YALSA names winner of Great Ideas contest

Contact: Stephanie Kuenn

YALSA Communications Specialist

(312) 280-2128



For Immediate Release

June 9, 2009

CHICAGO — The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), the fastest-growing division of the American Library Association (ALA), named Laurie Cavanaugh, assistant head of adult services at the Brockton (Mass.) Public Library, as the winner of the Great Ideas contest.

Cavanaugh suggested YALSA create a downloadable widget, with code for embedding, containing recommended books for teens that is updated regularly through an RSS or Atom feed. Librarians could add the widget to their library Web sites, offering book suggestions tested by librarians without needing to know complicated code. This would also help bring attention to YALSA’s book awards and materials on YALSA’s selected lists.

“I originally came up with the idea because I had been thinking it would great to have a syndicated column of YA book reviews with recommendations from YALSA members, similar to a column that runs in my local paper,” Cavanaugh said. “Then I thought it might be better to put them online, where teens tend to be anyway. Plus it’ll help get YALSA’s name out more.”

The Great Ideas contest sought ideas from YALSA members in achieving goals laid out in the division’s strategic plan. Cavanaugh’s idea addresses the division’s marketing goals, particularly in marketing YALSA’s award-winning books and materials from its selected booklists.

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,