Board of Directors

Roster of Board Members  I Standing Board Committees  I  Additional Information

Meet YALSA's 2023 - 2024 Board of Directors.

This listing includes their name, email address, Twitter handles and committee liaison responsibilities in parenthesis. Tweets from these individuals are coming from their role as private citizens, and not as YALSA Board Members.

*denotes this position also serves on the Executive Committee


Colleen Seisser*President

Colleen Seisser is the Assistant Director at the Westmont Public Library in Westmont, Illinois and a YALSA Member since 2008. She has worked in libraries since high school and was a teen librarian for ten years before moving into supervising and now administration. Colleen is also an audiobook fanatic, gardener, & generally crafty person. She has volunteered in many roles for YALSA, most notable for Amazing Audiobooks, Division and Membership Promotion, and as a Director at Large for the YALSA Board from 2018-2021.




 Yvette Garcia, President-Elect

Yvette Garcia has served in various roles throughout her career with Chicago Public Library, with nearly twenty years of experience advocating for patrons of all ages in libraries. Outside of  CPL, Yvette has contributed to the field of librarianship by taking on leadership roles with the young adult division of ALA, YALSA. Additionally, she has presented in a variety of settings and topics. Yvette graduated with an MLIS from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a B.A. in Economics from Knox College. 



Meaghan Darling, Fiscal Officer

is the current Teen and Adult Program Coordinator at the Town of Esopus Library in Port Ewen, New York. Prior to moving to New York, she worked in public libraries throughout New Jersey for thirteen years in Youth, Teen, and Adult Services and was a YALSA/COSLA Transforming Teen Services Trainer for New Jersey. A member of YALSA for almost a decade, Meaghan has served on several committees including the Morris Award, Great Graphic Novels, Nonfiction for Teens, and Teens Top 10. She also was a member of the 2019 Teen Read Week/Teen Tech Week Revisioning Taskforce that created the original TeenTober Toolkit. 




Elizabeth Nebeker*, Division Councilor.

Liz is currently the instruction Librarian at Lone Star College- CyFair, a joint use (academic/public) library located north of Houston, TX. She was previously a high school librarian and English teacher. She works closely with other librarians to bring relevant and engaging programming to the library. She is actively in involved in ALA and the Texas Library Association. Serving as YALSA Councilor has been a fantastic experience. 





Kate Denier*, Secretary. Twitter: dulibkat

Kate Denier is the Senior Branch Manager for the North Central Branch of The Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County. She has over ten years of experience in youth services and has been an active member of YALSA since 2005.




Abby Phillips, Director. Twitter: abigailleigh
(Writing Award Jury, YA Symposium Local Arrangements TF)

Dr. Abigail Phillips is an Assistant Professor in the School of Information Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She recently completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences at Utah State University. Dr. Phillips received her Ph.D. from the School of Information at Florida State University in 2016.





MattDawn McMillan Layne, Director.

Matt Layne is the Patron Experience Librarian at O'Neal Library in Mountain Brook, Alabama. He most recently served as the Young Adult Librarian at O'Neal for 14+ years. Matt began his library career as a children's storyteller in the Birmingham Public Library system in Alabama. He has served on the Morris and Printz Award Committees, and he is the President-elect of The Alabama Library Association. Matt believes in empowering teens and providing teens with the space and tools they need to succeed. Matt Layne's poetry collection, Miracle Strip, is forthcoming from Brick Road Publishing.



Susannah GoldsteinKim DareDirector

Kim Dare is a high school librarian in Herdon, Virginia with a passion for equity, inclusivity, curiosity, and access to diverse books and reliable information. In addition to work at the state and local level, she has participated on YALSA committees and task forces since 2016. Kim most recently served on the 2023 Michael L. Printz Award Committee. Previous work includes chairing YALSA Book Awards Oversight Committees, and serving on the William C. Morris Award committee and Best Fiction for Young Adults selection committees.



Josie Laine Andrews, Director.

Josie Laine Andrews is the teacher-librarian at Nevada Union High School, a rural school located in north-eastern California. She began her library career in a museum library in Boston, MA and worked in academic and public libraries before following her passion for working with youth. She is dedicated to supporting intellectual freedom, amplifying youth voice, and supporting teen mental health. She works to create library spaces that are inclusive hubs that meet the diverse needs of the teen community. Josie serves on local and state library committees and began working with YALSA in 2017 as a participant in the Future Ready for Youth program. 




Melissa Malanuk, Director. 

Melissa Malanuk is the Coordinator of Teen Services for Queens Public Library. Prior to being promoted, she was a young adult librarian at different Queens Public Library locations.  As the Coordinator of Teen Services who wears a lot of different hats, including trainer, program developer, advocate and cheerleader, Melissa has been a member of YALSA for 12 years and has served on a variety of committees and task force, including chairing the William C. Morris Award, Quick Picks for Teens, Organizations and Bylaws and Financial Advancement.  



 Katrina Ortega, Director

 Katrina Ortega (M.L.I.S) is the manager of NY Public Library’s College and Career Pathways program, and a former YA Librarian. Originally from El Paso, Texas, she has lived in New York City since   2011. She is a strong advocate of continuing education (in all of its forms) and is very interested in learning new ways that public libraries can provide continuing education and postsecondary   readiness preparation to all. She is also very interested in working with non-traditional communities in the library, particularly incarcerated and homeless populations. While pursuing her own higher   education, she received two Bachelors of Arts degrees (in English and in History), a Masters of Arts in English, and a Masters of Library and Information Sciences. Katrina loves reading most anything, but particularly loves literary fiction, YA novels, and any type of graphic novel or comic.



Traci Glass, Ex-Officio Member

Traci Glass is the Assistant Director for the Lincoln City Libraries system in Lincoln, Nebraska.  She has worked in public libraries for 25 years and has worked in systems in Arizona, Oregon, Tennessee, and Nebraska.  Her greatest joys in life are horror movies, comic books, britpop, and cats. 



Gail Tobin , Ex-Officio Member

Gail Tobin is the Hanover Park Branch Manager for the Schaumburg Township District Library in Illinois. Prior to that she worked as a children’s librarian. She has been an active member of YALSA since 2000 and previously served as a YALSA Director-At-Large as well as on numerous process and award committees, including the Margaret A. Edwards Award, Morris Award and Great Graphic Novels.  She is also active in ALA as a Councilor-At-Large.




 Crystal Chen, Ex-Officio Member

 Crystal Chen (she/her) is a Digital Educator Support Manager & Archivist at Facing History & Ourselves (, a global nonprofit that uses the lessons of history to fight bigotry and hate. She   is a 2018 American Library Association Emerging Leader with a decade of experience in public libraries providing (and expanding) services to teens. She also serves as a community admin for We Here   (, a supportive community for BIPOC in LIS.



 Emily Heddleson, Ex-Officio Member

 Emily Heddleson has a passion for connecting readers with books, and especially loves working with educators, librarians, authors, and more in the world of children’s literature in her role as Director of   Library & Educational Marketing at Scholastic. She coordinates the Scholastic Trade presence at library events and conferences ranging from the American Library Association Annual Conference to the   YALSA Symposium, and works on various campaigns and initiatives to feature new and award-winning books and their authors. In 2018, she was named a Publishers Weekly Star Watch Honoree, and   was recognized for her work on the Scholastic Power of Story.




LaMoya N. Burks*, Board Liaison.

LaMoya N. Burks is the Interim Executive Director of YALSA.




Board Group Work on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion: 

  • Committees, Scholarships, and Professional Development: Kate Denier, Liz Nebeker, Melanie Wachsmann (lead) Stacey Shapiro
  • Outreach: Joel Shoemaker
  • Engagement: Abigail Phillips and Susannah Goldstein

Additional Information