When members are appointed to official groups, they are expected to be active participants in the work of the group. They must commit the time, energy and creativity needed to assist the group in realizing its goals and objectives. All group members are responsible for responding to communications from the chair in a timely manner and accepting and performing tasks assigned to them by the chair. Award committee members are responsible for attending all meetings held at both Midwinter and Annual. The exception to this is the Edwards Committee.
Before deciding to volunteer for a particular committee/jury/taskforce, YALSA recommends that you contact the current chair of the group or sit in on a group meeting (virtual or F2F) to get an idea of the group and the work that it does. Some committees, like award and selection committees, require a significant amount of time. Do your due diligence and talk to current group members to find out about how much time one must have to devote to the work of the group.
Please note that by accepting a position as a commitee member, you are indicating that you are able to make a commitment to serve for the entire length of the committee appointment. If you know that a significant event will be happening in the coming year that would prohibit you participating the full 12 months, then please delay your committee service until you have enough time to commit to the group. YALSA has many other options besides committee work that require less time commitment and offer more flexible opportunities, such as blogging, facilitating a discussion forum or webinar, joining a discussion or interest group and more. To learn about those, watch a free 16 minute webinar on getting involved in YALSA, featuring Jack Martin, 2012-2013 YALSA president. The webinar slides are also posted online.
Skills, knowledge and criteria needed for committee work:
- Current membership in YALSA
- In order to accomplish work in a virtual environment, all committee/jury/taskforce members must be competent users of digital tools, including but not limited to Google docs, Skype, and ALA Connect.
- Good time management and organizational skills
- High ethical standards
- Willingness to serve
- Adequate time to commit to the work of the group
- Meets deadlines
Please note that specific groups call for certain areas of expertise. For example, the Financial Advancement Committee seeks members who have fundraising experience. Please check the individual group’s page on the web site for details.
Reports To: Chair of the group to which they have been appointed
- Research the different member groups to find one that is the best fit for you
- Fill out the appropriate volunteer form before the annual deadline
- Read appointment form and accompanying information carefully before signing and returning it to YALSA’s Membership Coordinator
- Asks YALSA’s Membership Coordinator or President-Elect for more information about the appointment, if needed
- Notifies chair and fills out a new volunteer form if re-appointment to the group is desirable
- Knows the function statement for the group and understands the charge and policies and procedures of the group
- Seeks guidance or clarification from the chair when needed
- Requests the information needed to perform tasks from the chair
- Actively participates in planning and implementing short and long-range goals for the group
- Participates in any scheduled meetings, online discussions, virtual work sessions, etc.
- Takes a proactive approach to group work
- Works on group projects throughout the year
- When appropriate, promotes YALSA and its resources to communities, professionals, and teens
- Clears any contact with vendors, publishers, organizations etc. first with the chair, who then clears it with YALSA’s Executive Director
- Becomes familiar with the ALA Handbook of Organization
- Reads and understands the content of the YALSA Handbook, paying special attention to any policies or procedures that impact the work of the group
- Pay special attention to association activities that affect or are affected by the group's work
- Becomes familiar with the YALSA Strategic Plan
- Keeps up with YALSA news by reading the YALSA eNews and YALS, monitoring the YALSAblog and/or following to association Twitter feed
- Promptly informs chair and YALSA’s Membership Coordinator of changes in mailing and contact information
- Strives to respond within 24 hours to chair messages
- Informs chair of any emergencies or extenuating circumstances where you will not be able to participate in communication or activities for a period of time.
- Brings any issues or concerns relating to the group or to your ability to participate in the group to the chair so that they may be resolved in a timely manner
- Understands that the only person with authority to speak for the group is the chair
- Notifies the YALSA President, group chair and YALSA’s Membership Coordinator if resigning
What YALSA Looks for When Considering Requests for Reappointment to a Group or Appointment to Another Group
Terms of appointment vary, and members may request re-appointment (in some cases up to a total of four years) by filling out a new volunteer form. Many members have asked us how YALSA evaluates them when looking at requests to be re-appointed to a group or to be appointed to another group. We look at:
- Participation: How active has the group member been during his/her term? As examples, has the member actively participated in projects, communicated with group members in a timely manner, taken a proactive role in accomplishing the work of the group, been a supportive team member, and/or participated in any events or programs organized by the group?
- Attendance: Did the member attend and participate in all required face-to-face meetings, virtual work sessions, conference calls, etc.?
- Chair and Staff Feedback: The chair and appropriate staff are asked for feedback on the group member’s participation in the work of the group.
What YALSA Looks for When Considering Committee Members for Appointment as Chair
In addition to the items noted above, YALSA also looks at whether a group member has been actively engaged as a leader on any special projects, their success in managing the work, their ability to work in a team environment, ensuring that projects are successfully completed in a timely manner and familiarity with association structure and governance. The YALSA President-Elect communicates with the current committee chair to gather information about the best qualified committee members to serve in the role as chair.