The deadline is quickly approaching ‘ to apply for to be the next YALSA Board Fellow – December 1st is two weeks away! Many people have asked me what exactly I have been doing as the Board Fellow thus far. I’m doing several things:

– Serving as a non-voting board member: The Board has worked hard to make sure I know that my voice is just as important as any other board member when topics are being discussed, even if I don’t have a vote. This means I am…
– Attending Board meetings: The Board has quarterly conference calls to discuss committee reports and other YALSA business. These calls last about 90 minutes, but you need to be prepared before the call. We review the committee reports and any other documents related to agenda items. It’s important to be informed so that you can express yourself during the call.
– Attending Board development meetings: This year, the YALSA Board has a Board development discussion each month. The topics vary month-to-month, and different Board members guide the discussion. So far, we have discussed leadership, capacity building, and advocacy. We are assigned some pre-meeting homework that involves reading an article or two and pondering some guiding questions. We have been divided up into small groups and we discuss the readings and questions within our subgroup. I’m paired up with President Jack Martin and Linda Braun, who are both really smart. We have met via Google Hangout and have had some really thought-provoking discussions about what makes a good leader, possible ways to improve YALSA’s capacity, and how to get more members involved in advocacy. We bring our group thoughts to the Board development meetings to share with each other, where we have more awesome discussions about what YALSA does well and how to keep improving.
– Task Forces: I’m currently serving on two task forces. (One started before my Board Fellow term.) Task forces are great ways to continue your involvement in YALSA as they exist for a finite amount of time and have a set mission to accomplish.

Thus far, all of my work has been virtual. I will attend Midwinter and Annual, which I am greatly looking forward to. Keep in mind that Board Fellows receive a small stipend to help pay for this attendance.

The work I have done so far has expanded my knowledge of YALSA and allowed me to think about the future of YALSA. If you believe in the mission of YALSA – the idea of YALSA – think about applying for the Board Fellow. Especially if you have ideas about improving the organization or think it is lacking in someway. As the Board Fellow, you may not have a vote, but you do have a voice, and there are a lot of opportunities to speak up.

Applications are due in 2 weeks – apply!’ Feel free to ask me any questions in the comments, or you can find me on Twitter @DogearedCarrie.

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