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2019 YA Summit
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Registration | Authors & Presenters | Agenda | Contact



Thursday, January 31 - Saturday, February 2

Prescott Resort and Conference Center

1500 AZ-69

Prescott, AZ 86301


Minds Expand


Libraries are increasingly finding a need to reach out to the young adult community. Libraries are transforming from places that provide resources into places that provide community. The young adult community requires a place free from judgment where they can be themselves, and the libraries are transforming into a place where they can safely gather for fun, education, and companionship.

Library staff who work with teens, whether in a public library setting or a high school setting, have a passion for what they do. But they can’t do it alone! How are you transforming your teens, your library, and your community? How can we engage teens to transform their lives?


YA Summit to Return to Prescott


    • Registration includes: Sessions, 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, and author keynote address.
    • Cost: AzLA Members $165 / Non-Members $200
    • Lodging is not included 
    • Discounted room rates for Session Registrants: To get conference room rates at PRCC, specifically ask for Reservations at 1-888-976-4676, not the reception desk. Front desk staff may not be aware of the conference rate. 



Authors & Presenters

 Mitali Perkins Author Keynote


MITALI PERKINS has written ten novels for young readers, including You Bring the Distant Near (Walter Dean Myers Honor Award, nominated for a National Book Award), Rickshaw Girl (New York Public Library's Top 100 books for Children in 100 Years), Bamboo People (American Library Association's Top Ten Novel for Young Adults) and Tiger Boy (Charlotte Huck Honor Award and South Asia Book Award.) She has been honored as a "Most Engaging Author" by independent booksellers across the country and selected as a "Literary Light for Children" by the Associates of the Boston Public Library. Mitali was born in Kolkata, India before immigrating to the Bay Area with her family. She has lived in Bangladesh, India, England, Thailand, Mexico, Cameroon, and Ghana, studied at Stanford and U.C. Berkeley, and currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Adele Murray & Morgan Wylie

ADELE MURRAY studied and worked as an archaeologist before becoming a librarian where she has six years’ experience supporting STEAM learning for urban youth. She now runs teen tech programming at Hennepin County Library – North Regional.

MORGAN WYLIE studied computer science and art at Cornell College, and has over 12 years’ experience in supporting youth education at non-profit arts, cultural, and library organizations. She currently runs teen tech programming at Hennepin County Library – Brookdale.


Logan Phillips


LOGAN PHILLIPS works as a bilingual poet, performance artist and DJ, touring his art throughout the US, Latin America and beyond. Born and raised in Cochise County, Arizona to a family of Irish-Slavic ancestry, Phillips lived in and around Mexico City 2006-2011, where he contributed to organizing and hosting the country's first regular poetry slam series. He the author of the full-length book of poems Sonoran Strange, (West End Press, Albuquerque, 2015), named a “Top Pick” for Southwest Book of the Year by the region’s librarians. A seasoned arts educator, Phillips also co-founded and co-directed the youth-centered arts and social justice organization Spoken Futures, Inc. 2010-2018, whose programs include the Tucson Youth Poetry Slam and La Pilita Cultural Center in Tucson’s Barrio Viejo. He is currently a MFA candidate in poetry at the University of Arizona.

 Thane Benson  

THANE BENSON is a librarian for Denver Public Library. He works with teens to create original programming that fosters creativity and encourages expression among young people. He is the author of the book Murder Mystery, Graphic Novels, and More: Innovative Programs for Engaging Teens in Your Library, soon to be published by ABC-CLIO. When he is not at the library, Thane moonlights as an independent comic book and graphic novel creator. His work is online at

 Keliann LaConte  

Over the past decade, KELIANN LACONTE has worked with library, education, and STEM professionals to support the “STEM in libraries” movement in the U.S. As a 2018-19 Fulbright Global Scholar, Keliann is conducting research and professional development on the topic of STEM learning in libraries in Australia and the UK. Keliann co-convened the 2015 Public Libraries & STEM conference, and she currently provides resources and training to U.S. librarians as a member of the STAR Library Network (STAR Net) leadership team. Her training includes a bachelor's degree in Chemistry from the University of Denver; she also has a master's degree in Environmental Science and Engineering from Caltech, and she performed astrobiology research at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

  Jennifer LaGarde  

JENNIFER LAGARDE (aka library girl!) is a lifelong educator and learner. With over twenty years of experience in public education, Jennifer has served as a classroom teacher, a teacher librarian, a digital teaching and learning specialist, a district level support staff and a state-wide leader as a consultant for both the NC Dept. of Public Instruction and the Friday Institute for Instructional Innovation. Jennifer is a past winner of the  ALA, New York Times and Carnegie Corporation’s  "I Love My Librarian Award," was awarded “Social Justice Defender” distinction by the American Library Association, and she was also named a Library Journal "Mover and Shaker” for her efforts as a school library advocate. Jennifer earned her bachelor's degree in Secondary Education with a concentration in English/Language Arts from the University of NC at Wilmington. And she earned her Master’s in Library Science from Appalachian State University. She also holds National Board Certification in the area of School Library Media. Jennifer currently works with teachers, librarians, instructional technologists, instructional coaches and both building and district level leaders, around the world, to develop innovative instructional practices that both serve the literacy needs of students and that infuse technology in meaningful ways. Jennifer has published numerous articles on best educational practices for journals like Teacher Librarian, ISTE, School Library Connections and Knowledge Quest. Jennifer currently resides in Olympia, Washington where she spends time chasing after her three dogs, drinking lots of coffee and updating her award winning blog The Adventures of Library Girl where she proves you don’t have to be super hero to be a teacher librarian, but having a cape sure helps.

 Alyson Walker  

ALYSON WALKER currently serves as the Director of Youth Programs at Arizona Science Center. She is originally from Largo, Florida but moved to Arizona with Teach for America. She started her career as an Elementary school teacher where she discovered her passion for STEM Education. After growing the STEM program at the school she taught at, she moved into the informal education realm with Arizona Science Center.


 Sam Rodriguez  

SAM RODRIGUEZ is an XRtist specializing in the merging of technology and art. Her pieces incorporate themes of relationships, inter-connectivity, reality, and experimentation. Currently earning her M.A. in Art Education, Sam also works with local makerspaces teaching workshops and educating the public and students about open, free, and new technological resources. Working as a Unity Student Ambassador, she has also mentored several students (and departments) on emerging technologies and how to incorporate them into their individual projects. 

 Vicki Lázaro   


VICKI LAZARO is the first Emerging Technologies Librarian with the Office of Digital Innovation & Stewardship (ODIS) at the University of Arizona. Vicki helped develop the University of Arizona’s iSpace and VR Studio in the Science-Engineering Library as a Graduate Assistant. She helped promote the UA’s mission with programming by creating the Teens to Tech program, workshops and guided tours through the iSpace and VR Studio. As a Knowledge River Scholar and graduate from the UA iSchool with a Masters of Library and Information Sciences Degree and with her work as a Library Program Instructor for Pima County Public Library (PCPL), she has represented the UA and PCPL  many times in presentations at Arizona Library Association (AzLA), American Library Association (ALA), REFORMA, and on equity and inclusion in information environments in the AzLA and Joint Council of Librarians of Color (JCLC) conferences events.

 Marli Mayon  

MARLI MAYON (She, Her, Hers) serves as Volunteer Coordinator with the organization BLOOM365. BLOOM365 works to prevent teen dating abuse before it starts by delivering a 7-dose curriculum in classrooms and community spaces across the country. Marli’s works specifically with the high school students and college interns who drive so much of the grassroots efforts behind BLOOM365, engaging them in outreach, advocacy, and educational opportunities using a peer-to-peer activism approach to spread the organization’s message of creating safe and healthy relationships for all. Marli is passionate about many social justice issues, most specifically intersectional feminism or womanism and equitable access to education for all. She serves as school board member of Girls Leadership Academy of Arizona where she works to empower students through educational, volunteer, and community engagement opportunities.  In her free time, Marli enjoys a night of live music at Crescent Ballroom, trying all the slices of cheese pizza Phoenix has to offer, and reclaiming the word “millennial.”

 Sebastian Blackwell  

SEBASTIAN BLACKWELL (He, Him, His) is an Arizona State University graduate with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Sociology. He is an AmeriCorps alumnus serving with Public Allies of Arizona in 2016. Currently, he is the Director of Education and Training with a Phoenix based nonprofit organization called Bloom365. Sebastian is a a passionate LGBTQ rights activist and serves on the Millennial Advisory Counsel for an Arizona LGBTQ rights organization called One Community. Sebastian actively works toward BLOOM365’s mission of preventing Teen Dating Abuse BEFORE it starts by educating and advocating for teens across Arizona and soon nationwide.  With BLOOM365, Sebastian serves as an adult ally to youth to UPROOT the systemic causes of violence including patriarchy, oppression, and taught abusive behavior in Arizona communities so youth can begin to build healthy and safe relationships and friendships that are free from Power and Control. 

 Amy Lukavicks  

AMY LUKAVICS is the Bram Stoker Award nominated author of Daughters unto Devils, The Women in the Walls, The Ravenous, and Nightingale. When she isn't reading or writing creepy stories, she enjoys cooking, roller derby, and playing games across various platforms. 

 Amy Trueblood  

AMY TRUEBLOOD grew up in California only ten minutes from Disneyland which sparked an early interest in storytelling. As the youngest of five, she spent most of her time trying to find a quiet place to curl up with her favorite books. After graduating from the University of Arizona with a degree in journalism, she worked in entertainment in Los Angeles before returning to work in public relations and advertising in Arizona.  When she's not writing, she's crafting a Spotify playlist for her next book or drinking her favorite iced tea. Her first novel, NOTHING BUT SKY is available now. Her second book, another YA Historical, hits shelves Fall 2019.

For more on Amy, check out her website, or follow her on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, or Tumblr.

 Erin Jade Lange  

ERIN JADE LANGE is the award-winning author of contemporary young adult novels, Butter, Dead Ends, Rebel Bully Geek Pariah, and The Chaos of Now. She is the winner of the Friedolin Youth Book Prize in Germany and the Sakura Medal in Japan. She has also been nominated for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize (twice), the German Children’s Literature Award and multiple state book awards. Her debut novel was a 2013 Teens’ Top Ten Pick, and her books have appeared on several state reading lists. As a former journalist, Erin is inspired by current events and real-world issues and uses her writing to explore how those issues impact teenagers.

 Tom Leveen  

TOM LEVEEN is the author of nine novels including the recent MERCY RULE and SHACKLED. His novel SICK is a Westchester Fiction Award and Grand Canyon Reader Award winner; ZERO was a 2013 ALA/YALSA Best Book; and his novel HELLWORLD was a 2017 Bram Stoker Award finalist. He brings 22 years of live theatre experience to his stories and classes. Find him online at


 Printable Agenda

Day 1 - Thursday, January 31st 

2 PM Hotel Check-in                                                                            
2:30 PM - 5:30 PM

Pre-Summit Workshop - YALSA Session

Gain a greater understanding of how to leverage the new Teen Services Competencies from YALSA for the benefit of the teens you serve, as well as how to use them to create a road-map for your professional
development. Participants will leave with resources, examples, ideas, and a plan for supporting the Learning Outcomes of Teens in their communities.

7 PM - 8 PM Opening Speaker - Author, Tom Leveen
8 PM - 10 PM Welcome Meet and Greet Reception

Day 2 - Friday, February 1st  

8 AM - 9 AM  Breakfast
9 AM - 10 AM

Opening Key Note #SaidNoGREATLibrarianEver: Reframing the Conversation About Libraries by Reclaiming Your WHY- Jennifer LaGarde

Whether school, public or academic, libraries remain one of the few egalitarian institutions remaining in our society: places where all people receive equal access to information and resources. And yet, each
year, librarianship remains a profession in peril, an occupation plagued by a single question: are you necessary? In this keynote, we’ll take aim at the language and practices that perpetuate stereotypes about our profession while identifying ways that ALL librarians can harness the power behind why they chose this profession in the first place to make radical, positive changes in their communities.

10 AM - 10:15 AM Break
10: 15 AM - 11:45 AM 

Room 1 - Root Cause Prevention - Sebastian Blackwell, Bloom 365, Marli Mayon and Sebastian Blackwell

As we have seen time and time again, existing conditions among youth that tolerate abuse and violence as a social norm pose a serious and immediate threat to the health and welfare of future generations and school communities. This 90-minute "FLASH DOSE" training will uncover the root causes of gender based violence and other forms of power and control-based violence. It is designed for individuals with an interest in youth-driven social change efforts to prevent gender based violence BEFORE it starts. The varying root causes uncovered include rigid gender norms, social acceptance, taught abusive behavior, insecurity and systems of oppression. Through facilitated conversation and interactive exercises, participants will have the opportunity to understand these factors directly from the lens of teens and walk away with tools to uproot abuse in their local schools and communities.


Room 2 - STEM Programs @ Your library!!! - Alyson Walker

Want to find new ways to engage teens in STEM? Join this interactive session to step into the shoes of a teenager and engage in an assortment of STEM activities ranging from robotics to chemistry. Attendees will walk away with ideas for new programs that they can implement at their libraries!

11:45 AM - 1:30 PM  Lunch & Networking
1:30 PM - 3 PM 

Room 1 - 5 Laws of Teen Programs - Wylie & Murray 

Are you struggling with teen programs and looking for ways to get teens into your library? Tired of sitting in an empty room with cold pizza? Learn best practices for developing, implementing, and evaluating programs for teens. Attendees will share and learn about the following topics: formal and informal programs; outreach; partnerships; funding challenges and opportunities; creating affirming spaces; and connected learning. 


Room 2 - Murder Mystery for Teens - Thane Benson

For the past five years at Denver Public Library we've created different interactive murder mystery events as Halloween programs for teens. These events are created by teens who write the script and act out the parts of the characters (aka the suspects). Other teens are invited to the event as guests. The guests witness the drama and then, working in teams, they must solve the mystery by interviewing all the suspects. We will explain the formula we use to create these events. Then workshop attendees will work together to create the outline of an original murder mystery story.


This is an interactive workshop by design. Some information will be presented in lecture form but attendees will be encouraged to actively participate. We will model how to facilitate creative brainstorming and group writing sessions with teens by having the audience play the part of a teen group by brainstorming and writing an original murder mystery story in the workshop. Attendees will walk away with a functional murder mystery outline as well as the tools to work with with teens to create their own original story.

3 PM - 3:15 Break 
3:15 PM - 4:45 PM

Room 1 - VR/AR Bizarre Bazaar: An introduction to virtual and augmented reality and how to include them in our libraries and schools- Vicki Lazaro and Sam Rodriguez

Not sure where to start or how to explain virtual or augmented reality to anyone, including yourself? Join Vicki Lázaro and Sam Rodriguez as they explain the basics of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). They will also describe and show examples of how to get started into the VR/AR world at your library or school. Both will discuss ways they have incorporated VR/AR in the academic and public libraries and in university and K-12 classrooms.


Room 2 - Women in Conversation - Local Author Panel 

Several popular authors who write for Young Adults and live in Arizona will gather to share their ideas and take questions from the audience. Featured YA authors are Amy Trueblood, Erin Jade Lange, Shonna Slayton, Sonja Stone and Suzanne Young.

After Work Hours Fun  
5:15 PM - 7 PM Whiskey Row History Hunt
6:30 PM - 8 PM Buffet Dinner: Gurley St. Grill
 7 PM - ???  Author Meet and Mingle - Shuttle runs until 10 PM
Day 3 - Saturday, February 2nd     
8 AM - 9 AM Breakfast
9 AM - 10 AM  Author Key Note - Mitali Perkins
10 AM -10:30 AM Break (Author signing)
10:30 AM - 12 PM

Room 1 - Out-of-this-world Programs - STARnet

The STAR Library Network (STAR Net) leads a vibrant online community that is designed to connect libraries with Science-Technology Activities and Resources. This workshop features inexpensive, easy‐to‐do activities to engage your patrons in NASA science and discovery. Receive NASA resources and discuss how they can be used to engage diverse members of your community. Learn how you can use STAR Net’s STEM Activity Clearinghouse, blog, and resource pages to see how other libraries are facilitating STEM learning and share your own experiments in STEM programming.


Room 2 - Making Magic At Your Library! - Jeffrey Stoffer

Have you ever heard of the card game Magic the Gathering? It’s a card game played by all ages around the world since 1993. The game teaches strategic, logic, order of play, and most of all forces it’s players to read if they want a chance to defeat their opponent. Free Magic Library Kits are now available to order to start Magic at your library. Coming to this hands on program and leave with a deck of magic cards and new program ideas for your library.

12:00 PM - 1:30 PM Networking lunch and raffle drawings
1:30 PM - 3 PM

Room 1 - The Inspiring/Rejuvenating/Reinforcing Power of Literature, - Dr. Joan Kaywell

Some books stay with students forever; they reinforce their sense of identities, challenge their thinking, change their perspectives, and inform their worldviews. Such works continue to teach long after the last page is turned. Teachers and authors are often the unsung heroes of children on the brink of self-destruction. By offering YA books to children to help them momentarily escape the pain of growing up, teachers offer teenagers a constructive way to survive, find hope, and know that they are not alone.
Learn what books save lives and why you need to have them in your classroom.


Room 2 - You are the DJ? Music Mixing & Beatmaking - Logan Phillips

Experienced DJ’s and producers lead dynamic introduction workshops using professional equipment. Learn the basics of music theory, beat-matching, and sampling from vinyl! This workshop offers participants an opportunity to learn the creative medium and trade of DJing, in a simplified format. DJing
is a great starting point to learn music theory and musicianship, especially for young people.

3 PM - 3:15 PM Break
3:15 PM - 4 PM  Conclusion, Debriefing, and Raffle!










This project is supported by the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records, a division of the Secretary of State, with federal funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.


For questions or more information, please contact Donna Boyce or Rob Wilson.

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2019 YA Summit