YALSA holds annual elections in conjunction with the ALA Elections. Each year, YALSA elects a division President-Elect, Board members and, depending on the year, a Division Councilor, Fiscal Officer and Secretary. YALSA's Board Development Committee starts building a slate of candidates 14 months prior to the election. If you are interested in running, please contact the Board Development Committee Chair or the YALSA Office for more information. For information on governance, visit the YALSA Handbook and read the Election FAQ.
2021 Election Slate
Ballot emailing for the 2021 ALA election will begin on March 8, 2021. The election will close April 7, 2021. Learn more.
YALSA Division Councilor
Learn more about each candidate via interviews on YALSA's blog, the YALSAblog.
2020 Election Results
President-Elect (3-year term)
Fiscal Officer (3-year term)
Directors at Large (3-year term)
Nominate other YALSA members or submit your own name for any of the positions appearing on the YALSA election ballot. YALSA’s Board Development Committee begins their work January 1st each year and they must finalize the slate by August of each year.
YALSA asks those interested in running for office to fill out the Governance Candidacy Form
To nominate yourself or others to be a candidate for one of these elected positions you must submit a form.
Individuals who wish to run in the election, but who do not receive a nomination by either of the committees, may do so as a petition candidate. Petition forms are due each October (date varies, depending on the actual election date).
Let the Board Development Committee know you are interested in running for office.
- Submit the Governance Candidacy Form to let the committee know that you are interested in running for office.
- Don’t be afraid to nominate yourself! As the membership gets bigger the Board Development Committee’s job gets harder. Make their job easier by not making them find you!
- "Serving on the YALSA Board and as Fiscal Officer was a good fit for me, because I like to know what is going on and to help behind the scenes. I gained lots of experience with management skills and working with lots of different personalities. I got to work on many things I enjoy such as mentoring, marketing, training, developing new ideas and planning events. It taught me a great deal about the workings of ALA and YALSA’s place in that organization and outside of the library industry. My work at the Schaumburg Township Library grew to a focus as many of those skills translated to new community partnerships, new teen groups with different management styles, new services following the trends of those in other libraries across the country that I may never have learned about without this experience. Now I have taken that experience and begun working with other genre organizations and conferences, though I still enjoy volunteering on committees for YALSA." —Amy Alessio
- "I’ve been lucky enough to have served YALSA in a variety of capacities ranging from committee work to chairing the Printz committee to serving as President in 1996-97. Each of these service opportunities has been among the most personally and professionally rewarding of my career – personally since they gave me an opportunity to meet wonderful people who have become some of my closest friends and professionally because each of them gave me an opportunity to make a difference both in the profession and also in the lives of young adults and the wonderful literature that can make such a difference in their lives. Do yourself a favor and become a YALSA candidate. It’ll make a difference in your life, too!" —Michael Cart
- "At times in our library careers, we’re offered 'growth opportunities,' and serving as YALSA President is one of those opportunities. Yes, the three-year term involves a lot of work and yes, ALA can find you for those quotes or responses to reporters no matter where you are, but you’ll never have a more exciting or worthwhile opportunity than to serve YALSA in this capacity. If you love libraries, young people, and YALSA—serving as its President is a given. You, the Board with whom you work, and the policies enacted to move YALSA forward contribute to the betterment of library service to teens for a long time. And best of all, you remain a Past President forever." —Pam Spencer Holley
- "I was the 2004 – 2005 YALSA President. During my tenure as vice president, president, and past president, I made great strides in the following skill areas: communicating effectively, exhibiting positive leadership traits, producing results, excelling in a 'team' environment, and successfully managing/guiding others. Thanks to YALSA, I’ve learned how to effectively advocate for teen services in public and school libraries in the United States and internationally."—David Mowery
- "My years of service with YALSA always bring to mind the Beatles’ quote, 'The love you take is equal to the love you make' because there was a balance, an equitable give and take, between my opportunities to simultaneously learn and teach. I was able to share my experiences and viewpoints with others as I absorbed their knowledge and benefited from their experiences. YALSA grew me, professionally; I hope my contributions moved others forward as well." —Joel Shoemaker
- Talk to someone who has held the position recently. To view a current list of Board members, which includes the President-Elect and the Division Councilor, go to the Board page on YALSA's web site.
- Contact the Board Development Committee Chair to ask any questions that you may have.
- There are lots of issues for you to consider before you throw your hat in the ring.
- If you're not sure you're ready to commit to a three year board term, consider YALSA's Board Fellow program instead.
- Submitting a Nomination Form does not guarantee that you will be a candidate for an elected position.
- Before determining the final slate of candidates, the Board Development Committee evaluates each nominee to determine who will be the best candidates for that year. Some factors the committee considers are: are you over-committed in YALSA, ALA or your state associations; do you have a good track record in your past YALSA volunteer work; do you need to gather more experience before running for an office?
- If you are not selected as a candidate by the Board Development Committee, but still want to run, you can submit a petition to add your name to the ballot. The petition is available from the Handbook section of the YALSA web site. You may also be encouraged to submit a Committee Volunteer Form for now with encouragement to submit a Nomination Form again next year.
Questions? Find Answers
Read the Election FAQ. Also, here's who to contact to find out answers about running for office:
- The Board Development Chair, Sarah Hill
- The Current President-Elect, President or Past President- any one of these three individuals knows the process (because they’ve been through it) and can direct you to whom you need to contact. If you want information about a specific office, try contacting someone holding it presently. They’ll be glad to tell you what they know!
- The YALSA Office will also direct you to whom you need to speak. Call 1.800.545.2433 x4390 or firstname.lastname@example.org
YALSA holds elections in conjunction with the ALA Elections each year. Each year YALSA elects a division President-Elect, Board members, certain award committee members and, depending on the year, a Division Councilor, Fiscal Officer and Secretary. YALSA's Board Development Committee starts building a slate of candidates 14 months prior to the election. If you are interested in running, please contact the Board Development Committee Chair or the YALSA Office for more information. For information on governance, visit the YALSA Handbook.