YALSA Board: Organization & Bylaws Committee Update

For a while now, the YALSA Board has been looking at the new Organizational plan and considering ways to move forward and best serve our members. One change that we have decided to implement is standardizing the way that members come to serve on Awards Committees. Historically, the Alex, Morris, and Odyssey committee members have been appointed to committees, while the Edwards, Printz, and Nonfiction members have been varied–some members were appointed while other were elected by YALSA members.

After a vote by YALSA membership, the change has become official: where Edwards, Printz, and Nonfiction committee members once had multiple paths to follow, now all committee members will be appointed.

What these changes mean:

  • There is now only one path to the award committees. Each member will now go through the same appointments process at the same time
  • There is no longer any need for an Awards Nominating Committee as well as the second round of appointments that now happens after the election is over
  • There will hopefully be less eligibility issues, because oftentimes members put their name forward both through the nominating committee process and via the Committee Volunteer form. In the past, the nominating committee has not always known what other award committees the candidate may have signed up for

This change will simplify the process of serving on an awards committee for our members, as well as for members at large.

Another change that the YALSA Board has decided to implement in accordance with our Organizational Plan is the refocusing and renaming of the Governance Nominating Committee to instead become a Board Development Committee. This refocused committee will take on the role of board training and assessment, and will cultivate new leaders in YALSA. This change will also shift the responsibilities of the Executive Committee, allowing them to give more emphasis to ALA relations and fiscal oversight.

The Board Development Committee will begin their work on January 1, 2018, and will be evaluated after a year of work in order to assess the success of these changes.

These changes are meant to make YALSA more aligned with our Organizational Plan, and to make our organization simpler to navigate and more efficient for our members.

Please contact Melissa McBride, Chair of Organization & Bylaws, at mcbride.melissa[@]gmail.com or Sarah Hill, YALSA President, at gsarahthelibrarian[@]gmail.com with any questions or concerns.

Kelsey Socha is a member of the Organization & Bylaws Committee, a SLIS Master’s Candidate at Simmons College, and a librarian at several libraries in the Boston area.

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