YALSA announces 2007 Sagebrush Grant winner

Contact: Nichole Gilbert
For Immediate Release
January 30, 2007

YALSA announces 2007 Sagebrush Grant winner

(Chicago) The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), the fastest growing division of the American Library Association (ALA), is pleased to announce that Joanna Peled has won the 2007 YALSA/Sagebrush Award for a Young Adult Reading or Literature Program.

Peled, a librarian with Tucson-Pima (Ariz.) Public Library, has won for her program, “That’s My Take,” an innovative program where teens produce movie trailers of their favorite books.

Peled noted in her winning application that, “Teens love movies. They will often watch a movie rather than read a book.” She turned that love of movies into a venue for joining books and teens. The inspiration for the program came from a group of attention seeking teens in the library that needed an outlet for their energy. Rather than ask them to leave the library, Peled approached them and offered the opportunity to work on the “That’s My Take” project. What started as brief written descriptions of their favorite books grew into a project that brought together the library, Tucson 12- the City Channel, and the Metropolitan Education Commission’s Youth Advisory Council/Tucson Teen Congress. Six trailers were created, covering books both classic and modern, in English and in Spanish. The teens were involved of every aspect of the program including choosing the books, writing the trailers, creating the storyboards, and acting.

The effects of this program are far reaching. Not only have the teens that worked on the project expressed increased confidence, work skills, and patience, many more teens have been reached by televising of the movie trailers created, access to the trailers online, and the fact that libraries around Tucson and in other states are viewing the trailers and working to reproduce the program. Peled encourages others to try programs like this one, adding: “It’s very reproducible, you just have to let the teens do it…the thing is to listen to the teens.” To learn more about the project and view the trailers, visit: http://www.lib.ci.tucson.az.us/teenzone/trailers.

The YALSA/Sagebrush Award provides $1,000 to support the recipient’s attendance at the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference, to be held June 21-27, in Washington, D.C. Each year the corporation offers this award to allow the winner to promote reading or literature to teens in a significant, replicable program.

“We had an amazing group of applicants this year. Teens are doing exciting things at libraries across the country!” said Cara Kinsey, chair of the YALSA/Sagebrush Award Jury.

The 2007 YALSA/Sagebrush Award Jury members are: Cara Kinsey, chair, New York Public Library; Nicole Redmond, librarian for Rockwall Independent School District (Rockwall, Texas); Diane Tuccillo, retired YA coordinator of and volunteer at City of Mesa Library (Mesa, Ariz.); Victoria Vogel, Rocky River (Ohio) Public Library; and Lisa Youngblood, library director of the Harker Heights Public Library (Harker Heights, Texas).

For 50 years, YALSA has been the world leader in selecting books, videos, and audiobooks for teens. For more information about these awards or for additional lists of recommended reading, go to www.ala.org/yalsa/booklists. For more information about YALSA, please contact us via e-mail, yalsa@ala.org; or by phone at 1-800-545-2433 ext. 4390.