Posted by Amy Alessio

YALSA Board members are involved in every aspect of our organization. This year we have a very qualified and interesting slate of candidates to choose from. This blog gives members a chance to get to know them better before voting. The candidates are Erin Helmrich, Don Kenney, Kim Patton and Mike Pawuk.

Board candidates are invited to tell blog readers a little about their background and qualifications and why they are running for YALSA Board.
Members are welcome to post follow up questions.

3 Thoughts on “Meet the Board Candidates

  1. Hello! This is Board Candidate, Erin Helmrich here. I’m extremely excited to on on the ballot for YALSA Board. I have been a librarian for (eek!) going on 10 years now and after working for 7 years as a combined youth/teen librarian outside Detroit I have been loving it in Ann Arbor at the District Library for over 2.5 years – as a full-time teen librarian. I bring a passion and enthusiasm for creative services to teens to the table and look forward to being part of the process. I have carved a small niche out for myself doing the “teen pop-culture” quizzes for VOYA for over 6 years now and have most recently been working with my co-worker, Eli Neiburger on running video game tournaments and events in your library. We have taught several workshops – with more on the way. It’s been an exciting time. I believe our organization and profession needs fresh ideas on marketing, PR and emerging technologies – to engage the teens we want to serve – as well as the group of newer, younger librarians we want to bring into the YALSA fold. It’s an exciting time.

  2. Kudos to Erin for jumping in and getting us started!
    Hi, this is Board Candidate, Kimberly Patton. I have worked at my library for sixteen years. Since 1998 I have been the YA specialist here. I love working with teens. They never cease to amaze me and they keep my spirit young. I actually look forward to 3:30 every afternoon. My staff and I take bets on who the first one in the door will be and which computer they will run to —I always win…it’s the same kid…everyday.

    I am a YALSA SUS trainer, a former YALSA program planning committee member and a former Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers committee member. I am currently serving on the Coretta Scott King book award jury for EMIERT.
    I will bring experience and the vision of new ideas to increase the presence and voice of a rapidly growing YALSA in a diverse library community. It is imperative that YA librarians become a presence in our individual communities, that we know our teens, their families and the issues and concerns facing them. As a board member I will have a voice in shaping the tools, training and networking opportunities YALSA provides its members to help them become community players and showcase our libraries as a vital community resource. I treasure the valuable knowledge and guidance I have gained from my YALSA mentors and I am looking forward to giving that back to a new generation of YALSA librarians.

  3. Hi, my name is Mike Pawuk and I’m running for YALSA Board. I’ve been a Teen Services librarian for over 10 years for the Cuyahoga County Public Library system. Previously I’ve served as a member of the YALSA selection lists PPYA for four years from 2000-2004, a member of the YALSA Graphic Novels committee, as well as recently serving on the 2006 Printz committee. I’ve also chaired PPYA in 2004 as well as chaired the 2002 YALSA preconference on Graphic Novels. I’m also finishing up my very first manuscript on graphic novels to be published by Libraries Unlimited later this year.

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