For immediate release | February 10, 2016

Bortolussi and Kilcullen win Baker & Taylor Collection Development Grants

CHICAGO — Denise Bortolussi and Anna Kilcullen were chosen as the recipients of the 2016 Baker & Taylor Collection Development Grant, administered by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA).

Denise Bortolussi is a librarian at Lago Vista (Texas) Public Library and Anna Kilcullen is a young adult librarian at Scranton (Pennsylvania) Public Library. Each recipient will receive a grant of $1,000, donated by Baker & Taylor, for collection development.

Bortolussi’s young adult collection consists of mostly donated books while collection development funds are provided solely from fundraising efforts of their Friends of the Library group. With the grant, Bortolussi will purchase YA fiction of all genres, both books in print and ebooks.

“Our YA collection is the only show in town for our youth; the high school library was not funded when the school district built a new high school to save money due to state budget cuts,” said Bortolussi. “The benefit of this grant is like winning the lottery for our YA collection!”

Kilcullen’s branch library, Library Express, is housed directly in a mall. It is a hybrid – half bookstore, half library, with the young adult collection consisting of hand me downs from other branches. With the grant, Kilcullen will be able to provide the branch with modern classics, such as the Hunger Games trilogy, a few ebooks, Playaways, and help establish a non-fiction collection.

“It is our desire to have a robust teen collection at the Library Express that reflects the appetites of the teens that live in the city of Scranton,” said Kilcullen. “There is no doubt that with a 21st Century collection to use, our teens will benefit both educationally and developmentally on a personal, as well as communal level.”

The 2016 Baker & Taylor Collection Development Grant Jury members are: Chair Sara Ray, Simsbury Public Library, Simsbury, CT; Kathleen Conger, Saint Paul Public Library, St. Paul, MN; Llyr Heller, Los Angeles Public Library, Los Angeles, CA; Chelsea Couillard-Smith, Hennepin County Library, Minnetonka, MN; and Katherine Tigges, Chicago Public Library, Chicago, IL.

More information about the Baker and Taylor/YALSA Collection Development Grant, including the application for the next round of the grant, is available on the YALSA Awards and Grants website, Applications must be submitted online by Dec. 1, 2016.

For more than 50 years, YALSA has worked to build the capacity of libraries and library staff 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:


Anna Lam

Communications Specialist

Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)