YALSA President’s Report

Paula Brehm-Heeger

“YALSA: Leading the Way”

December 2007

Much of YALSA leaders and staff activities in December focused on preparing for the upcoming January Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia.


  • Sent out four additional Midwinter Prep messages (including a handy checklist) to help our hardworking committee chairs prepare for the upcoming meeting. These messages are available on our wiki at
  • Represented YALSA at a meeting held at ALA’s Washington Office. This meeting was focused on creating an atmosphere of “deliberative dialogue” within the Association and brought together a wide variety of Association leaders, including representatives from ALA’s many Divisions, to discuss ideas for improving communication across the entire Association.
  • Provided YALS editor Valerie Ott with my third (of four) Presidential columns.
  • Worked with YALSA’s Executive Director Beth Yoke and the YALSA Board to finalize the Board agenda for the upcoming Midwinter meeting; also worked to finalize the agendas for the Leadership Development and All-Committee meetings.
  • Worked with the Young Adult Literature Symposium Task Force chair Stephanie Squicciarini, her outstanding task force and the Board to finalize the slate of programs and papers to be presented at this exciting new event next year. Everyone who had submitted a proposal has now been notified of the status of their proposal.
  • Finalized plans for upcoming Strategic Planning sessions at the Midwinter meeting.
  • Started planning for another partnership with the
    Readergirlz (who were extremely supportive in spreading the word out about Teen Read Week when YALSA partnered with them this past October). This partnership will be focused on Support Teen Literature Day (April 17, 2008)
  • Finalized plans and speakers for YALSA’s big kick-off event for our three year long @your Library Advocacy Campaign and also our first past-leaders breakfast (both to be held at the Midwinter meeting).
  • Appointed the next Youth Participation Coordinator, Patricia Rivera, who has the important job of working with committee and program chairs and local librarians to locate young adults and make arrangements for them to attend and participate in YALSA events and to recruit young adults for participation in other YALSA activities.
  • Posted information to YALSA’s discussion list asking YALSA members interested in being a candidate for ALA office to contact YALSA Past-President Pam Spencer Holley, who is now serving on ALA’s Nominating Committee.
  • Received news that ALA will fund YALSA Diversity Campaign. This funding will enable us to fund a Spectrum Scholar, start a conference scholarship for a member with a diverse background to attend ALA's Annual conference and also exhibit at an ALA affiliate conferences in 2008. I also put out a call to members interested in serving on the task force to implement this campaign to let me know of their interest.

In Progress

  • Appointing members to fill a few recently-vacated spots on process committee and also to appoint members to the task force that will work on implementing the first phase of our new Diversity Campaign
  • Checked in with my President’s Program Planning Committee, a group working to plan my President’s Program for the 2008 Annual conference and am very excited to hear about the great things they have planned
  • Preparing for the Midwinter meeting!


  • Provided quotes for YALSA Communications Specialists Stephanie (Stevie) Kuenn for a press release announcing YALSA’s new Diversity Campaign, set to start in 2008.
  • Spoke with reporter Gena Kittner from the Wisconsin State Journal about the rise of graphic novels in public libraries and the increasing use of graphic novels in the classroom.
  • Noted on YALSA’s blog that a recent American Libraries article highlighting January’s Youth Media Awards failed to mention the Printz, Edwards or Alex Awards and urged YALSA members to continue to vocally advocate for YALSA’s awards and teen literature in general

Coming up in 2008

Just a quick reminder that registration for the 2008 Annual conference in Anaheim, CA will is now open. Housing for the conference is also now open. More information about the Annual conference is available at the
ALA Web site.

Watch for Friends of YALSA donation envelopes in the January/February
American Libraries.