Duties and Responsibilities of Board Members

Authorization: Article IV of the Bylaws of the Young Adult Library Services Association establishes the duties and responsibilities of members of the Board of Directors.

  1. Board Responsibilities
  • Jointly determine current and future programs and activities in accordance with YALSA objectives (Bylaws, Article II)
  • Jointly determine YALSA policies
  • Attend all regular meetings of the Board that are held during the Midwinter Meetings and Annual Conferences of the Association.  Meetings may also take place via phone or virtual contact throughout the year as needed.
  • Attend the Board Planning Session at the Midwinter Meeting
  • Serve as liaisons to specified YALSA committees/juries/taskforces/advisory boards as assigned by the YALSA President.
  • Respond in a timely manner to all emails requiring Board consideration and approval, as requested by the YALSA President; understand that silence signifies consent in such situations
  • Read and digest all agendas, board documents and other relevant information prior to Board meetings; be thoroughly prepared to discuss all items at meetings, particularly items related to committees and groups to which each Board member is the liaison.
  • Participate in Board discussions during and between meetings
  • Continue to improve understanding of key YALSA policies and procedures as well as ALA policies and procedures, including the Operating Agreement.
  • Continue to expand knowledge of parliamentary procedure. The official resource that ALA governance uses is The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure.
  • Continue reading about nonprofit governance and leadership. Work with the Executive Director to identify appropriate professional materials, such as workshops, books, etc.
  • Subscribe to, monitor and/or participate in discussions on YALSA’s discussion lists to stay abreast of YALSA news, member needs and trends in the field.
  • Consider subscribing to, monitoring and/or participating on appropriate YA library related discussion lists.
  • Suggest possible candidates to the Governance Nominating Committee who can make significant contributions to the work of the Board and YALSA.
  • Serve as an example for members by registering for events such as Teen Read Week™, voting in ALA elections, writing letters to the editor, etc.
  • Continue to develop leadership skills and knowledge of association governance through attendance at workshops, reading professional materials, etc.
  • Read and be familiar with YALSA’s key documents, such as the Strategic Plan, Business Plan and Handbook, which are online at www.ala.org/yalsa.
  • Become familiar with YALSA’s electronic resources.
  • Know each YALSA staff person’s role and which staff person to go to for your different needs.
  • Attend the following meetings at Annual
    • YALSA Leadership Development Meeting (only if you liaise with a selection or award committee)
    • All Board of Director’s Meetings
    • Joint ALSCYALSA Membership Reception (Midwinter)
    • YALSA Membership Meeting (Annual)
    • YALSA 101 Program
  • Throughout all conferences make the effort to talk to members and listen to any concerns, especially new ones, and make them feel welcome.
  • Be on the lookout for any members with good leadership potential and encourage them to chair a committee or run for office.
  • Consider attending YALSA’s ticketed events, such as the Printz reception, Edwards brunch, etc., and ALA events, such as the Inaugural Banquet, as you are able.
  • Advocate for public policies that help the organization achieve its mission.  Advocacy may include engaging in the legislative process, writing letters to the editor, attending and speaking at public meetings and other activities that further public policy goals.
  • Use the advocacy checklist to determine which advocacy activities to complete for each year that you serve on the board.

II. Committee Liaison Responsibilities

Board liaison assignments will be distributed at the Annual Conference. The President will notify both incoming and current Board members and committee chairs of the Board liaison assignments at the Annual Conference .

Preconference Responsibilities

  • Contact committee chairs within one month of initial assignment
  • Receive and carefully review copies of the quarterly committee chair reports
  • Contact chairs as necessary to ensure that quarterly reports are submitted on time
  • Review any Requests for Board Actions in advance of submission for consideration by the full Board

Between Conferences Responsibilities

  • Communicate with committee chairs as needed between conferences, utilizing all available communication tools, with at least one follow-up contact prior to each conference
  • Initiate and participate in phone and in-person conversations with Chairs and members of committees and task force to which Board member is the assigned liaison as appropriate and necessary
  • Serve as conduits from their respective committees to other parts of the organization.
  • Support chairs in responding to challenging situations and growth opportunities as they arise

At Conferences Responsibilities

  • Provide the YALSA Board with brief reports of committee activities and issues as needed at each conference;
  • Introduce yourself to each chair person and as many committee members as possible
  • Initiate and participate in in-person conversations with Chairs and members of committees as appropriate and necessary

Post-Conference Responsibilities

  • Receive and carefully review copies quarterly committee chair reports
  • Communicate Board actions from the Annual Conference that impact committees, task forces and others to which Board member is the assigned liaison
  • Contact chairs as necessary to ensure that quarterly reports are submitted on time

ALA Policy Guides and Division Aids

A member of a division Board is involved in setting policy. The following publications include background in ALA and division matters.  Copies are available from the YALSA Office upon request and via the YALSA webpage: