Duties and Responsibilities of Board Members

Board Responsibilities  I  Committee Liaison Responsibilities  I  Financial Responsibilities  I  ALA Policy

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

  • Serve the full length of your appointment.  For Directors-at-Large, this is 3 years (36 months).  For Board Fellows and Ex-Officio members, this is 1 year (12 months).
  • 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.
  • Serve on and participate in a standing board committee, and contribute year round to its work.
  • 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 and work during and between meetings, including those of standing board committees
  • 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 Robert's Rules of Order.
  • 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 Organizational Plan, Business Plan and Handbook
  • 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
    • All Board of Director’s Meetings
    • Joint ALSC/YALSA Membership Reception (Midwinter)
    • YALSA Membership Meeting (Annual)
  • 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 in early June of each year. The President-Elect will notify both incoming and current Board members and committee chairs of the Board liaison assignmentsBoard and staff liaison responsibilities are outlined in the Role of Liaisons document (.pdf).

III. Financial Responsibilities

Meetings: all Board members, as per not-for-profit best practice, do not receive financial compensation for serving on the Board or for attending meetings, which take place at ALA's Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference.  That includes conference registration, travel and hotel.  The individual is on his/her own to cover the cost of that.  There is an exception for the President for YALSA’s Symposium and ticketed events.  As part of negotiations with the hotel, YALSA obtains a small number of free hotel rooms (sliding scale based on attendance), and YALSA tries to reserve one of those for the President.  Additionally, the President must speak at several ticketed events at conferences, and as a speaker he/she is not charged the ticket fee.

Donations: all Board members, per the Board Member Contract, are asked to donate to YALSA annually at a level that is meaningful to them.

YALSA covers the cost of the following for board members:

  • Annual membership in BoardSource
  • Association and not-for-profit leadership materials and trainings
  • When available, grant funds can be used in certain instances to cover the cost of travel, hotel, registration, etc. to send a board member to present at a state, regional or non-library conference about a grant related project
  • For Executive Committee Members only: all costs related to attending the Division President Elect’s Training & Fall Executive Committee meeting in Chicago each October
  • For the President only: all costs related to attending National Library Legislative Day

IV. 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: