For the past four months, I have been serving as the first YALSA’ Board Fellow. Applications for the next term are due December 1st . Because I am having such a positive experience, I want to share a bit about it to encourage members to apply. I will divide this up into a few different blog posts. Today, I want to address why I applied. Feel free to ask me any questions in the comments, or you can find me on Twitter @DogearedCarrie.

I have been actively involved with YALSA since 2009, which is when I volunteered to serve on the Local Arrangements committee for Annual in Washington D.C. Since then, I have served on and chaired several process committees. I have enjoyed learning about different aspects of YALSA, yet I knew there was more to the organization. When I learned about the creation of the Board Fellow, I knew it was an opportunity to learn more about the bigger picture of YALSA, how it is run, and how it fits in to ALA. Leadership skills were something else I hoped to gain if I was selected to serve.

While I had some experience in YALSA, I believed I was still fairly new to the organization. I hoped that I could be a voice on the board for those who are new to YALSA, feeling a bit overwhelmed, or don’t know where to start. I also thought I would be an additional voice as a school librarian. Surveys conducted by YALSA consistently show that school librarians often feel as if they are a minority in the organization. I knew that several YALSA board members were school librarians, but thought another one can never hurt.

Think about applying! Ask yourself: what can I do for YALSA? What could I gain from this experience? I found that I benefitted from the reflection that took place as I completed my application. Don’t forget – applications are due December 1st!

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