1. Jump on the fast-track in learning about the work of ALA groups and how they operate within the current structure of ALA.
For instance, the Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) does not fall directly under ALA as a division, but shares a relationship with ALA that is akin to the affiliates. Regardless, this powerhouse organization is staffed by a team of dedicated and fierce advocates and their meetings are truly fascinating. As the liaison, you’ll receive free access to hearing the inside scoop on litigation cases that are being fought by FTRF and realize the big picture in their connection to libraries.
2. Become familiar with current trends in the field for each group’s area of expertise.
The Intellectual Freedom Committee is one of the busiest and most active ALA groups I’ve seen in action. They are on top of their game when it comes to intellectual freedom issues in libraries. As liaison, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in volunteer work, if you wish. During my experience, I was able to assist a few sub-committees in the updating of documents for the latest edition of the Intellectual Freedom Manual.
3. Networking and meeting many people!
I know, you’re probably thinking “Not another Zoom meeting!” But these meetings feature all kinds of people that you don’t yet know. New professionals, life-long librarians, and even ALA Past-Presidents. Hear about what’s happening all over the country from the individuals themselves. There are in-person meeting requirements for the ALA Conferences whenever they begin occurring in-person again, but YALSA grants a stipend to assist in your participation.
So what does the YALSA ALA Liaison do? In a nutshell, the appointed individual will:
- Attend as many virtual meetings as available for each of the eight appointed groups. Some groups are more active than others, meaning that some only meet at conferences.
- Take notes at meetings to share important updates with YALSA leadership related to teens or opportunities for collaboration with YALSA.
- Meet virtually with YALSA leadership who will support you in sharing new information from YALSA.
- Write two reports for the YALSA Board, each to be submitted before Midwinter and Annual conferences.
If you’re still reading this, what are you waiting for? Submit your application today and get involved! Feel free to check out this page for more info or reach out to me at AmandaBarnhart@kclibrary.org. Deadline for application submission is
March 1, 2021. March 10, 2021.
Wishing you well in your professional endeavors,
Amanda Barnhart (she/hers)
YALSA President 2020-2021
YALSA ALA Liaison 2017-2019