When I heard about the ALA Executive Board during a conference, I was curious to know what kind of youth representation they had and what that actually meant. While there are several members on the current ALA Executive Board that are also youth division members, Dora Ho (Lost Angeles Public Library), YALSA and ALSC member and newly elected ALA Executive Board member, agreed to answer a few questions for the YALSA blog. Her term officially started after this past annual conference in New Orleans.
1. Can you briefly explain what the ALA Executive Board does? If you could give some specific examples, that would be helpful.
DH: The ALA Executive Board provides leadership and vision for the American Library Association. The roles of Executive Board members are:
â€¢ Work with Council committees and members to develop and set priorities and direction for the Association
â€¢ To identify and assess key areas needing attention and resources
â€¢ To communicate priorities and concerns to and from membership
â€¢ To provide fiscal oversight for the association
Members of the Executive Board will carry out these roles in partnership with the Executive Director of the association. For example, member of the Executive Board are assigned liaison role to various ALA committees and to communicate with these committees the priorities of ALA as well as obtaining feedback from members.
2. As an Executive Board member, how do you hope to help make a difference serving
youth in this capacity?
DH: Since I am a Young Adult Librarian that is serving both children and teens in my library, it is extremely important to be an advocate for the youth divisions. I am currently a member of both ALSC and YALSA. I hope to do my best to ensure issues about
services to youth are addressed and dealt with in timely and efficient manner.
3. What are ways that you keep up with youth related issues that are impacting the library and the profession?
DH: I am a member of ALSC, YALSA, and PLA. I subscribed to listservs so I am definitely
keeping up with the news and issues that are of concerns to our teens and children. Also,
Teens and children are priority in my own library system, so I deal directly with youth on a daily basis.
4. If someone is interested in becoming a member of the Executive Board, what do you
DH: Executive Board members are elected from ALA council. Therefore, before becoming
a member of the Executive Board, one has to be a member of the ALA Council. So I
would definitely suggested running for a council member seat first. It is such a rewarding experience to learn about the governance of the ALA through council. One gets to network with other councilors because one will spend the majority of the conference on
the council floor.