Contact: Nichole Gilbert
For Immediate Release
January 30, 2004

Diane Tuccillo is the winner of the 2004 YALSA/Sagebrush Award

CHICAGO -- The 2004 Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)/Sagebrush Award for a Young Adult Reading or Literature Program is awarded to Diane P. Tuccillo, young adult coordinator, City of Mesa Library, Ariz.  Tuccillo won the award for the Open Shelf newsletter which encourages reading through peer reviews.

The program began in 1977, when the Young Adult section was added to the City of Mesa Library, including a 12-member Young Adult Advisory Council (YAAC). In its 27-year history, the YAAC has reached countless numbers of teens. The group meets twice a month to review and discuss books they have read, to write reviews for Open Shelf, and to work on other book and literature promotional projects for teens.

In addition to avid readers, Tuccillo indicated that the program has been effective in reaching at-risk teens.  Through monthly YAAC meetings, teens can interact with one another and create peer reviews for the newsletter.  As a requirement of membership, members are expected to read 20 books during a six-month period.  They also assist in library program development.
The Sagebrush Award provides $1,000 to support the recipient's attendance at the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference, to be held June 24-30 in Orlando, Fla.

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 is selected by the YALSA Outreach to Teens with Special Needs Committee of ALA.  The 2004 committee members are: Kevin Scanlon, Canton Michigan Public Library; Maureen Connelly, John C. Hart Memorial Library, Shrub Oak, Nev.; Kristen Fletcher-Spear, Foothills Branch Library, Glendale, Ariz.; Molly M. Collins, Irondequoit Public Library, Rochester, N.Y.; Doris C. Jackson, Atlanta-Fulton County Public Library, Atlanta, Ga.; Katherine J. Richter, Chicago Public Library, Ill.; Bette Silverman, Lincolnwood Public Library, Lincolnwood, Ill.; Patricia A. Sullentrop, Johnson County Library, Johnson County, Kan.; Rebecca Swensen, Boca Raton Public Library, Boca Raton, Fla.; Lisa Youngblood, Harker Heights, Texas Public Library, Harker Heights, Texas.

For more information, visit the YALSA Web site at or contact the YALSA office: e-mail; phone 800-545-2433, ext. 4390.