CHICAGO - Dr. Henrietta M. Smith is the 2008 recipient of the Association for Library Service to Children's (ALSC) Distinguished Service Award. The award honors an individual ALSC member who has made significant contributions to library service to children and ALSC.
Smith began her library career as a children's librarian at the New York Public Library. She later became a school media specialist for the Broward County (Fla.) school system and a media consultant for Broward County. At Florida Atlantic University, she was an instructor in the College of Education and has also spent time as a storytelling consultant in Albuquerque, N. M.
Smith's work with the Coretta Scott King (CSK) Book Awards has been monumental in the awards' continued significance in highlighting inspirational and educational children's literature. When the award celebrated its 25th anniversary, Smith wrote the book “Coretta Scott King Awards Books: From Vision to Reality,” to commemorate the event. All of the proceeds from Smith's book were donated to the award. Designed to commemorate the life and works of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and to honor Mrs. Coretta Scott King for her continued work for peace and world brotherhood, the CSK Book Awards have flourished with Smith's help.
Smith has been an active ALA member in many divisions for more than 40 years. She has been on the ALSC Legislation Committee and Oral History Committee, as well as the YALSA Quick Picks Committee and the AASL Cultural Diversity Task Force, just to name a few. Her dedication to library services to all children and young adults is clearly illustrated by her continual service.
ALSC is the world's largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children. With a network of more than 4,200 children's and youth librarians, literature experts, publishers and educational faculty, ALSC is committed to creating a better future for all children by creating better opportunities. To learn more about ALSC, visit its Web site at www.ala.org/alsc.
Members of the 2008 Distinguished Service Award Committee include: Steven Herb, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pa.; Kathy Ann East, Wood County Public Library, Bowling Green, Ohio; Richard K. Farley, Marshall Cavendish Corporation, Tarrytown, N.Y.; Carole D. Fiore, Training and Library Consulting, Tallahassee, Fla.; and Mimi Kayden, Greenwich, Conn.