What is the YALSA Board? What do they do? Who is on the YALSA Board? These could be questions you may have and if they are you’ve come to the right place. Each month, two YALSA Board of Directors are interviewed and their responses are shared here in order to help members get to know more about the Board members, the Board itself and things the Board is working on.

YALSA’s board of directors has the principal responsibility for fulfillment of YALSA’s mission and the legal accountability for its operations. The board has specific fiduciary duties of care, loyalty, and obedience to the law. As a group they are in charge of:
– establishing a clear organizational mission
– forming the strategic plan to accomplish the mission
– overseeing and evaluating the plan’s success
– hiring a competent executive director
– providing adequate supervision and support to the executive director

This month meet Mega Subramaniam, Associate Professor, College of Information Studies, University of Maryland.

What drew you to the Board? 

I debated a lot with myself before I decided to run as a YALSA board member. I wanted to make sure that I have enough knowledge, skills, and time to contribute to the wonderful things that the YALSA leadership was already doing. I was drawn to the Board because I wanted to inspire interdisciplinary experiences and interactions that transform the nature of services that youth librarians provide to youth. I was already impressed with the YALSA leadership and really felt connected with the changes in the organization plan (upcoming at that time), especially the leading the transformation of teen services priority area. I wanted to encourage research and professional development experiences that inspire youth services librarians to understand their role as change agents in youth development, by paying attention to the technical and societal changes that impact the everyday lives of youth. Being on the Board as a researcher and LIS educator helps me to channel what I have done in my research into practice. This opportunity is the ideal research-practice partnership that I have been aspiring to do for a long time. It is incredibly rewarding, and I enjoy it!

What do you do on the board?

This year, I am a member of the Funder and Partner Development Strategic Committee within the Board. We have many aspirations to strengthen the financial health of YALSA. We are in the process of brainstorming funders and partners that can fund our on-going activities in YALSA (such as Teen Read Week, etc.), but we also would like to identify non-traditional funders and partners (as in industry partners, individual philanthropists, etc.) that may be able to offer resources that can support our on-going programs and/or help develop new programs/resources that align with our strategies outlined in the organization plan. I also enjoy doing other things such as actively recruiting new members to YALSA, connecting with YALSA members during conferences, and talking about our activities and the impact of youth services librarians when I go to academic conferences and meet with academics from other fields.

What the board is doing for its members?

Where do I start? The Board is super active! We will be piloting the use of eARCc/ebooks for award committees and selected list bloggers. These bloggers and committees will also indicate if the titles are available in languages other than English and in other formats (like large print or Braille). The Board also approved the transitioning of YALS to being completely and only online. We also agreed to work collaboratively with REFORMA and ALSC to explore expanding the Pura Belpre Award to ages up to 18 and to create a Best of Latinx-themed literature list on the Hub.

I am merely touching the surface here with this list. Be sure to check YALSA President Dr. Sandra Hughes-Hassell’s monthly reports that will be posted on the YALSA blog for more on what the Board is up to; here is the link to her July report: http://yalsa.ala.org/blog/2017/08/01/presidents-report-july-2017/

For fun; include a teen book you may be reading or a recent program you may have done with and for teens.

I am currently reading In the Country We Love: My Family Divided by Diane Guerrero.

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