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What is LSYC?

What is LSYC?

LSYC is an organization serving the needs of and advocating for those who provide library services for youth in custody, which would include, at the least, incarcerated/detained/committed youth in both juvenile & adult settings in municipal, county, local, state, or federal settings, including ICE detention centers and youth in secure mental health or rehab settings, and might also include at-risk youth in other forms of group-home or government custody.

What is LSYC trying to do?

Well, that’s really up to our members!  LSYC will hopefully have an official mission statement in the near future, but we’re not quite there yet.  In additional to the Logistics Team which acts as “chair” of the organization, right now we have committees for the LSYC website, for revising the National Library Standards for juvenile facilities, the In The Margins committee which administers a literature prize and reviews library materials for this population.  We also hope to set up committees for membership, for writing a mission statement, and a YALSA Interest Group Committee that would fit within YALSA’s organizing structure, as well as any other committees that LSYC members are interested in pursuing.

What’s the History of LSYC?

LSYC grew out of yalsa-lockdown. Back in late 2010-early 2011, there was talk of forming an ALA Round-Table for juvie correctional libraries and a few other ideas were floated. The decision was made to have an initial meet-up at ALA Annual 2011 in New Orleans and a pbwiki was created on which for the nascent group to communicate. At the Annual meet-up, the decision was made to explore a few different options for organizing and the eventual decision was to form as an ASCLA Interest Group because, at that time, no formal membership were required to be part of an Interest Group and the group felt that not requiring membership in ALA was critical for the inclusion of the many diverse groups serving this population. The group was formed as an Interest Group with Kathleen Houlihan as chair. Then, in 2012, the rules for ASCLA Interest Groups changed, requiring ASCLA membership after the 1st year, so the group decided to operate independently of ALA so that everyone who provides library services for youth in custody, including people who have little or no connection to the “library world” would be able to participate.

How does LSYC relate to other library organizations or other organizations in general?

LSYC exists outside the traditional structure of ALA and other major library organizations.  According to the structure proposal approved at the December 2012 LSYC General Membership Meeting, LSYC is an independent organization which includes committees that serve as liaison groups to major library organizations and those committees may also be part of the organizing structure of those major library organizations. We’re aware that situation can be a little hard to understand and we drew a picture for it, but lockdown won’t let us attach it!  The easy example is that there is a committee of LSYC called the ALSCA interest group committee that serves as a liaison group, but is also a recognized interest group under the ASCLA structure called Library Services for Youth in Custody Interest Group.

The current membership of LSYC includes members of ACA (American Correctional Association), ACRL (Association of College & Research Libraries), ALA (American Library Association), ALSC (Association for Library Services to Children), ASCLA, CEA (Correctional Education Association), LLAMA (Library Leadership and Management Association), PLA (Public Library Association), and YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association), as well as people who are not members of any other organization.

What does membership in LSYC entail?

As much or as little as you’d like it to entail.  LSYC is designed to allow for multiple levels of time & energy commitment.  To become a General Member, all you need do is fill out the membership form at General members are encouraged but not required to attend General Membership meetings and encouraged, but not required, to create an account on the website.  LSYC does charge any fees or dues at this time.  When you fill out the membership form, you have the option to become an Active Member by joining one or more committees.  Joining a committee requires attending the meetings of that committee and working on the committee’s projects, but the exact amount of time commitment is up to the individual committees.  Each committee selects a chair through whatever method the group would like.  Chair Members are required to invest the time to run the logistics of their committee as well as attend all general membership meetings (there are 3-4 a year) as a representative for their committee.  Each year, a team of 3-5 members is selected to be the Logistics Team.  Logistics Team Members are responsible for attending all logistics team meetings, organizing and running general membership meetings, and at least one member of the logistics team must commit to attending ALA Midwinter and ALA Annual to organize events during those conferences.

The information on the membership form currently goes to the logistics team (directly to Camden Tadhg, at the moment, who is maintaining our membership database).  When a membership committee is formed, the information will then go directly to the chair of that committee.

Why should you become a member?

To network, share ideas, problem-solve, and get to know others in your field.  To increase the ability of the juvenile correctional library field to advocate for itself and create tools that will assist us in doing our awesome work.  To get involved in an awesome organization and get experience organizing on the national level.

If you have any questions about the organization, please feel free to contact any of the members of the logistics team!



Your LSYC Logistics Team

Anna Cvitkovic

Camden Tadhg

Kathleen Houlihan

Robyn Vittek

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