Service to Young Adults Outstanding Achievement Award

Service to Young Adults Outstanding Achievement Award recognizes the national contributions of an association member who has demonstrated unique and sustained devotionto young adult services

Award Sponsorship

Starting with the next 2020 award year, the award will be sponsored generously by longtime YALSA member Marney Welmers.

About Marney Welmers

Following graduation from Swarthmore College (1963) and some years playing around as a theatrical set and costume designer, Marney Welmers turned to the world of education and spent (perhaps too) many years teaching, from the days of clay tablets to Chrome books, She worked at many levels, teaching language arts when she worried about their souls and math when she worried about their minds. Then, she found her true home, became a middle school librarian, and earned her degree from the University of Arizona. Since then, she has chaired and served on Arizona's teen and tween book award committees, YALSA's Best Fiction for Young Adults and Excellence in Nonfiction committees, and currently on the Schneider committee. She has also been an active volunteer for the Tucson Festival of Books, serving as an author host and panel moderator for each of its ten years, leads local YA Book Group for teachers and librarians, and facilitated ILA's Young Adult Choices group for the Tucson area. Between feeding the birds outside and the cats inside, she reads, cares, and connects in and with the YA world.

Award Info

This award of $2,000 is given out every other year (applications are accepted during odd years only). The grant recognizes a member who has demonstrated significant, unique and sustained devotion to young adult services through substantial work across the trajectory of their career in any two or more of these initiatives:

  • Conducting and publishing research for young adult services, related to YALSA's Research Agenda
  • Publication or presentation of knowledge or best practices relating to library services for and with young adults, as outlined by YALSA's guidelines
  • Advocating for library services for young adults
  • Mentoring of other professionals in the field of young adult library services
  • Notable efforts in furthering the mission of YALSA

One recipient will be designated every two years. Suitable candidates are those who have a significant body of work over the course of their career that has had a compelling and lasting impact on teen services or YALSA. If a suitable candidate is not found, the jury will remain active and present an award the following year.

Applications are due by December 1 in odd-numbered years. Nominations for the next award will be collected in 2019 for an award announcement in early 2020. Please submit nominations online. Nominations must be submitted by December 1.


  • Self-nominations are allowed
  • The nominee is a current personal member of ALA/YALSA. The nominator does not need to be a member of ALA or YALSA (so long it is not a self-nomination)
  • The nominee meets two or more of the criteria listed above (research, publishing, advocacy, mentoring, YALSA mission support)
  • The nominee has a significant body of work over the course of their career that has had a compelling and lasting impact on teen services or YALSA. This award is not for an individual achievement; rather, it's for a body of work or a sustained effort over a number of years

Submission Guidelines

  1. All entries must be submitted online.
  2. Entries should be models of clarity and completeness.
  3. Questions should be directed to Nichole O'Connor at or at: 800/545-2433 x 4387

Application & Deadline

Applications are only accepted during odd years and must be received no later than December 1.