Thursday, February 16, 2023

The Arlington Public Library is proud to announce Loretta Zhang is the recipient of the Innovation in Teen Services Award from the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). Loretta was selected from a national pool of candidates for her efforts in the Teen Volunteer Program.

Loretta has been instrumental in implementing and expanding the library’s Teen Volunteer Program, which allows teens the opportunity to engage in a community-wide philanthropic effort. With the system Loretta created, teens have many options for their volunteer needs.

Library Youth Ambassadors is both volunteerism and a way for teens to provide input on library programs and services. Teen Program Helper allows teens to help staff prepare for programs. Another opportunity is Teens Give Back, a program that allows clubs and organizations to make crafts for the library’s Books on Wheels recipients. This program has grown exponentially and is now offered at three library locations and four high schools. Finally, Loretta created virtual opportunities for teens to provide feedback on marketing or monitor our APL Teen Discord.

Through her efforts, the library has seen exponential growth in the number of teens that are participating in volunteer programs. Additionally, through these philanthropy projects, we have seen an increase in the number of teens utilizing library services and attending library programs.


The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) brings together professionals from libraries, education, research, after school care, youth development and more to develop resources for libraries that expand their capacity to support teen learning and community engagement.