Ever wanted to get to know the YALSA Board of Directors more? Here’s your chance! All month long, we’ll be posting fun mini-interviews with each board member so you can get to know them a little better.  Our next interview is with the YALSA Board Secretary.

Photo of YALSA Board Secretary Joel Shoemaker
Joel Shoemaker, YALSA Board Secretary

Name:  Joel Shoemaker

Title & Library:  Associate Director of Library Services, Methodist College

Role on the Board: Secretary

Year on the Board: 1st year

 What does YALSA mean to me? 

JS: YALSA is an amazing organization that is extremely important and relevant today, especially when considering the challenges that we face with regards to young adult books and young adult authors. The advocacy is always meaningful, but especially so today.

What are your hopes for the future of teen services? 

JS: I hope to see us finding ways to really engage teens and bring them into the library. I know it’s hard for many in the public sector, but it’s also difficult with our young adults in academia. We need to be creative and innovative in finding ways to better serve our teens.

What is your favorite YALSA Committee or Committee that would love to be on again?

JS: I think my service on the Morris committee was my favorite. Debut novels are the BEST. And the YALSA members I served with were just incredible humans.

What’s your ultimate comfort food? 

JS: I just love cheese. Not all kinds of cheese. I don’t understand blue cheese. I’m not mad at people that like blue cheese – my husband likes blue cheese. It just isn’t for me. All other kinds of cheese for me though, please.

What TV show or Movie do you watch on repeat? Or a book that you love reading when you’re in between new books? 

JS: The greatest TV show of all time is Boston Legal. The pairing of William Shatner and James Spader is unmatched and the depiction of male friendship is not often seen. Incredible television. Five seasons. I own them all. You can borrow them!

What would you do or where would you go if you won the lotto?   

JS: If I won the lottery I would go to New Zealand. They have a Lord of the Rings tour that we’ve been eyeing for a long time.

Want to run for YALSA Board?  We’re looking for candidates for the 2024 ALA Election. If you will be at ALA Annual Conference in Chicago this summer join us at YALSA 301 to learn more about YALSA Governance. Want to find out the duties and responsibilities of the YALSA Board Secretary? Find them in the YALSA Handbook here.   If you’ve been thinking about it why not fill out the nomination form today? Just click here.

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