Happy New Year! Have you made some resolutions? Well, I want to challenge each and every one of you to add one more resolution to your list. Here it is:

As a member of YALSA, one of the 5,300 members who have put their money where their mouth is in support of teens across the world, I challenge you to be a role model to your teens.

But you say you already are?

Each of us believes in the work we do, we believe that our teens are the future and we work very hard to provide them with great reading selections, fun and excellent opportunities to try new things, safe places to come and hang out, opportunities to give back through their libraries and communities, and we provide positive role models.

Well, that role model thing is a problem because only 18% of our members vote in our association election each year. That means that 82% are missing the opportunity to model for teens the importance of participating in an election process.

YALSA is a democracy and is built to serve members by including members in the work of the association. If we/members don’t participate in this one easy (yet extremely important) way, by voting, how can we expect our teens to grow up to be voting, participating adults in their world?

So, here’s your challenge, let’s aim high and bring that percentage up to say 60%! We can do this, the process isn’t even that hard. Your colleagues have committed their time and energy to being on the ballot, now you need to take the time and energy to vote. Find out who is running, read their bios and mark that online ballot. (A sample ballot will be available on the YALSA website in the next few weeks.) Elections run from March 19th through April 27, 2012. And if you are coming to Midwinter in Dallas meet the candidates at the Coffee with Candidates. It’s on Sunday, January 22nd from 10:30 to noon in the Dallas Convention Center, room C146. I’ll be there. Will you?

Take my challenge and just do it!

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