YALSA President’s Report

Paula Brehm-Heeger

Leading the Way

March 2008

During March I took several trips on behalf of our very active and dynamic association. My travels included two trips to Washington DC, first to Thomas Jefferson High School for an event on March 5th celebrating our second annual Teen Tech Week and again on March 19th as a guest of the WWE at the Corporate Social Responsibility Awards luncheon in honor of a nomination for the WrestleMania Reading Challenge. I also attended the Public Library Association conference in Minneapolis on behalf of YALSA while President-Elect Sarah Cornish Debraski represented YALSA at the WrestleMania Reading Challenge finals in Orlando, Florida, which happened to take place during the same time I was attending the PLA conference.


  • Continued using YALSA’s Twitter, providing brief updates to members via this communication tool about once a week
  • Completed appointments to several task forces including the Magazines Selection Task Force, YA Literature Symposium Pre-Conference Task Force and the YALSA/LAMA Teen Spaces Guidelines Task Force.
  • Worked to fill recent committee vacancies.
  • Attended PLA on behalf of YALSA.
  • Spoke at Teen Tech Week event at Thomas Jefferson High School. This event also included presentations from Mary Beth Richards, Deputy Director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, Jerry Newberry, Executive Director of the National Education Association’s Health Information Network, Jefferson High teacher Cathy Colglazier and Jefferson High students about their use of interactive technologies.
  • Attended Corporate Social Responsibility lunch sponsored by PRNews as a guest of the WWE. The Wrestlemania Reading Challenge was nominated in the Community Affairs category. While Ikea ultimately was named the winner for the Community Affairs category, it as quite an honor for WWE to receive the recognition of a nomination.
  • Completed a questionnaire focused on library leadership that was developed by one of the 2008 Emerging Leaders groups. This group is interviewing several people and plan to publish these interviews to a website which will be unveiled at this year’s Annual Conference. I also did a follow-up phone interview with a member of this Emerging Leaders group.
  • Gathered Board input for ALA’s subcommittee on members’ electronic participation.
  • Celebrated the finale of another successful Wrestlemania Reading Challenge with President-Elect Sarah Cornish Debraski emceeing an event featuring authors Terry Trueman, Matt de le Pena along with WWE wrestling stars.
  • YALSA’s great successes during the month of March are due to the hard work of many people whose support and dedication I deeply appreciate. And so I would like to thank members of the Teen Tech Week Committee for all that they continue to do to raise the profile of YALSA’s newest national initiative, members of the WrestleMania Reading Challenge Task Force for their work in creating resources to support the Challenge and for selecting the finalists, members of the Publishers' Liaison and Outreach Committees for their work in producing resources to support Operation Teen Book Drop and members of the Young Adult Literature Symposium Task Force who can now add to their long list of accomplishments the creation of the Symposium stipend application.

In Progress

  • Appointment of 5-7 members for the MidWinter Institute Task Force for 2009
  • Continued preparations for a presentation 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.
  • Working to finalize plans for Operation Book Drop, a partnership with the Readergirlz, a group of YA authors, related to Support Teen Lit Day on April 17th.
  • Working with the Board of Directors to review the possible line-up of YALSA programs for the 2009 Annual Conference.
  • Working with Christy Mulligan, chair of YALSA’s Legislative Committee, to spread the word about how librarians can participate in the upcoming National Library Legislative Days on May 13-14.
  • Preparing for the annual spring conference call with YALSA’s Executive Committee which is scheduled for April 25th. The Executive Committee includes the President, President-Elect, Past-President, Fiscal Officer, ALA Councilor and Executive Director.
  • Have asked Nominating Committee Chair Michael Cart and Financial Advancement Committee Chair Ma’Lis Wendt to attend a one day conference in April to help gather new ideas for these two important committees.


  • Provided quotes for YALSA Communications Specialists Stephanie (Stevie) Kuenn for a press release about Operation Teen Book Drop.
  • Spoke with Lisa Cupido, a reporter with the Columbia University News Wire Services for an article focused on the growth of graphic novels in schools.
  • Spoke with a reporter from the Pittsburgh Tribune Review about the Wrestlemania Reading Challenge.
  • Spoke with a reporter from the New York Times for a post she was working on for the paper’s “city” blog section related to teens and gaming in libraries.
  • Spoke with a reporter from The Daily Times in Salisbury, Maryland about how and why the perception of graphic novels in libraries has changed in recent years.

Additional Important News

Registration and housing for the 2008 Annual conference in Anaheim, CA is now open. Advance registration closes May 16th. 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: http://www.ala.org/ala/yalsa/yalitsymposium/symposium.cfm

Support YA Literature Day is coming up on April 17th. Additional information about Support YA Lit Day and also ideas for how to support Operation Teen Book Drop can be found on the YALSA wiki at http://wikis.ala.org/yalsa/index.php/Support_Teen_Literature_Day.

Polls for the ALA/YALSA election close April 24th. Don’t forget to vote!

National Library Legislative Day is coming up on May 13-14. There are resources up on the wiki and those who can not attend in person can still make an impact by participating virtually.

Applications for stipends to attend YALSA's Lit Symposium are due May 1st and more information is available at http://www.ala.org/ala/yalsa/yalitsymposium/stipend.cfm