Posted by Amy Alessio:

Judy Nelson is getting ready to take on the job as YALSA President after the Annual Conference in June. She asked me to post this message for Allen & Paula:

Now that you’ve decided to commit yourself to YALSA for the next three years, what won’t you be doing in your spare time?

Where do you see YALSA in five years? (besides closing in on being the largest division of ALA)

2 Thoughts on “Questions from Current VP for VP/Pres. Candidates

  1. Thanks Judy –

    You mean I have to give something up? 🙂

    The past three years I have been a member of the YALSA Board as the Fiscal Officer, so I already have the time for such an important role built into my schedule. This past year has been different with my term ending over the summer, but multi-tasking is not anything new.

    In the next few years, YALSA will be making itself more well-known to the library community at-large and to the greater “YA” world.

    Not everyone who works in libraries is an ALA/YALSA member. As such, they may not know about us. We need to let people know who and what we are. Beth Yoke and the office staff have been using a couple of taglines to promote YALSA that go a long way in helping us reach the level of saturation we need within all libraries. I’m paraphrasing here, but YALSA is “the world leader in booklists for teens” and “ALA’s fastest growing division” alert people that there is some synergy within our association and we will continue moving forward with that in mind.

    I also think that outside agencies/groups that serve teens will become more familiar with our mission over the next few years. The strategic partnerships that can come from such awareness will benefit our members and the teens we serve in tremendous ways.

    Putting these pieces together will allow YALSA to be much closer to realizing its stated “Big Audacious Goal” (in the new strategic plan): To be the driving force behind all excellent young adult services in every library serving teens.

    That’s where I see YALSA in five years.

  2. paula brehm heeger [Visitor] on March 2, 2006 at 5:37 pm said:

    Thanks for the questions, Judy!

    I’ve been very active in local, state and national professional organizations for the last several years and currently serve on many committees – having a full plate of professional commitment in additional to my day job is nothing new and part of what I love about my career! During the next three years, I will reduce these commitments, many of which require developing frequent programs for conferences and training sessions, and focus my energy exclusively on the YALSA Presidency. Time previously spent developing a session for an Ohio Library Council chapter conference or reading stacks of books for Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults will be dedicated to my role as Vice-President/President Elect (and Immediate Past-President, too!) I don’t take the time commitment involved with being YALSA President lightly and know the challenges associated with the position will require additional time “adjustments” in my life, but am confident it will be well worth the time and energy it takes to do the job right.

    In five years I see YALSA continuing as a dynamic division with a large and increasing membership. I’ve been thrilled recently by the growing number of new librarians I meet that are excited about a library career specifically focused on teen services. YALSA is a key player in solidifying this concept of teen services as a real, long-term career choice for all new librarians. Having just attended mid-winter with a brand-new teen librarian from my library system, I can testify to the power of events like the Gaming preconference in significantly influencing the career paths of young, talented individuals. High-quality programs and trainings accessible to many librarians make a real impact on professionals just entering the field. YALSA’s sponsorship of these events makes the Association relevant to the everyday lives of librarians in the field, proving the value of membership.

    I also see YALSA increasing its role in helping teen services librarians move into positions of organization management and leadership by offering support and training for members ready to make this transition and needing helping in doing so.

    A lot can change in five years – just think how different the landscape of today’s libraries are compared to five years ago! The key is to continue YALSA’s tradition as a member focused, dynamic division with a shared vision of what we’re going to achieve!

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