Marsh and Austin win 2017 Baker & Taylor Collection Development Grants

CHICAGO — Katelyn Marsh and Jeanie Austin were chosen as the recipients of the 2017 Baker & Taylor Collection Development Grant, administered by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA).

Katelyn Marsh is the Library Director/Teen Services Librarian at Merriam-Gilbert Public Library (Massachusetts). Jeanie Austin is a PhD candidate with the iSchool at UIUC and partnered with QTY Treehouse (California), an organization that provides a number of resources to queer and transgender youth of color. Each recipient will receive a grant of $1,000, donated by Baker & Taylor, for collection development.

Marsh’s young adult collection consists of many outdated items, contains little diversity, and has only one shelf of nonfiction. With the grant, Marsh will purchase mostly nonfiction items to update and diversify the collection, as well as purchase fiction books with main characters from varied backgrounds.

“It is absolutely imperative that a library's collection be as inclusive and diverse as possible. All patrons deserve to be able to find themselves in a book,” says Marsh. “I would argue that this is especially important for teenagers, who are at an age when they are exploring and discovering who they are, who they want to become, and what effect they wish to have on the world.”

QTY Treehouse contains a library embedded in a location that also provides clothing, academic and employment support, a safe space, and sexual health and community resources. With the grant, Austin will be able to replace worn materials, purchase duplicate copies of materials with high interest, and novels with LGBTQ+ main characters.

“Youth have stated that they feel affirmed by the representativeness of the collection […] and have expressed large amounts of gratitude when encountering the library collection,” says Austin. “Grant funding will benefit youth in the area by extending the scope of the library and increasing the amount of intersectional identities in the collection. It will allow the library to be a living piece of services to LGBTQ+ youth of color in Oakland.”

More information about the Baker and Taylor/YALSA Collection Development Grant, including the application for the next round of the grant, is available on the YALSA Awards and Grants website, www.ala.org/yalsa/awards&grants. Applications must be submitted online by Dec. 1, 2017.

The 2017 Baker & Taylor Collection Development Grant Jury members are: Chair Sara Ray, Simsbury Public Library, Simsbury, CT; Ashley Trew, Roseville Public Library, Roseville, CA; Rachel Kercher, Leach Public Library, Wahpeton, ND; Kim Farnsworth, Sacramento Public Library, Sacramento, CA; Kacy Helwick, New Orleans Public Library, New Orleans, LA.

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.

Nichole O'Connor
Program Officer
noconnor@ala.org
Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)