As you plan professional development activities for your library, keep the new YA Speaker’s Bureau in mind! The YA Speaker’s Bureau is a directory of people who speak or train on topics related to YA services, arranged by state and hosted on the YALSA wiki.’  The speaker’s bureau is an informal directory for information purposes only and does not imply endorsement from YALSA.

Special thanks to Beth Gallaway and Kelly Czarnecki for their help in getting the new YA Speaker’s Bureau online. Read on to learn about the development of the speaker’s bureau and find information on how librarians can use it and how potential speakers can add themselves to the list.

What is the YA Speaker’s Bureau and how can YA librarians and administrators use it?

The YA Speaker’s Bureau is an online compendium of experts in youth services who can provide training and professional development, arranged by state.

Each entry in the speaker’s bureau includes contact information and a list of topics in which the speaker can offer expertise. Several topics match headings in Young Adults Deserve the Best: Competencies for Librarians Serving Youth, so you can make sure that the speaker you choose is able to address important topics in YA librarianship.

“Librarians seeking training can use this resource to find someone to facilitate a staff development day for their library, to develop a continuing education workshop for a region or consortium, or to deliver a keynote speech or workshop for a state association’s library conference,” Beth Gallaway said. “Trainers can also use this resource to see who’s already training and on what topics, allowing them to identify gaps.”

It also provides one-stop-shopping for trainers, in a format that allows for easy updating.

“Centralizing this information will make it easier for library organizations to contact speakers and experts,” said Kelly Czarnecki. “We chose a wiki because it’s a format that many YALSA members are already familiar with and contributors can easily update their information.”

While speakers on this list are available for face-to-face communication, many are also available for webinars or other online training methods.

“Nothing can replace face-to-face contact,” Beth noted, “but when budgets are restrictive, this can be a great option for libraries.”

How does someone get onto the YA Speaker’s Bureau?

Kelly and Beth approached a number of well-known youth library consultants and invited them to add their contact information and training topics. In addition, Eve Gaus, YALSA’s program officer for continuing education, contacted YALSA’s past Serving the Underserved Trainers and asked them to contribute their information.

Do you provide training? Feel free to add yourself! It’s a simple process (and if you’re having trouble Kelly and Beth have volunteered to post information for you. Contact Beth at or Kelly at Follow these steps:

  1. Visit the YALSA Wiki and set up an account (it’s free and takes about 2 minutes)
  2. Go to the YA Speaker’s Bureau page and locate the page that represents your state.
  3. Click “Edit” and the top of the page and add your name, contact information and topics, then click save page.
  4. That’s it!

Questions? Feel free to contact Kelly ( or Beth ( with any questions.

About Stephanie Kuenn

Stephanie Kuenn is the communications specialist for YALSA, where she is responsible for YALSA's web content, publications, and media relations. She is currently pursuing an M.A. in library and information studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and holds an M.S. from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and a B.A. in history and journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She enjoys baking, watching sports, and reading. Her favorite book is "All the King's Men" by Robert Penn Warren.

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