Library receives two awards for materials

Published 10:03 pm Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Suffolk Public Library recently announced it is the recipient of two awards from the Youth Adult Library Services Association, a division of the American Library Association. The Suffolk Public Library along with Purvis (Miss.) High School and the Oak Park (Mich.) Public Library will share more than $40,000 in books, audiobooks and other materials donated to YALSA from publishers and producers in 2017. This is part of YALSA’s annual Great Books Giveaway.

The Suffolk Public Library System serves a large geographic area covering 430 square miles. Nearly 90,000 residents of diverse backgrounds and needs make use of three branches and a bookmobile. Although a large number of the system’s users are young adults, teen collections are small and outdated. The library system has a number of goals for improving service to young adults, many of which are related to providing teens with current books featuring diverse characters representing a variety of backgrounds and circumstances as well as up-to-date, high-interest non-fiction.

“We are so excited about receiving this award, which will be a huge help in improving our collections to serve the extremely diverse needs of the teens in our library system,” said Assistant Director of Libraries Sarah Townsend. “We have a great deal of need for materials for this age group. We do an enormous amount of outreach to the schools, where the kids are hungry for literature, materials and programs that reflect the lives they lead. Winning this award will allow us to greatly improve our collections and services. We are very grateful to YALSA.”


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The YALSA Great Books Giveaway Jury members were Chair, B. Allison Gray, Goleta Library, Goleta, Calif.; Claire M. Houghton-Kiel, Passaic County Technical Institute, Wayne, N.J.; Leslie Roy, Maury High School, Norfolk; Jennifer Claire D. Siron, Los Angeles Public Library, Chatsworth, Calif.; Christina Alexandra Walsh, Salt Lake City Public Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

The Suffolk Public Library has also been chosen as the recipient of YALSA’s 2018 Collection Development Grant. This grant gives the library $1,000 to be used towards collection development for young adults ages 12 to 18. The grant was awarded based upon need for additional materials for young adults, degree of the current collection’s use and other criteria found on the Collection Development Grant website.

The mission of the Young Adult Library Services Association is to support library staff in alleviating the challenges teens face, and in putting all teens — especially those with the greatest needs — on the path to successful and fulfilling lives.

To learn more about Suffolk Public Library, visit Follow the library on Twitter @SufPubLib and check for updates on Facebook at