ALSC President: Roles and Responsibilities

The President is the chief elected officer of ALSC and serves at the order of the Board of Directors and the membership. The President acts as Chair of both the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee. The President provides leadership and direction to ensure timely progress toward the fulfillment of the Association’s strategic plan.

As Chair of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee, the President ensures that the two groups fulfill their responsibilities for the governance of ALSC and implementation of its policies and procedures. The President works in partnership with the Executive Director towards achievement of ALSC’s mission.

The President serves as primary spokesperson for the Association.

Traits Desired

  • Commitment to the Association's mission, to ensure the necessary allocation of time to provide the leadership, shepherd the Association, and work with its members, executive director, and staff
  • Ability to articulate ALSC’s vision, core purpose and values, and drive the Association toward achievement of that vision
  • Fervent advocate for the Association with internal and external stakeholders
  • Strong, decisive leader with excellent judgment and a willingness to take responsibility for the Association’s actions
  • Confident and effective meeting and discussion leader with an ability to facilitate communication with and among ALSC’s stakeholders, bring people to consensus, and translate consensus into meaningful action
  • Self-assured public speaker able to communicate ALSC’s key messages at conferences, meetings, and through various media outlets, including social online platforms and traditional print, radio, and television outlets
  • Resolute supporter of the membership, staff, and Board
  • A leader in service to the overall good of the Association without regard to personal goals or self-interest
  • The model for a culture of respect, inclusion, openness to new ideas, and innovation
  • A keen listener who seeks out information from ALSC’s stakeholders
  • A strong understanding of and appreciation for the value of sponsors and their contributions to ALSC

Capabilities & Experience

The President should demonstrate skills and experience in the following areas:

  • An ALSC member in good standing
  • Commitment to ALSC mission, core values, and goals
  • Previous volunteer leadership or Board experience
  • Strong record of participation in ALSC activities and programs
  • Ability to work effectively as a team member
  • Strong ability to lead and influence others
  • Strong communications skills, both oral and written
  • Skilled in use of social media to effectively communicate and engage with members
  • Exceptional integrity and work ethic
  • Experience in strategic planning, partnerships, PR and the development of sponsorship opportunities
  • Knowledge and understanding of the issues and challenges facing library service to children
  • Ability to honor the time and travel commitments needed to fulfill the President’s role, with full support from the President’s employer (if applicable)

Time Commitment


Members considering the position of Vice-President/President-Elect should understand that it is a three-year service commitment, involving different duties and responsibilities each year:

Year One: Vice-Present/President-Elect

Year Two: President

Year Three: Immediate Past-President


A summary of major responsibilities is listed below. For a detailed list of duties, please consult the calendars located in the Division Leadership Manual at: Additionally, a sample board conference meeting schedule can be obtained by contacting Anne Michaud, ALSC Program Coordinator, at


Based on the current Midwinter Meeting schedule, availability is required from Noon on Thursday to 8:00 p.m. on Monday, all three years.


Based on the current Annual Conference schedule, availability is required from Noon on Thursday to 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, all three years.


The Executive Committee meets in the fall, usually October, on a Friday and Saturday. Expect to arrive by Thursday afternoon or evening for an all-day meeting on Friday and to finish by 2:00 Saturday. This is subject to change depending on the strategic planning timeline.


Vice President/President-Elect Year

The Vice President/President-Elect is a member of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors, serves as the President in the President’s absence, and assumes the Presidency following the year served as Vice President/President-Elect. This year is a learning year, to ensure the candidate is up-to-date on all issues and activities upon assuming the presidency.


Division Responsibilities:

  • Represents ALSC by attending Inaugural event hosted by the ALA President-Elect (usually Tuesday a.m. of Annual Conference, prior to being seated as Vice-President)
  • Participates in weekly phone call (1 hour) with ALSC President and Executive Director.
  • Throughout the year, receives copies of all ALSC correspondence and sends copies of ALSC correspondence to the Executive Director and President.
  • Reads ALSC organizational manuals and refers to ALA policy manuals as needed.
  • Attends as many ALSC committee meetings as possible at Annual and Midwinter conferences.
  • Chairs meetings and represents the division when asked by the ALSC President.
  • Clears invitations with the President and Executive Director to avoid conflicts in scheduling.
  • Attends the Chief Elected Officer/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Symposium with the Executive Director (usually in November).
  • Represents ALSC by attending ALA/Division Leadership meetings and invited functions (e.g. lunch) during both conferences.


Division Committee Responsibilities:

  • In the early fall, appoints a Nominating and Leadership Development Committee, after checking with the ALSC Office regarding eligibility.
  • In February/March, makes appointments of committee chairs, members and representatives to serve during term as President. Appointments should be completed before Annual Conference, preferably by early May. It is particularly important that the incoming chairs be appointed early enough to plan on attending Annual Conference.
  • In addition to serving on the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors, the Vice President/President-Elect serves as a member of the Budget Committee.


ALA Committee Responsibilities:

  • The Vice President/President-Elect serves automatically on the ALA Committee on Appointments (making recommendations to the ALA President for ALA committees). Work begins in late summer.


Program Development Responsibilities:

  • Upon election, identifies Charlemae Rollins President’s Program topic. Plans for this program are developed during the year of vice-presidency in consultation with the planning committee co-chairs. The Rollins program is supported financially by ALSC’s Charlemae Rollins Endowment.
  • Responsible for developing program content and chairing the Leadership and ALSC meeting during the Annual Conference of the year of vice-presidency in consultation with the Executive Director.

ALSC Communication Responsibilities:

  • Prepares two columns (fall & spring) for the ALSC Matters newsletter

Presidential Year


Division Responsibilities:

  • Participates in weekly phone call (1 hour) with Vice-President/President-Elect and the Executive Director.
  • The President presides at all meetings of the division, the Board of Directors, and the Executive Committee, is responsible for the continuing program of the division, and serves as an ex-officio member of all committees, with the exception of the Nominating Committee, without the right to vote, except in the case of a tie.
    • Additionally, acts as co-host of the Joint Youth Reception during the Midwinter Meeting
    • Serves as division emcee during the Youth Media Awards Press Conference during Midwinter
    • Represents ALSC by attending ALA/Division Leadership meetings and invited functions (e.g. lunch) during both conferences
    • Serves as host of the Newbery-Caldecott-Legacy Banquet during Annual Conference
  • The President is responsible for appointing committee members or representatives according to the Fall and Spring appointment schedules, whenever posts become vacant during the year of presidency, or when new committees and task forces are formed
  • In August, makes appointments for the Arbuthnot Honor Lecture; Batchelder, Caldecott, Carnegie, Geisel, Newbery, Pura Belpré, Sibert, and Legacy Award Committees; Children and Libraries Editorial Advisory Committee, and Notable Committees.


Program Development Responsibilities:

Continues planning President’s Program with co-chairs; also, develops content for and chairs the Leadership and ALSC Meeting at Midwinter during presidential year.


ALSC Communication Responsibilities:

  • In the spring, mid-April, prepares an Annual Report (intro and outro, staff will provide content for review). This report is included in reports to the ALA Council at the Annual Conference. Prepares a quarterly column for the ALSC Matters! newsletter.
  • Exchanges correspondence with the Board, PGC, and committee chairs concerning arrangements for meetings, notice of meetings, and agenda. Uploading documents to ALA Connect and preparation and submission of the budget is carried out by the ALSC Executive Director under the direction of the President.
  • Copies of all presidential correspondence should be sent to the Vice President/President-Elect and ALSC Executive Director. Committee chairs and Priority Group Consultants should be copied based on content. Regularly corresponds with the Board of Directors.
  • Regularly communicates Association activities and progress to the membership via monthly blog posts and on social media (as appropriate).
  • Throughout the year the President acts as the spokesperson for the division and on issues related to library service to youth and is called upon to represent the division at various functions and for media interviews, and may be called upon to present programs at other ALA division conferences (such as PLA), or national and/or international conferences.


Immediate Past-President Year


The immediate Past-President serves as a member of the ALSC Executive Committee and the Board of Directors, helping to shape policy for the division and contributing, based on the experience, knowledge, and insight gained as President, to the future direction and leadership of ALSC.


Division Responsibilities:

  • The Past-President serves as a member of the Executive Committee.
  • The Past-President serves on the ALSC Budget Committee.
  • Writes a letter of evaluation on the ALSC Executive Director based on Board input after the Annual Conference that concludes presidency and moves to the immediate past-president position.
  • Contacts and leads a Past-Presidents’ gathering (as of this time, to be determined by the group).
  • The Past-President serves as a member of the Nominating Committee, usually as Chair, the year following term as Past President.



Expenses to attend meetings of the Executive Committee and Board during the Midwinter Meetings and Annual Conferences are the responsibility of the member. Members should keep in mind that the Board, on occasion, decides to come in a day early to meet before conference when additional work is needed on strategic planning or other projects.

ALSC covers the cost of the following expenses:

  • Executive Committee’s travel expenses to attend a fall meeting.
  • Any interim meetings scheduled for the Board between conferences. 
  • CEO Symposium attendance for the Vice-President
  • Arbuthnot Honor Lecture attendance for the President
  • Stakeholder and partner meetings arranged by the ALSC office.
  • President’s attendance at two conferences (additional travel and conferences may be identified, approved, and budgeted during vice-presidency)

The following expenses, which may be incurred while attending official meetings or events outside of ALA conferences, are generally covered:

  • Registration fee, if any
  • Ground transportation between home and airport (taxi, van, or car service, mileage/airport parking)
  • Ground transportation between airport and meeting site (taxi, van, or car service, public transportation)
  • Round trip air travel (coach class), round trip train fare; mileage
  • All meals not provided by ALSC (the ALA per diem should be used for meals: $10 breakfast, $15 lunch, and $25 dinner)