CHICAGO – Tammy Dillard-Steels, executive director of the Young Adult Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), will be stepping down from the role effective Feb. 4, 2022.
Dillard-Steels joined YALSA as executive director in April 2019, bringing to ALA extensive association management experience. In her nearly three years at ALA, Dillard-Steels has led the division in supporting its mission to empower library staff to serve teens and support them – especially those with the greatest needs – on the path to successful and fulfilling lives. Among her many achievements were working with the YALSA Executive Board to guide the division through the creation of a new strategic plan and leading the planning and convening of a successful YALSA Symposium, which took place in November 2021in Reno, Nevada, bringing hundreds of youth services library professionals together in person and virtually, to discuss ways to support teens in the midst of the pandemic and its unprecedented disruption of school and home life.
“Tammy has been a stalwart leader for YALSA’s work during a critical period. She has brought integrity and an unflagging commitment to service to the role. She departs YALSA having guided a strategic plan that stands to make its impact stronger and broader. I am grateful to her for that,” said Tracie D. Hall, executive director of ALA.
LaMoya N. Burks, currently head librarian at Texarkana (Texas) College’s Palmer Memorial Library, doctoral student at Texas A&M University – Texarkana, and longtime member leader within YALSA, has been named interim executive director. She is a YALSA Pura Belpre Task Force member and currently serves on the Committee on Legislation, and Committee on Literacy. She is also a member of the ALA Spectrum Doctoral Fellows Selection committee. Burks is a native of Texarkana, Texas, and has earned a Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction from Texas A&M University – Texarkana and a master’s degree in Library and Information Science with Graduate Academic Certificates in Advanced Management in Library and Information Agencies, Digital Content Management and Data Analytics from the University of North Texas.
“We are delighted to welcome LaMoya to ALA in this interim capacity. She has been recognized on numerous occasions by the Texas Library Association for her contributions. LaMoya is also considered a rising leader within ALA as her track record of involvement across various aspects of association work, from legislation to literacy, indicate. Given her ongoing doctoral work in educational leadership, I am looking forward to the fresh perspectives she will bring to this critical role and how they will serve to support the ambitious goals that the YALSA Board has set for the division, and that I as a former youth services librarian seek to see realized for the field at large,” said Hall.
“As YALSA President, I had the honor of working closely with Tammy,” said YALSA President Kelly Czarnecki. “I am appreciative of the course she has steered YALSA on with our new strategic plan, an updated staffing model that is more fiscally responsible and a deep respect for the hard work of the member volunteers that make up the YALSA organization. LaMoya Burks is stepping into the role of interim executive director at a great time. I look forward to working with her and the Board to continue to reach our goals set forth in the plan that members and youth advocates were a huge part of giving voice to.”
Details about the search for a new executive director will be forthcoming.
The mission of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) is networking, advocacy, and professional development. The Young Adult Library Services Association empowers all those involved in the profession to provide equitable, diverse, and inclusive teen services. For more information about YALSA or to access national guidelines and other resources go to www.ala.org/yalsa.
About the American Library Association
ALA is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, ALA has been the trusted voice of libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit ala.org.