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Libraries Win Funding For Their Teen Programming Ideas at YALSA’s 2016 YA Services Symposium

CHICAGO, IL — The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) has selected the winners of its Symposium Programming Challenge. A total of three first place winners and one honorable mention were selected.

Winners were selected at YALSA’s 2016 YA Services Symposium which took place Nov. 4-6 in Pittsburgh, PA via a “shark tank” like setup where attendees pitched their ideas to a panel of judges.

The winners, along with the honorable mention recipient are:

  • Gabbie Barnes and Tricia George; Hartford (Connecticut) Public Library
  • Gail Bruce; Laurel (Delaware) Public Library
  • Devera Chandler; Winder (Georgia) Public Library (honorable mention)
  • Oscar Gittemeier; Atlanta-Fulton Public Library; Atlanta, GA

Each winner will receive a monetary award of $1,500 to help fund their program and the honorable mention recipient will receive $500. Funding for the challenge was provided generously through a grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation.

“It was wonderful to hear how YALSA Symposium attendees were inspired to make a pitch for their teens!” said YALSA President Sarah Hill. “Thanks to the sponsorship of Dollar General and the innovation of these librarians, even more YALSA members will be able to emulate the programming ideas into their own communities.”

A total of 17 programs were pitched and the programs were judged according to the following criteria: 

Judges were Sarah Amazing, Teen Librarian, at the Warren-Trumbull County (Ohio) Public Library; Sandra Hughes-Hassell, professor at the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and Crystle Martin, postdoctoral research fellow for the Connected Learning Research Network at the Digital Media and Learning Hub at University of California, Irvine.

Winning programs will be included on YALSA’s programming site, Teen Programming HQ. To learn more about the Teen Programming HQ and how to contribute to the site, visit hq.yalsa.net.

The mission of Teen Programming HQ is to provide a one-stop-shop for finding and sharing information about library programs of all kinds for and with teens. It also promotes best practices in programming by featuring user-submitted programs that align with YALSA’s Teen Programming Guidelines, Futures Report, and new mission statement and enables members and the library community to connect with one another to support and display their efforts to continuously improve their teen programs.

The mission of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) is to support library staff in alleviating the challenges teens face, and in putting all teens ‒ especially those with the greatest needs ‒ on the path to successful and fulfilling lives. For more information about YALSA or to access national guidelines and other resources go to www.ala.org/yalsa, or contact the YALSA office by phone, 800-545-2433, ext. 4390; or e-mail: yalsa@ala.org.

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