YALSA Learning Facilitators

YALSA's Learning Facilitators are ready to customize and deliver training (face-to-face or virtual) to your institution. 

Meet our Learning Facilitators:

Linda W. Braun

Linda is a Learning Consultant with LEO. 

Over the past 20+ years Linda has worked with library and out-of-school time staff to design and implement great learning experiences for and with teens. She is very interested in helping library staff build powerful teen learning experiences. Linda knows that adults play an incredibly important role in teen lives and it's through positive relationships with adults - including library staff - and peers teens have the chance to grow and thrive. Linda is a Past President of YALSA.

Kathleen Houlihan

photo of Kathleen HoulihanKathleen is the Teen Central Manager at the Austin Public Library in Texas. 

Kathleen is passionate about the ways that libraries can transform lives and communities. She sees her work as a YALSA Learning Facilitator as an incredible opportunity to synthesize best practices in teen librarianship, making them more accessible to those who provide services with-and-for teens. Kathleen wants to help library staff fulfill their role as a community champion for teens, and to help everyone see teens as capable, creative, inspiring people. Kathleen started her career in 2009 as a Youth Outreach Librarian, providing embedded library programs and services to incarcerated teens - who taught her more about the power of teen-directed learning than any master's class ever could.  In a place where all other decisions had been stripped from them, getting to decide something as small as what to read (or even IF they would read) was a tiny self-determined triumph in a world of restrictive barriers. Kathleen hopes to help libraries everywhere learn to trust their teens, and to follow their lead to the libraries of the future.

Kate McNair

photo of Kate McNairKate is the Teen Services Coordinating Librarian at the Johnson County Library System in Kansas. 

Kate sees every training and event as an opportunity to learn from each other and is looking forward to working the diverse community YALSA gathers together. She believes that she has gained professionally through YALSA resources, tools and leadership opportunities and aims to help other people harness that power and insight for their own careers and libraries. Kate works hard to hand over as much power, responsibility and control to the teens she works with (given the right resources and boundaries) and every time she is surprised, delighted and grateful for what teens are able to make. Kate says that the library’s trust in teens can be transformative (for teens and the community). As a teen she geeked out about Sailor Moon, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, web design and J-pop. As a librarian she geeks out about 3D printing, making beats in the sound studio, poetry, Sailor Moon and Buffy (still).

Shelley Mastalerz Shelley is a Teen Services Librarian at the Seattle Public Library in Washington. 

Shelley believes that  in our society teens are often overlooked and spoken over (or for). She would really like to see libraries as a space where this does not occur. Shelley is looking forward to learning alongside of, and working with, staff to develop and improve the way that libraries advocate and support youth voice and leadership. Shelley knows there are many communities to reach out to when working for and with teens: from the neighborhood the library serves, to other professions also working with this age group, to organizations like YALSA dedicated to supporting teen services. She is interested in library staff cultivating connections to wider communities and notes that we are all made stronger by working together. She has worked with teens in libraries for a decade now and has seen the field of teen services continually evolve. Shelley knows there is always something new to learn, practices to revise and retry, and so many places to gather inspiration and innovation. For the past three years Shelley, and a group of friends, have been watching Star Trek: The Next Generation together creating a small, dedicated, and enterprising team. She loves going on walks, hikes, bike rides, and road trips both big and small alongside her partner.

Ryan Moniz

photo of Ryan MonizRyan is a Learning and Growth Librarian at the Markham Public Library in Ontario, Canada.

Ryan says that In the library world collaboration is necessary for continued success. He believes effective training is key. Ryan says that any time you bring bright, intelligent, and caring minds together in a shared space for a holistic cause, you have an opportunity to create positive change in your community. From presenting at conferences across North America to training library staff, Ryan's goal is to provide everyone with a chance to learn and grow. He was first introduced to YALSA at a library conference in 2015, and since then it has played a significant role in  both his professional and personal life. Along the way Ryan has met many great people and learned different perspectives on common issues.  He believes YALSA has the opportunity to change the lives of community members and staff. Ryan thinks people are quick to judge children, teens, and youth and he has always been puzzled by this since adults and youth aren't very different. Ryan notes that even if someone did not grow up in the age of social media or virtual reality, every adult had their own challenges that had an impact on feelings about themselves and how they perceive the world. He sees that teens today may be different but they need the support of their community just like every current adult did in the past.  Ryan believes that libraries are more than just a place to find books; they are institutions positioned to support the healthy development of young people through equal access to services and resources. He notes that as a collective industry libraries need to stop shying away from doing what’s right because it's unknown - the future success of libraries waits in the unknown. Ryan has a ridiculous memory when it comes to song lyrics, specifically late 90’s and early 2000’s pop music. Unfortunately, that memory never applied to what he was taught in school. If he hears the words “Backstreets back, alright!” it is physically impossible for Ryan to not break out into a song and dance routine.

For information on connecting with a YALSA Learning Facilitator and bringing a YALSA face-to-face Institute or online training to your institution, contact Anna Lam, alam@ala.org or Tammy Dillard-Steels, tdillard@ala.org.