YALSA announces winners of Excellence in Library Service to Young Adults Project

YALSA recognized twenty-five exemplary teen programs and services from across the United States in the fifth round of its Excellence in Library Service to Young Adults project.

The top five programs will each receive a $1,000 cash prize while the remaining 20 "best of the rest" will each receive $250; all honorees will be included in the fifth edition of Excellence in Library Service to Young Adults, edited by Amy Alessio, to be published in the summer of 2008. Winners will also be featured in a program at the 2008 ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, Calif.

"We looked for outstanding, interesting, and original programs that could be adapted to libraries in a variety of circumstances," said Excellence Jury Chair RoseMary Honnold. "While all the submitted programs were successful, the programs chosen for Excellence are truly special in their creative and ingenious methods of reaching and serving teens."

Applications were judged on: the degree to which the program or service met the needs of its community, particularly the young adult audience it served; originality; the degree to which the program or service reflected the concepts identified in "New Directions for Library Service to Young Adults;" the degree to which it impacted and improved service to young adults; and quality.

The top five programs are:

  • The Hennepin County (Minn.) Library for its International Teen Club
  • Austin (Texas) Public Library for Second Chance Books
  • Cleveland Public Library for Teen Empowerment: A Motivational Summit
  • Alameda County (Calif.) Library for Teen/Senior Web Connection
  • The New Scotland Branch of the Albany (N.Y.) Public Library for its Skateboarding Discussion Group

The twenty "best of the rest" are:

  • Monroe County (N.Y.) Library System, Fairport Library Council and Fairport Central School District for the Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival
  • Loudoun County (Va.) Public Library for Hanging Out Rocks!
  • Homer (Ill.) Public Library District for Energy: A Teen Leadership Academy
  • Louisville (Ky.) Free Public Library for its Anime Con
  • Cheshire (Conn.) Public Library for its Teen Podcast
  • Randolph County (N.C.) Public Library for Teen Corner @ your library
  • Seward Park Branch, New York Public Library for its Teen Advisory Group Garden
  • West Covina Library, County of Los Angeles Library System for its Cultural Heritage Series for Young Adults
  • Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind, Blind Department, Staunton for its ABC Café© Audio Book Club
  • Fairfield Civic Center Branch of the Solano County (Calif.) Library for Teenie Boppers
  • Berkeley (Calif.) Public Library for its Vera Casey Parenting Class 
  • Prince George's County (Md.) Memorial Library System for its Outreach to the Crossroads Youth Opportunity Center
  • Alachua County (Fla.) Library District for Teen Artist of the Month
  • The New York Public Library for Classic Literature for Teenagers
  • Donnell Library Center, New York Public Library for its Anti-Prom
  • San José (Calif.) Public Library for San José Teen Idol
  • Livermore (Calif.) Public Library for its Teen Film Festival: An Independent View
  • East Jessamine (Ky.) Middle School for its Student Novel Nibbles Party
  • Deltona Regional Library, Volusia County, Fla. for The X-Room
  • Monroe County (Mich.) Library System for 2007: Year of the Teen

The Excellence in Library Service to Young Adults Project was started by ALA Past President Hardy Franklin in 1993. All five rounds of the project have been funded by the Margaret Alexander Edwards Trust. Edwards was a well-known and innovative young adult services librarian at Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Md., for more than 30 years.

For 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 www.ala.org/yalsa/booklists, or contact the YALSA office by phone, 800-545-2433, ext. 4390; or e-mail: yalsa@ala.org.