YALSA General Committee Information

A. Committee Year and Term of Office

  1. The committee membership year shall be the same as the conference year (ALA Bylaws, Article IX, Section 6). That is, it begins the day following the Annual Conference. ( See footnote 1.)
  2. Members of Standing Committees shall be appointed by the President ( See footnote 2.) from the membership of the division for the overlapping terms not to exceed two years, with the possibility of reappointment for only one more term immediately succeeding, the total not to exceed four successive years.
  3. Special Committees. Committee membership shall be the same as for Standing Committees, and appointments are made in the same way.

  4. Consultants to committees are appointed by the President for a term of one year, with the possibility of reappointment at the discretion of the incoming President.

  5. Interdivisional committees and other committees formed by two or more distinct units within the Association may be established as required by the groups concerned with notification to the Committee on Organization (ALA Bylaws, Article IX, Section 4).

B. General Directives for All Committees

  1. The duties of individual committees are stated in their function statements, found also in the YALSA Organization Handbook, YALSA Roster, and in the ALA Handbook of Organization.

  2. Standing, Special, and Ad Hoc Committees may be authorized by the Board of Directors, and may be discontinued by the Board.

  3. Special Committees for which the Board of Directors had designated no termination date automatically expire at the end of two years (at the time of the adjournment of the ALA Annual Conference), unless otherwise ordered by the Board of Directors.

  4. Committee management procedures are outlined in the Handbook of Organization given to each newly appointed committee chair.

  • New projects undertaken by the committee should be cleared with the division President and Executive Director before they are begun and may require Board approval. This avoids unnecessary duplication of efforts within both the division and ALA.

  • All projects that require financial support must be approved by the division Board before they may be undertaken. Committee budget requests for the next fiscal year are usually made before or during the preceding Midwinter Meeting.

  • If a committee wishes to sponsor a program meeting at the Annual Conference it may do so, but the program must have final approval at the preceding Annual Conference (at least one year before the program).

Committees - Authorization and Appointments

Standing and Special Committees are authorized by the Board of Directors and may be discontinued by the Board (Article IX, Section 1).

Appointments of all committee members are made by the Vice-President/President-Elect (Article IX, Section 3).

The members and chairperson of any new committee authorized during this Presidency shall be appointed by the President (Article IX, Section 3).

Any vacancy occurring in a committee shall be filled by the president (Article IX, Section 3).

Standing Committees

Standing Committees are authorized in Article IX, Section 1.

The constitution of the Nominating Committee is enumerated in the Bylaws, and the same article gives the procedure for elections (Article VIII, Section 1).

Members of other standing committees are appointed for overlapping terms not to exceed four years (Article IX, Section 3).

Designation of the chairpersons of standing committees shall be made annually (Article IX, Section 3).

Special Committees

Special Committees may be authorized by the Board to assist in the work of the Annual Conference, to study and report to the division on special problems not in the province of any Standing Committee, or to perform any other duties not specifically assigned to any officer or committee.

Special Committees for which the Board of Directors has designated no termination date shall automatically expire at the end of two years (at the time of the adjournment of the ALA Annual Conference) unless otherwise ordered by the Board of Directors (Article IX, Section 2).

Task Forces

A task force is an action-oriented membership group whose charge is to address specific goals, complete a specific task, or to consider a particular issue. There may be a designated time frame defined by the nature of the task or set forth in the function statement. Functions of a task force may include the following:

  1. gathering information and making recommendations

  2. studying an issue and preparing a report

  3. carrying out a specific project or activity

  4. conducting programs at conferences

  5. establishing committees or other subunits.

A task force is used to address critical, urgent, or ongoing situations which require a strong, visible organizational effort and/or activist response. Any parent body may establish a task force, determine its duration, monitor its progress, and terminate its function. (ALA Policy Manual, Article 6.9)

Discussion Groups

A discussion group is an informal group that allows discussion of topics of common interest during the Annual Conference and Midwinter Meeting. Results of discussion may be prepared by the group for distribution to the relevant parent body. A leader may be chosen by the group to coordinate discussion. (ALA Policy Manual, Article 6.9)


  1.     exceptions: Alex Awards, Best Books for Young Adults, Quick Picks for Reluctant YA Readers, Selected Videos for Young Adults, Michael L. Printz Award, Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults, and Nominating committees.

  2.     while Vice President/President-Elect.