For immediate release | February 5, 2021

YALSA names recipients of its 2021 Volunteers of the Year Award

CHICAGO — The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) has named the recipients of its 2021 Volunteers of the Year Award. The award acknowledges the contributions of an individual YALSA member, YALSA chair or team lead, and YALSA group who have demonstrated outstanding service to the mission, goals and work of YALSA during a given service year. Each recipient will receive complimentary membership to YALSA for one year.

The recipients are as follows:

  • Gregory Lum, individual YALSA member
  • Molly Dettmann, Coordinator of YALSA’s 2021 Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers Blogging Team
  • The 2019 Outstanding Books for the College Bound Committee: Yolanda Hood, chair, University of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, PEI, Canada; Donna Steel Cook, Central ISD, Pollok, Texas; Kelsey Hughes, South Bowie Branch, Prince George's County Memorial Library System, Bowie, MD; Jane Nichols, Oregon State University Libraries and Press, Corvallis, OR; Jennifer Powell, Tarrant High School, Tarrant, AL. Jamie Watson, Baltimore County Public Library, Towson, MD.

“I am deeply humbled to be recognized by YALSA as this organization is run by dedicated volunteers from all around the country,” said Lum, Library Director at the Clark Library at Jesuit High School in Portland, OR. “I joined YALSA in 2002 and have enjoyed serving on many taskforces and selection committees with fine individuals who desire better library services for the people we serve – young adults.”

Molly Dettmann, Teacher Librarian at Norman (Oklahoma) North High School stated, "It is an absolute honor to receive this award and serve the 2021 Quick Picks Team. We created an amazing list of books in the middle of a pandemic and I consider this a win for all of us and our hard work!"

“We are truly honored to receive this award,” said the 2019 Outstanding Books for the College Bound Committee. “We were happy to have an opportunity to work on the 2019 Outstanding Books for the College Bound. Despite the challenges of a short timeframe to complete the work and all of us being on some form of lockdown due to Covid-19, we read more than we ever thought we could. We found ourselves looking forward to our weekly meetings as a time to enjoy our camaraderie, to celebrate books that opened our minds and to take respite in reading as acts of joy and social justice. We meshed well as a committee, which supported us to work efficiently and effectively, ultimately resulting in a list that we are so proud of.”

Any official YALSA group or individual appointed to an official YALSA group is eligible for consideration for the Volunteers 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 annually by Dec. 1.

The 2021 Volunteer of the Year Award Jury members are: Chair Jessica Hilbun Schwartz, Louisville Public Library, Louisville, CO; Betsy Fraser, Calgary Public Library, Calgary, AB, Canada; Jennie Randolph, Wake County Public Schools, Raleigh, NC; Caitlyn Seale, Mississauga, ON; and Carolyn Vidmar, Baltimore, MD.

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)