Fall 2007 - YALSA - American Library Association


Fall 2007 - YALSA - American Library Association

YALSA Member Memories

As amazing and profound as these

memories are, however, my very best

memories involve the teens and the

YALSA members. Because of YALSA, I

have friends now that I will always have—

friends who share a passion for helping

students develop into thoughtful, passionate,

lifelong learners. I love that brave

teen who tells me, “how i live now sucks”

(the Printz winner from my committee). I

love those teens who do not ever want to

leave book group meetings and beg to keep

meeting during the summer. I’ve had parents

call and thank us because their sons

and daughters “are readers now.” Many,

many other YALSA members have these

same memories of teens morphing into

adults and leaders who will make a difference.

YALSA is all about making a difference.

The culture of caring and respect

and passion for teens is the memory that

stays freshest. When I think of YALSA,

I think of people: teens, librarians, media

specialists, authors, editors, publishers,

agents, teachers, and groupies. I always

feel like I am coming home when I attend

[ALA] Annual or Midwinter. From day

one, YALSA has treated me—a first-grade

teacher by day and YA [literature] lover by

night—as a family member. I will remember

this honor. In fact, I am very close

to [earning] my library media specialist

degree, which would not have happened

without YALSA.

My favorite funny story takes place

on the night of the first Printz reception.

Remember that one? We were in Chicago.

The rectangular room had food tables in

each of the four corners. The tables were

placed at an angle, creating a triangle of

space behind the tables. For that first

Printz reception, we ate first and then

listened to speeches. I remember standing

in this small triangular space with

Christopher Myers, and being totally

charmed by this tall fashion designer, artist,

and nice human being. Chris told me

how much he loved his dad [Walter Dean

Myers] and admired his talent. During this

conversation, a reporter came up to speak

to Chris. I told Chris that all talented people

must look alike because the reporter

thought that I was Christopher Myers,

in all my five feet, nine inch splendor! He

shook hands with me saying, “Christopher,

it is nice to meet you.” I looked down,

turned my name badge so he could read

my name, and watched as he walked out

of the room without stopping to meet

Christopher [Myers], who was standing

right next to me.—Ed Spicer, Allegan

(Mich.) Public Schools

The responses were all retrieved from



and the YALSA-L discussion list. YALS

38 YALS | Young Adult Library Services | Fall 2007

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