In late July, a second round of A Day in the Life of a Library, launched. As I read posts librarians wrote for this project about how they spend their days as librarians, I started thinking how I spend my time as YALSA President. And, while it’s not a 9 to 5 job as is that of many librarians, it is something that I spend at least a bit of time on every day. I thought to myself, what about a blog post on a month in the life of a YALSA President?

It’s just over a month since I took on the job of YALSA President, and I can’t quite believe both that it’s been that long and all the conversations I’ve had about YALSA with a variety of people in that time. Don’t worry, this post isn’t going to go through every day of my first month as YALSA President, but here are some of the basics of what the President does, or might do, within a 30-day period.

  • Once a week I have a phone call with YALSA’s Executive Director, Beth Yoke, to talk about projects each (both) of us is working on and to update each other on what’s happened since our previous call. These calls last about an hour and the conversation is really focused. So far in one month we’ve spent time following-up on projects, ideas, and topics discussed at 2009 Annual Conference; worked on a plan for ongoing and increased support for committee chairs; talked about a plan for providing ongoing training for YALSA Board members; discussed developing a YALSA 201 session at Midwinter that will provide information on how to get involved in YALSA leadership; and…..
  • Held a call with YALSA’s Executive Committee (made up of the President, Past-President, President-Elect, Fiscal Officer, Secretary, and ALA Council Representative) to talk about how to move forward with work on a proposal (approved by the Board at Annual) to develop a follow-up plan related to YALSA’s selected list portfolio.
  • Had phone conversations with a variety of Committee and Task Force Chairs about next steps in their work. This includes the Research, Strategic Planning, and Division Membership & Promotion Committee Chairs, and the Teen Space Guidelines Task Force Chair.
  • Asked for feedback from Board and Executive Committee members on a wide-variety of topics including Committee Chair training and ongoing support, finances of the Division, and ongoing professional development for Board members.
  • Wrote my first President’s column for YALS on the topic of risk. (The column will appear in the fall issue of the journal.)
  • Made appointments to new Task Forces and Committees approved during Annual 2009, including Past President’s Lecture Committee and the Reader’s Choice Task Force.
  • Emailed with a small group of library school students to find out their ideas for a networking program or event at Midwinter 2010 in Boston
  • Provided quotes to YALSA’s Communications Officer, Stevie Kuenn, for press releases about YALS’ second consecutive win of an Apex Award, the selection of YALSA’s newest Spectrum Scholar, and the launching of YALSA’s research journal.

That’s just a brief look at how I’ve been spending time as YALSA President. While my experience as YALSA President-Elect and my involvement in the Division as a Board member and Committee Chair gave me some ideas about what life as President would be like, the real experience is somewhat different than what one knows when watching from the sidelines. It’s pretty exciting to be so directly involved in the work of the organization and I’m very much looking forward to 10 more months as packed with activity as this first one.

I will continue the practice started by a previous YALSA President a few years ago of publishing a monthly report with an overview of tasks completed during the previous month. As my term started in mid-July I did not publish a July report, the first one will be available on, or around, September 1.

If readers have any questions about life as YALSA President, feel free to ask in the comments of this post, or send me an email at

About Linda W Braun

Linda W Braun is a YALSA Past President, the YALSA CE Consultant, and a learning consultant/project management coordinator at LEO: Librarians & Educators Online.

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