Get ready to vote! The YALSA election runs from March 19 through April 25, and to help you be an informed voter, we’re sharing interviews with each of the 2014 candidates for YALSA Award Committees.YALSA_173x79

This week we are focusing on the Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Award Committee, which honors the best nonfiction book published for young adults (ages 12-18) during a November 1 –  October 31 publishing year.

Candidates, who will be presented in alphabetical order, were asked to craft “Twitter-length” responses (i.e. around 140 characters). Full biographical information on all of the candidates can be found on the sample ballot.

Today we have an interview with Kathie Meizner.

Name and current position: Kathie Meizner, Library Manager (Kensington Park Library & Noyes Library for Young Children/Montgomery County MD)

Why did you decide to run for a YALSA selection committee?

This is my way of diving in to YALSA, I guess–it’s an honor to be nominated, and the Nonfiction Award is a good fit with my passion(s).

In a nutshell, what will you bring to the committee?

I really like nonfiction & I like talking about it with both librarians and kids. I’ve honed my evaluation & discussion skills over the years, discussing books for young readers with some amazing readers.

What experience do you have with materials selection and evaluation?

I began my library career as the Children’s Literature specialist for my library system. I’ve been a member of Capitol Choices & have reviewed for Kirkus & SLJ. I served on the ’10 & ’11 ALSC Notable Books Committee.

What makes you a good fit for this committee in particular?

I fell in love with nonfiction as a member of the Sibert Award Committee (2005: The Voice that Challenged a Nation) and again when I served as chair (2013: Bomb) of the Sibert Award.

How do you plan to manage the reading load required by selection committee participation?

I learned to read a book a day (plus a few more) when I served on the Notable Children’s Books Committee and I feel very strange when I am not in the middle of at least two or three books.

What have been some of your favorite past winners of this particular award?

Well, of course anything from 2013: Bomb was the Sibert winner for the committee I chaired & two other nominated titles won Sibert Honors: Titanic: Voices from the Disaster; Moonbird.

What books should have won the award, but didn’t?

I’m in awe of the process any committee goes through & believe it involves guts and integrity. I love lots of books- and that helps me let go of the temporary “oh no” moments at the YMAs.

What else do voters need to know about you?

I’m the mother of a Nerdfighter.

This interview was cross-posted on The Hub and the YALSAblog.

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