Escobar awarded YALSA’s Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship Award

For Immediate Release
Tue, 06/18/2019


Anna Lam

Communications Specialist

Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)

CHICAGO — The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) has selected Kristie Escobar, a third-year doctoral student at the Florida State University's School of Information (iSchool), as the recipient of its new Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship Award.

Escobar’s research project focuses on the 2018 GLBRT Rainbow Book List Young Adult novel selections. In her three-paper dissertation, she will examine the diversity of the LBGTQAI+ protagonists of the young adult novels from the book list in order to gauge the representation of various demographics. Through thematic content analysis, she will explore themes such as discovering sexuality, coming out, dating, love, consent, and acceptance to ascertain whether these books could provide information important to LGBT young adults of middle and high school age. In the last section of her dissertation, she plans on sharing the thoughts of 15 young adults who have each read a novel from the book list as they discuss whether the books could have helped them as they discovered their sexuality.

“Myself and my study participants are very excited about the possibilities of this research,” said Escobar. “I hope that this dissertation will stress the importance of young adult fiction novels as everyday information resources, especially in environments where LGBTQAI+ issues are not discussed or examined.”

Escobar will receive up to $3,000 to cover expenses for her research project. Applications for the award are due March 1 of each year and is funded by YALSA’s Leadership Endowment. To learn more or to donate visit Learn more about the award and YALSA’s other awards and grants at  

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, or contact the YALSA office by phone, 800-545-2433, ext. 4390; or e-mail: