Jessica Lorentz Smith receives YALSA’s Joann Sweetland Lum Memorial Grant

For Immediate Release
Tue, 03/07/2023


LaMoya Burks

Interim Executive Director


CHICAGO — The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) has named Jessica Lorentz Smith, teacher librarian from Bend Senior High School, Bend, Oregon as the recipient of this year's Joann Sweetland Lum Memorial Grant, which aims to recognize a librarian who has planned a creative, innovative project that promotes literacy.

"Thank you to Joann Sweetland Lum and her friends and family for supporting my Title Taste Bento Box reading program at my high school to provide an interactive reading experience for our students to enjoy books. I look forward to the potential for this program to grow and help encourage more hesitant readers to try engaging with books in a different way.”

Smith will receive $1,000 for her project.

Established in 2020, the Joann Sweetland Lum Memorial Grant is an annual $1,000 award funded by friends and family of Joann Sweetland Lum. As a classroom teacher, a college professor, and a mother, Joann Sweetland Lum was an avid user and advocate of libraries. The application form for the Joann Sweetland Lum Memorial Grant is available in the Grants and Awards section of the YALSA website. Applications must be received by Dec. 1, 2023.

Members of the 2023 Joann Sweetland Lum Memorial Grant Jury are:

Chair Gregory Lum, Paige Battle, Angelina Benedetti, Gordon Lum, Linda Sweetland Mayhew and Joe Prince.

Through networking, advocacy, and professional development, the Young Adult Library Services Association empowers all those involved in the profession to provide equitable, diverse and inclusive teen services. For more information on YALSA to go


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:


The American Library Association (ALA) is the oldest and largest library association in the world. Founded on October 6, 1876 during the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, the mission of ALA is “to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.” For more information, visit