Get ready to vote! The YALSA election runs from March 19 through April 25, and to help you be an informed voter, we’re sharing interviews with each of the 2014 YALSA Governance candidates.YALSA_173x79

Today we’ll hear from the candidates for YALSA Secretary. The Secretary is a member of YALSA’s Executive Committee, along with the President, President-Elect, Past President, Fiscal Officer, and Councilor. The Secretary normally serves a three-year term, but the Secretary who is elected this year will serve only a two-year term, in order to put the elections of Secretary, Fiscal Officer, and Councilor on a staggered election rotation.

The Secretary is responsible for ensuring that accurate and sufficient documentation exists to enable authorized persons to determine when, how, and by whom the board’s business was conducted. The Secretary records minutes of Board meetings, ensures their accuracy and availability, and performs other duties as requested by the President.The Secretary also has all the normal duties of a Board member.’ A full description of the Secretary’s duties and responsibilities can be found here.

Candidates, who will be presented in alphabetical order, were asked to craft “Twitter-length” responses (i.e. around 140 characters). Full biographical information on all of the candidates can be found on the sample ballot.

Today we have an interview with April Witteveen.

Name and current position:’ April Witteveen Community Librarian, Deschutes Public Library.

Why did you decide to run for a YALSA office? What excites you about serving on YALSA Board?

I’m an ex-oficio member of the Board this year and enjoy the opportunity to have a front row seat in the discussions that affect YALSA, from the small organizational bits to the big mega-issue discussions.

What areas of YALSA’s Strategic Plan do you think you can best contribute to? Why?

Goal 3 really gets me going: Continuous Learning and Professional Development. ‘ Let’s be sure all YALSA members have the support, information, and tools they need to provide the best service to teens in their libraries.

What is the most pressing issue facing YALSA today?

Maintaining (and increasing!) our membership and proving the value of being part of YALSA are imperative to the future of this organization. This is addressed in the Strategic Plan, Goal 4.

What priority activities should YALSA take on to address the “paradigm shift” as described in The Future of Library Services for and with Teens report?

Providing the membership with information and tools related to connected learning is very important; how can we bring informal learning opportunities that really connect with teens’ needs into our libraries?

What attributes have helped you succeed professionally?

I’m detail oriented and organized which allows me to stay on top of my task list. I’m also curious and willing to consider new ways of doing things, attributes that are very useful in the world of teen services!

What do you see as the primary role of the Board?

Board members are elected to carry out the business of YALSA as a non-profit organization; those voting for us put their trust in our ability to work for the greater good of both the organization and its membership.

If elected, how will you help YALSA members (in their daily work, in their careers, other)?

I’d be a strong advocate for YALSA and the many services we provide that can enrich library workers’ careers; I’d use a variety of channels to keep colleagues up-to-date on YALSA happenings and encourage active participation.

What else would you like voters to know about you?

I’m a crafty pants, I love playing roller derby, and I live at the base of the gorgeous Cascade Mountain range.


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