One way that YALSA members can connect with one another is to form an Interest Group around a common topic, geographic area, job or member type. Interest Groups are grassroots, member-driven groups that focus on facilitating networking and information exchange between members. Topics that members formed groups around in the past include anime, gaming, music, TAGs, technology, teaching YA Lit, summer reading, student members, serving teens in urban areas, readers' advisory, professional development, outreach to teens with special needs, and managing YA services. Interest Groups can also be formed to bring together members of a specific city, state or region.
Interest Groups may sponsor conference or symposium programs, contribute to YALSA's blogs and publications, and more. The groups are completely self-initiated and not appointed by YALSA officers. Members of Interest Groups are not required to attend the Annual Conference or the Midwinter Meeting, and there is no limit on the number of virtual participants an Interest Group may have. No work is required of Interest Group members -- the level of participation is up to each member.
Not sure you want to commit to an Interest Group? Then just hold a local meet-up.
Start a YALSA Interest Group
To learn more about YALSA Interest Groups, including how to start one, please read the FAQ.
Current Interest Groups
To participate in one of the groups below, members can just email the convener and let them know you want to join (these groups are for members only).
Los Angeles County Area Interest Group
The Los Angeles County Area Interest Group provides opportunities for YALSA members from the greater Los Angeles County area to contribute to the mission of YALSA by: (1) Connecting and networking with local Teen Services librarians, library staff, and advocates; (2) Sharing and evaluating local resources for teens and young adults; (3) Collaborating on projects and/or programs; (4) Providing and share learning and training opportunities; (5) Representing YALSA at library related symposiums, institutes, and conferences, and vice versa; and (6) Connecting YALSA with relevant state and local associations and organizations. Convener: Jane Gov. This group has a channel on YALSA's Slack account.
PIcture Books for Young Adults Interest Group
The Picture Books for Young Adults Interest Group provides an opportunity for YALSA members to discover picture books that capture the interest of readers in middle school and high school. These books can serve as a bridge to more sophisticated reading materials, be appreciated for innovative artwork, or foster reading relationships with younger readers. This Interest Group contributes to the YALSA mission by: (1) Meeting the informational and recreational needs of young adults through the development of an appropriate collection for all types of readers and non-readers; (2) Contributing to knowledge and appreciation of literature for and by young adults in traditional and emerging formats; and (3) Developing a collection of materials from a broad range of selection sources, and for a variety of reading skill levels. Convener: Diane Colson
Teen Mental Health Interest Group
The YALSA Teen Mental Health Interest Group brings interested individuals together to explore the issue of teen mental health and the ways this issue impacts library services for and with teens. The group serves as a forum for pre-professionals, library workers and youth advocates to network and share information and resources, especially those which help individuals build knowledge and skills related to the following areas in YALSA’s “Competencies for Librarians Serving Youth:” knowledge of client group; communication, marketing and outreach; knowledge of materials; and services. This group has a channel on YALSA's Slack account. Convener: Meaghan Hunt-Wilson.
Teen Services Coordinators Interest Group
This group provides networking and discussion opportunities for YALSA members interested in exploring issues related to coordinating teen services for library systems and/or across multiple locations, such as liaising with staff at individual locations; communicating with administrators; creating and maintaining large-scale, system-wide programs and services; and other such issues, especially as they relate to YALSA's vision for teen services as outlined in the report, "The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: a Call to Action." Convener: Kate McNair
Teens Are Not Alone Interest Group
This Interest Group is for YALSA members to generate ideas to help teens understand and empathize with our changing world, as well as to empower them to advocate for change in a positive manner. Any resources generated by the group will be shared through YALSA’s communication channels with librarians, library staff and other individuals who work with teens. This group has a channel on YALSA's Slack account. Convener: Lorraine Roussin
Washington DC Metro Area Interest Group
The DC Metro-Area Interest Group provides opportunities for YALSA members from the greater Washington DC area to: 1) connect and network with one another around issues relating to planning, delivering and evaluating library services for and with teens, with an emphasis on challenges and opportunities specific to the greater DC area; 2) collaborate on projects that contribute to the mission and goals of YALSA; and to 3) represent YALSA at greater DC area library events and look for opportunities to connect YALSA with relevant state and local groups and vice versa. The group maintains an online community in ALA Connect. Convener: Carrie Kausch