Posted by Paula Brehm-Heeger:

Thanks to Sarah and Kevin for their answers to the first set of questions! Here are a few more to help YALSA members get to know both of you a bit better:

Why are you running for YALSA President?

Talk about your experience serving teens, including in your current position. Tell us about a favorite teen-focused or teen-created project or program you helped develop while working directly with teens. Why was/is it your favorite?

What are your interests outside of library work?

About Paula Brehm Heeger

Past-President of YALSA (President, 2007-2008) and current member of the YALSA Board of Directors (2006-2009). Past YALSA Committee Chair positions include Partnerships Advocating for Teens (PAT), TAGS, Intellectual Freedom; Past ALSC Chair positions include Notable Children's Videos; Contributing author to upcoming "Quick and Popular Reads" (ALA Editions, forthcoming)

2 Thoughts on “Questions for YALSA Vice-President/President-Elect Candidates

  1. Sarah Cornish Debraski [Visitor] on February 12, 2007 at 1:11 pm said:

    Why are you running for YALSA President?
    I am running for YALSA President because I believe that I am an excellent representative for our organization. I’m proud of the work our organization has done and I would love to be at the front of that. As a committee member I am diligent, thoughtful, and organized: completing tasks, communicating with others, and providing my input. Though I have my own opinions, I listen openly to others and can be persuaded if an argument or new information is presented. Good leaders listen, they represent, they might point out the way, but they don’t dictate. I believe I possess such qualities. I enjoy public speaking and telling everyone every chance I get about libraries, teens, library services, and books.
    Talk about your experience serving teens, including in your current position. Tell us about a favorite teen-focused or teen-created project or program you helped develop while working directly with teens. Why was/is it your favorite?
    When I started my career I was a children’s librarian, then a children’s/ya librarian, and finally a ya librarian. The best part of any of the jobs I held was always the direct interaction with teens. It was a difficult decision for me to decide to stay at home after the birth of my son a year and a half ago. It was the right choice for my growing family, though. I’ve made it a priority to remain professionally active, even though I am not employed at a library. I am and always will be committed to serving teens. Right now I do that through my work in YALSA.
    At my previous job (Head of Youth Services, Warren Twp. Library, Somerset County Library System) the best teen focused project I did was helping to design a new teen area in our library when it was renovated. I met with a lot of resistance from library staff, as well as our board, when it came to decisions about decorating and furnishing. I was thrilled when it was all done that I was able to get what I (read: teens) wanted and that our town’s teens had a wonderful new space of their own. Teens’ suggestions were what shaped the space–room for comics and manga, further from the children’s area, and furniture that was inviting and relaxing.
    As far as programming goes, my favorite programs were a series of “Craft n’ Eat” events (an idea borrowed from another library). These programs utilized our new program space (which had kitchen facilities) and the teens really liked them. Each month when we had one I’d ask them what they wanted to do the following month, and thus they were actually the planners. It may have been a fairly simple program but I was proud of it because it attracted both boys and girls, it was in direct response to teen input, and it was always a lot of fun. It was also a good way for me to just hang out with the kids and talk while they cooked and ate and made projects together. We always had a good time together and I know that not only did it help me develop positive relationships with teens, but I also saw teens getting to know each other better outside of school.

    What are your interests outside of library work?

    My family is my biggest non-work interest. Watching my son, Clark, grow and learn daily is an absolute wonder. Right now he’s thrilled by the alphabet and guess what? So am I! Obviously I love reading, particularly historical romances and chick lit. I am also a big fan of games–board games and word games. Watching “Wordplay” has sparked a new interest in crossword puzzles and my husband, Paul, and I are trying to the do the NY Times puzzle daily (admittedly, Thursday is hard.) I also love to cook and can often be found baking.

  2. Kevin Scanlon [Visitor] on February 17, 2007 at 6:06 pm said:

    YALSA depends on the active participation of all its members in order to grow and thrive. I’m running to expand opportunities for YALSA members, particularly its student members, to contribute to the Association’s success. I will do this by securing more grants for conference attendance and training opportunities to keep our members on the cutting edge of our profession.

    It’s important that teens develop a sense of ownership of the library (or at least their portion of it). We accomplish this by involving teens in the planning process for programs and spaces. In the months leading up to our Summer Reading program my Teen Advisory Board assisted me in developing and executing all of the craft and book discussion activities. This was my favorite because it incorporates their voices in the direction of the library now and hopefully as adults.

    I love running, fishing, golf, and going to the movies.

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