YALSA Election: An Interview with Nonfiction Award Committee Candidate Shauna Yusko

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 Shauna Yusko.

Name and current position: Shauna Yusko, Teacher-Librarian, Evergreen Middle School

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

I decided to run because I enjoy the work of selection committees, the people that you meet/work with, and this committee in particular because I enjoy non-fiction for teens.

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

Selection committee experience, a sense of humor, and a desire to promote this genre far and wide with teens. Also, a love of working with middle school students.

What experience do you have with materials selection and evaluation?

In addition to serving on past YALSA selection committees (BFYA, PPYA, etc), I also present “Best Books” webinars/seminars for YALSA, my state library association, & school district.

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

I love finding great non-fiction titles for my students/teens, and encouraging them to explore the amazing TRUE stories about people, places, and the world we live in. Nonfiction rocks at my library.

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

Having spent 2 years on BFYA, as well as other YALSA selection committees, I know all about needing to do volumes of reading. I’ve discovered what works, and what doesn’t, for me to manage the reading load.

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

So many! Including finalists? The Nazi Hunters, Imprisoned, Bomb, Moonbird, Spies of Mississippi, Written in Bone are a few of my “go-to” recommendations.

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

I’m a fan of Russell Freedman and Martin W. Sandler, so always hoping to find their books recognized.

What else do voters need to know about you?

I’ve won the ING Unsung Heroes Award and Best Buy Teach Award for my work in the classroom. And the Legacy Leadership Award for my work starting a non-profit which helps feed hungry students in our community.


**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.