For immediate release | February 8, 2012

Schubert, Smallsreed receive YALSA’s 2012 Baker & Taylor Conference Grants

CHICAGO — The Baker & Taylor Conference Grant Committee of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), awarded the 2012 Baker & Taylor/YALSA Conference Grants to Heather Schubert and Susan J. Smallsreed. Each will receive up to $1,000 to attend the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, Calif., this summer.

The Baker & Taylor Conference Grant is awarded for first-time attendance at an Annual Conference. The recipients must be members of YALSA and must have between one and 10 years experience working with teenagers.

Heather Schubert has been a teacher-librarian at Hill Country Middle School in Austin, Texas, since 2008. She collaborates closely with teachers to provide information literacy instruction and reader’s advisory services for 950 sixth through eighth grade students. In addition, Heather works with her public library system to promote reading and teen programming and, for the past year, has volunteered at the local juvenile detention center, where she provides library services to two units of boys, ranging from 10 to 17 years of age. Three years ago, she brainstormed and coordinated the Austin Teen Book Festival, a free event that connects teen readers with young adult authors. The festival has grown from 16 authors and more than 500 attendees to 28 authors and more than 2,500 attendees. Heather’s drive and enthusiasm have impacted not only her own students, but also teen readers throughout the Austin area, and mark her as an exemplary teacher-librarian.

Susan J. Smallsreed has served as youth librarian for the Northwest Library branch of Multnomah County Library in Portland, Ore. since 2002. She collaborates closely with local schools, county agencies and local businesses and organizations to plan and provide programming for roughly 3,800 school-aged children. During 2011 alone, her branch hosted more than 1,000 youth programs that were attended by more than 12,000 children, teens and parents. Teen services include four monthly book clubs, 15 monthly outreach visits, two teen council meetings each month, two teen anime club meetings per month and bimonthly craft programs. Smallsreed is involved in ad hoc teen volunteer mentoring because she believes in young people and recognizes their need to contribute to their neighborhoods. She also shares ideas and resources statewide through her involvement in the Oregon Young Adult Network (OYAN). She has worked to change attitudes toward teen services by advocating for improved staff training, and she is proud of the increased opportunities for teen participation as a result of that. Her program director says that Smallsreed’s passion has helped to improve the quantity and quality of youth engagement at both the branch and system levels.

The YALSA Baker & Taylor Award Committee members are: Kathy Watson, chair, Fayette County Public Schools, Lexington, Ky.; Amy E. Sears, Teaneck (N.J.) Public Library; Katie LaMantia, Schaumburg (Ill.) Township District Library; Jacqueline Milliern, Mitchell (Ind.) Community Public Library; and Kate Toebbe, The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Ohio.


Stephanie Kuenn