Get ready to vote! The YALSA election runs from March 15 through April 22, and to help you be an informed voter, we’re sharing interviews with each of the 2016 YALSA Governance and 2018 Selection Committee candidates.

Today we’ll hear from the candidate 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.

Full biographical information on all of the candidates can be found on the sample ballot and YALSA Election FAQs here.

Today we have an interview with Crystle Martin.

Name and current position:
Crystle Martin, Postdoctoral Research Fellow for the Digital Media and Learning Hub at the University of California, Irvine.

What best qualifies you for being YALSA Secretary?
I am currently serving a one year replacement term on the YALSAboard, so I already have knowledge of how the board operates. I also have experience serving as a member of the executive committee for other professional organizations, like the Games+Learning+Society Conference and the Media, Culture, and Learning SIG of the American Education Research Association.

Talk about the experience you’re bringing to the position with leadership, advocacy, and impact on teen services in the library?
I have experience with leadership on both the YALSAboard and professional conference committees, where I have chaired as well as served as an organizer for several conference. I also have experience managing the YALSAblog and serving on the advisory boards of YALS and JRYAL. I advocate for services for teens and supporting teen interest as part of my research, which impacts research for teen support and the practice of librarians. I have written both academic and public facing pieces about youth learning and the impact of libraries on youth learning.

How can being YALSA Secretary help make a difference with issues teens may be struggling with?
My being the YALSA Secretary can impact issues teens may be struggling with, because I bring experience through my research of supporting teens who may struggle in traditional learning settings but excel in their own interests.

What are some ways that being a member of a YALSA governance committee can help serve as an even better connector to helping libraries become thriving learning environments for teens?
As a member of the YALSA board, you get a larger perspective on what serving teens can look like, and with the position I hope to continue to advocate for supporting youth learning as a central role in the practice of library staff who work with teens.

Share a recent example(s) where you made a shift to better focus on the current needs of teens.
Reevaluation of my practice is a normal part of my role as a researcher. I continually revise my research focus and strategies to make sure that I am targeting current needs of teens.

Why should YALSA members choose you to be a member of a governance committee?
I have extensive leadership experience; I prioritize supporting teens, their interests, and their pursuits through my research and my service; and I am passionate about creating a system that supports teen learning in libraries.

About Kelly Czarnecki

Kelly Czarnecki is a Teen Librarian at ImaginOn with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. She is a member of the YALSA blog advisory board.

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