Five librarians win $1,000 Library Advocacy Day stipends from YALSA

For Immediate Release
Mon, 05/17/2010


Stephanie M Kuenn

CHICAGO — The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) named the recipients of stipends to attend Library Advocacy Day in Washington , D.C. on June 29, in conjunction with the American Library Association’s Annual Conference. The five YALSA members who received the stipends are:

  • Heather Gruenthal, school librarian, Western High School and Orangeview Junior High School, Anaheim, Calif.
  • Suzanne Larson, school librarian, Bartlett Junior-Senior High School, Webster, Mass.
  • Angie Manfredi, head of youth services, Los Alamos (N.M.) County Library System.
  • Susan Ridgeway, school librarian, Streetsboro (Ohio) City Schools.
  • Andrea Sowers, young adult librarian, Joliet (Ill.) Public Library.

The stipend will provide up to $1,000 to aid recipients with costs for attending the event, including travel and lodging. Applicants were selected based on their commitment to young adult library services, their learning goals for attending the event, financial need and how they will use the experience at their home institutions.

“Library Advocacy Day is one day in which librarians from around the country can speak as a single voice to let legislators know about the importance of libraries and the programs they provide,” said Linda W. Braun, YALSA president. “By funding these five members, YALSA is providing them with the opportunity to learn how to be successful advocates in their communities and to advocate at the national level. Congratulations to our five recipients.”

All five recipients indicated their enthusiasm for attending Library Advocacy Day:

  • “The only way I could do this is if I got the stipend, so I am super excited,” said Gruenthal. “I am jumping up and down.”
  • “I’m thrilled and honored that I’ll be going to Washington with all kinds of librarians and making our voices heard,” said Larson. “It’s so important that our legislators feel the strength and importance of what we do as a profession.”
  • “This is a chance for librarians to come together in the most important political place in our nation and really make a statement,” said Manfredi. “I’m looking forward to representing YALSA as we speak up for teens in libraries.”
  • “As a library media specialist, I’m finding that most people don’t understand how important libraries are and how they strengthen our democracy,” said Ridgeway. “I’m looking forward to demonstrating the importance of having books, resources and a qualified librarian is to young adults.”
  • “Without the stipend, I wouldn’t be able to stay an additional day and be part of Library Advocacy Day,” said Sowers. “Hearing library doors getting closed just breaks my heart, and I hope to learn ways to keep them open.”

Funding for this stipend is provided through the Friends of YALSA. Friends of YALSA was created to ensure excellence in the association's traditional programs and services to library workers serving teens and to support growth in new directions as our profession meets the exciting challenges of the twenty-first century. To learn more about Friends of YALSA, visit

For more than 50 years, YALSA has been the world leader in selecting books, videos and audio books for teens.  For more information about YALSA or for lists of recommended reading, viewing and listening, go to, or contact the YALSA office by phone, (800) 545-2433, ext. 4390, or e-mail,