For immediate release | March 12, 2013

Harwood, Kamalipour and Woody receive YALSA’s Conference Scholarship Grants

CHICAGO - The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), awarded 2013 Baker & Taylor/YALSA Conference Grants to Abby Harwood and Juanita Kamalipour. The Dorothy Broderick Student Scholarship was awarded to Lauren Woody. Each will receive up to $1,000 to attend the 2013 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago this summer.

The Baker & Taylor Conference Grant is awarded for first-time attendance at an Annual Conference. The recipients must be YALSA members and have between one and 10 years experience working with teenagers. The Dorothy Broderick Student Scholarship is funded by YALSA's Leadership Endowment and given to a graduate student attending the conference for the first time.

Abby Harwood has been a teen services librarian at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh since 2011. She coordinates school and group visit requests to Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s Main Library and makes bi-monthly, middle school and high school lunch room visits. This lunchroom-based outreach effort, “CAPA Cool Kids,” was selected as an example of a model program for teen services by the Pennsylvania Library Association’s Award for Best Practice in Young Adult Service. In addition to leading recreational and creative teen programs, Harwood has developed and led SAT and College Resources workshops for teens, parents and educators. Harwood continuously advocates, ensuring teens are receiving high quality customer services regardless of the library they visit or staff member they approach. Her drive and passion for teen services librarianship have impacted both her coworkers and the teens that she serves.

Prior to her career as a public services librarian at the El Paso Public Library--Esperanza Acosta Moreno Regional Branch Library, JuanitaKamalipour served as an educator for 20 years. She frequently communicates with school librarians and educators in the nearby school district and has given workshops at various middle schools and high schools on Young Adult programming and librarianship. Kamalipour is also a member of the Money Smart Education committee and has turned the week long campaign into an all-year event for her community. The campaign has provided the opportunity to promote financial literacy, teen programming and leisure reading. In addition, Kamalipour has played in integral role in providing diverse programs to youth, including workshops and programs that promote library services to the Spanish speaking community.

Lauren Woody, a student at the University of Washington – Information School, plans to expand her network of fellow young adult librarians, exchange ideas and increase her knowledge around current library trends and issues while attending the Annual Conference in Chicago. Woody believes that being a teen ally in a library setting means recognizing that youth fall under ALA’s “Library Bill of Rights” and that they have a right to information, intellectual freedom and are protected by the First Amendment. This means not marginalizing, tokenizing or patronizing young people. Woody believes being an advocate can sometimes mean reminding adults of how to be a good ally, especially in times of decision-making, and representing teens well in situations in which they are unable to have a voice.

The YALSA Travel Scholarships Jury, who selected these winners are: Anna Pederson, chair, Schaumburg (Ill.) Township District Library; Joy Kim, Pierce County Library System, Parkland / Spanaway Branch, Tacoma, Wash.; Katie LaMantia, Schaumburg (Ill.) Township District Library, Karen Neal, Drake Community Library, Grinnell, Iowa; and Angela M. Ungaro, Brooklyn (N.Y.) Friends School.

Applications for the 2014 Baker and Taylor grant can be found in the Awards and grants for Members section of the YALSA web site at Applications are due Dec. 1.

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

1-800-545-2433 ext.2128