So, you might be saying to yourself, "Those YALSA people, they haven't stopped talking about the ALA/YALSA election for months." While it's true, we've used a lot of blog space, email space, and so on, getting the word out about the election, it's also true that not a lot of YALSA members vote in the annual election. In a post earlier in the election season, 2012 Nominating Committee member Judy Nelson asked people why that is.
If you read the comments to Judy's post you'll notice that people said they didn't have time to do the research required in order to make good decisions about the election. Or, they felt removed from YALSA at the governance level so that voting didn't seem to be a worthwhile thing to do.
I totally understand that it takes time to read through the materials to make the decisions that make sense for you about who is the best YALSA candidate. But, then again, as a librarian working with teens isn't it worth that time to make sure that the national association that supports your work is providing the best support possible? If everyone leaves it up to someone else to take the time and make the decisions, then it's very possible that only a small group is determining the future of the association, and related to that the future of support for those serving teens in libraries.
I know too that it can be extremely difficulty to feel a strong connection to a national association when it's not possible to get involved actively. But, isn't that the reason to make sure to vote? If it's not possible to get involved in the places where your voice might be heard - committees, task forces, interest groups, and so on - then the place to make sure you are heard is in the elections. It's where you can make sure that the people who govern the committees, task forces, interest groups, and so on are the people you think have your best interests at heart when decisions about those groups are made.
There are only seven days until the polls close on April 27 so there is still time to cast your vote and to make sure that your friends and colleagues who are YALSA members cast their votes. The 2012 YALSA Nominating Committee has worked to make it as easy as possible for you to learn everything you need to know in order to make good voting decisions. There is a 2012 YALSA Election Guide, a sample ballot, and lots of interviews and podcasts with the various candidates. All you have to do to access these is visit the election category right here on the YALSAblog. Send out the link to your colleagues and friends who are YALSA members.
If you haven't yet voted, why not take some time this weekend to do just that?
And, to all those who have or will vote, thank you for supporting YALSA by casting your ballot.
Image courtesy of Flickr user Alan Cleaver.