YALSA Election Info: Proposed By-Law Change

Proposed YALSA By-Law Change

On the 2019 ballot, YALSA members will see a proposed by-law change:

To amend the YALSA Bylaw, Article V, Board of Directors Sec. 1 by changing the number of Directors‐at‐Large from seven to six and to add an Advocacy Member.

 

The section will now read:
The Board of Directors shall be composed of the President, President‐elect, the Immediate Past President, seven six Directors‐at‐Large, the Fiscal Officer, the Secretary, and the Division‐Elected YALSA Councilor. The Executive Director, the Board Fellow, the Advocacy Member and the chairs of the Strategic Planning, Financial Advancement and Organization & Bylaws Committees serve ex officio (without vote).

Why are we asking for this by-laws change?

  • This change was embraced by the Board as part of the 2015 – 2016 strategic planning process, and is included in the first-year Implementation Plan. It is also part of the current
    2018-19 Implementation Plan.
  • The inclusion of advocates to the Board who work beyond the library teen services space can bring a unique perspective and help broaden the organization’s outlook on serving youth.
  • A more diverse Board can strengthen its capacity by bringing in relevant skills or knowledge from beyond the library community.
  • By including advocates on the Board, YALSA is modeling the behavior it wants members to adopt at the local level in terms of reaching out into the community to forge partnerships that increase their ability to meet teen needs.
  • The viability of this idea has been demonstrated by the recruitment of Kathy Ishizuka to the 2017 slate and her subsequent election to the Board and service.
  • A three year commitment may not be ideal for this type of position, so adding the Advocacy Member position as an “ex-officio” position allows for the greatest flexibility.
  • An outcome of this position would be a mutually beneficial partnership where there is a sharing of knowledge, experiences, and support for both partners to grow together.

To learn more about the backgroung that led to this change, see the following:
2017 Midwinter Conference Board Document #27, “Broadening the Board’s Composition”

2016 Annual Conference Board Document #4, “Organizational Plan Potential Bylaws Impact”

Dealing with Disruption and Competition to the Association Industry

Other 2019 ALA Election Resources

Looking for help learning more about ALA Council candidate info? Andromeda Yelton has provided a quick and easy site to extract information about each candidate’s unit membership: ALA Council Candidate Sorter 2019 . This is especially helpful, if you’re interested in seeing which candidates for Council are also YALSA members as you can filter them accordingly on this site.

Please also refer to recent YALSA Blog posts for all 2019 YALSA Canditiate Interviews:

YALSA Executive Director

Anita Mechler, our Executive Director, has tendered her resignation, effective March 11, 2019. She has helped us move the mission of YALSA forward. We wish Anita the best of luck in her future endeavors.

YALSA’s Board has begun implementation of YALSA’s succession plan and will be working with ALA leadership to find YALSA a new Executive Director.  We will provide updates to the membership periodically as the process progresses.

I am confident that as a community YALSA will be able to move forward in a productive and unifying manner.

If you have questions, please reach out to me or to any of the other Board members.

2019 YALSA Election: An Interview with President-Elect Candidate Amanda Barnhart

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!

The President-Elect serves a three-year term — first as the President-Elect, then as the President during the second year, and finally as the Immediate Past President during the third year. The President-Elect is a member of the Executive Committee alongside the President, Immediate Past President, Division Councilor, Fiscal Officer, Secretary, and Executive Director. 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 President-Elect’s duties and responsibilities can be found here.You can learn more about ALA elections here.

Name and current position: Amanda Barnhart – North East Branch Manager – Kansas City Public Library

What best qualifies you for being President-elect?
I believe my two year experience as the YALSA liaison best qualifies me for the role of President-elect. My service in this capacity has provided me with an insight into the functions of eleven ALA groups and has impressed upon me the importance of collaboration to accomplish varying goals. In this role, I have contributed to such activities as developing the form for reporting on liaison conference activities and participating in ALA working groups to update six documents for the upcoming Intellectual Freedom manual (10th ed.). In addition to supporting the eleven ALA groups, I have solicited input from them on our initiatives and shared our work. All of these efforts require staying abreast of YALSA board work and sharing information in a timely manner to YALSA leadership, the YALSA membership, and the ALA groups by phone, email, e-lists, the YALSA e-newsletter, the YALSAblog, and ALA Connect. It also requires attendance for the related conference calls, virtual meetings and in-person conference meetings scheduled by these ALA groups. Also, I have served on YALSA committees for the Advancing Diversity Task Force (6 month term), Organization and Bylaws (1 year term), and Teen Read Week (2 year chair term and 2 year member term). Your vote for me would be supporting an individual who is knowledgeable on current YALSA board work and has experience in connecting YALSA’s accomplishments to ALA groups.

How do you envision furthering the mission of YALSA as the President-elect?
I would continue to support the furthering of collaboration with partners. My effort invested towards building stronger ties to the ALA groups demonstrated the importance of working together to increase our impact.

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?
I have fifteen years of experience in library services and programs for and with teens, nine of which I was a library support staff member. In addition, my role shifted into branch management this past year where I support staff in our work and in the concept that “We All Serve Youth.” We can best serve our teen populations when everyone has a hand in contributing towards that goal and those combined efforts enrich the opportunities we provide for continuous learning in libraries.

What about YALSA’s Organizational Plan excites you most and why?
Knowing that the current YALSA 3-year organizational plan will be reinvisioned and aligned with the strategic plan that the board is working on, I am most excited to see a new organizational plan that continues to emphasize the importance of diversity, but further incorporates equity and inclusion into its focus. YALSA’s new Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) plan supports the development of continued conversation and education in these areas as well as provides opportunities for greater action, evaluation and accountability for activities around these concepts. The work we put into increasing our knowledge around EDI will strengthen our efforts in library services for and with teens. I am also eager to continue to see our work impacting continuing education opportunities for all library staff. At every level of my career I have found YALSA resources to benefit my work and community’s needs and in my latest managerial role I continue to take a cue from YALSA’s Recommended Actions for Stakeholders, which can be found in the resource Transforming Library Services For and With Teens Through Continuing Education.

How would you embed the concept of “teens first” in the work of the board?
The “teens first” mindset provides a wholistic approach in supporting the youth in our communities and this foundation is crucial in reaching some of our most vulnerable teen populations. These two words are the core of who we are and what we do and I would continue to articulate this emphasis throughout the membership.

Why should YALSA members choose you to be a member of the board of directors?
I committed myself to supporting teens in libraries for many years, even before I realized I wanted to continue to do so as a career choice. It is with pride that I run for office and pledge my service to YALSA in this role for an organization that has created numerous resources that guide my work. I thank you for your time in reading my comments and in participating in this next electoral process.

2019 YALSA Election: An Interview with Board Member-at-Large Candidate Charli Osborne

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 three-year terms, YALSA Board Members-at-Large 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: My name is Charli Osborne and I’m the Youth Services Coordinator at Southfield Public Library, which is in an inner ring suburb of Detroit, Michigan.

What best qualifies you for being Board Member-at-Large?
As an inveterate volunteer, I’ve been an active member of YALSA for more than twenty years. In that time I have served on numerous process and award committees – everything from Organization and Bylaws to the Volunteer Award Jury to the Printz Award Committee, so I am familiar with the organization, its mission and its goals. This past year I was honored to serve as the chair of the Morris Award Committee. I temper my organizational experience with twenty-two years of public library service focused on youth and teens.

How do you envision furthering the mission of YALSA as Board Member-at-Large?
Not every library is supportive of staff that work with teens and youth, or of teens in general. My real world experience working within my library, my library cooperative, my state library association and YALSA help me to be an effective advocate for teens and the library staff that serve, encourage and mentor them. I believe that experience is an asset to further the mission of YALSA.

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?
I want to help teens become the best they can be – the best students, the best members of their community, the best people. Part of that is allowing them the freedom to suggest and to fail, to dream and to attempt. Not everyone is going to win the first time, or every time, or even any time, but providing the space and opportunities for our teens to become the humans they are meant to be is one of the things that is most fulfilling to me, personally as well as professionally. Having the library be the space that helps those things happen? That is the heart of it all. Being a YALSA Board member would help me to serve teens in a larger than my own community way.

How would you embed the concept of “teens first” in the work of the board?
I have a standard teens first concept, in both my library and my work with YALSA. At my library, we are constantly looking for ways to tie the library into the greater world at large, by working within our library community and by bringing our teens’ experiences and knowledge in to help expand library services. My advocacy for teens led me to gather statistics and lead focus groups to justify and create one of three fully staffed Teen Areas (at the time) in the state of Michigan. I helped create the strategic plan for my first library and made sure that teens’ voices were heard in that planning.

Why should YALSA members choose you to be a member of the board of directors?
I believe librarianship is a service profession. Those services don’t stop in that in-between age when children age out of youth programs before they become adults. I’ve always been an advocate for teens and their rights, including teen specific spaces and services in the library. Bottom line is that I want teens to succeed and become well-rounded individuals with a taste for reading and a love for the public library. That’s why I am a public librarian and belong to YALSA. Working on the Board would give me a first-hand chance to help further the goal of teen service by helping other librarians to also foster those values.

2019 YALSA Election: An Interview with Board Member-at-Large Candidate Karen Lemmons

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 three-year terms, YALSA Board Members-at-Large 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: Karen Lemmons, Library Media Specialist, Detroit School of Arts

What best qualifies you for being Board Member-at-Large?
My relationship with teens that I teach and serve at my school; my committee work with the other youth divisions; previous offices I held in AASL, CSK Book Awards Committee and BCALA.

How do you envision furthering the mission of YALSA as Board Member-at-Large?
I envision furthering the mission of YALSA by continuing to help teens with the resources they need to become productive and successful.

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?
Contribute to and implement  YALSA action plans; work with local community partners and organizations; advocate the need for libraries with supporting data and reports.

How would you embed the concept of “teens first” in the work of the board?
I would embed the concept of “teens first’ in the work of the board by speaking for teens who are underrepresented and disenfranchised.

Why should YALSA members choose you to be a member of the board of directors?
YALSA members should choose me to be a member of the board of directors because I care about teens and their well-being.  i’m a hard worker, committed and dedicated to service.

2019 YALSA Election: An Interview with Board Member-at-Large Candidate Valerie Tagoe

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 three-year terms, YALSA Board Members-at-Large 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: Valerie Tagoe, Media Specialist Wilmer-Hutchins High School

What best qualifies you for being Board Member-at-Large?
Experience. I am currently on the Board serving a one year term as Organization & Bylaws chair. Prior to my appointment as O & B Chair, I was a member of the YALSA Advancing Diversity Taskforce & the National Library Legislative Day Taskforce

How do you envision furthering the mission of YALSA as Board Member-at-Large?
As a Board Member-at-Large, I hope to lend my ideas and insight as a high school librarian to the work of the board so that we can continue to further the mission of YALSA in supporting library staff in serving teens. Our teens face a myriad of challenges and opportunities.  Libraries and librarians can play a vital part in their learning and equip them with the information needed to be successful in school and in life.

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?
I am the immediate past president of the Dallas Association of School librarians, and I am also active in the Texas Library Association-presenting at conferences and as a member of the legislative committee. As a YALSA Board Member, I will bring the an understanding of what is going on in libraries at the state, local, and national levels and share the information with librarians in various organizations.  This will help me to be a connector to help libraries become thriving learning environments.

How would you embed the concept of “teens first” in the work of the board?
In my daily work in the library I seek the input of teens and their needs and interests and I believe the board can do the same take into account the needs and interests of teens in the work that we do.

Why should YALSA members choose you to be a member of the board of directors?
My experience and work at the state and local levels are reasons why YALSA members should choose me to be a member of the Board of Directors. I believe my perspective as a school librarian serving teens in a diverse urban school district will also be beneficial to the board as well.

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.

2019 YALSA Election: An Interview with Board Member Candidate Ryan Moniz

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: Ryan Moniz – Learning & Growth Librarian – Markham Public Library

What best qualifies you for being a Board Member?
The short answer would be my commitment to the work I do. It would be easy to list all the personal qualities and characteristics you look for in a candidate like time-management, a team player, good under pressure and all the other buzz words. My entire career is built on a simple guiding principle: do good. I believe it isn’t always possible to do good by doing what’s easy and I pride myself on challenging myself to never do things the “easy” way just because I can. I’m someone who is committed to providing a voice for underserved populations and a hand-up to those in need of help so that they may have an equal opportunity to succeed. I believe that is exactly what is needed from a Board Member.

How do you envision furthering the mission of YALSA as a Board Member?
I always joke around with colleagues that I’ve never considered myself a traditional “librarian.” I don’t have extensive knowledge of authors and books so my bibliotherapy skills may be lacking when compared to others. My background is working with disabled populations and at-risk youth and I’ve always felt that their needs aren’t part of the important conversations we have, specifically when it comes to library services. Regardless of any position or title I’ve held I have always spoken out about the need for more inclusive services, and that is exactly what I plan on doing as a Board Member. I’ve never been comfortable doing anything simply because it’s the easiest option, whether it’s a family storytime or job skills program for teens. Library services can never be one-size-fits-all, especially when your audience includes teens and young adults. YALSA is an innovative organization, but we must never become complacent. I always challenge my colleagues to ask tough questions and find ways to make improvements that work not just for one segment of the population, but for all members of our community. As a Board Member I plan on pushing the Board to take the necessary steps to advocate on behalf of all those we strive to serve.

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?
As a Canadian librarian I get to share a unique perspective with my American colleagues. I know, Canada doesn’t seem like it would be that different, but there are many significant fundamental differences regarding our library infrastructure. I believe understanding those differences are key to innovating the services we offer in our respective countries. Fundraising isn’t as much of a concern for Canadian libraries, so we don’t always speak about the importance of advocating for libraries in our communities. In America, not all systems have the luxury of being able to provide staff with necessary training so that they may provide effective customer service and gain the ability to adapt those services based on the needs of their customers. This is just a brief example, but it demonstrates the need to have different views, opinions, and experiences on a Board. I know my professional experience in the social service industry as well as my perspective as a librarian North of the border would help to push for responsive initiatives and innovative services for our shared community; teens and young adults everywhere.

What about YALSA’s Organizational Plan excites you most and why?
I’ve spent the majority of my career in program and service delivery, so it goes without saying that leading the transformation of teen library services is what I’m most excited about. Our services have an ability to enhance the quality of life for teens and young adults in communities across North America. It’s more than just a good program, I’m talking about effective training for front-line staff so that they have the tools necessary to properly serve their users. I’ve always felt both go hand-in-hand. When you have staff that are tuned in and interested in making a change, they’ll be more engaged and open to learning. When you learn you change how you think and how you work. Those changes can lead to some of the most innovative programs and services imaginable.

How would you embed the concept of “teens first” in the work of the board?
Ensure that teens have a voice. No one enjoys being spoken for. As a kid I would get so irritated when people just assumed that they knew what I wanted or what was “best” for me, especially when they never asked for my opinion. It’s easy to get caught up in that pattern of behaviour as an adult. We think we know because we’re a bit older and a tad bit wiser, so we start believing we know what’s best. In my community I always ensure that our teens have a seat at the table when the conversation is about something that would directly impact them. Some of the best ideas for programs and services I’ve had were a result of community conversations with young people in my city.

Why should YALSA members choose you to be a member of the board of directors?
It may sound cheesy to say, but there’s no going wrong with anyone on the ballot. Every person who has submitted their name has done so because they care about teen services and they want to do what they can to improve our industry. It’s not an easy task so I applaud all of them for taking the first step. Like my peers, I care deeply about serving teens and young adults not just in my small Canadian suburb, but across the world. Being a teen is 2019 is difficult and I believe that libraries are in a unique position to be more than a place for books, but a safe welcoming space that can support the healthy development of young people everywhere. Wherever I go I know I will work tirelessly to help make that possible, and if you allow me, I’d like to work towards that goal as a Board Member.

2019 YALSA Election: An Interview with Secretary Candidate Josie Watanabe

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 three-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: Josie Watanabe – Interim Youth and Family Services Manager – The Seattle Public Library

What best qualifies you for being Secretary?
I have experience leading workgroups and also contributing to them. One of the best skills that I have is moving work forward and also being very organized—organizational skills seem crucial for this role. I am also interested in learning more about how boards operate and so this will be a good learning experience for me as well.

How do you envision furthering the mission of YALSA as the Secretary?
The thing that I love most about the YALSA mission is keeping teens front and center. As the Youth and Family Services Manager at The Seattle Public Library, my charge is to represent the interest of youth and families throughout the system and I hope to do the same on the YALSA board.

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?
I think a lot about opportunity gaps that youth and families face throughout the country, YALSA can contribute to closing opportunity gaps by supporting library staff to understand community needs and help support community.

What about YALSA’s Organizational Plan excites you most and why?
I am really excited about the continuing education plan, I think that piece is a challenge for library systems all over the country and YALSA has really stepped in to support this work.

How would you embed the concept of “teens first” in the work of the board?
I believe that all decisions, programs, systems and structures need to be designed to help youth and families succeed. In order to do that, we need to help library staff regardless of the size of the library or location strategize and develop a plan to further that mission. We also need to prioritize black, indigenous and youth of color and the intersectionalities that make up their diverse identities and help support library staff to put these teens first.

Why should YALSA members choose you to be a member of the board of directors?
I think I have a diverse background, I have been a teacher, teen librarian, program manager and now a youth services manager. Also, I am uniquely positioned based on my equity, diversity and inclusion work in Seattle to support YALSA in moving forward on their EDI statement and new strategic plan.

2019 YALSA Election: An Interview with President-Elect Candidate Matthew Layne

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 listen to the recording of the YALSA Candidates’ Forum from March 7th!

The President-Elect serves a three-year term — first as the President-Elect, then as the President during the second year, and finally as the Immediate Past President during the third year. The President-Elect is a member of the Executive Committee alongside the President, Immediate Past President, Division Councilor, Fiscal Officer, Secretary, and Executive Director. 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 President-Elect’s duties and responsibilities can be found here.You can learn more about ALA elections here.

Name and current position: Matthew Layne – Young Adult Librarian – Emmet O’Neal Library

What best qualifies you for being President-elect?
I thrive on creating meaningful change in our local and state library communities, and I look forward to utilizing my vision, experience, and expertise in enacting meaningful change for librarians and most especially for our young people across the United States. I wish to use my years of experience as a leader of a non-profit organization combined with my leadership experience at the state and local library levels to lead YALSA into the future as the next President-elect.

How do you envision furthering the mission of YALSA as President-elect?
Through the resources of YALSA, I will work to educate librarians around the US and world on how to best empower and give voice to our young people. I will strive to ensure that the needs of our young adult librarians and young adults in general are being best served by the American Library Association.

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?
I am a firm believer in the power of teens to articulate their own needs; therefore, I will make a push to establish a national teen advisory board comprised of young people from diverse backgrounds around the country. There is so much great information on the YALSA website that serves to make me a better teen librarian. I will work with our board in an effort to better disseminate that information to our membership and to those who work with teen populations.

What about YALSA’s Organizational Plan excites you most and why?
I’m most excited by YALSA’s Mission and Vision: Mission: Our mission is to support library staff in alleviating the challenges teens face, and in putting all teens ‒ especially those with the greatest needs ‒ on the path to successful and fulfilling lives. Vision: Our vision is that all teens have access to quality library programs and services ‒ no matter where they occur ‒ that link them to resources, connected learning opportunities, coaching, and mentoring that are tailored to the unique circumstances of the community and that create new opportunities for all teens’ personal growth, academic success, and career development. I want to see more libraries reaching out beyond their walls to the teens in their communities. We must meet our young people when and where they are.

How would you embed the concept of “teens first” in the work of the board?
As I stated, I think it is of utmost importance that we add actual teen voices to our work. The formation of a National Teen Advisory Board for YALSA would be a major step in that direction. As we witnessed in this past year with the Parkland students, teens have the abilities and skills to lead. As librarians, we can help facilitate and guide them on their journeys.

Why should YALSA members choose you to be a member of the board of directors?
I have proven leadership skills in both the for-profit and non-profit worlds. I ran a successful French bakery and cafe for 10 years before becoming a librarian. I headed a non-profit board and led the organization from the brink of being disbanded to becoming a thriving self-sustaining community organization. I look forward to sharing my skills and expertise with YALSA as we boldly move forward into the future. Thank you for your consideration and your vote!