YALSA Election 2012: An Interview with Michael L. Printz Award Candidate Gregory Lum

In February we are posting interviews with each of the 2012 Candidates for YALSA Award Committees. This week we are focusing on Michael L. Printz Award Committee. ‘ Each day this week we’ll post an interview with one of the candidates for that committee. We are posting alphabetically by candidate’s last names.

The YALSA Nominating Committee for 2012 has been working hard to select candidates for this year’s election.’  The Printz Committee is charged with selecting from the previous year’s publications the best young adult book (“best” being defined solely in terms of literary merit) and, if the Committee so decides, as many as four Honor Books. The Committee will also have the opportunity for input into the oversight and planning of the Printz Awards Program. Committee size: 9, four to be elected, plus a consultant from the staff of Booklist, and an administrative assistant if requested.

This is your chance to get to know this year’s candidates that have been nominated to serve on the Printz Committee.’  Polls are open from March 19 to April 27.

Today we have an interview with Gregory Lum.

What experience do you have that makes you a good candidate for the award position for which you are running?
I served on many selection committees, including BBYA, Quick Picks as chair and the Printz Committee as Administrative Assistant. Besides YALSA, I participated in many AASL committees and the Oregon Association of School Librarians board. I also presented YA literature and reading at state and national conferences.

Why do you want to be a member of this awards committee?
After participating on the 2012 Printz committee as the admin, I want to participate on the printz committee as a voting member. It would be an honor to evaluate the many, many young adult titles, discuss potential titles with other librarians, and select the 2014 Printz Award and honor book(s).

What are you most looking forward to in being a part of this award decision process?
Ultimately, I enjoy reading the various genres in YA literature, but working with other library personnel is professionally rewarding. Plus I enjoy volunteering for YALSA!

What do you feel are the key factors for decision-making for this award?
I believe that three factors are important for this award; first, a committed group of librarians who are open to reading all genres; second, a solid discussion process via email as well as at the meetings; and finally, excellent YA authors who are willing to reach out to teens through writing.

The reading load for awards committees is very high, how do you plan on managing the work load of award committee life?
After serving on other selection committees as well as being past president of OASL, I have learned to prioritize my commitments with family time, my work, and other commitments. When serving on BBYA, at times, I read books while watching my son’s soccer games!

What have you learned from past experiences on awards, juries, or other YALSA committees that you will bring with you to this committee?
From my past experiences on YALSA taskforces and committees, I have learned to be organized, to commit to the work, and to serve with a humble heart.

In your experience how has the YALSA Awards and Selected Lists helped you as a librarian or made your work better or easier or different than expected?
YALSA Awards and selection lists have helped me tremendously for book selection for my library as well as personal reading for my teen-aged children. I will continue to support and to volunteer for YALSA regardless if I am elected or not.

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