Meet the YALSA Financial Advancement Committee Chair!

Hello there! My name is Joel Shoemaker and I’m the new chair of the Financial Advancement Committee for YALSA. I’m very excited about this new endeavor and thought I’d utilize this opportunity to introduce you to our charge and our committee members. 

If you’ve never heard of it, the Financial Advancement Committee supports the Friends of YALSA and works to create and implement various fundraising efforts, both virtually and, when the time comes, at in-person conferences and events! This work is an effort to support scholarships and stipends that YALSA gives out annually.

We are a small but mighty group! Here is a bit about a few of our members:

Angelique Kopa is a Collection Development selector for the Baltimore County Public Library in Maryland. She loves serving YALSA and ALSC by volunteering for committees and is also a committee member for ALSC’s Children and Technology committee. In her free time, she enjoys being active and doing anything outdoors.

Celeste Swanson (she/her) is the Youth Services Coordinator for the Lane Libraries in Ohio. In addition to the Financial Advancement Committee, she also serves as chair of the Selection List Oversight Committee. She is currently reading (and loving!) Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley. 

Yvette Garcia has served in various roles throughout her career with Chicago Public Library, with nearly twenty years of experience advocating for patrons of all ages in libraries. Outside of CPL, Yvette has contributed to the field of librarianship by taking on leadership roles with the young adult division of ALA, YALSA. Additionally, she has presented in a variety of settings and topics. Yvette graduated with an MLIS from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a B.A. in Economics from Knox College. 

As for me, I’m the library director for the Illinois Prairie District Public Library and a magician. I’m in my second year of a three-year term on the Rebecca Caudill Committee, which is a statewide committee that chooses books for fourth through eighth graders to vote on a favorite each year! I’m married and have a dog named Maximus. One day, I long to have a smaller dog called Minimus.

We’re looking very forward to serving our members this year!

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