ALA

Contact: Nicole Gilbert
312-280-4387
ngilbert@ala.org

For Immediate Release
January 2002

Patricia Suellentrop is the winner of the 2002 YALSA/Sagebrush Award

The 2002 Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)/Sagebrush Award for a Young Adult Reading or Literature Program was awarded to Patricia Suellentrop, young adult librarian for the Johnson County Library in Shawnee Mission, Kan. Suellentrop won the award for her "Read to Succeed: Serving Teens At Risk" program in the Johnson County Juvenile Detention Center. The program provides the center with a deposit collection of hundreds of paperback books, each bearing a "Read to Succeed" sticker.

Twice a month during the school year and once a week during the summer, Suellentrop and the youth outreach librarian, Kathy McLellan, visit the center to facilitate theme-based literature programs. Each 45-minute session includes book reviews, book talks and a read-aloud selection. Approximately 10 to 15 teen residents participate in each session, and because the clientele of the center shifts constantly, Suellentrop and McLellan serve approximately 1,200 residents a year.

In her application, Suellentrop reflected on the success of her program in initiating discussion of issues important to teens - peer pressure, betrayal, anger and prejudice - that involve both residents and JDC staff, and help promote communication between the two groups.

The Sagebrush Award provides $1,000 to support the recipient's attendance at the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference, to be held June 13-19 in Atlanta.

Each year the corporation offers a maximum of two awards that allow the winners to promote their local projects at the conference. Each winning project must promote reading or literature to teens in a significant, replicable program.

The Sagebrush Award winner is selected by the YALSA Outreach to Young Adults with Special Needs Committee of the ALA. The 2002 committee members are: Naomi Angier, Multnomah County Library, Portland, Ore.; Maureen Connelly, John C. Hart Memorial Library, Shrub Oak, N.Y.; Karen Heau, Queens Borough Public Library, Glen Oaks Branch, N.Y.; Doris Jackson, Atlanta-Fulton Public Library; Kimberly Paone, Free Public Library of Elizabeth, N.J.; Kevin Scanlon, Flint Public Library, Mich.; Annette Thibodeaux, Archbishop Chapelle High School, Metairie, La.; Kathy Richter, Chicago Public Library; Karen Tannenbaum, Evansville Vandenburgh Public Library, Evansville, Ind.; Lisa Youngblood, Harker Heights Public Library, Harker Heights, Texas.

For more information, visit the YALSA web site or contact the YALSA office: yalsa@ala.org; phone: 800-545-2433 x4390.