Get ready to vote! The YALSA election runs from March 13 through April 5, and to help you be an informed voter, we’re sharing interviews with each of the 2017 YALSA Governance and 2019 Selection Committee candidates.

Today we’ll hear from a candidate for Board Director-at-large. YALSA Board members serve two-year terms, during which they jointly determine YALSA’s policies, programs, and strategic direction, in accordance with YALSA’s bylaws. They attend both virtual and in-person meetings and serve as liaisons to YALSA’s committee chairs and members. A full description of Board duties and responsibilities can be found here.

Today we have an interview with Franklin L. Escobedo.

YALSA Governance: Board Member-at-Large (Two Year Term) Candidate Franklin L. Escobedo, Principal Librarian, Coronado Public Library (CA)

(Currently serving a one year term on the YALSA Board)

Q: What best qualifies you for being Board Member-at-Large?

A: I’m currently serving a one year term on the YALSA Board.  Over the past several years I’ve served on a number of selection committees and process committees.  I’ve learned the working of our Division.  My awareness of the membership needs and the organizational goals of YALSA have helped me over this past year.  Having an opportunity to serve on the board has let me finally engage with the leadership to help move our profession forward.  When I first became involved with YALSA I was the GLBT-RT liaison to YALSA, so I’ve been able to watch our organization change and grow over the past several years.  Again getting the opportunity to serve this year on the Board has

Q: How do you envision furthering the mission of YALSA as Board Member-at-Large?

A: Being able to serve on the Board you get to help focus the mission over the next few years.  Making sure that the needs of our members are met and that we continue to create opportunities for member involvement is one of my goals.  Looking at the big picture of teen services, what are they going to need down the road, and what resources will librarians need to have to serve them better as the landscape of libraries changes, we need to make sure we create those resources to help teen librarians succeed.

Q: What are some ways that being a member of the YALSA Board can help you serve as an even better connector to helping libraries become thriving learning environments for/with teens?

A: Serving on the Board has given me more tools to empower my advocacy for library services for teens and for other librarians.  I’ve always been an advocate for teen services, but now I have the mental tools to help guide my own library to create better services.  It’s forced me out of the box of my own needs to look further afield to create better partnerships with the community to bring those services back to the library, thus we can serve the teens.

Q: What about YALSA’s Organizational Plan excites you most and why?

A: The opportunity for more of our members to get involved virtually, this is creating a vast opportunity for those who don’t have the backing or the resources to participate in conferences.  Or that need to focus on one conference over another.  Short term appointments will allow members to add their expertise, add to their own resumes, and to finally give them an opportunity to share their voices with the rest of us.

Q: How would you embed the concept of “teens first” in the work of the board?

A: Teens first is great!  We need to retool everything we do to make sure the outcomes that we provide our members help to focus our efforts on this concept.  Reader’s advisory, resources, and continuing education for the membership should be constantly held to achieve this standard.  Those of us who have a passion for teen services have always been driven to make teens first in our libraries. This addition to the organizational plan just helps to solidify what we’ve always done.

Q: Why should YALSA members choose you to be a member of the board of directors?

A: I bring a voice of diversity to the board; I’m involved with REFORMA and the LGBT-RT.  I’m and advocate for teens as well as for our members. I want everyone who’s a member of YALSA to have a great experience and feel that their voices are heard and that they will get back what they invest into our organization.

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