2019 YALSA Election: An Interview with Fiscal Officer Candidate Jane Gov

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 recording of our YALSA Candidates’ Forum from March 7th!

The YALSA Fiscal Officer shall be an elected member of the YALSA Board, shall serve a one-year term of office and shall also serve on the YALSA Executive Committee. The primary responsibility of the Fiscal Officer is to work with the Board, Financial Advancement Committee and Executive Director to ensure the fiscal health of the association through proper financial oversight so that there are adequate resources for the organization to fulfill its mission. The Executive Committee works with its ALA counterpart to build ties between the two organizations and helps with the fiscal oversight of YALSA.  A full description of the Fiscal Officer’s duties and responsibilities can be found here. You can learn more about ALA elections here.

Name and current position: Jane Gov – Youth Services Librarian – Pasadena Public Library

What best qualifies you for being Fiscal Officer?
I have been an active YALSA member since joining ALA as a student in 2009. I was formerly the Financial Advancement Committee (FAC) Chair. As FAC Chair, I worked closely with the Fiscal Officer to meet fundraising goals. The committee provides oversight and enhancement of the Friends of YALSA program–particularly in fundraising promotion and donor recognition to support member awards, grants, and scholarships.
I am currently serving as a YALSA Board Member-at-Large–a role I’ve held since finishing my term as FAC Chair two years ago, so I understand the commitment being a board member requires.

Why did you decide to run for a YALSA office? What excites you about serving on YALSA Board?
Being on the YALSA Board has built my confidence in advocacy and drives me to do things I never thought of doing before—such as presenting and sharing my teen services knowledge to other professionals, writing to congressional representatives, taking advocacy leadership roles in my local community, and applying for funding. Being on the YALSA Board makes me a better librarian, a more informed advocate, and a more skilled mentor to teens. I would also like to make an impact on YALSA’s next Organizational Plan and am excited about transitioning from the current Plan.

What do you see as the primary role of the YALSA Board?
Although the primary role of a board member is to set policy (not necessarily carry out policies), the creation of the strategies to carry out the policies will drive the mission of YALSA. Ideally, the board develops techniques that are not only feasible and in the best interests of our members, but is also fiscally appropriate, aligns with the mission, and puts teens first.

How do you envision working with the YALSA Board to further the mission of YALSA?
As a board member, I envision finding solutions to implement strategies, strengthening my critical lens in the process, and asking how can we do better and what do members need. As Fiscal Officer, I envision my role is to work with the Board, staff, other division fiscal officers, and Financial Advancement Committee to ensure fiscal health and to keep the Board abreast of fiscal developments within ALA and other divisions.

What areas of YALSA’s Strategic Plan do you think you can best contribute to? Why?
I’ve served on all three of the Standing Board Committees; each Board Committee oversees a major strategic goal: Funding & Partnerships, Advocacy, Transforming Teen Services. As Fiscal Officer and former FAC Chair, I would best contribute to Funding and Partnerships since the primary responsibility is to work with the Executive Board to ensure the fiscal health of the organization.

What is the most pressing issue facing YALSA today?
Like many organizations, member engagement is the most pressing issue for YALSA. In order to sustain the Organizational Plan, keep YALSA relevant, and ensure fiscal health, member engagement should be strong. This means making strides to cultivate diverse relationships and retain the interest of those who serve teens in any capacity through or with a library.

If elected, how will you help YALSA members (in their daily work, in their careers, other)?
I’m passionate about member engagement and have some ideas in how YALSA can improve in this area. Local engagement is valuable in connecting with members’ daily work and communities.
Since assuming the role of teen librarian at Pasadena Public Library in California about five years ago, I’ve significantly revamped our volunteer program and community partnerships, increased teen program attendance by 220%, and doubled teen program offerings. Additionally, the teen volunteers are staying longer and are more engaged in our library and community services. These successes were partly due to my involvement with YALSA and YALSA resources. I hope to engage members to enrich and improve teen services and help them with challenges they face in their careers.

What else would you like voters to know about you?
The cast of my background is wide, so I try to make all decisions with thoughts of how various levels of teen advocates will view it, and how these decisions can sustain the organization. I truly believe in YALSA’s mission and that the support, resources, and services provided are crucial for library staff.

ALA 2018 Annual Recap from a First-Time Attendee

Image courtesy of ALA 2018 Annual

Last month, I went to my first ALA Annual Convention. As a MMLIS graduate student at the University of Southern California, attending ALA Annual in New Orleans was an opportunity to meet fellow students, network with current librarians and library staff, and to learn more about how I can participate as a new member of ALA in the various divisions, roundtables, and chapters.

The ALA Annual Convention is a wonderful experience where you meet people with the same interest and same enthusiasm for books, advocacy, learning, and desire to help. The conference ran from June 21, 2018 through June 26, 2018, with the official opening general session on Friday, June 22nd.  The Opening General Session speaker was Former First Lady Michelle Obama! The line to be able to attend Mrs. Obama’s talk, led by Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden, started at 7:30am that morning though Mrs. Obama would not speak until 4:00pm that afternoon.  As a first-time attendee, I will admit to being daunted by the impressive line that formed, but ALA had it all under control. They had more than enough room to accommodate everyone.  What a way to kick off the convention!  Listening to Michelle Obama and Carla Hayden in conversation was a memorable experience. Not to mention listening to Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews perform with talented students from the Trombone Shorty Foundation beforehand.
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Celebrate Creativity during National Library Week

(Image courtesy of American Library Association)

This week (April 8th-14th) is National Library Week. Celebrating its 60th anniversary since its inaugural year in 1958 with the theme “Libraries Lead!”, libraries across the nation will be observing the week with activities, programs, and more. This week also celebrates National Library Workers Day (April 10), National Bookmobile Day (April 11), and Take Action for Libraries Day (April 12).

To lead the celebrations is Misty Copeland, author and American Ballet Theatre Principal Dancer, who serves as the 2018 National Library Week Honorary Chair. As described on the American Library Association page about National Library Week, Misty Copeland, an advocate for “youth to pursue their dreams regardless of what challenges they may encounter”, invites everyone to “discover your passions and achieve your goals at the library.” (American Library Association).

(Image courtesy of American Library Association)


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