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Young Adult Library Services Association

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Title: Young Adult Library Services Association  
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Subject: Margaret Edwards Award, American Library Association, American Association of School Librarians, Jesmyn Ward, Readergirlz
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Young Adult Library Services Association

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), established in 1957, is a division of the American Library Association. YALSA is a national association of librarians, library workers and advocates whose mission is to expand the capacity of libraries to better serve teens. YALSA administers several awards and sponsors an annual Young Adult Literature Symposium, Teen Read Week, the third week of each October, and Teen Tech Week, the second week of each March. YALSA currently has over 5,200 members. YALSA aims to expand and strengthen library services for teens through advocacy, research, professional development and events. [1]


The organization that is now referred to as the Young Adult Library Services Association began on June 24, 1957 and was called the Young Adult Services Division following a reorganization of the American Library Association. This reorganization resulted in the Association of Young People’s Librarians being split into the Children’s Library Association and the Young Adult Services Division. A major responsibility of YASD was the evaluation and selection of materials for young adults, with the most active YASD committee being the book selection committee. YASD also advocated for library services for youth by sending delegates to both the 1960 and 1971 White House Conferences on Youth. By the 1970s YASD was growing stronger with its own office and staff and in 1979 it was given division representation on the ALA council. YASD's involvement in book selection also continued with genre specific book committees being formed in 1988. The name change to the Young Adult Services Association occurred in 1992, and brought greater notoriety to the organization, as well as a new image, logo and a new mission and vision statement. The re-branding of YASD as YALSA in the 1990s also brought with it an electronic and online presence, as well as new programs such as Teen Read Week. Additionally, YALSA began awarding the Printz and Alex Awards. YALSA has also been awarded the World Book Goal award twice by the ALA for its work serving young adults in public libraries. Starting in 1994 presidents of YALSA also began identifying themes that would reflect their terms of service, such as, "Youth Participation Revisited" and "Developing a National Leadership Agenda for Library Service to Young Adults. The official journal of YALSA is called Young Adult Library Services and it provides articles of current interest, book reviews, professional literature and serves as the official record of the organization. [2][3][4][5]

Mission Statement

The mission of YALSA is to advocate for and expand library services for teens age 12-18. This mission includes: advocating equal access to materials for young adults, promoting materials of interest to young adults through programs, identifying research projects needed for young adult services, promoting staff development through continuing education, promoting the growth of young adult services through professional agencies, representing the interest of library staff that work with young adults, and communicating issues relating to young adults to the American Library Association. [6]

YALSA also has a vision statement that says, "In every library in the nation, quality library service to young adults is provided by a staff that understands and respects the unique informational, educational and recreational needs of teenagers. Equal access to information, services and materials is recognized as a right not a privilege. Young adults are actively involved in the library decision-making process. The library staff collaborates and cooperates with other youth-serving agencies to provide a holistic, community-wide network of activities and services that support healthy development." YALSA promotes literacy and reading for library users 12-18, advocates the use of information technologies in libraries, and fosters collaboration among individuals who provide library services to young adults in order to support this vision statement. The vision statement was adopted in 1994. [7]


Who Can Be A Member?

Library Support Staff, Librarian Generalists, Teen Services Specialists, Youth Services Librarians, Reference Librarians, Managers, Trustees, Administrators at Public Libraries, School Librarians, School Library Support Staff, Reading Specialists, Educators and Administrators in Middle and High Schools, Graduate Students in Library Science or Young Adult Literature Programs, Faculty at Graduate Schools of Library and Information Science, Librarians Who Work with Teens in Special Libraries (Including Hospitals and Correctional Facilities), Afterschool Providers Who Work with Teens, Supporters of Youth Literacy, Booksellers, Bookstores, Corporations, Authors, and Supporters of Libraries (Including Parents, Teens, Friends of the Library Groups and Community Members).[8]

Membership Benefits

When you are a member of YALSA you still get to enjoy all of the benefits that ALA members receive plus the additional benefits that are available to just YALA members.

Some of the benefits that YALSA members receive include some of these exclusive benefits that helps members...

"Build skills and knowledge to give you a competitive edge over colleagues via free access to live monthly webinars, as well as $760 worth of archived webinars via YELL (YALSA E-Learning Library), discounts on products and books, discounted registration for online courses, conferences, and more.

Add more value to your library and become indispensable at work via eligibility for more than $150,000 in YALSA's grants, scholarships, stipends, and contests for members each year.

Stay up to date on the latest trends and resources via free subscriptions to publications like YALSA's award-winning quarterly journal, YALS, and YALSA E-News, the weekly e-newsletter.

Meet new professional contacts that can lead to career opportunities via members you meet and interact with on virtual and face-to-face committees, Interest Groups and more.

Make your daily work easier via access to support to help you deal successfully with book challenges, cutbacks and more.

Get recognition for your achievements via members' only awards.

Gain leadership skills to take you to the next level via our mentoring program, Board Fellowship, and more.

Make a difference for libraries and teens via service projects and fundraisers.

Raise your profile in the library community by blogging for The Hub or the YALSAblog, presenting a webinar & more." [8]

Dues and Rates

Please Remember These Dues and Rates are as of 9/19/14.

"•Regular members (salaried librarians and library workers)

◦$127 for first year ($67 for ALA/$60 for YALSA)

◦$162 for second year ($102 for ALA/$60 for YALSA)

◦$195 for third and later years ($135 for ALA/$60 for YALSA)

•Students, $60 ($35 for ALA/$25 for YALSA)

•Nonsalaried workers, $73 (unemployed, nonsalaried, or library support staff; $48 for ALA/$25 for YALSA) •Retirees, $73 (487 for ALA/$25 for YALSA)

•International members, $141 ($81 for ALA/$60 for YALSA)

•Friends, $86 ($61 for ALA/$25 for YALSA; appropriate for individuals who do not work in the library field but who support the work of YALSA, such as authors, booksellers, parents, teachers, etc.)

•Trustees, $86 ($61 for ALA/$25 for YALSA; appropriate for non-librarian members of governing boards, advisory groups, Friends organizations, and special citizen caucuses)

•Organizational membership varies depending on institution size ($175-$2,000 for ALA/$70 for YALSA)

•Corporate membership begins at $570. See other corporate opportunities with YALSA." [8]

Teen Tech Week

Teen Tech Week is celebrated during the second week of March. Teen Tech Week was designed by YALSA to allow libraries to showcase the digital resources available to teens, their parents and educators. The goal of Teen Tech Week is to make teens responsible users of digital media and make them aware of the digital resources available through the library such as e-books, e-audiobooks, and databases. [9]

Teen Read Week

Teen Read Week is a nationwide initiative sponsored by YALSA and implemented at libraries and schools to encourage teens to read for fun, and to make teens lifelong library users. First celebrated in 1998, Teen Read Week falls during the third week of October. The celebration is observed by thousands of libraries and schools nationwide and is aimed at teens, their parents, librarians, library support staff and teachers. YALSA provides professional resources, and ideas for programs and displays on their website. YALSA also promotes Teen Read Week through magazines and blogs. The theme for Teen Read Week changes each year. The theme for 2014 was “Turn Dreams Into Reality,” and was celebrated from October 12–18, 2014.[10][11]

Teens' Top Ten

Every year YALSA declares its top ten books for teens. The twenty five nominees are announced in April during National Library Week. Starting in August, teens then get to vote for their favorite books with the top ten winners being announced during Teen Read Week in October.

Top Ten 2014

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Splintered by A.G. Howard

The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Monument 14: Sky on Fire by Emmy Laybourne

Earth Girl by Janet Edwards

The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

The Eye of Minds by James Dashner [12]

Conferences and Symposium

Each year YALSA hosts a Young Adult Literature Symposium. This year’s symposium was held in Austin, Texas from November 14–16, 2014. The 2015 symposium will be held in Portland, Oregon from November 6–8. Next year’s symposium will also feature a wider focus and YALSA is changing the name to the Young Adult Services Symposium. Additionally, YALSA also participates in ALA’s annual conference and Midwinter Meeting.[13]

Online Learning

"YALSA is the authority for offering high-quality online professional development in young adult librarianship. YALSA offers multiple opportunities for online learning, including monthly webinars, a monthly members-only discussion forum, and online courses." [14]

Types of Online Learning

YALSA Academy Online Educational Videos

Badges for Learning

YALSA Online Courses

YALSA's Webinars

YELL (YALSA E-Learning Library)

YALSA's Virtual Mentoring Program

Twitter Chats


  • The Future of Library Services for & with Teens: a Call to Action (published Jan. 2014 with a grant from the Institute of Museum & Library Services)
  • National Research Agenda

National Guidelines

  • Competencies for Librarians Serving Youth
  • Public Library Evaluation Tool
  • Guidelines for Library Services to Teens
  • Teen Space Guidelines

Book and Media Awards

  • The Alex Awards were named for twentieth-century American librarian Margaret "Alex" Edwards.[15] They are awarded annually to ten books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults.[16] In the past 17 years, (1998–2014) 170 books have been honored with the award.
  • The Edwards Award was named for twentieth-century American librarian Margaret A. Edwards.[15] It is awarded annually to an author and a specific body of his or her work, for significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature.[17] In the past 27 years (1988–2014), 26 authors have been honored with the award.[18]
  • The Morris Award was named for twentieth-century American publisher William C. Morris[19] It is awarded annually to a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens and celebrating impressive new voices in young adult literature.[19] From (2013-2014), two books has been honored with the award. In addition, four new books from the 2014 nominations were announced as finalists.[20]
  • The Odyssey Award was named in honor of the Homer's eighth century BC epic poem to remind us of the ancient roots of storytelling, while living in our modern world.[21] The Odyssey Award is jointly given and administered by YALSA and the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), another division of the ALA. It is sponsored by Booklist magazine, a publication of the ALA.[21] In the past 3 years (2012–2014), 3 titles have been honored with the award. In addition, as runners-up, 8 titles have been cited as Odyssey Honor books.[22]
  • The Printz Award was named for twentieth-century American librarian Michael L. Printz.[23] It is sponsored by Booklist magazine, a publication of the ALA.[23] It is awarded annually to the book that exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature.[23] In the past 15 years (2000–2014), 15 books have been honored with the award. In addition, as runners up, 53 books have received the Printz honor.[24]
  • YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults – This award honors the best nonfiction book published for young adults (ages 12–18) during a November 1 – October 31 publishing year. The first winner was named in 2010.[25] Since its first year, four books have been given the award.[26][27]
  • The Nonfiction Award honors the best nonfiction book for young adults each year and is presented at the ALA Midwinter Meeting. [28]

See also


  1. ^ "About YALSA". 
  2. ^ "Brief History of the Young Adult Services Division". 
  3. ^ "YASD A Narrative History from 1976 to 1992". 
  4. ^ "YALSA: History From 1992 to 2000". 
  5. ^ "YALSA Products and Publications". 
  6. ^ "YALSA Mission Statement". 
  7. ^ "YALSA Vision Statement". 
  8. ^ a b c
  9. ^ "FAQ- Teen Tech Week". 
  10. ^ "Teen Read Week". 
  11. ^ "FAQ". 
  12. ^ "Teens' Top Ten FAQ". 
  13. ^ "YALSA Events". 
  14. ^
  15. ^ a b Carter, Betty. "Who Is Margaret Edwards and What Is This Award Being Given In Her Honor?". The ALAN Review (Spring 1992): 45–48. Retrieved 2013-03-30. 
  16. ^ "YALSA's Alex Awards". American Library Association. Retrieved 2013-03-30. 
  17. ^ "Margaret A. Edwards Award". Retrieved 2013-03-30. 
  18. ^ "Margaret A. Edwards Winners". Retrieved 2013-03-30. 
  19. ^ a b "Morris Award". Retrieved 2013-03-30. 
  20. ^
  21. ^ a b "About the Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production". American Library Association. 2008. Retrieved 2013-03-30. 
  22. ^
  23. ^ a b c "Michael L. Printz Award". Retrieved 2013-03-30. 
  24. ^
  25. ^ "YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults". Retrieved 2013-04-01. 
  26. ^ "Previous YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Winners". Retrieved 2013-04-01. 
  27. ^ Winner and Finalists "Current YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Winner". Retrieved 2013-04-01. 
  28. ^ "Nonfiction Award". 

External links

  • YALSA home page
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