LJ & SLJ Public Library Youth Services Leadership Summit

Library Journal & School Library Journal 

Public Library Youth Services Leadership Summit 

September 26th and 27th 

Cleveland, OH 



Learning and Leading Together 


Library Journal and School Library Journal are thrilled to announce that we will be hosting our annual Public Library Youth Services Leadership Summit in person on Sept. 26 (full-day) and 27 (half-day) at Cuyahoga County Public Library, in Cleveland, OH.


We invite you to join current and aspiring youth services leaders from across the country to learn about innovative, effective, and actionable best practices from the library leaders who are implementing them. 


Leadership is a mindset and generative practice, available to every library professional. Whatever your role in the library may be today, the opportunity exists for you to apply and develop your skills in ways that expand your career and your impact on colleagues and the people you serve. The Summit is designed to help you take your career, programs, and leadership to the next level. 


This year’s agenda will cover the following topics: 


  • Community Partnerships 

  • Practical Support for Censorship 

  • School\Public Library Partnerships 

  • Lifelong and Family Literacy 

  • Engaging with Teens 

  • Addressing Learning Loss 

  • Partnering with Youth on Program Development 


Do you have an innovative idea or program you’d like to share with others at this year’s Summit? Send us a proposal! Accepted presenters will be included in a session or will be allotted 5 minutes to deliver their idea during our ‘fast learning’ segment. Deadline for submission is July 19th.


Come to Learn. Come to Share. Come to Support and Be Supported. Come to Connect. And come to Grow as a Leader


Who should attend: Youth services librarians, leadership, and staff. Send your teams!! 


The Summit will deliver 11 CE hours.  A certificate of completion will be provided. 


By registering for this event, you are agreeing that Library Journal/School Library Journal may share your registration information with sponsors currently shown and future sponsors of this event. Click here to review our full Privacy Policy.

By registering for this event, you acknowledge that you have read and agree to Library Journal's Health & Safety Policy.

Interested In Sponsoring? Please contact Advertising Director Roy Futterman: rfutterman@mediasourceinc.com


Need an invoice? Please contact jweinheimer@mediasourceinc.com

Thursday, September 26


9:00 AM - 10:00 AM | Continental Breakfast


10:00 AM – 12:00 PM |




Keynote: What Makes a Leader?

Speaker to be announced                                                     


Panel Discussion: Teen Engagement                                                

Ricci Yuhico, Managing Librarian, Young Adult Services, NYPL

Sarah Amazing, Teen Services Department Manager, Warren-Trumbull County Public Library




Panel Discussion: Advocacy & Censorship

Erin MacFarlane, Deputy Director, Maricopa County Public Library

Michelle Francis, Executive Director, Ohio Library Council

Aya Khalil, author, The Banned Books Bake Sale


12:00 – 1:00 PM | Lunch


1:00 – 5:00 PM |


Presentation & Group Activity: Strategic Social Media Engagement

Speakers to be announced




In Conversation: Connected Learning & Digital Literacy

Mega Subramaniam, Professor & Associate Dean for Faculty, University of Maryland


Closing Remarks


5:00 PM – 6:00 PM | Cocktail Reception





Friday, September 27


8:30 – 9:00 AM | Continental Breakfast


9:00 AM – 12:00 PM |


Presentation: Organizational Culture & Community Engagement

Linda W. Braun, Principal, LEO: Librarians and Educators Online


Panel Discussion: Family Engagement & Literacy

Speakers to be announced




Panel Discussion: Leadership Pathways

Rachel McDonald, Executive Director, Skagit Public Library

Lisa G. Kropp, Director, Lindenhurst (NY) Memorial Library; President, New York Library Association


Fast Learning Sessions


Closing Remark




Sarah Amazing is the Teen Services Department Manager at the Warren-Trumbull County Public Library, where she has worked since 2007, elevating teen services from the weird collection and occasional program to the incredible experience it is today. She is a YALSA Transforming Teen Services trainer, member of the Teen Think Tank planning team, active in the Ohio Library Council, and speaks throughout Ohio. She writes at zen-teen.com.



Shauntee Burns-Simpson, MLIS, served as the President of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA) from 2020 to 2022. She currently holds the position of Director of Youth & Family Services at the DC Public Library. As an ambassador for libraries and youth librarianship, Mrs. Burns-Simpson is dedicated to connecting individuals with the resources and services of public libraries. She is particularly focused on working with at-risk teens, fostering a love of reading and learning through innovative programming. 



Linda W. Braun is the Principal of The LEO Group.  She works with educational institutions across the United States to design and deliver quality learning experiences for youth, families, communities, and staff.  Linda has a Masters of Science in Library Science from Simmons College and a Masters of Education from Lesley University.  She manages large-scale projects such the IMLS funded Building Equity-Based Summers (in partnershp with the California Library Association) and the California-based AI Collaboratory, a project focused on working with California’s public libraries to prepare and respond to AI.  Linda is also a consultant with the University of Maryland’s Ready NOW initiative and  the Connected Learning Lab’s Transforming and Scaling Teen Services for EDI. (Both IMLS funded.) 



Michelle Francis is the Executive Director of the Ohio Library Council, the professional association that represents Ohio’s 251 public library systems, including their administrators and staff, trustees, and Friends groups. She is responsible for working with the OLC Board of Directors to establish and execute the strategic direction of the organization and the day-to-day management of its eight-member staff. Michelle was named the Executive Director in 2019. Prior to that, she served as the OLC’s Director of Government and Legal Services where she monitored state and federal legislation affecting public libraries, directed OLC’s lobbying efforts, and assisted members with legal questions. 



Aya Khalil is an award-winning author of picture books and board books including The Arabic Quilt, The Night Before Eid and The Great Banned Books Bake Sale. She holds a master's degree in Education and is a substitute librarian and substitute teacher. 



Lisa Kropp spent the majority of her 30-year career in youth services work as a public librarian, a school librarian, and as a youth services coordinator at the county library system. She moved into upper-level administration in 2015, becoming the Assistant Director, and then the Director, in 2018, of the Lindenhurst Memorial Library. She currently serves as the President of the New York Library Association, and is an Advisory Board member of the national Sustainable Libraries Initiative. She was the early learning columnist for School Library Journal for five years. 



Erin MacFarlane has over 18 years' experience in public libraries, including 14 years in leadership roles. She is passionate about the amazing work libraries do to serve their communities and uses her platform to advocate for broader access for all. 



Kymberlee Powe (she/her) has been working in libraries for over fourteen years and specializes in youth services and is currently the Children and Young Adult Consultant with the Connecticut State Library. Kym has given presentations and participated in panel conversations discussing literary equity and youth services at various conference which include, the American Library Association Annual Conference, the Connected Learning Summit, Niche Academy, and she has spoken for multiple School Library Journal/ Library Journal professional development courses. Kym was awarded the inaugural Judy Burroughs award by the Connecticut Crossroads Project, an award given to people whose skills and talents have had a positive effect on the greater Connecticut Community. In 2023 Kym was named a Library Journal Mover and Shaker in the education category, and this year Kym was granted the Literary Hero Award by the local organization Read to Grow. 



Dr. Mega Subramaniam is a Professor and the Associate Dean for Faculty at the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland. Her research focuses on enhancing the role of public and school libraries in fostering the mastery of digital literacies among youth. Her research has resulted in several national recognitions, including the Library Journal's 2019 Movers and Shakers award, YALSA’s 2020 Outstanding Achievement Award, and the Fulbright Specialist Award



Ricci Yuhico is an award-winning public librarian originally from Miami, Florida who celebrates her multifaceted identity as a first-generation Filipino-American.  As the Managing Librarian for Young Adult Services at the largest lending branch of The New York Public Library in midtown Manhattan, she has had the privilege of launching and running their flagship Teen Center, which officially opened in 2021. With over a decade of library service, Ricci previously managed premiere teen centers in the Miami-Dade Public Library System and Broward County Library—spaces that empower young adults in pursuit of their right to vetted information, accessible resources, and to thrive in public places. The radical power of love continues to shape her commitment to public service. 


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