Cawthon named YALSA’s 2021 MAE Award winner

For Immediate Release
Fri, 02/05/2021


Anna Lam

Communications Specialist

Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)

CHICAGO — The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) has awarded Amanda Cawthon, Youth Services Librarian at Pflugerville (Texas) Public Library its 2021 Margaret A. Edwards (MAE) Award for Best Literature Program for Teens for her DiversiTeen Book Club Program. Cawthon will receive a $500 award for herself and an additional $500 for her library.

“The DiversiTeen Book Club began as a way to encourage teens to celebrate the diversity in YA literature and the world around them while also giving them a safe space to talk about their own life experiences,” said Cawthon. “Over time, the teens have taken ownership over their club by making book selections and taking the lead in discussions. Even through the pandemic, the club has continued to welcome new members as they meet virtually each month to talk about books and life.”

The MAE Award honors a YALSA member for developing an outstanding literacy, reading or literature program for and with young adults and is sponsored by the Margaret A. Edwards Trust. Recipients receive $500 and an additional $500 for their libraries. The application form for the MAE Award for Best Literature Program is available in the Grants and Awards section of the YALSA website. Applications must be received by Dec. 1, 2021.

The 2021 MAE Award Jury members are: Chair Bethany Martin, Trinity School, New York, NY; Heather Beverley, Cook Memorial Public Library District, Libertyville, IL; Ariella Mason, Fresno County Public Library, Fresno, CA; Josie Snow, Ruby Sisson Library, Pagosa Springs, CO; and Barbara Whiston, Loyola High School, Montreal, QC, Canada.

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: