Sparks named YALSA’s 2017 Board Fellow

For Immediate Release
Thu, 02/02/2017


Anna Lam

Communications Specialist

Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)

CHICAGO — The Board of Directors of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA) chose Heather Sparks, LEAP Out-of-School Program Manager at the Free Library of Philadelphia (Pennsylvania) as its 2017-2018 Board Fellow. Sparks will start her term as board fellow in June.

The YALSA Board Fellow program gives one YALSA member an expanded opportunity to be involved in the leadership of the association. The selected candidate will serve a one-year term, from June to July of the next year, on the YALSA Board as a non-voting member. The fellow is expected to participate fully in the work of the Board, including attending and participating in all face-to-face and virtual meetings and discussions. The Fellow will receive a $500 stipend per conference to help defray travel, registration and hotel costs. Funding for this fellowship comes from Friends of YALSA.

“As board fellow, I hope to gain a deeper understanding of the structure of professional organizations, like YALSA, and discover ways to continue supporting the mission of YALSA,” said Sparks.

Sparks will have the opportunity to develop leadership, nonprofit management and administration skills; gain knowledge of the association and how associations work; determine if a longer-term leadership position in YALSA is of interest; and network with leaders.

More information and details on applying in the future can be found 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: