Posted by Paula Brehm-Heeger

Welcome back to Election Forum on the YALSA blog! Last year was the first time we were able to utilize our blog to help members get to know the candidates for the various YALSA offices a bit better. This was such a great success that we’ll once again be posting questions for our candidates, beginning with questions for Sarah Cornish Debraski and Kevin Scanlon, our candidates for YALSA Vice-President/President-Elect.

The outcome of the election will affect everyone, so please use this forum as a chance to learn about candidates running on the spring ballot.

I will be posting questions for the President-Elect category. Other members of the YALSA Board will soon be posting questions for candidates running for other positions within YALSA, including the Board of Directors and the Printz and Margaret A. Edwards committees. YALSA members are welcome to follow up on their responses with further questions.

We encourage lively discussion and debate as appropriate to the topic, but of course no personal comments or attacks will be allowed.

Polls for the ALA 2007 election open on March 15 and close at 11:59 p.m. CST on April 24!

Here is the first round of question for Sarah and Kevin:

Tell us about your experience within YALSA and ALA, including what positions you have held in our Division and in the larger ALA structure.

Which positions were your favorites and why, and how did those experiences help you develop the important skills necessary to be YALSA President.

About Paula Brehm Heeger

Past-President of YALSA (President, 2007-2008) and current member of the YALSA Board of Directors (2006-2009). Past YALSA Committee Chair positions include Partnerships Advocating for Teens (PAT), TAGS, Intellectual Freedom; Past ALSC Chair positions include Notable Children's Videos; Contributing author to upcoming "Quick and Popular Reads" (ALA Editions, forthcoming)

2 Thoughts on “Forum for Spring YALSA Elections

  1. Sarah Cornish Debraski [Visitor] on February 6, 2007 at 7:30 pm said:

    I’m so glad we’re doing the forum again this year! Below are my answers:

    I joined YALSA when I started working as a teen librarian. At first I did so because it was the division best suited to my interests, but I soon decided I wanted to do more than attend YALSA sponsored programs at Annual. I joined the Program Clearinghouse Committee, and after a year as a member, was Chair for two years. This was a great committee to be on because it allowed me to talk to other committees and see what kinds of work they did. I found that I liked seeing how the annual conferences are put together and was pleased when I was appointed to be the YALSA representative to the ALA Conference Planning Coordinating Team. This was my first exposure to seeing how other divisions worked and what similarities and differences there were between divisions, and how they all fit into “big ALA.”
    Three years ago I was elected to the YALSA Board of Directors. Being on the Board has been an amazing experience. I take it very seriously that I was elected and consider myself a representative of our thousands of members. In the time that I’ve been active in YALSA I’ve seen some very positive changes in our organization–our giant leaps in membership, podcasts and blogging, leadership development before all-committee meetings, YALSA 101, and more. It’s been very exciting to not only benefit from these changes, but also be an active part of them.

    I have most enjoyed serving on the Board for the past three years. Being active in the Program Clearinghouse committee sparked my interest in the processes of an organization–how it runs, how all the pieces fit together to serve our mission, and the different roles people have. I was thrilled, then, to have the opportunity to serve on the Board. I’ve really liked being a part of thoughtful and thought-provoking discussions as we came to decisions regarding all sorts of matters. I’ve also gotten to meet many members as I worked with different committees and heard proposals at Board meetings. Overall, I would say the experience has helped me develop leadership and diplomacy skills, as well as expand my knowledge of the organization–all things crucial to being YALSA president!

  2. Kevin Scanlon [Visitor] on February 8, 2007 at 10:47 pm said:

    I joined ALA and YALSA while I was attending library school and joined my first committee in 2000. I have served on many YALSA committees including: Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults, Outreach to Teens with Special Needs, Serving the Underserved Taskforce, YALSA Financial Taskforce, and the AASL/ALSC/YALSA Joint Committee on School and Public Library Cooperation. I am also a former member of the YALSA Board of Directors.

    My favorite assignments have been Outreach and the YALSA taskforces. Each year, the Outreach to Teens with Special Needs committee would select the winner of the Sagebrush Award that honors a librarian who has developed an outstanding reading program for teens. I was proud of the innovation that librarians employed to encourage teens to become active users of library services. Through this committee I learned of the diversity of library settings in which our members serve teens.

    As YALSA continues to grow, it is imperative that the Association is in a strong financial and strategic position to meet future challenges. The taskforces have allowed me to learn about those challenges and develop sound initiatives.

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