Ever wanted to get to know the YALSA Board of Directors more? Here’s your chance! We’ll be posting fun mini-interviews with each board member all month long so you can get to know them a little better.  As I interviewed myself I thought best to save mine to the end.

Photo of YALSA Board President, Franklin Escobedo, selfie with Haku dragon neck pillow onboard an airplane.
Franklin Escobedo, YALSA President 2022-2023

Name: Franklin Escobedo

Title & Library: Library Director, currently job hunting

Role on the Board: President

Year on the Board: 2nd year in this role

  1. What does YALSA mean to me?

FE: YALSA has always been my professional family. We’ve grown together.  We’ve made friends, and we’ve lost friends.  Yet we all have the same passion for libraries and supporting teens that come into our libraries.  Even though my role has changed in my career, I still have the same passion for making sure that teens are treated with respect and made to feel welcome.  I’ve been around long enough to see the fruits of our labors.  The teens who came to my programs now bring their children to the library and have fond memories of their time spent there.  This wouldn’t have happened without YALSA creating standards and developing resources for libraries nationwide.  YALSA wouldn’t be YALSA without all of us.

2. What are your hopes for the future of teen services?

FE: My hope for teen services is that it will continue to be a priority for libraries across the country.  It remains a core service in every library and is given as much attention and respect as children and adult services.  We all know that our future library use is made or broken during our teenage years.   I have friends from my generation that had a bad experience and still won’t step foot or cast a vote for the library.  All because of a bad experience they had as a teen.

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

FE:  I’ve learned so much from all the committees, taskforces, and juries I’ve been on.  My first committee is still my favorite Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults.  While it got sunsetted several years ago, I still feel it was one the best resources we produced each year.   It was a great way to see what teens were really reading solely based on the popularity of the title.  While I read books I hated, I knew the teens in my library loved them.  It was one of the most enjoyable committees I served on, and we all became great friends. 

4. What’s your ultimate comfort food?

FE: My go-to is Hawaiian Pizza, but it’s really the pineapple.  When I was growing up, we only had pineapple occasionally around the holidays, but it was part of the Hawaiian pizza.  Now I can find it pre-cut at the grocery store, so I tend to eat it all the time now.

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

FE: My go-to comfort TV show is 30 Rock, it still makes me laugh.   So many books I love, but J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings is the one I read on repeat. 

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

FE: I would go to Puroland, Hello Kitty’s magical kingdom 1 ½ miles outside of Tokyo, Japan. 

Want to run for YALSA Board?  We’re looking for candidates for the 2024 ALA Election. If you will be attending the 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 President? 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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