YALSA Election: An Interview with Board Candidate Rachel McDonald

Get ready to vote! The YALSA election runs from March 19 through April 25, and to help you be an informed voter, we’re sharing interviews with each of the 2014 YALSA Governance candidates.YALSA_173x79

We will start with the candidates for Board Director-at-large. YALSA Board members serve three-year terms, during which they jointly determine YALSA’s policies, programs, and strategic direction, in accordance with YALSA’s bylaws. They attend both virtual and in-person meetings and serve as liaisons to YALSA’s committee chairs and members. A full description of Board duties and responsibilities can be found here.

Candidates, who will be presented in alphabetical order, were asked to craft “Twitter-length” responses (i.e. around 140 characters). Full biographical information on all of the candidates can be found on the sample ballot.

Today we have an interview with Rachel McDonald.

Name and current position: Rachel McDonald Teen Librarian, King County Library System.

Why did you decide to run for a YALSA office? What excites you about serving on YALSA Board?  

After getting to know YALSA by serving on task forces & selection committees, serving on the board is the logical & exciting next chapter.

What areas of YALSA’s Strategic Plan do you think you can best contribute to? Why? 

Having served on the YA Advocacy Benchmarks Task Force, I’m excited to educate and empower our members to do more advocacy.

What is the most pressing issue facing YALSA today?

Advocating for our members whose positions, whether in school or public libraries, are often in jeopardy. Let’s show everyone how much we’re needed!

What priority activities should YALSA take on to address the “paradigm shift” as described in The Future of Library Services for and with Teens report?

We need to encourage librarians to facilitate connected learning with teens and provide opportunities for them to connect with mentors.

What attributes have helped you succeed professionally?

I welcome the opportunity to collaborate and learn from others, but still do my research so I can back up the positions I hold.

What do you see as the primary role of the Board?

Using the strategic plan as a guide, the primary role of the board is to help our members better serve teens in their communities.

If elected, how will you help YALSA members (in their daily work, in their careers, other)?

I look forward to helping library staff & teen advocates connect by sharing research, best practices, & advocacy tools.

What else would you like voters to know about you?

I believe my collaborative skills & vision will help move YALSA forward as we continue to look for ways to engage & support our members.

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