Alicia K. Long has been appointed Chair of the Pura Belpré Award. Alicia was a member of the PBA committee in 2014. This exciting honor provides Alicia the opportunity to work in the cross-section of library science and education while pursuing her interests in researching and promoting multicultural literature. For Alicia, this appointment carries a personal and professional significance.
“I feel thrilled and honored to have the chance to work in a profession with values such as access for all, intellectual freedom, diversity, equity, and inclusion, "Alicia remarks. "I look forward to going to work every day. That's a privilege and a responsibility.”
Alicia, a 2009 Spectrum Scholar and 2012 ALA Emerging Leader, earned her Master’s of Library and Information Science from the University of South Florida in 2011. She now works as a Reference and Instruction Librarian at State College of Florida Libraries and is currently teaching a course on Multicultural Literature at the University of South Florida, School of Information, where she works as an adjunct instructor.
The Pura Belpré Award (PBA) is an ALA Youth Media Award and is announced each year during Midwinter. It is co-sponsored by REFORMA (the National Association to Promote Library & Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-speaking) and ALSC (Association for Library Services to Children). The PBA Selection Committee Chair is appointed by both organizations, alternating each year. Alicia has been appointed by REFORMA. The members of the committee are split half and half between REFORMA and ALSC members (although many times people are members of both organizations.) The PBA presents two medals each year (and an undetermined number of honors, if applicable) to an author and to an illustrator of a book for children that "affirms, portrays, and celebrates" the Latino culture. It recognizes creators of Latino origin who create books about the experience of Latinx in the U.S.