For immediate release | March 17, 2014

Kurz, Lechuga, Levin receive YALSA’s YA Advocacy Travel Stipends to attend National Library Legislative Day

CHICAGO — The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), selected Robin Kurz, Lisa Lechuga and Sarah Levin as the recipients of stipends to attend ALA’s 40th annual National Library Legislative Day (NLLD), May 5-6, 2014 in Washington, D.C.

“We are pleased to send Robin, Lisa, and Sarah to Legislative Day for the opportunity to get the word out on all the hard work YALSA members do to ensure the teens in their community have access to excellent library services and resources,” said YALSA President Shannon Peterson. “We look forward to explaining how imperative library funding is to teens across the U.S. and the great impact it has on the legislators’ constituents.”

YALSA’s YA Advocacy Travel Stipend of $1,000 will provide recipients with funds to defray the cost of event registration, travel expenses, hotel accommodations, meals and other travel expenses. Funds for the travel stipend are provided by the Friends of YALSA.

NLLD is a two-day advocacy event, during which hundreds of library supporters, leaders and patrons meet with their members of Congress to champion national library funding. Briefing Day features sessions on the issues affecting libraries in Congress. Attendees will hear from Congressional staff, legal experts, lobbyists, ALA staff and others. The following day participants meet with legislators and their staff.

Kurz is the public libraries and teen library services faculty member at the School of Library & Information Science Louisiana State University. She will work with the Louisiana State Library to provide a free state-wide workshop on advocating for teen services at all levels following Legislative Day. “On a more informal level, I will share what I have learned with librarians I meet both on campus and off campus,” said Kurz.

In her work as Youth Services Librarian at the Port Orchard Branch of the Kitsap (Wash.) Regional Library, Lechuga witnesses how library services enrich and improve young adult lives in the community. “By attending Legislative Day, I hope to inform staff and management of national library advocacy initiatives and share effective library advocacy strategies,” said Lechuga. “I will implement two workshops, so our teens and families so have an opportunity to engage as citizens and feel empowered to support their community library branch.”

As vice president of the Bay Area Independent School Librarians, Levin will bring information gained during Legislative Day back to her network of Northern California librarians. “I want to be an advocate and learn about how I can serve the greater library community,” said Levin. “I think attending will make me a better ALA community member and enhance my understanding of library issues on the national level.”

Library advocates who cannot make it to Capitol Hill for the event can be a part of the effort by calling and/or emailing their elected officials as part of Virtual Library Legislative Day. Activities, including YALSA’s Tweet your Congressperson effort, will be held throughout the week of May 5-9, 2014, providing an opportunity for all library advocates to make their voices heard on a national level.

For more than 50 years, YALSA has worked to build the capacity of libraries and librarians to engage, serve and empower teens. 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:


Jaclyn Finneke

Communications Manager

Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)