YALSA Election: An Interview with Printz Award Committee Candidate Ann Pechacek

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 Michael L. Printz Award Committee, which honors the best book and up to four honor books written for teens, based entirely on literary merit, each 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 Ann Laurie Pechacek.

Name and current position: Ann Laurie Pechacek, Youth/Adult Services Lead Librarian, Worthington Libraries, Worthington, OH

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

When I learned that I’d been mentioned as a possible candidate, it felt like I’d earned both an Academy Awards nomination and a Super Bowl berth!

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

An easygoing personality and serious love of teen literature, plus cookies, on occasion!

What experience do you have with materials selection and evaluation?

I have been in charge of maintaining my teen collection, weeding and reordering books to fit the interests of my library’s patrons for the past 14 years.

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

I work hard to provide the best readers advisory experience possible. I know what it’s like to read a book that seems like it was written just for you, and I want every teen to have that feeling.

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

As a member of both BBYA and Quick Picks, I learned to prioritize and set goals. I also plan to take a monumental vacation this year to relax and prepare myself for the 2016 Printz-pocalypse!

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

Favorites include Postcards from No Man’s Land, The Book Thief, Looking for Alaska, Monster and, c’mon, who didn’t fall in love with Hassan from Printz Honor winner An Abundance of Katherines?

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

I triple-heart Breathing Underwater and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Leviathan made me want to stomp it out in a military tank with legs and Leverage, wow, what an impact!

What else do voters need to know about you?

I’m a team player as well as an avid Oklahoma Sooner and NASCAR fan. My last meal on earth would be chicken fried steak and, even though I don’t think I’m crafty, I make a mean fascinator.


**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.