For immediate release | September 11, 2018

Pilot cohort of YALSA’s Train the Trainer project announced

CHICAGO — The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) has announced the pilot cohort of its Train the Trainer (TTT) project. The three-year project is being implemented in partnership with the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA) and is generously funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Over the three year timeline, the project will bring together state library agency (SLA) youth consultants and frontline library staff from each U.S. state/territory for a robust training program that aims to help them build connected learning (CL), computational thinking (CT), cultural competence, and other skills so they can better serve and meet the learning needs of youth in their communities.

Five state library agencies and front-line staff from local libraries in those states were selected to participate in the pilot year of the project. Participants will attend a face-to-face meeting in early October 2018 and then design and facilitate training for library staff in their state over the next three years.

Participants of the pilot cohort are:


  • Gail Sheldon; Alabama Public Library Service
  • Lance Simpson; Tuscaloosa Public Library


  • Christina Dorman; Maine State Library
  • Will Brown; Falmouth Public Library


  • Leah Larsen; State Library Services, Minnesota Department of Education
  • Andrea Egbert; Anoka Public Library

Rhode Island

  • Danielle Margarida; Rhode Island Office of Library and Information Services
  • Rebecca Ott; Tiverton Public Library


  • Tessa Schmidt; Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, Division for Libraries and Technology
  • Caitlin Schaffer; Oconomowoc Public Library
  • Laurie Freund; Bridges Library System
  • Angela Myers; Bridges Library System

After the pilot session, the project will train an additional 50 state library agency (SLA) staff and 50 frontline library staff to deliver continuing education (CE) to other library staff in their state, who will in turn provide programs and services for/with youth, with a special focus on underrepresented youth. All train the trainer (TTT) sessions will take place via in-person and online meetings in Years 1 and 2. Each of the 110 TTT library staff trained through this project will then plan, implement, and evaluate at least five training sessions in their state.

To learn more about the project, please visit

COSLA is an independent organization of the chief officers of state and territorial agencies designated as the state library administrative agency and responsible for statewide library development. Its purpose is to provide leadership on issues of common concern and national interest; to further state library agency relationships with federal government and national organizations; and to initiate cooperative action for the improvement of library services to the people of the United States.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s approximately 120,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

The mission of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) is to support library staff in alleviating the challenges teens face, and in putting all teens ‒ especially those with the greatest needs ‒ on the path to successful and fulfilling lives. 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)