For immediate release | January 14, 2011

Barniskis wins Frances Henne/YALSA/VOYA Research Grant

CHICAGO — The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) awarded the 2011 Frances Henne/YALSA/VOYA Research Grant to Shannon Crawford Barniskis. This $1,000 grant will provide seed money for her research project, "Graffiti, Poetry, Dance: How Public Library Art Programs Affect Teens."

The research project will measure the degree to which arts programming in libraries affect teens’ levels of civic engagement. Barniskis seeks qualitative and quantitative data to show how libraries affect both teens and their communities through the arts. This research addresses the scarcity of outcome measures of teen library programming. It offers a starting point for evidence-based best practices and supplies a theoretical grounding for funding and administering arts programs for teens in public libraries.
“Research such as Barniskis’ has the potential to influence those in decision-making positions, influencing how arts programs are perceived and increasing the chances of continued funding for such programs,” said Melissa Zuckerman, committee chair. “Her research allows us to reexamine our assumptions about the Arts, providing us with the data necessary to educate and inform others and continue to move forward advocating for and serving teens.”
Barniskis is a youth services librarian at Horicon (Wis.) Public Library, who enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) in 2009 to obtain her MLIS. She was excited to hear that her proposal was selected.
“I see my work in public libraries and with teens as a social justice issue, and I am thrilled and honored to be the recipient of this grant so I may be able to support, even in a small way, one of the few American institutions that freely serves every person, irrespective of their socioeconomic status, religion, gender or age, without a pedagogical or religious agenda,” Barniskis said. “I am deeply grateful that this grant acts as an impetus to research the correlation between art’s connective properties and the civic engagement mission of the public library.”
The YALSA Research Committee members are: Chair Melissa Zuckerman, Weber County (Utah) Library System; Christian Zabriskie, Queens (N.Y.) Library; Rebecca J. Morris, University of Pittsburgh; Sarah Evans, University of Washington, Seattle; Kim Herrington, Pearland (Texas) Junior High West.
Guidelines for applying for the YALSA/VOYA/Henne Research Grant are available at Applications are due by Dec. 1, 2011.
For more than 50 years, YALSA has been the world leader in selecting books, videos and audiobooks 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,


Stephanie Kuenn