Networking is a vital part of our work. One way that YALSA has been able to network is by assigning liaisons to the various 18 ALA Groups that meet throughout the year and at conferences. This allows YALSA to share information and find out what everyone else in ALA is doing. It’s how I got involved with YALSA. However, the assigning of members and keeping track of their work has been a difficult task for the YALSA Board.
During the latest round of strategic planning, the Board was in general agreement that YALSA would benefit from cultivating stronger ties with ALA. One strategy for achieving that is refocusing the work of the Executive Committee to allow for this group to devote more of its time to relationship building within ALA. Another possible strategy for YALSA to pursue is better leveraging YALSA’s representative role on 18 specific ALA committees, assemblies, and other groups.
Thus the Board Standing Committee on Advocacy has brought forth the proposal of creating a Liaison position that would be tasked with being YALSA’s liaison to a small number of groups that didn’t correspond with the YALSA Executive Committee’s traditional counterparts in larger ALA activities.
In a nutshell, the position that will be created will be someone who attends both annual and midwinter conferences and will liaison with a few different groups. To help relieve the cost of conferences YALSA will help defray some of the cost of attending conferences which will create greater accountability for the Liaison. Current liaison positions don’t require conference attendance, yet most of the groups do the bulk of their work at the conference. For more information check out Board Doc #18.
Being a liaison is a great way to find out about another division or groups and how their work aligns with ours. Like I said, I started off as a Liaison from the GLBT-RT to YALSA, it was a great way to discover how the YALSA Board worked. And I was able to share with the GLBT-RT what YALSA was doing for GLBT youth and how we could work better together. I encourage you to read the Board Doc and if you’re interested in a becoming a Liaison or volunteering in general for YALSA let us know.
If you’re in Chicago stop by the YALSA Booth or come by a YALSA Board meeting to see what else is happening in our division!
Franklin Escobedo, YALSA Board of Directors, 2016-2017