YALSA names first Spectrum Scholar, two 2009 Emerging Leaders

Stephanie Kuenn

YALSA Communications Specialist




For Immediate Release

September 30, 2008

CHICAGO — As part of its commitment to furthering young adult librarianship, the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), chose its first Spectrum Scholar as well as two Emerging Leaders for 2009. Jamie Young is YALSA’s Spectrum Scholar, and Carla Land and Katherine Voss are the division’s Emerging Leaders.

“The best way to further the profession is to sponsor opportunities for growth like both of these programs,” Sarah Cornish Debraski, YALSA president said. “The more well-trained young adult librarians and advocates there are, the better off teens are! YALSA is delighted to offer these opportunities to Jamie, Carla and Katherine.”

YALSA’s Spectrum Scholar, Jamie Young, is pursuing a master’s degree in library and information science at Drexel University in Philadelphia. She hopes to work with young adults at a public library after she graduates in 2011. YALSA is able to support a Spectrum Scholar for the first time as part of its 2008 diversity campaign.

“This is an invaluable opportunity for me,” Young said. “There is so much uncertainty in the lives of young adults. I feel like libraries have the ability to help address some of these issues, and when I go to work full time, I'd like to create an atmosphere and programming that welcome young adults to hang out and feel like they belong to a community. It's awesome to have an organization believe in me and my goals.”

YALSA’s Emerging Leaders are Carla Land and Katherine Voss. Land is the Children’s Services Department Head at the Summerlin Library of the Las Vegas-Clark County (Nev.) Public Library. Katherine is a Department Chair and Teacher Librarian at the Mary Institute and St. Louis (Mo.) Country Day School.

“Teens are underserved and often brushed aside by both adult and children’s services staff, and I hope that my involvement with the Emerging Leaders program will provide an opportunity for others to see just how necessary it is to keep teens a priority in libraries,” Land said.

Voss is likewise motivated, “As a school librarian, I am always looking for ways to make the library relevant to students' academic and social lives,” Voss said. “I am interested in finding ways to market the library more effectively and promote what librarians really do in the lives of youth: provide access to all kinds of information, teach information literacy skills and develop lifelong learners and readers.”

Established in 1997, the Spectrum Scholarship Program is ALA's national diversity and recruitment effort designed to address the specific issue of under-representation of critically needed ethnic librarians within the profession, while serving as a model for ways to bring attention to larger diversity issues in the future.

The Emerging Leaders program enables newer librarians from across the country to participate in workgroups, network with peers, gain an inside look into ALA's structure and have an opportunity to serve the profession in a leadership capacity. Emerging Leaders receive up to $1,000 each to participate in the Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference and each participant is expected to provide to years of service to ALA or one of its units. More than 100 librarians will get on the fast track to leadership in ALA and the profession in the 2009 program.

For more than 50 years, YALSA has been the world leader in selecting books, videos and audio books for teens. For more information about YALSA or for lists of recommended reading, viewing and listening, go to
www.ala.org/yalsa/booklists, or contact the YALSA office by phone, 800-545-2433, ext. 4390; or e-mail: