Get ready to vote in this year’s YALSA election! To help you make informed decisions, we’re sharing interviews with each of the 2024 YALSA Governance candidates. Voting will take place from March 11 through April 3, 2024.

Serving three-year terms, YALSA Board members are responsible for jointly determining YALSA’s current and future programs, policies, and serving as liaisons to YALSA’s committees, juries, taskforces and advisory boards. Members work year-round, and attend regular Board meetings. A full description of Board duties and responsibilities can be found here. You can learn more about ALA elections here.

What is your name and current job position?
Isaiah West, Teen Services Specialist, Prince George’s (MD) County Memorial Library System

What best qualifies you for being on the YALSA Board of Directors?
For nearly a decade, I’ve actively contributed to YALSA, serving on various committees and task forces. Committed to its growth, I’ve volunteered extensively to enhance its role as a premier teen services organization, expanding its reach to librarians nationwide. Transitioning from teaching middle school English to being a teen services librarian in 2014, I’ve devoted my career to empowering teens and fostering spaces for them to explore their passions and identities.

How do you envision furthering YALSA’s mission if elected to this position?
YALSA is in the middle of some growing pains. I aim to help usher in a new era, prioritizing consistency by updating policies and collaborating with ALA/YALSA staff. I’m eager to explore new studies and strategies to advocate for consistent teen services in our communities.

What is the most pressing issue facing YALSA today?
I think the biggest issue YALSA faces today is consistency. Although we’ve made strides with top-notch research and publications, maintaining consistent strategic planning is imperative. By moving beyond rhetoric and embracing strategic foresight, we can tackle the decline in volunteers and memberships head-on.

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