YALSA President's Report

August 2007

Paula Brehm-Heeger

“YALSA: Leading the Way”


In early August YALSA’s Board of Directors held our first ever summer Board meeting via conference call! The addition of this official meeting offered Board members the opportunity to discuss post-annual conference committee reports and to quickly address concerns and questions related to these reports. Board members spent the rest of August focusing on their liaison roles and working to relay relevant information from the meeting back to committee chairs.

The Board agreed to move forward on several pending issues. A few I would like to highlight are:

  • Changing the status of the Teen Tech Week Taskforce to a standing committee. TTW chair Stephanie Iser was extremely helpful in working with her Board liaison, Erin Helmrich, to pass along thoughts and recommendations related to this issue.
  • Recommendation that YALSA members interested in forming a new discussion group focused on serving incarcerated teens exercise the option of meeting two times (during upcoming conferences) and then resubmit a request to the Board for official status. Special thanks to YALSA member Amy Cheney for taking the initiative and submitting this proposal to the Board. A new electronic listserv, YALSA-lockdown has already been formed and details for how to join this list can be found at http://www.ala.org/ala/yalsa/electronicresourcesb/websitesmailing.htm.
  • Creation of an ad-hoc committee consisting of Board members who will work to finalize a Committee Chair Manual. The process of creating such a manual was initiated a few years ago and this group will work to finalize the existing draft manual that will be of great value for committee chairs.
  • Discussion of acceptable formats for election petition signatures. This important issue will likely be referred to next year’s Nominating committee for further discussion and exploration.
  • Formation of a Taskforce to explore the possibility of a YALSA presence in Second Life.

In Progress

Invitations have been sent to members from both the Technology for Young Adults and Professional Development Committees to join the Second Life Task Force mentioned above.

As Teen Read Week quickly approaches I’ve worked with the YALSA office to finalize plans for an exciting addition to this year’s activities, Teen Read Week’s “31 Flavorites,” a project involving chats and activities with 31 teen authors (one for each day of the month) to take place throughout of October. More details about the 31 Flavorites can be found at
www.myspace.com/readergirlz and watch the
Teen Read Week webpage for more details on this and all TRW activities in the coming weeks. Don’t forget to register now and lend your support to this important initiative.


YALSA Communications Specialists Stephanie (Stevie) Kuenn continued to assist me with media requests. While I did not have quite as many this month as last month (thanks to the July release of the final title in the Harry Potter series), media contacts this month included:

  • Phone interview with a reporter from the Cape Code Times about the importance of summer reading for teenagers.
  • Phone interview with a reporter from the Novelist, Inc related to the increase and popularity of graphic novels and manga in public libraries.

I also provided quotes and comments to Stevie for a Teen Read Week press release.