This week YALSA Board members are discussing their experience serving on the Board. This post is one in that series.

The position of Secretary was added to the YALSA Board, by membership vote,’  only four years ago.’  Until my term began, in 2008, the role of keeping our volunteer association’s formal record fell to YALSA staff.’  The addition of this position to the Board places that responsibility with membership; in addition, the position of Secretary adds another voice—and set of energies—to the Board’s Executive Committee.

I ran for the position of Secretary for several reasons:’  I had been on the YALSA Board when the idea of creating the position was under discussion and then development and I was a promoter of the concept.’  In addition, I have served in a few other elected offices, in other professional organizations, at the time when that position was first initiated, so I had a good sense of the kind of ground-breaking and flexibility the initial office-holder needed to bring to the effort of “launching” how the position might work to the advancement of the Board and membership as a whole.

Being Secretary for YALSA doesn’t mean slavishly recording each word that falls from anyone’s lips during the course of our meetings, but it does mean recording the official votes on any item before the formally sitting Board, as well as capturing the essence of discussions, noting attendance (both of Board members and any visitors) for the record, and taking part in discussions, as well as planning sessions undertaken by the Executive Committee.

As a long-time member of YALSA and a true believer in services to teens in libraries, my Board life is an important aspect of both my ongoing professional development and my identity.’  YALSA provides the stable presence of peers in a professional life that, for me, is otherwise regularly changing and on-the-go.’  YALSA members are the peers and colleagues to whom I turn for information, suggestions, guidance and mentoring opportunities.’  I consider it a privilege to help our association construct the new office of Secretary and look forward to seeing how it develops in terms to come under the creative work of future office holders.

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