YALSA names 2008 Baker & Taylor Scholarship winners

Contact: Stephanie Kuenn

Communications Specialist, YALSA

(312) 280-2128

For Immediate Release,

January 29, 2008

YALSA names 2008 Baker & Taylor Scholarship winners

CHICAGO - The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), the fastest-growing division of the American Library Association (ALA), named Sudi Q. Napalan and Charlene Helsel-Kather the recipients of the 2008 Baker & Taylor Conference Grant. Each will receive a $1,000 grant to attend the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, Calif., June 26-July 2.

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

Napalan is the school library media specialist at Saipan Southern High School in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. In addition to teaching both faculty and 753 students a well-crafted program of information literacy skills, Napalan has increased the hours of her library and collaborated with her public library system to teach teen mothers and fathers to read to their children and use library resources. Upon hearing that she had won the award, Napalan exclaimed, "I'm kind of speechless- I'm just excited that I'm going to be in a room with more than 100 librarians at one time! I plan on bringing back my knowledge from Annual and sharing it with all my colleagues that can't make it to the mainland."

Helsel-Kather is the young adult librarian for the Elyria (Ohio) Public Library, which serves more than 4,000 teens. Helsel-Kather has established strong relationships with the local middle schools and high school, visiting them to promote teen programming and attending district school librarian meetings. In addition to popular gaming programs and Harry Potter extravaganzas, Helsel-Kather has hosted local speakers from her county coroner's office and mystery nights. When she received the news that she had won the award, she said, "I feel so excited to go to Anaheim! I plan on bringing back everything I learn and spreading my knowledge to other librarians in my area."

The YALSA Baker & Taylor Award Committee members are: Courtney L. Lewis, chair, Wyoming Seminary Upper School, Kingston, Pa.; Connie Adams Bush, Daniel Boone Regional Library, Columbia, Mo.; E. M. Roublow, Los Angeles Public Library, San Pedro, Calif.; Christopher Shoemaker, New York Public Library, Bronx, N.Y.; and Patsy L. Weeks, Heart of Texas Literature Center, Brownwood, Texas.

The application form and information for next year's Baker & Taylor Conference Grant are available on the YALSA Web site,
Applications must be received in the YALSA office by December 1, 2008. For more information contact the YALSA office, 800-545-2433, ext. 4390; or e-mail

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