ALA President Roberta Stevens launched the Why I Need My Library video contest for teens earlier this year, in which teens can win up to $3,000 for their school or public library. In an interview at I Love Libraries, Stevens talks about why she chose to reach out to this age group:

Q:’  Tell us why you why you elected to focus on a contest for young people as part of your ALA Presidential Initiative efforts?

A:’  Building support for libraries is the focus of all three of my Presidential initiatives: “Our Authors, Our Advocates,” “Frontline Fundraising” and the “Why I Need My Library Contest.” Millions of young people use school and local public libraries every day. The contest is an opportunity to hear their powerful voices on the critical role libraries are playing in their communities.

Q:’  How and why do you feel social media, like YouTube, can be a powerful tool for library advocacy?

A:’  The reach of social media, and YouTube in particular, is immediate, inexpensive and effective.’  I thought it would be a way to unleash the creativity of teens and share their messages. Libraries can also take the videos and include them on their websites! I’d love to have the contest’s videos go viral and build nationwide support for libraries.

Read the entire interview, and find out how teens at your library can enter the contest, at

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.

One Thought on “ALA President Roberta Stevens on the Why I Need My Library contest

  1. Paula Brehm Heeger on March 11, 2011 at 10:26 am said:

    In this era of budget cuts this contest offers a great chance to create a creative product with your teens while snagging funds for your LIbrary!!

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