iSchool Students Appointed as First for Voice of Youth Advocates Board


Two San José State University School of Information students have been appointed to the Voice of Youth Advocates’ editorial advisory board. This is the first time students have ever been appointed to the board of the 40-year-old journal.

Tamara Foster and William McCall, both students in the iSchool’s Master of Library and Information Science degree program, were chosen to serve one-year terms where they will develop the burgeoning student program and participate as full members of the VOYA Advisory Board.

According to Editor-in-Chief RoseMary Ludt, the idea to include student members was originated by Dr. Anthony Bernier, an active member of the board and professor at the iSchool.

“This first year, Dr. Bernier nominated interested students in his classes,” Ludt said. “We asked them to write essay answers to several questions.” She added that going forward there will be a “selection process so students from any LIS school can apply.”

According to Bernier, two of his students quickly came to mind when deciding who to nominate for the new student leadership role. “Tamara and William were stand-out students. They both demonstrated the capacity to critically engage and thrive within the limits that challenge YA services today,” he said. “They’re both problem-solvers. They both value the role of evidence in decision-making.”

Foster said Bernier’s Programming and Services for Young Adults course gave her a whole new outlook on serving teens in the library and increased her enthusiasm for applying this knowledge while working with young adults.

“I’m thrilled and honored to be part of the VOYA board. In joining [the VOYA advisory board], I look forward to being part of an organization that is dedicated to serving and advocating for teen library patrons,” she said.

McCall currently works as a teen and adult services library assistant.  He believes librarians are “stewards of public knowledge” and has a deep passion for youth librarianship.  

“I am excited to join the VOYA Student Advisory Board so that I increase my depth of experience in creating YA services and to gain valuable contacts in this field,” he said.

Under Bernier’s mentorship, Foster and McCall will learn about publishing, the roles of the VOYA staff, and gain experience serving on an advisory board. They will also give input and feedback from the student perspective as topics for discussion arise.

In addition, as the first students to serve on the board, Foster and McCall will help define the roles of the student board members and the processes and criteria by which they will be appointed.

“I would like to make sure that those who come after me have a clear idea of their expectations and the resources they have to fulfil those expectations,” McCall said.

To learn more about VOYA, visit the website.