacy to legislators, library and school administrators, potential partners.

What attributes have helped you succeed professionally?

I welcome challenge and growth. I perform best with a team and prefer collaborative work. I am thorough and focused with all of my work.

What do you see as the primary role of the Board?

Creating high-level initiatives that support the organization’s strategic plan, and then arming members so they can translate these initiatives into objectives that address immediate organizational needs and encourage member growth.

If elected, how will you help YALSA members (in their daily work, in their careers, other)?

I will make decisions guided by member needs and concerns, and emphasize the importance of engaging more members in YALSA’s activities.

What else would you like voters to know about you?

My involvement in YALSA has helped me move from librarian to a manager with recognized leadership ability. I want all of YALSA’s members to experience the same benefits to their professional growth.

 

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20. YALSA Election: An Interview with Board Candidate Gretchen Kolderup

Get ready to vote! The YALSA election runs from March 19 through April 25, and to help you be an informed voter, we’re sharing interviews with each of the 2014 YALSA Governance candidates.YALSA_173x79

We will start with the candidates 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.

Candidates, who will be presented in alphabetical order, were asked to craft “Twitter-length” responses (i.e. around 140 characters). Full biographical information on all of the candidates can be found on the sample ballot.

Today we have an interview with Gretchen Kolderup.

Name and current position: Gretchen Kolderup,Manager for YA Education & Engagement @ New York Public Library.

Why did you decide to run for a YALSA office? What excites you about serving on YALSA Board?  

I’m jazzed about the opportunity to to dig into the work of our association with others who care deeply about library services for teens!

What areas of YALSA’s Strategic Plan do you think you can best contribute to? Why? 

Member recruitment/engagement. My YALSA experience has been so meaningful; I love sharing that & helping others hook in to the association!

What is the most pressing issue facing YALSA today?

Remaining relevant and effective to its members as well as financially stable as our profession continues to change.

What priority activities should YALSA take on to address the “paradigm shift” as described in The Future of Library Services for and with Teens report?

Sounds silly, but: help ppl feel comfortable getting out of comfort zones. Report shows evolution’s necessary & good, but change can be scary.

What attributes have helped you succeed professionally?

Determination, creativity, collaborative leadership style. Learned from building YA svcs from scratch in my first job & leading The Hub!

What do you see as the primary role of the Board?

Board fulfills YALSA’s mission to expand & strengthen teen services. Should help members in the now & advocate for members’ futures.

If elected, how will you help YALSA members (in their daily work, in their careers, other)?

Provide practical tools (like YALSA’s Pub Lib Eval Tool), create opps to recognize & share best ideas, advocate for teen services nationwide.

What else would you like voters to know about you?

Whether I’m elected or not, I’m interested in helping us all become even more stellar librarians for teens. Always up to collaborate or chat!

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21. YALSA Election: An Interview with Board Candidate Betsy Fraser

Get ready to vote! The YALSA election runs from March 19 through April 25, and to help you be an informed voter, we’re sharing interviews with each of the 2014 YALSA Governance candidates.YALSA_173x79

We will start with the candidates 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.

Candidates, who will be presented in alphabetical order, were asked to craft “Twitter-length” responses (i.e. around 140 characters). Full biographical information on all of the candidates can be found on the sample ballot.

Today we have an interview with Betsy Fraser.

Name and current position: Betsy Fraser,Selector, Calgary Public Library

Why did you decide to run for a YALSA office? What excites you about serving on YALSA Board?  

I was inspired to run by the Board liaison I had while chairing the Summer Reading Taskforce and I am excited about the opportunity to do the same thing for someone else.

What areas of YALSA’s Strategic Plan do you think you can best contribute to? Why? 

Advocacy and member recruitment, as I am a staunch believer in YALSA and what it offers.

What is the most pressing issue facing YALSA today?

The need to attract and retain members, which offers possibilities for partnerships and advocacy.

What priority activities should YALSA take on to address the “paradigm shift” as described in The Future of Library Services for and with Teens report?

Promote digital and media literacy and capitalize on the know-how and innovative programming done by members.

What attributes have helped you succeed professionally?

Enthusiasm, determination, and a sense of humor.

What do you see as the primary role of the Board?

To look to the best possible future for the Division.

If elected, how will you help YALSA members (in their daily work, in their careers, other)?

Be available as a sounding board, as others have consistently been for me.

What else would you like voters to know about you?

I’ve served on Council, ALSC committees, & YALSA award, selection & process committees & have a solid understanding of where we fit.

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22. Elinor and Vincent Ostrom: federalists for all seasons

By John Kincaid


When Elinor Ostrom visited Lafayette College in 2010, the number of my non-political science colleagues who announced familiarity with her work astonished me. Anthropologists, biologists, economists, engineers, environmentalists, historians, philosophers, sociologists, and others flocked to see her.

Elinor’s work cut across disciplines and fields of governance because she deftly employed and developed interrelated concepts having applications in multiple settings. A key foundation of these concepts is federalism—an idea central also to the work of her mentor and husband, Vincent Ostrom.

Vincent understood federalism to be a covenantal relationship that establishes unity for collective action while preserving diversity for local self-governance by constitutionally uniting separate political communities into a limited but encompassing political community. Power is divided and shared between concurrent jurisdictions—a general government having certain nationwide duties and multiple constituent governments having broad local responsibilities. These jurisdictions both cooperate and compete. The arrangement is non-hierarchical and animated by multiple centers of power, which, often competing, exhibit flexibility and responsiveness.

From this foundation, one can understand why the Ostroms embraced the concept of polycentricity advanced in Michael Polanyi’s The Logic of Liberty (1951), namely, a political or social system consisting of many decision-making centers possessing autonomous, but limited, powers that operate within an encompassing framework of constitutional rules.

This general principle can be applied to the global arena where, like true federalists, the Ostroms rejected the need for a single global institution to solve collective action problems such as environmental protection and common-pool resource management. They advocated polycentric arrangements that enable local actors to make important decisions as close to the affected situation as possible. Hence, the Ostroms also anticipated the revival of the notion of subsidiarity in European federal theory.

connecting the dots

But polycentricity also applies to small arenas, such as irrigation districts and metropolitan areas. Elinor and Vincent worked on water governance early in their careers, and both argued that metropolitan areas are best organized polycentrically because urban services have different economies of scale, large bureaucracies have inherent pathologies, and citizens are often crucial in co-producing public services, especially policing (the subject of empirical studies by Elinor and colleagues).

The Ostroms valued largely self-organizing social systems that border on but do not topple into sheer anarchy. Anarchy is a great bugaboo of centralists, who de-value the capacity of citizens to organize for self-governance. Without expert instructions from above, citizens are headless chickens. But this centralist notion exposes citizens to the depredations of vanguard parties and budget-maximizing bureaucrats.

This is why Vincent placed Hamilton’s famous statement in Federalist No. 1 at the heart of his work, namely, “whether societies of men are really capable or not, of establishing good government from reflection and choice” rather than “accident and force.” The Ostroms expressed abiding confidence in the ability of citizens to organize for self-governance in multi-sized arenas if given opportunities to reflect on their common dilemmas, make reasoned constitutional choices, and acquire resources to follow through with joint action.

Making such arrangements work also requires what Vincent especially emphasized as covenantal values, such as open communication, mutual trust, and reciprocity among the covenanted partners. Thus, polycentric governance, like federal governance, requires both good institutions and healthy processes.

As such, the Ostroms also placed great value on Alexis de Tocqueville’s notion of self-interest rightly understood. Indeed, it is the process of self-organizing and engaging one’s fellow citizens that helps participants to understand their self-interest rightly so as to act in collectively beneficial ways without central dictates.

Consequently, another major contribution of the Ostroms was to point out that governance choices are not limited to potentially gargantuan government regulation or potentially selfish privatization. There is a third way grounded in federalism.

John Kincaid is the Robert B. and Helen S. Meyner Professor of Government and Public Service at Lafayette College and Director of the Meyner Center for the Study of State and Local Government. He served as Associate Editor and Editor of Publius: The Journal of Federalism, and has written and lectured extensively on federalism and state and local government.

More on the applications and reflections on the work of Elinor and Vincent Ostrom can be found in this recently released special issue from Publius: The Journal of Federalism. An addition to this, Publius has also just released a free virtual collection of the most influential articles written by the Ostroms and published in Publiues over the past 23 years.

Publius: The Journal of Federalism is the world’s leading journal devoted to federalism. It is required reading for scholars of many disciplines who want the latest developments, trends, and empirical and theoretical work on federalism and intergovernmental relations.

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23. President’s Report

March 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.

Happy National Volunteer Week! YALSA is an innovative, dynamic, and generally awesome organization because of the enthusiasm and dedication of amazing volunteers. Thank you.

Activities
• Led the YALSA Board in a Spring Quarterly conference call meeting.
• With Executive Director Beth Yoke and the Executive Committee, finalized an agenda for the Spring Executive meeting.
• With President-elect Chris Shoemaker and Past President Jack Martin, participated in virtual discussions on topics related to YALSA’s report, The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: A Call to Action. Recordings of all sessions are available on the National Forum webpage.
• Participated in media interviews on Teen Tech Week with NPR, Huffington Post Live, and School Library Journal.
• Discussed candidates with the Executive Committee and held interviews for the YALSA Blog Manager position.
• Discussed virtual engagement needs and possible strategies with Division Presidents.

Updates
• National Library Legislative Day is right around the corner and YALSA wants YOU to participate. From organizing an event to tweeting your senator, there are a variety of ways to make an impact. Check out the YALSA NLLD wiki for links, ideas, and talking points.
• Registration for YALSA’s YA Literature Symposium is open! Join us this November in Austin to learn, connect, and have an amazing weekend with teen librarians, educators, and YA authors from all over the country.
• Gearing up for summer? Join YALSA’s Summer Reading and Learning Ning to check out free webinars, resources, recommending lists and more.
• Looking for some professional development on your lunch break? YALSA has over 40 on-demand webinars that are free to members.
• Share your Teen Tech Week feedback via a brief online survey. We’re looking to get your input by April 15th so we can use it to improve and expand this initiative for next year.
• Our Making in the Library Toolkit has been launched! Thanks to Erica Compton and the Maker Committee for their hard work in creating this amazing resource.
Polls for ALA and Division Elections close April 25th. Don’t forget to cast your vote!

Gratitude
• Thank you to YALSA Membership guru Letitia Smith for her patience and expertise in helping me to coordinate and complete Spring Taskforce appointments.
• Thank you again to all of the fab panelists who participated in the Mondays in March Future of Teens and Libraries series, I’ve learned so much from you! Crystle Martin, Mimi Ito, Renee Hobbs, Ernie Cox, Marijke Visser, Maureen Hartman, Peter Kirschmann, K-Fai Steele, Kafi Kumasi, Vanessa Irvin Morris, Linda Braun, Jan Chapmen, and Sarah Ludwig.
• Thank you to the Summer Reading and Learning Taskforce for selecting this year’s grant recipients. Cheers to the grantees and huge thanks to the Dollar General Literacy Foundation for making these member grants possible.

In Feb. membership was at 5,131, which off -1.3% over this time last year. Donations for Feb. totaled $200.

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24. Where YALSA Gets Revenue for Member Services and Support

Pam Spencer Holley, YALSA Fiscal Officer

Now that I have a year of experience with YALSA finances, it’s become obvious to me that there is sometimes confusion in the minds of members about our dues, requests for donations, and books and other products that we sell. Why does YALSA need to do all this?

When I first became active in YALSA in the fall of 1985, we were considered a small division because we had about 2000 members (today we have over 5,100) and we were only able to cover about 50% of our operating expenses. Because of YALSA’s inability to cover all of the costs of providing member services and support, ALA gave YALSA what is called the “small division subsidy,” which covered the rest of our expenses. While ALA generously provided the financial support to meet the basic needs of members, YALSA wasn’t able to offer new selection or award committee opportunities or take on large national projects as we just did with the IMLS grant and the report that was generated. Not only that, the division had only a deputy director and 2.3 other staff positions (today we have an executive director and 4.5 other positions).

All this changed in the early 2000s when YALSA worked out a plan with ALA to gradually increase revenues and move off of the small division subsidy.  Today, revenue from dues makes up about a third of YALSA’s total revenue.  However, additional funds are needed by our division to continue with our dozen award and selection committees, the webinars and tool kits that enable library workers to be well prepared to serve their teens, the various events at conference where we all have a chance to rub elbows with noted YA authors and experts in the field, and more. Our strategic committees form the heartbeat of our organization and funds are needed to ensure their work is made available to aid library workers and teens. Our member awards and scholarships require a minimum of $16,000every year, hence we have the Friends of YALSA society whose donations help ensure that we are able to recognize members for their achievements and support them in their professional growth.

The other two thirds of YALSA’s revenue comes from key sources, like the sale of books and e-learning, the YA Literature Symposium, ticketed events at ALA conferences, grants, individual donations, corporate sponsorships and interest from YALSA’s endowments.  All of the revenues that come into YALSA, from whatever source, are used to provide members with services and support.

Although finding room in your budget to pay for things like association dues can sometimes be a challenge, YALSA really does give you a lot of bang for your buck.  The highest dues category for membership in ALA/YALSA is $193 per year (the lowest is $59).  Some of the key benefits of membership add up to well over $193.  For example, all of these things come free with membership:

  • $35 subscription to YALSA E-News
  • $70 subscription to Young Adult Library Services
  • $760 worth of webinars on-demand
  • $588 in live monthly webinars

And those are just a few of the freebies and discounts members get from ALA and YALSA.  So, with an investment of $59 – $193, members get a minimum of $1,453 worth of resources – resources that help make your daily work easier and position you to advance your career.  Are you making the most of these perks that YALSA has to offer?  If not, you should be!  Check out this free 30 minute webinar about making the most of your membership: http://connectpro87048468.adobeconnect.com/p34esi7r6xh/.  And don’t forget one of the best values from your YALSA membership: the opportunity to be part of a group of like-minded librarians, educators and teen supporters who care about library services to teens. Now, that opportunity is priceless.

I hope this post helps explain a bit about how YALSA finds the funds to support member services and programs, as well as where dues fit into the picture.  Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me (pamsholley@aol.com) if I can answer any questions you may have.

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25. 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.

Shannon

 

 

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