2019 YALSA Election: An Interview with Board Member Candidate Trixie Dantis

Get ready to vote in this year’s YALSA election! To help you make informed decisions, we’re sharing interviews with each of the 2019 YALSA Governance candidates. Voting will take place from Monday, March 11 through Wednesday, April 3. To help you further prepare for the election, be sure to check out the YALSA Candidates’ Forum on March 7th!

Serving one-year terms, YALSA Board members are responsible for jointly determining YALSA’s current and future programs, policies, and serving as liaisons to YALSA’s committees, juries, taskforces and advisory boards. Members work year-round, and attend in-person meetings at ALA’s Midwinter and Annual Conferences. A full description of Board duties and responsibilities can be found here. You can learn more about ALA elections here.

Name and current position: Trixie Dantis – Youth Services Manager – Arlington Heights Memorial Library

What best qualifies you for the YALSA Board?
My experience as 2016-2017 YALSA Board Fellow and serving as an interim board member for the past nine months best qualifies me for this role. As Board Fellow, I participated in all Board activities as a non-voting member. This included taking part in all meetings virtual and in-person, contributing to the implementation of the organizational plan through work on a standing board committee, and representing YALSA at events. Similarly, in the interim role, I’ve been serving as a Director at Large and participated in the strategic planning activities over the past few months.

Talk about the experiences and expertise you’re bringing to the position in terms of leadership, nonprofit or association governance, and strategic thinking.
Prior to becoming a librarian, I worked in the private sector delivering training for an international sale force and the organization’s largest customers. This helped me develop skills to develop strong, personal relationships helping build brand advocacy. Since becoming a librarian, I’ve used these skills to foster relationships with schools and other community organizations to expand outreach services for youth. I hope to leverage these skills to add to YALSA’s and its membership’s success.

How do you envision furthering the mission of YALSA?
I think the first step in furthering YALSA’s mission is connecting with members and understanding their needs and the barriers they encounter. With this information, YALSA can provide resources or training for members to overcome the hurdles they face delivering quality and developmentally appropriate library services to young adults.

What are some ways that being a member of the YALSA Board can help you serve as an even better connector to helping libraries become thriving learning environments for/with teens?
If elected, I would be committed to seeking out and understanding membership needs, communicating them to the Board and staff, and finding ways to support and meet needs.

Why should YALSA members choose you to be a member of the board?
My experience as a Board Fellow, my commitment to connecting with membership, and my passion for providing equitable and inclusive library services for all teens make me a great choice for the board of directors.

How would you embed the concept of “teens first” in the work of the board?
I would embed this concept by constantly considering how board action impacts teen library users. I would also think about ways to include teen voices in the work we do.

Is there anything you’d like to add that wasn’t addressed by the previous questions?
Advocacy within and outside of the library walls is very important to me. I strive to communicate the value of library services targeting teens with staff across the organization and throughout the community.

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