March 2023 Member of the Month Ma'lis Wendt

My name is Ma’lis Wendt. I retired from The New York Public Library in 2007 after 36 years of a fulfilling
career. I began as a Young Adult Librarian in the Bronx and attended my first ALA conference in 1974
when I joined YALSA (then YASD). My friend, Penny Jeffry’s advice was to accept whatever committee
assignment was offered to me—that turned out to be good advice for ALA and for my career.

I was elected to the YASD Board in the late 1980’s and to the Presidency for 1992. I went on to serve on
Council and BARC and the Committee on Accreditation, all the while maintaining my connections to
YALSA. My last committee was the Joint Committee with YALSA/ ALSC/Reforma to revise the Pura
Belpre Award Handbook. This committee had special meaning for me since I worked with Pura Belpre as
a young librarian on the NYPL South Bronx Project.

I have valued all my YALSA experiences and the friends I’ve made as well as the opportunities to share
information across the country and the various divisions and roundtables of ALA.