2018 Arbuthnot Honor Lecture
Writer and Poet Naomi Shihab Nye will deliver the 2018 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture.
“A wise and lyrical observer, Naomi Shihab Nye consistently draws on her heritage and writing to attest to our shared humanity,” stated 2018 Arbuthnot Committee Chair Elizabeth Ramsey Bird.
The daughter of a Palestinian father and an American mother, Naomi Shihab Nye grew up in St. Louis, Jerusalem, and San Antonio, Texas. The author and/or editor of more than 30 books for adults and children, her latest for young people, “The Turtle of Oman,” was chosen as a 2015 Notable Children's Book by the ALA. She has received four Pushcart Prizes, was a National Book Award finalist, and has been named a Guggenheim Fellow, amongst her many honors.
The lecturer, announced annually during the ALA Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits, may be an author, illustrator, editor, critic, librarian, historian or teacher of children’s literature, of any country, who shall prepare a paper considered to be a significant contribution to the field of children’s literature. This paper is delivered as a lecture each April or May, and is subsequently published in “Children and Libraries,” the journal of ALSC. Once the name is made public, institutions wishing to host the lecture may apply. A library school, department of education in a college or university, or a public library system may be considered. Applications to host the 2018 lecture are now open. See below:
ALSC members are invited to submit their proposal to host the 2018 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture featuring Naomi Shihab Nye. The application deadline is Monday, May 15, 2017.
Please download the overview document (PDF) for details including the criteria the committee considers. You may use this as a basis to create your draft proposal.
The actual application should be submitted using the online form.
Originally established with funding from Scott Foresman to honor May Hill Arbuthnot, the lecture is now funded and administered by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association. The lecture hosts roughly 250-700 attendees each year, depending on the selected venue. Audiences typically include: librarians, publishers, literary critics, intrigued local patrons, and others interested in children's literature.
The selected site will host Naomi Shihab Nye.The daughter of a Palestinian father and an American mother, Naomi Shihab Nye grew up in St. Louis, Jerusalem, and San Antonio, Texas. The author and/or editor of more than 30 books for adults and children, her latest for young people, “The Turtle of Oman,” was chosen as a 2015 Notable Children's Book by the ALA. She has received four Pushcart Prizes, was a National Book Award finalist, and has been named a Guggenheim Fellow, amongst her many honors.
Criteria for selecting the host institution for the Arbuthnot Lecture
- There is no single factor that prevails over any other factor in selecting the host institution for the Arbuthnot Honor Lecture. Rather, the committee charged with the selection responsibility will consider a combination of factors, including:
- Reasons for application. Special reasons for applying such as particular interest in the work of the lecturer; an applicant’s expression of the educational goals of his or her community; a special celebration, etc.
- Site. The relation of a potential site to places and institutions that have previously acted as hosts with an emphasis on identifying varied sites from all of North America.
- Facilities. The appropriateness, both in terms of capacity and accessibility.
- Administrative support. The organizational and administrative capabilities of the person or group submitting an application evident in the enclosed proposed budget, and partly manifested in the presentation of the application itself. Please note that ALSC will contribute $2,000 in financial support to the host site selected.
- Cooperation with other organizations. The extent to which meaningful cooperation among various local or area groups would suggest an ability to share responsibilities as to personnel, time, and money needed to cover local expenses.
- Lecture visibility. Emphasis on the lecture as a distinctive event publicized to and open to all potential attendees in the region is a priority for each Arbuthnot Lecture.
Responsibilities of the host institution
- To act as host for the May Hill Arbuthnot Lectureship in April or early May 2018, the date to be arranged at the mutual convenience of the lecturer and the host institution.
- To arrange and pay for the local expenses of the lecturer. If a display of the lecturer's published works (e.g., books, articles, etc.) is arranged, it will be at the host's expense, not the lecturer's. The Arbuthnot Fund covers only the honorarium ($5,000) and travel expenses for the lecturer to and from the host city.
- To arrange and pay for a reception, dinner, or other hospitality honoring the speaker following the lecture and to pay for all local lodging, meals, taxis, etc. of the lecturer. As mentioned above, ALSC will contribute $2,000 to the selected host site to be used to offset expenses.
- To prepare and distribute regional publicity. ALA will issue national press releases. Further local and regional publicity is the responsibility of the host institution, including production of any print program or other promotional materials.
- The lecturer is not to be invited to give any talks the week preceding the May Hill Arbuthnot Lecture at the host institution or in the immediate vicinity. The lecturer is responsible for presenting the Arbuthnot Lecture only. If applicable, autographing and sale of books may be arranged with the publisher by the host institution. Any other programs/events (other than those promoting the lecture) must be arranged with the lecturer's publisher(s) or agent, must be arranged with the lecturer's knowledge and permission, must be funded separately, and must occur no sooner than one day following the lecture. All programs/events/activities must appear on a master schedule available in advance to the committee chair, the Association for Library Service to Children office, and the lecturer.
Please complete your application using the online form by May 15, 2017.
Members of the 2018 Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Committee are: Chair Elizabeth Ramsey Bird, Evanston Public Library (Ill.); Timothy D. Capehart, Beavercreek (Ohio) Community Library; Monica Edinger, The Dalton School, New York; Wendy Lukehart, District of Columbia Public Library, Washington, D.C.; and Sharon McKellar, Oakland (Calif.) Public Library.