Youth Services Achievement Award


Presented by the ILA Youth Services Forum and Brainfuse, Inc.

We are no longer accepting nominations for this award.

Not sure how to get started with your nomination?

Click here to download award nomination guidelines and requirements. 

Review the Criteria and Eligibility below. 


Formerly the Golden Ticket Award, this annual award is presented to a non-degreed (MLIS) individual working in the Youth Services Department who has made an outstanding local contribution in library services to young people in his/her community by creating and implementing library programs and/or initiatives that promote a love of learning and positively impacts the lives of children. 


The recipient should be a non-degreed (MLIS) individual working directly with children in an Illinois library setting. Individuals may nominate themselves or be nominated by others. Nominees need not be a personal member of ILA. Current members of the Youth Services Forum are ineligible for this award and may not submit a nomination.


The nomination should consist of the completed ILA nomination form and a written statement of no more than four pages. The written statement should include:

  • Examples of innovative and dynamic programs, outreach efforts, services or collection development for youth up to eighth grade, initiated and presented by nominee within the past two years
  • How such programs and initiatives have benefited the library and its community
  • Why the nominee deserves this award

Optional: A maximum of three pages of supporting pictures and a maximum of five promotional flyers may also be included.


The recipient will receive a one year personal membership to ILA (if already a personal member, he/she will receive a free one year renewal of his/her membership), and a $400 financial award.

Please note that monetary award amounts are subject to change without notice and are contingent upon sponsor funding supplied at the time the award is presented.

Nomination Deadline

May 15

Nomination Submissions

The nominator’s statement of support should address all criteria under the individual awards as outlined. Nominator must submit the nomination form and attach all support statements, letters, and documentation, etc. required by the award’s criteria.

If a group, department, or organization is chosen as the award winner, the individual members of the group will be collectively recognized. If more than one individual nominates the same person, only one nominator will be invited to attend the Award Ceremony. ILA must receive all nominations by May 15.

Previous Youth Services Achievement Award Winners

2007      Camille Rose
2008      Noël Zethmayr
2009      Elsie Martinez
2010      Magi Henderson
2011      Kathryn Mitchell
2012      Victoria Rakowski
2013      Lindsay Huth
2014      Rhonda Johnson
2015      Gail Lundgren
2016      Rosie Camargo
2017      Sue McCowin
2018      Marissa Elera
2019      Natalie Williams
2020      no award

2021      Shelley Harris 

2022      Mandy O'Brien
2023     Debbie Roycroft

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