An open letter to YALSA Members – Being an Emerging Leader

Dear YALSA Members,

I wanted to take a moment to thank you for the incredible and enriching experience I had as a 2016 YALSA Emerging Leader. Without the Friends of YALSA and your donations, I would have not had enough money to attend both conferences as was necessary with this honor.

Participating in the Emerging Leaders program has changed my life as a new librarian. Not only did I have the privilege of attending both ALA Midwinter and Annual, but I got to participate in leadership training with 49 other outstanding young librarians. It was an amazing networking opportunity, not only with my diverse cohort, but also with the leaders of the program and guest speakers.

I also had the privilege of working on a project for YALSA with 5 other Emerging Leaders. We created a social media calendar for YALSA to use with its members. We started by surveying YALSA members about how they use social media, then developed best practices based on the response, and finally developed a social media calendar with Facebook and Twitter posts for the entire year. I learned so much throughout this process, including how to communicate and manage a large scale project virtually. At ALA Annual, we presented our project at the Emerging Leaders poster session, but also to the YALSA Board, which was super exciting.

Since completing the Emerging Leaders program, I have been asked to serve on two YALSA committees for the coming year and I hope to get more involved. This experience was unforgettable and I look forward to helping others participate in this program. I will certainly be supporting the Friends of YALSA. I hope you will too.

Kayla Marie Figard

To support Friends of YALSA:

Kayla Marie Figard is YALSA’s 2016 Emerging Leader and a teen services community program specialist at the Belmont (California) Library. In addition to being a YALSA member, Figard is also is a member of the Association for Library Service to Children, the Association of Children’s Librarians of Northern California, the Bay Area Young Adult Librarians, the California Library Association and the Public Library Association.

2 thoughts on “An open letter to YALSA Members – Being an Emerging Leader”

  1. Congratulations, Kayla! If anyone truly deserved this honor, it is you. You are an outstanding, caring person and will do wonders for the community through your librarianship. I enjoyed taking library classes with you through SJSU. Good Luck with all of your future endeavors!

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