photo of people planning from Flickr user Balboa Park Cultural PartnershipEvery year YALSA's Organization and Bylaws Committee (affectionately known as O&B) evaluates a selection of committees in order to make sure that their function statement and assigned tasks fit the needs of members and the association. In 2012 and 2013 O&B evaluated 13 of the association's committees and reported to the Board at Midwinter 2013 and Annual 2013 on their findings. You can read both reports on the YALSA website - Midwinter 2013 committee evaluations and Annual 2013 committee evaluations.

The evaluation process is one that all O&B members take part in. Each committee member volunteered to work with the chair of one of the committees up for evaluation. As a group O&B developed a set of questions to ask each of the chairs of committees up for evaluation. Questions asked committee chairs to consider:

  • If the group's function statement is accurate and if it reflects the current work of the committee. (You can read all YALSA Committee function statements on the YALSA website. Select a member group to read their statement.)
  • If the task list developed each spring by the YALSA Board of Directors and the chair of the committee, is accurate to the current work of the group.
  • Ideas the member group and it's chair have for collaborating with other YALSA committees and groups.
  • Ways in which the group might innovate in order to enhance how it supports YALSA's strategic plan.
  • Examples of how the group gets its work done virtually and/or face-to-face.

If you read through the two reports submitted by O&B over the last six months, you'll see that for most committees evaluated the work is on target. There are a few instances where some changes need to be made and some of these have already been put into place. For example, at Midwinter O&B recommended that a Strategic Planning Committee Handbook be developed to help that group better support the needs of the association. Just after Midwinter 2013 a committee was appointed to complete that task and they are working to develop the strategic planning handbook. (You can read the report presented at Annual 2013 from this group.)

O&B will evaluate a selection of committees again this year and make recommendations to the board based on these evaluations.

While many people think the work of O&B must be dry and boring, it's actually far from that. Talking with members about the work of the association and how to improve policies, procedures, and committee work in order to make YALSA even better than it already is, is really fun and exciting. Being O&B Chair 2012-2013 was a great experience and I want to thank the committee for all of their hard work. We got a lot done over the year.

About Linda W Braun

Linda W Braun is a YALSA Past President and the Youth and Family Learning Manager at the Seattle Public Library.

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