Allen selected to present paper for YALSA’s Trends Impacting YA Services session at 2020 ALA Midwinter

CHICAGO — The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) has selected Liz Allen, Youth Services Librarian at Middle Country Public Library in Centereach, NY, to present a paper at YALSA’s Trends Impacting YA Services session at the 2020 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia on Saturday, January 25.

Allen’s paper is titled “Civic Literacy for Teens: Public Librarians’ Practices and Perceptions” and “investigates whether teen services librarians in public libraries recognize the importance of civic literacy to adolescent development and whether they support civic literacy instruction in their libraries.” According to the California State University, Monterey Bay, civic literacy is defined as “knowledge, skills and attitudes that students need to work effectively in a diverse society to create more just and equitable workplaces, communities and social institutions.”

“The Midwinter Paper Presentation Planning Committee feels strongly that this topic could not be timelier and more critical in helping our teens of today become better leaders for tomorrow,” said Vivian Wynn, chair of the Midwinter Paper Presentation Planning Committee. “Allen’s research supports the important role libraries play in providing critical learning experiences for teens.  In addition, Allen’s research explores the barriers and the needed skills for library staff working with teens on civic literacy and community engagement opportunities.”

Allen will receive up to $1,500 to help defray travel, registration and hotel costs. In addition to presenting the paper at the Trends Impacting YA Services event, her paper will also be published in a future issue of YALSA’s peer-reviewed, open source journal, The Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults.

Due to the essential need for research in YA services, Friends of YALSA funds one individual each year to attend the ALA Midwinter Meeting to present a paper that addresses a topic from YALSA’s Research Agenda.

Members of the Midwinter Paper Presentation Planning Committee are:  Vivian R.Wynn, Hermitage, TN, Chair; Michael Cart, Columbus, IN; Sarah Flowers, Morgan Hill, CA; Don Latham, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL; Dr. Casey Rawson, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Durham, NC; Ma’lis Wendt, Brooklyn, NY.

The mission of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) is to support library staff in alleviating the challenges teens face, and in putting all teens ‒ especially those with the greatest needs ‒ on the path to successful and fulfilling lives. For more information about YALSA or to access national guidelines and other resources go to, or contact the YALSA office by phone, 800-545-2433, ext. 4390; or e-mail: [email protected].

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