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GPLS awards 17 scholarships for library staff to attend symposium

GPLS News, October 2016

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GPLS has awarded 17 scholarships to public library staff members who work with teens, enabling them to attend the national Young Adult Services Symposium Nov. 4-6 in Pittsburgh, Pa. Sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), the theme of this year’s conference is “Empowering Teens to Increase Your Library’s Impact.”

Its goal is to gather library staff, educators, researchers, young adult authors and other teen advocates to discuss how libraries can leverage teen talent and expertise within the library and community; to determine best practices in designing youth participation opportunities for teens; and how libraries can best connect with community agencies to provide youth-driven services and programs.

Winners include Megan Aarant, library associate at the Chattahoochee Valley Libraries’ South Columbus branch; Amanda Bernard, teen librarian at the Flint River Regional Library System’s Barnesville-Lamar County Library; Devera Chandler, teen services library assistant at the Piedmont Regional Library System’s Winder branch; Mellissa Clark, children’s specialist at the Three Rivers Regional Library System’s Camden County Public Library; Vikki Doerr, information specialist — youth services for the Post Road branch of the Forsyth County Public Library; Oscar Gittemeier, youth services librarian at the East Atlanta branch of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System; and Carley Guillorn, children’s specialist at the Athens Regional Library System’s Madison County Library.

Also receiving scholarships are Kasey Haessler, youth services coordinator at the Spout Springs branch of the Hall County Library System; Lynn Hall, branch manager of the Ohoopee Regional Library System’s Jeff Davis County Library; Wendy Knight, technical services associate at the Troup-Harris Regional Library’s central branch in LaGrange; Julie Macomber, children’s/young adult librarian for the Satilla Regional Library in Douglas; Erin Parks, young adult librarian for the Augusta-Richmond County Public Library; Ashley Pearson, youth services assistant for the Conyers-Rockdale Library System; Dedra Roman, youth services librarian at the Cobb County Public Library System’s South Cobb branch; Lindsay Sheppard, youth services coordinator at the Sequoyah Regional Library’s R.T. Jones Memorial Library in Canton; Lauren Tennyson, library assistant at the DeKalb County Public Library’s (DCPL) central library in Decatur; and Candace Venning Ushery, youth and teen services librarian at DCPL’s Salem Panola branch.

GPLS will reimburse the winners’ library systems up to $1,500 for conference and travel expenses. The grants are made possible with funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the Library Services and Technology Act.

“Following the symposium, attendees will be asked to separate into groups of four to five and create one-hour webinars, to be held in mid-December, for a statewide audience of Georgia’s youth services staff members,” said Elaine Black, director of youth services for GPLS. “We look forward to seeing how everyone puts their knowledge into action at their respective libraries.”