For immediate release | February 10, 2016

Smith and Wachsmann awarded 2016 Volunteer of the Year Award

CHICAGO – The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), awarded Tara Smith, Chair of the Publications Advisory Board and Melanie Wachsmann, administrative assistant of the Amazing Audiobooks Committee with the 2016 Volunteer of the Year Award.

The award acknowledges the contributions of YALSA members who have demonstrated outstanding service to the mission, goals and work of YALSA during a given service year.

“Tara was quick to organize the work of the group to keep the Publications Advisory Board moving forward,” said nominator, Linda Braun. “She is always focused and does not shy away from challenges. The work of the YALSA Publications Advisory Board is vitally important in supporting the overall mission and goals of the association. Smith’s leadership of the Publications Advisory Board is therefore essential in helping YALSA to succeed.”

Melanie Wachsmann, who is the administrative assistant on the Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults Committee, helped to keep the entire committee organized, managing multiple spreadsheets, doing substantial data entry, and contacting audiobook publishers, according to her nomination.

“Our list is stronger because of her attention to detail, and we're all happier because of her upbeat spirit and great sense of humor,” said Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults Committee Chair, Sarah Hashimoto. "Melanie is an amazing member of an amazing committee!”

Any official YALSA group or individual appointed to an official YALSA group is eligible for consideration for the Volunteer of the Year Award. For more information or to nominate someone, visit the Awards and Grants section of the YALSA website. Nomination forms are due no later than 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)