Youth Services Section (YSS) Update
Submitted by Mary Jo Smith, YSS President
The Youth Services Sections bestows a number of awards each year. At the fall conference we celebrated the 25th year of the Empire State Award. The Empire State Award is given to an author to honor a body of work which represents excellence in children’s and young adult literature for young people. Many of the authors whose names are synonymous with literature for young people have received this award, like Madeleine L’Engle, Vera B. Williams, and Richard Peck. To their ranks this year we added Vivian Vande Velde, the celebrated author who has written for children and young adults. The committee did a fabulous job of honoring the 25th anniversary, with a slide show of past winners and quotes from them or their books, centerpieces, and favors. Vivian brought her liveliness and humor to her speech. I can still remember the first award, given to Maurice Sendak in 1990 in Rochester (my stomping grounds). I was sitting WAY in the back of a very large room, but the excitement of being in the same room as MAURICE SENDAK was exhilarating.
The deadline just passed for submissions for our Pied Piper award. The Pied Piper award recognizes excellence in the creation of promotional materials for a library program, or the creation of an individual program that promotes service to the young people of New York State. Last year’s winner was for “Family Reading Night”, from Maria Muhlbauer from the Pioneer Middle School. If you have materials promoting your programs for young people, don’t forget to send them to us next year!
The Ann Gibson Scholarship Award is given in memory of Ann Gibson, a dynamic, dedicated librarian whom I am honored to call my mentor. This monetary award goes to a library school student who is planning to go into a position serving children and/or young adults. Please encourage any library school student you know to apply who meets these criteria to apply for this award.
And the money just keeps on coming! YSS offers two Spring Conference scholarships as well. This year’s Spring Conference, Find Your Stride, will take place on Friday, April 15. 2016 at the Desmond Hotel in Albany. The scholarships are awarded to encourage continuing education in the field of library youth services by participating in the annual YSS Spring Conference. One is for a library school student or librarian fairly new to the field, and the other, recently rechristened the Lisa C. Wemett Scholarship, is for a more—er—seasoned librarian.
I hope knowledge of these awards will increase their visibility to all NYLA members!