I first learned about the Board Fellowship program while serving on YALSA’s Board Diversity Task Force. Our chair, Nicola McDonald, previously served as a Fellow. I found my work on the Task Force to be incredibly fulfilling. I was excited to be part of a forward-thinking organization that values diversity and was willing to explore inclusion from the top down. Just before the deadline, I decided to apply for the Fellowship – I wanted to be part of the team guiding an association I value and respect.
My Board Fellowship began in June 2016 at ALA Annual in Orlando. As conference approached, I wondered if I’d gotten in over my head: was I ready for this commitment, did I even understand what my responsibilities would be? My anxiety was dispelled when my welcome packet was delivered. I pored over the materials in preparation for conference. I still had some nerves, but was excited to learn and looked forward to my Board training and beginning my term in Orlando. Four months later, I’m still learning and looking forward to the challenges the future will bring.
Wondering what you do as a Board Fellow?
- Serve as a non-voting member of the Board. This means:
- Welcome new members to YALSA and help them navigate member resources.
- Serve as a board liaison for YALSA committees, task forces, and juries.
- Carry out the organization’s mission, vision, and intended impact by strategizing and implementing the organizational plan on a standing board committee.
I encourage you to apply for the Board Fellowship program – it’s a great opportunity for professional and leadership development, you’ll gain invaluable experience working with other leaders in young adult library services, it’s a chance to give back to the profession, AND you’ll listen to and assist the association’s amazing members!
Trixie Dantis is YALSA’s 2016-2017 Board Fellow and Teen Services Supervisor at Arlington Heights Memorial Library.