YALSA Election: An Interview with Nonfiction Award Committee Candidate Melanie Metzger

yalsa logoGet 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.

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 Melanie Metzger.

Name and current position: Melanie Metzger, Assistant Director of the Albany Public Library System in Albany, NY

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

I love non-fiction books and I think they are a wonderful way to spark an interest in reading for reluctant readers.

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

I will bring my passion for non-fiction as well as understanding of young adult issues and desires when it comes to what they read.

What experience do you have with materials selection and evaluation?

I served on the Fabulous Films for Young Adults committee for several years and I helped to form the young adult collections in my previous positions.

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

My past work in Young Adult services, my love of non-fiction and my dedication to finding just the right book for the right customer.

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

As I tell the teens I work with, life’s too short to waste on a book that you don’t like. You can usually tell within a chapter or the first 30 pages how well a book is written and if it’s good for you.

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

I loved Janis Joplin: Rise Up Singing and Sugar Changed the World.

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

It was before the award came out but one of my favorites of all time was Left for Dead by Pete Nelson.

What else do voters need to know about you?

Young adult non-fiction is what drew me into working with young adults in the first place. I fell in love with Left for Dead and couldn’t stop talking to all the teens about it.


**All award committee candidate interviews are crossposted to both the YALSAblog and The Hub.

Published by

Allison Tran

Past Member Manager for YALSA's The Hub. Passionate about information literacy, social media, and connecting readers with books they'll love.