Ever wanted to get to know the YALSA Board of Directors more? Here’s your chance! We’ll be posting fun mini-interviews with each board member all month long so you can get to know them a little better
Name: Morgan Brickley-Jones
Title & Library: Director of Community Engagement, UTA Libraries
Role on the Board: Board Fellow
Years on the Board: 1st year
Tell us a little about yourself. Who is this years Board Fellow?
MBJ: Hello, I am your YALSA 2022-23 Board Fellow, Morgan! I have been an on-and-off member of YALSA for roughly ten years, and the Board Fellow position was my first experience working with the actual YALSA Board. I am the Director of Community Engagement at the University of Texas at Arlington Libraries.
How did you first get involved with YALSA?
MBJ: My first committee volunteering experience was with YALSA- in 2014, I volunteered for the Teens Top Ten Committee. This committee gave me valuable experience working with colleagues in a virtual, asynchronous environment. During that time was an active book reviewer and enamored with book selection committee work, so when my Teens Top Ten service had ended, I quickly applied to be on the Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers committee. This committee was foundational in my experience working with librarians from different types of libraries at ALA annual conference. I loved every minute of my two years on Quick Picks and really do remember my time on that committee fondly.
What made you decide to apply to be the Board Fellow?
MBJ: Over the past few years, I doubled down on my work volunteering with my state-level committees and let my YALSA and ALA members lapse. Recently, I was putting together my resume and dossier for promotion and started to wonder about what I could do to contribute to ALA and YALSA again. I contacted the now YALSA’s immediate past president, Kelly Czarnecki, and she gave me a list of opportunities. I was attracted to the Board Fellow position because it seemed to be what I needed then, lower stakes than a full board member but it is given the opportunity to look behind the curtain. The YALSA Board Fellow position has given me just that ability- I have been able to work with YALSA board members. I have seen board initiatives pass and other issues discussed among colleagues working to reach a consensus.
Why do you think the Board Fellow is an important part of learning about YALSA Governance?
MBJ: I think that the Board Fellow position is ideal for YALSA members at all different stages of your journey. If you have dedicated your volunteering to committees, the Board Fellow position will let you know if board work is your next step. It is also an excellent idea for YALSA members looking to get more involved with the organization’s governance. I better understand how the big picture of YALSA functions and just how vital volunteers are to the framework of YALSA and ALA.
If you have been thinking about YALSA Governance are not ready to make the three-year commitment. The Board Fellow position is the first step in seeing what kind of work the board is doing. Morgan mentioned that being the board fellow was a look behind the curtain, and many of the past board fellows have said similar in past blog posts. All the YALSA Board meetings are open to members, the Board Fellow positions allows them to see the work that happens in between the meetings. Some of the work done by the board is swift, but much of the work is a long slow march that can take a few years to complete. If you are interested in becoming the Board Fellow apply here. If you have questions, feel free to contact Morgan or any of the YALSA Board Members for more information.