Heather Colby, Homer Township Public Library District, Named Young Adult Librarian of the Year

Young Adult Services Forum (YASF)

July 16, 2019

Heather Colby of the Homer Township Public Library District is the 2019 recipient of the Illinois Library Association’s Young Adult Librarian of the Year Award. The award, presented by ILA and the Young Adult Services Forum, recognizes an Illinois Young Adult Librarian who is making an outstanding local contribution in library services to young adults in his/her community by creating and implementing library programs and services that identify and meet the needs of the teens in their community. The award is sponsored by Sourcebooks and honors the positive impact Sharon Ball has had on Illinois librarians and teens.

For the last 12 years, Heather Colby has spent her time at the Homer Township Public Library building in the teen services program that continues to expand and grow positively each year. Heather’s work, both in and out of the library, has actively changed the public perception of teens in the community.

Heather’s impact is felt throughout the community and her work with organizations such as Meals on Wheels and Anti-Cruelty society has helped her develop leadership skills and encouraged volunteering amongst teens in the community. Because the library is not easily accessible for teens, providing opportunities outside the library has encouraged involvement of teens with community projects.

The success of her teen leadership training program, Energy: The Teen Leadership Academy, has allowed Heather to mentor and train teens to receive the skills they need when entering the workforce. Through a wide range of programming, from tech labs to LGBTQ book clubs, Heather has made the library a place for teens to find their own community as well. “Heather supports teens wherever they are at in life; whether it’s their need to fulfill a service hour requirement, share their passion about Hamilton or Harry Potter, discover stories that reflect their identity, or have a safe place where they can be among their peers,” wrote Sheree KozelLa Ha, Library Director at Homer Township Public Library.

The Young Adult Librarian of the Year Award will be presented at the Awards Luncheon to be held on Tuesday, October 22, during the 2019 Illinois Library Association Annual Conference in Tinley Park.

For further information, contact the Illinois Library Association.

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