Season’s Greetings, NYLA members! I hope you’re all rested and recovered from NYLA’s Annual Conference. I can’t begin to express how wonderful it was to see 800 attendees come together for 82 program sessions over 4 days of learning in Saratoga. Having been a member of NYLA for over 16 years now, it truly felt like a homecoming. The staff and I want to thank everyone for being there, and for your patience and understanding as we ran our first full in-person conference as a team. We have a million ideas on how to make next year even better, so start getting excited now for NYLA 2023!
Speaking of the amazing NYLA staff, our intrepid Director of Government Relations & Advocacy Briana McNamee has taken an exciting new position at another association and will be leaving us at the end of the year. While we’re so sad for us, we’re thrilled for Bri and the opportunities this new adventure presents for her. Bri has been with NYLA for 3 years and has completely reimagined our approach to advocacy. Never one to quit on anything, Bri has committed to seeing us through the transition as we search for her replacement. I hope you will all join me in congratulating Bri and letting her know how much you’ve appreciated her hard work and dogged determination to keep libraries at the top of mind with our state and federal representatives. Bri played a big part in my first 10 months at this job, and while it has been a challenging period, it would have been even harder without her help, good humor, hard work, and support. She will be greatly missed here at headquarters, and by the association at large.
I’ve already begun the search process for a new Director of Government Relations & Advocacy and hope to hold interviews in the coming weeks. I’ve worked with the NYLA Executive Committee to create a search committee representing our various constituencies to assist with final interviews as well. I want to assure you all that I understand the importance of this very high visibility position and am working to find someone who is the right fit and is committed to our ground-up vision of library advocacy. I will keep you all abreast of developments as they occur, and I hope to have someone starting in the position by mid-February. Don’t forget…Library Advocacy Day is Tuesday, February 28 this year and it’s back in person, so mark your calendars and we’ll see you in Albany!
I want to welcome our newly elected/appointed NYLA Council, who began their terms at Conference in November. You can view a full roster of Council members, the meeting agendas, and minutes on our website. And to all NYLA members, in an effort to be more inclusive and accessible, note that 7 of our 9 annual meetings take place online via Zoom now and all members are welcome to attend any and every meeting. We've also moved the time of those meetings to begin at 3:15pm, in an effort to allow more school librarians to become part of Council or attend meetings. If you have questions about how to attend, just call or email us at the NYLA office and we’re happy to help.
The special electronic vote on our updated by-laws was held from December 1 – December 8. The membership has voted to accept the changes, and we offer up a heartfelt thank you to the Governance Task Force (spearheaded by Barbara Stripling) who did the hard work of revising and improving upon our existing by-laws. It’s a difficult and lengthy process to make changes to this essential document, and they deserve a round of applause!
As a reminder, don’t forget to log in to your NYLA account and make sure your membership is active! This will not only allow you to vote on things like by-law changes and elections and provide you discounts on NYLA events but is also vital to the success of the association. We are a group of/by/for membership, and we need your voices and your memberships to keep the organization going strong. Any membership questions can be directed to Lauren Hoyt, our Membership Services Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As always, if you’re looking for a new challenge or to get more involved in NYLA, send me an email at: email@example.com. If there is ever anything I can do to be of assistance, please don’t hesitate to email or call.