Scope & Responsibility of the Board

YALSA’s board of directors has the principal responsibility for fulfillment of YALSA's mission and the legal accountability for its operations. To learn about what YALSA does, check out this infographic (.pdf). The board has specific fiduciary duties of care, loyalty, and obedience to the law. As a group they are in charge of:

  • establishing a clear organizational mission
  • forming the strategic plan to accomplish the mission
  • overseeing and evaluating the plan's success
  • providing general support to the executive director and the president
  • functioning as an incubator and feedback mechanism for board, committee, and member proposals
  • establishing and maintaining a board culture that is open, inclusive and promotes generative thinking
  • hiring a competent executive director
  • reviewing and updating the executive director succession plan
  • providing adequate supervision to the executive director 

In turn, the executive director works to ensure the financial solvency of the organization, interprets and represents the organization to the community, and within the ALA framework institutes a fair system of policies and procedures for staff management. 

The board accomplishes its functions through regular meetings and by establishing and supporting a member committee structure that is appropriate to the size of the organization.  The board makes decisions as a group, and works virtually year-round via several standing board committees.  There is one board committee for each goal in the strategic planThe board periodically conducts a self-evaluation and regularly reviews its own composition to ensure diversity (as defined by ALA/YALSA), constituent representation, board expertise, and commitment.  The board also helps the ALA Senior Associate Executive Director with evaluating and determining compensation for YALSA’s executive director.

All Officers and Board Members-at-Large serve three-year (36 month) terms on the Board.  YALSA offers a one-year fellowship for individuals interested in participating in the work of the board.  Applications are due each year by December 1st.  Details and an application form are available from the Awards & Grants for Members portion of the web site.

For more information about the basic responsibilities of a not-for-profit board of directors, read the Ten Basic Responsibilities of Nonprofit Boards.  For more information about YALSA’s Board of Directors, visit the Governance page of YALSA’s web site or contact the Executive Director.

Additional Information

Board Members
Responsibility of Board Members
Board Meeting Agendas, Documents and Minutes
Request for Board Action Form
Benefits of Board Membership