I know, I know: 2011 has barely begun. But it’s already time to start thinking about what committees you want to be on for YALSA in 2011-12. Soon, I will be making appointments for process committees, juries, and advisory boards that will begin work on July 1, 2011.

Process committees, juries & advisory boards (except for Organization & Bylaws and Strategic Planning) are now 100% virtual groups. In other words, you can be a fully active member of any of these groups without being required to travel to conferences. It does mean that you need to be prepared to do work on your own and to participate virtually, through ALA Connect and other online forums.

If you are new to YALSA, a process committee, jury, or advisory board can be an excellent way to get to get your feet wet and begin to learn how member groups work. There are nearly 30 different process committees, juries & advisory boards ranging from Legislation to Teen Read Week so it is easy to find a group that fits your interests. A complete list is available on the’ YALSA website. In order to serve on one of these groups, you need to be appointed by me, the President-Elect. If you are new to YALSA and hope to be on a selection committee one day, starting with a process committee is a great way to get yourself and your work known in the organization.

If you want to be considered for an appointment, first do some background work and find out about each group by checking the YALSA web site for a description of each group. You may also want to contact the Chair of the group and ask him or her questions. Chair information is also available on the’ YALSA website.

Once you have done your research and decided which group is the best fit for you, the next step is to fill out a volunteer form. The form is available at’ http://yalsa.ala.org/forms/form.php and is due January 31, 2011 for this round of appointments.
Once you fill out your volunteer form, you will receive an automated reply from the YALSA office acknowledging the receipt of your form. Beginning in March, appointment invitations will be sent by email from the YALSA office. Because most of the communication will take place by email, it is important that your email is set up so that it can receive messages from YALSA, including’ yalsa@ala.org.

Please’ contact me if you have any questions or need more information. Thank you for your willingness to lend your time and talents to YALSA!

About Sarah Flowers

Sarah Flowers is a YALSA Past President and former Deputy County Librarian for the Santa Clara County (CA) Library. Currently she does writing and speaking on topics related to teen services and teaches online courses for California's Infopeople Project.

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