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Mary Puhr 
Mid-America Library Alliance 


Mid-Continent Public Library - Woodneath Library 
8900 NE Flintlock Rd
Kansas City, MO 64157

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2016 Young Adult Workshop - Break Out: Serving Diverse Teens 



Monday November 7, 2016 from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM CST

Registration closes Monday, October 31, 2016.



Expert panelists, discussions, games, and more, all speaking to services for at-risk, LGBTQIA, special needs, and culturally diverse teens.

9-10am Panel on library services for diverse teens:

  • Gloria Tibbs - UMKC diversity librarian
  • Lauren Olson - MCPL youth services for at-risk
  • Rachel Oswald - YMCA Challenger programming for special needs

10-10:15am Break

10:15-11:15am Breakout sessions

1. Collaborative Diversity with the Communities: Understanding Library Services to Culturally Diverse Populations:

  • In this session, Gloria Tibbs will delve further into the work of library services within culturally diverse communities.

 2. Creating and adapting programming for special needs kids:  

  • In this session, Rachel Oswald will discuss how she and other members of the YMCA Challenger staff create and adapt programming for young adults with physical and mental disabilities.

11:15-12pm Breakout Box/Room Interactive Challenge:

Breakout rooms and boxes are a fun, cooperative problem solving activity for diverse groups of all ages. North Kansas City and Lee’s Summit school library media specialists will walk participants through this interactive challenge and explain how they can be used in a variety of situations.  

12-1pm Lunch 

1-2pm Programming for Diverse Teens Q&A Panel:

  • Panelists will share their expertise on how to adapt programs to meet the needs of diverse teens (focusing on at-risk, LGBTQIA, and special needs communities). Participants are encouraged to bring examples or ideas of active and passive programs for teens.


Tyler Re is currently the Clinical Director at Partners in Behavioral Milestones

2-2:45pm Trivia!  Diversity and Teen Pop Culture Trivia:

  • Participants will get to unleash their competitive sides as the committee throws out challenging trivia on all sorts of pop culture as well as diverse demographic groups and organizations in our region.

2:45-3pm Break

3-4pm Diversity book talks:  

  • Participants will circulate through four 15-minute sessions, each focusing on YA books that feature diverse main characters (focusing on LGBTQIA, Cultural Diversity, At-Risk, and Physical/Mental Disabilities). These mini-sessions will include book talks and lists of some of the committee's favorite diverse titles.


Gloria Tibbs:  For nearly a quarter of a century, Gloria has worked as a librarian, and currently she is the Organizational Development Coordinator at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where she has been ensconced since 2001. Gloria joins her colleague, Tracey Hughes, as a Co-Liaison for the UMKC Black Studies Program. Additionally, Gloria serves as the Library’s Diversity Liaison, a role that enables her to diligently promote the principles of diversity, inclusiveness, and respect throughout the Libraries, the campus, the greater Kansas City community, and the profession. In collaboration with colleagues, Tibbs develops programming opportunities to enhance cultural understanding, celebrate diversity, and engage UMKC students, faculty and external community members in non-traditional means of intellectual discovery.

Rachel Oswald, CTRS: Rachel has a passion for working with people of all ages and all ability levels. A native to Kansas, she received her Bachelors Degree in Therapeutic Recreation from Pittsburg State University (Pittsburg, KS). Rachel became a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) in October 2011 and has been fortunate to work with folks in the adaptive camp and adventure settings across several states. She is thrilled to be home serving the wonderful families of Greater Kansas City as the Adaptive Program Coordinator for the YMCA Challenger program.

Lauren Olson is the School-Aged Coordinator for Mid-Continent Public Library. A graduate of the University of Missouri at Columbia with a degree in Women’s and Gender Studies, she has worked with kids and teens in both rural and suburban libraries since 2013. Her current professional interests are curating inclusive teen spaces and addressing leisure reading drop-off in older elementary school students.

Jessica Thomas is a Library Media Specialist in the North Kansas City School District at North Kansas City High School.  She has a Master of Science in Education from Northwest Missouri State University, and a Library Media Certification for the state of Missouri.

Katie Pospisil is a Library Media Specialist in the North Kansas City School District at North Kansas City High School.  She has a Master of Library Science from University of Missouri- Columbia, and a Library Media Certification for the state of Missouri.

Christie Brown is the Library Media Specialist at Summit Lakes Middle School in Lee's Summit.  Prior to 2008, she taught high school English for a sum of thirteen years in both the Lee's Summit and Ray-Pec school districts.  Brown is currently serving as 2nd Vice President for the Greater Kansas City Association of School Librarians as well as Past Chair for the Missouri Truman Readers Award Committee.  At Summit Lakes she serves as co-facilitator of the Literacy Team, facilitator of the Technology Committee and member of the Lead Teacher, Site Based, and School Improvement teams.  In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, watching science fiction television/movies, and riding her Harley Sportster.

Tyler Re is currently the Clinical Director at Partners in Behavioral Milestones which is a company that utilizies the principles of behavior analysis to create a better quality of life for individuals with developmental disabilities.  He graduated from the University of Missouri—Kansas City with his Master of Arts in Special Education in 2011 and is currently working on a PhD from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. He is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and has been working with individuals with developmental delays since 2002. Tyler has worked with a wide range of ages and developmental levels in a variety of settings including public and private schools, residential facilities, and natural family home settings. He has multiple years of experience in providing direct treatment, staff/parent/teacher training, and consulting.

YA Committee:

Erin Davies (Chair) thinks she should run the world, but her teens won’t give her permission, so she makes do with running the teen world at Mid-Continent Public Library’s Woodneath Library Center.

Amanda Barnhart wrestles with craft guns, quests for teen friendly activities, and frisks young adult literature for popularity, all in the name of library teen services. She is the Teen Librarian at Kansas City (Mo.) Public Library, Trails West branch.

Jenny Cox is an ambassador from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry who spends her days studying teen Muggles at Mid-Continent Public Library’s Boardwalk Branch.

Lesley Lard is a mom (one son, one dog), an ice cream lover, and an avid reader.  She has been in teen services for several years at different libraries, and is currently the Youth and Teen Services Librarian at Bonner Springs City Library.

Rachel Miller is the Youth Services Supervisor at the Kansas City, Kansas Public Library - South Branch. Rachel is awesome at teen services and terrible at writing bios.

Dennis Ross is Central Resource Library Youth Services Supervisor at Johnson County Library.  His beard turned white, but he never really grew up.

Angie Wiegers is the school librarian at Oak Park High School in the North Kansas City School District.  She is on the Gateway Committee and obsesses about YA lit.  In her free time Angie likes to read, hang out with her five children, and work, work, work.



  • MALA Member: $70.00 (includes boxed lunch)
  • Non-Member: $140.00 (includes boxed lunch)

MALA Workshop Billing/Refund/Credit Policy:

We prefer all workshops to be prepaid or paid at the door.  If you prefer to be billed, please add $5.  Full refunds or credits are available for cancellations made a minimum of seven (7) days prior to the workshop date less a $5 administrative fee. You can transfer to another workshop a minimum of seven (7) days prior to the workshop date with no administrative fee.  Cancellations made less than seven (7) days prior to the workshop date receive no refund or credit and you or your organization will be billed.  No shows are billed to you or your organization.