Allison Riggs is the Recipient of the 2022 Young Adult Librarian of the Year Award

Young Adult Services Forum (YASF)

September 9, 2022

Allison Riggs, a Teen Reader’s Advisory Librarian at the Schaumburg Township District Library, is the 2022 recipient of the Illinois Library Association’s (ILA) Young Adult Library Professional of the Year Award. This award, presented by ILA and the Young Adult Services Forum, recognizes an Illinois Young Adult Library Professional who is making an outstanding contribution in library services to young adults in their community and beyond 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.

In her capacity as a teen librarian, Riggs has shown incredible attention to detail from library-wide policies down to collection metadata. She demonstrates particular care for the mental health and wellbeing of teens through her programming initiatives like the Create & Chill group that she co-leads with a social worker or the social justice and mental health themed take-home kits. As the recipient of PLA’s Inclusive Internship Initiative grant, Riggs worked with a teen intern to create an LGBTQIA+ zine drive that continues to receive submissions. Again and again, coworkers and staff highlight her empathy, compassion, and skills at listening to her teens and responding to their needs through service.

The projects Riggs takes on have lasting impact, not only at the libraries she implements them for but also in the wider library community. Her contributed work on Teen Book Boxes, modeled on subscription box services, became a framework that has been used not only at Hinsdale, where she worked prior, and multiple departments at Schaumburg, but also successfully at other libraries. As a member of the Schaumburg Township District Library Collection Management Taskforce, Riggs was a driving force in overhauling outdated language in the collection development policy and reconsideration form, and provided valuable feedback in cataloguing diverse works to maximize their discoverability. In this way, she ensures that the library and its collections will continue to reflect a diverse population responsive to the needs and interests of teens and other community members.

“Allison Riggs is an outstanding example of empathetic leadership with a backbone.” Rachel Newlin, Cataloging Librarian, Schaumburg Township District Library

“[Allison] is a team player who is at the backbone of so many successes, and someone who is a reliable advocate for teens, programming, and collection development.” Patricia Lawley, Hinsdale Public Library

The Young Adult Library Professional of the Year Award will be presented at an awards ceremony during the 2022 Illinois Library Association Annual Conference. The conference will take place October 18-20, 2022, in Rosemont, IL.

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