YALSA Board Fellow Program

The YALSA Board Fellow gives YALSA members an expanded opportunity to be involved in the leadership of the association. Each year one fellow will be selected from that year’s pool of applicants. The selected candidate will serve a one-year term, from June to July of the next year, on the YALSA Board as a non-voting member. While a non-voting member, the fellow is expected to participate fully in the work of the Board including attending and participating in all face-to-face and virtual meetings and discussions. The Fellow will receive a $500 stipend for each of three conferences to help defray travel, registration, and hotel costs.  Funding for this fellowship comes from Friends of YALSA.

Benefits of Serving as a YALSA Board Fellow

Those who are selected to be a YALSA Board Fellow will have the opportunity to:

  • Develop leadership, management, and administration skills
  • Gain knowledge of the association and how associations work
  • Understand what YALSA Board service entails and if a longer-term leadership position in YALSA is of interest
  • Network with association leaders
  • Give back to the association through service in a leadership position

Read more about the benefits of board service.

What Does a Board Fellow Do?

As a member of the YALSA Board, the fellow participates fully in all of the work of the board including face-to-face and virtual meetings. During the application process, potential fellows will be asked to list skills he or she would bring to the board as well as skills he or she would like to gain from board service. Specific work on the board will be assigned to Fellows based on responses to those questions. To learn what the basic responsibilities of board members are, visit the Governance section of YALSA’s website.

The board fellow will be assigned a mentor, someone currently serving on the YALSA Board in an elected position. The mentor will be available throughout the fellow’s term of service to answer questions, provide feedback and advice, and support the fellow as he or she serves the one-year term of service on the board.

The fellow will be expected to sign and abide by all of the documents that elected and appointed board members sign including the conflict of interest policy and the board contract (see the Handbook on YALSA website for information on each of these).

Throughout their year on the board, the fellow will share his/her experiences with the membership through YALSA’s social media and communication channels, such as the YALSAblog, YALSA E-News and YALSA’s Twitter account.

At the end of their service, each board fellow will be asked to complete an evaluation of his or her term by taking part in a phone interview with the immediate past president of the association.

Term of Service

The term begins approximately 6 months after the Board Fellow application deadline.  The Board Fellow serves a one year term, beginning at the June ALA Annual Conference, and concludes one year later at the following Annual Conference.  The total term of service includes three conference attendances: two ALA Annual Conferences and one ALA Midwinter Meeting. 

How Do I Apply?

Details are provided in the Board Fellow Application Information document (PDF). Submit the online application to YALSA by no later than Dec. 1.

Current & Past Board Fellows

2014 - 2015 Nicola McDonald

2013 - 2014 Carla Land

2012 - 2013 Carrie Kausch