Whereas, Spencer G. Shaw was a dynamic leader, a humanitarian, and a tireless advocate for cultural understanding, acceptance, and inclusion who served for seven decades as a nationally and internationally known librarian, storyteller, and educator;
Whereas, As a Branch Manager in the Hartford (CT) Public Library (1941-1949); as a Program and Storytelling Specialist in the Brooklyn (NY) Public Library (1949-1959); and as a Consultant in Library Service to Children in the Nassau County (NY) Public Library System (1959-1970), he had a profound influence on development and expansion of library services for children;
Whereas, Sought after throughout the world as a master storyteller and inspired speaker, he lectured, told stories, and led workshops in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, England, the Netherlands, Cyprus, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Brazil, and hosted a weekly radio show, “Story Hour on the Air--Let’s Go to the Library” in New York;
Whereas, Teaching as guest faculty at more than a dozen major universities throughout the United States and permanently joining the faculty at the University of Washington (1970-1986), he shaped and nurtured the commitment of several generations of librarians to stellar library service for children;
Whereas, With a fundamental belief in conveying the value of all cultures and communities, he steadfastly promoted the significance of heritage and customs in storytelling and the development of multiculturalism in youth literature through his writings and presentations;
Whereas, Recognized for his expertise and knowledge as well as his generosity of spirit, he served as a national role model in many professional capacities including as President of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), chair of the ALSC/ALA Caldecott Award Committee, juror for the National Book Foundation National Book Award in Literature for Youth and member of the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Storytelling Center of Connecticut College;
Whereas, Because of his outstanding qualities and contributions as a librarian, storyteller , and educator, he was recipient of many honors and awards, including an Honorary Doctor of Literature Degree from the University of Wisconsin, The Grolier Foundation Award and Honorary Life Membership from the American Library Association, the Association for Library Service to Children Distinguished Service Award, and the annual Spencer Shaw Honor Lecture established by the Information School at the University of Washington; therefore be it
Resolved, That the membership of the American Library Association highly commends Spencer G. Shaw, posthumously, for his dedicated service to the library profession in all of its diversity and for his advancement and enrichment of the powerful role that libraries and librarians play in the lives of youth.