YALSA President’s Report

Paula Brehm-Heeger

Leading the Way

February 2008

Much of my time in February was dedicated to preparing for and participating in a meeting of YALSA’s Board of Directors held on February 29th via conference call.

This is the second meeting of the Board via conference call during my Presidential term. At this meeting we worked to follow-up on unfinished and pending items from our recent Midwinter meetings as well as review committee, task force and jury post-conference reports. We accomplished quite a bit and I would like thank the dedicated members of the Board for their hard work and for all that they do for YALSA. We are lucky to have such a talented group of people guiding our division and I am very grateful for their help and support.


  • Thanks to help from Website Advisory Committee members Connie Urquhart (chair) and Linda Braun, I began using YALSA’s
    Twitter, adding another option for communicating with members
  • Completed appointments to several task forces including the 2009 Midwinter Social Event Task Force
  • Worked to fill recent vacancies on several committees
  • Chaired a Board of Director’s meeting via conference call on February 29th
  • Made preparations to attend PLA on behalf of YALSA
  • Asked President-Elect Sarah Cornish Debraski to attend the WWE Wrestlemania Reading Challenge National Finals in Orlando on behalf of YALSA as this event overlaps with my attendance at PLA
  • Spread the word about YALSA’s new Diversity Campaign and started a dialogue with several groups about opportunities for working with YALSA. Part of the Diversity Campaign is to establish closer ties with ALA Affiliates and in an effort to start this process I contacted representatives from REFORMA, ALA's Rural, Native & Tribal Libraries of All Kinds Committee, ALA’s GLTB Round Table, Chinese American Librarians Association, ALA’s Diversity Committee, ACRL's Racial and Ethnic Diversity Committee, ASCLA's Libraries Serving Special Populations Section, Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table, Black Caucus of ALA, Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association, ASCLA Accessibility Assembly, American Indian Library Association, PLA's Services to Multicultural Populations Committee, and RUSA's Library Services to the Spanish Speaking Committee.
  • With the help of Executive Director Beth Yoke, provided newly elected members of ALA’s Executive Board a packet of information about our Division

In Progress

  • Appointment of at least 3 members to the joint YALSA/LAMA Teen Space Guidelines Task Force
  • Appointment of 5-7 members for the Midwinter Institute Task Force for 2009
  • Appointment of 5-7 members for the Magazine Selected List Task Force
  • Appointment of 3 members to Young Adult Literature Symposium Task Force
  • Preparing for an upcoming Teen Tech Week press event in Washington DC featuring representatives from the National Education Association and the Federal Trade Commission.
  • Preparing for a presentation in late May on behalf of YALSA at a meeting for the Oeiras Public Libraries in Portugal at which I will have a chance to highlight YALSA’s many exciting activities and initiatives
  • Planning for Operation Book Drop, a partnership related to Support Teen Lit Day. YALSA is working with the Readergirlz, a group of YA authors who helped support Teen Read Week 2007. YALSA and the Readergirlz are asking publishers to donate 417 (date of Support Teen Lit Day) books each, with these donations going to children's hospitals. This will offer teens something to read while they're recuperating. Teens would keep the book they received and would be encouraged to pass it on to another teen when they're finished reading it. Currently, twelve hospitals are participating across the nation and in Canada and twenty publishers are donating a total of 10,000 books. Both the Outreach to Young Adults with Special Needs Committee and the Publisher’s Liaison Committee are working on resources to support Operation Book Drop.
  • Review of Strategic Planning draft documents by Board of Directors


  • Provided quotes for YALSA Communications Specialists Stephanie (Stevie) Kuenn for a press release to address research about teens and technology -- specifically downloading and listening to music, as well as playing games and using the Internet.
  • Spoke with Melissa Walker with Des Moines Register is working on a story on gaming in libraries.
  • Crafted a brief statement available on YALSA's webpage at
    http://www.ala.org/ala/yalsa/edwardsstatement.cfm regarding this year’s Margaret A. Edwards Award.
  • Provided quotes for YALSA Communications Specialists Stephanie (Stevie) Kuenn for a press release about the Wrestlemania Reading Challenge winners.

Additional Important News

Registration and housing for the 2008 Annual conference in Anaheim, CA is now open. Early bird registration ends March 7th. More information about the Annual conference is available at

Housing is now open for YALSA's first-ever Young Adult Literature Symposium and registration fees have also been announced. You can find more information about the Literature Symposium at: