The YALSA Legislative Committee is pleased to announce our April Advocate of the Month (sorry, a few days late!): Dr.’ Sharyl G. Smith.

She is the former State Specialist for School Library Media at the Utah State Office of Education. According to Matt McClain who nominated Dr. Smith, “she was instrumental in lobbying efforts to the Utah State Legislature during the 2011 Legislative Session.” Dr. Smith gained $600,000 in additional funding for books and electronic resources for school media centers around the state.

Here is a link about Dr. Smith’s efforts.

Thank you to Sharyl and all the advocates out there for libraries. If you know someone deserving of the YALSA Advocate of Month recognition, please nominate them here.

The YALSA Legislative Committee is pleased to announce the March Advocate of the Month: Anna Hartmann

Anna Hartmann has been the teen services librarian at the Council Bluffs Public Library for the last three years. The position was newly created when she came on and she has made every effort to provide the best service to her teen patrons. This includes the designing and overseeing of the new Teen Central space at the library (with input from teen patrons), designing programs aimed directly at teen interests, revising both her practices and programs to better fit the needs of her patrons, and generally being the best librarian around. She advocates for the importance of the library in teens’ lives by making sure they have a space in the library where they will be respected and appreciated. Please see the Council Bluffs Library website at for more info.

If you know someone like Anna’ who deserves recognition for their advocacy work with teens and libraries, please consider nominating them for YALSA’s Advocate of the Month at:

Thank you on behalf of the YALSA Legislative Committee.

This monthly feature, sponsored by the Legislative Committee, highlights the advocacy work of passionate individuals on behalf of teens in libraries. From lobbying government to protecting intellectual freedom, library staff support teens in a variety of ways. This month, meet Anna Hartmann who has helped create a teen-centered space and teen-oriented programming where little existed before.

Meet YALSA Advocate of the Month Anna Hartmann who serves as the Teen Services Librarian at the Council Bluffs Public Library in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Since arriving at the library 2 ‘½ years ago, Anna has helped oversee the creation and opening of a dedicated space in the library for teens, Teen Central. Additionally, she offers between 12 and 15 programs per month exclusively for patrons in grades 6 through 12. Anna partners with several local advocacy groups and community organizations in order to get the word out about the services the library offers and the importance of working as a community to support youth of all ages.

“It’s hard for me to get through a week without someone telling me that don’t know how I “do it,” says Anna. She believes a good relationship with teen patrons is crucial for successful young adult services. “They are so creative and funny and interesting. And yes, they can also be frustrating and crazy-making, but who isn’t sometimes?” Anna firmly believes that teens deserve to be treated with the same fairness and respect as every other library patron. She advocates on behalf of her teens to her coworkers and the community every day, stressing the importance of teen-centered events and programming. “I will defend to the ends of the Earth teens’ right to be in the library and use the space in equal manner to any other library patron.”


As part of YALSA’s push towards advocacy, the YALSA Legislative Committee has developed a new initiative called “Advocate of the Month.” We are happy to tell you about our first Advocate, Danielle Driggers.

Danielle is a student in Flower Mound, Texas who created a video for ALA’s “Why I need my Library” Contest.’ In her own words, this is her personal advocacy story:

I really became involved with libraries when my mom got her first job as a librarian in 2008. Since then, I’ve helped her set up her school library when she was working, and recently made a video for the American Library Association that shows exactly why I need my library. I hope that it has changed some people’s minds about libraries, and that they think of them as thriving places for things like technology, magazines, newspapers, and much more; they are no longer just for books!

On behalf of the YALSA Legislative Committee, we want to thank Danielle for her work.

If you or someone you know is an advocate for teens and libraries please nominate them at:‘