ALSC William C. Morris Endowment activities
History of the endowment
William C. Morris was a long-time ALSC member and friend, the recipient of the first ALSC Distinguished Service Award, and an advocate for children’s librarians and literature. The ALSC William C. Morris Endowment was established in 2000 and activated in 2003 upon the death of Morris, former vice-president and director of library promotion at HarperCollins Children’s Books. Morris remembered ALSC in his will. Several years before his death, he worked with the ALA Development Office to establish the restricted endowment. Morris envisioned his endowment funding programs, publications, events, and/or awards that would promote excellence in children’s literature.
During the 2006 ALA Midwinter Meeting in San Antonio, TX, the ALSC Board assigned a task force to give direction and suggestions to the ALSC Board on allocation priorities for the endowment. Members of the task force included Caroline Ward, Mimi Kayden, Susan Moore, and Kate McClelland. Friends of the Morris Task Force who attended meetings were Tim Ditlow, Angus Killick, and Pat Scales.
During the 2007 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Seattle, WA, the Morris Task Force recommended the implementation of the "William C. Morris Seminar: Children's Book Evaluation Training", to be held biennial during the ALA Midwinter Meeting and a "Breakfast for Bill" program, to be held at the ALSC National Institute. The ALSC Board approved the two recommendations of the Morris Task Force.
The Morris Seminar
The first-ever “Bill Morris Seminar: Book Evaluation Training,” was held on Friday, January 11, 2008, prior to the 2008 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia. This invitational seminar supported and honored William C. Morris’ dedication to connecting librarians, and ultimately children, with excellent children’s books. Current ALSC member leaders trained and mentored new members and those with limited evaluation experience in order to prepare prospective candidates for future service on ALSC media evaluation committees. Participants learned book evaluation skills as well as how to conduct and participate in effective group discussions. The inaugural biennial seminar focused on children’s book evaluation and future seminars will incorporate the evaluation of other types of media for children, including audio and video. Funds from the Morris Endowment supported those selected to attend the training seminar by offering the seminar at no charge to attendees. This includes all materials, breakfast, lunch, and afternoon break on Friday. To help defray additional costs for hotel and other expenses, a stipend was provided to each attendee.
For more information about the seminar please continue on to the Morris Seminar webpage.
Breakfast for Bill
The first “Breakfast for Bill” program was presented at the 2008 ALSC National Institute in Salt Lake City on Friday, September 19. This event honored Morris, a beloved and distinguished friend of ALSC while bringing books, their creators, and librarians together. Children’s book author/editor teams of Sharon Creech and Joanna Cotler and William Joyce and Laura Geringer were the first children's book creators featured during the first Breakfast for Bill program and was moderated by Kathleen T. Horning.
How to contribute to the endowment
Those wishing to contribute to the William C. Morris Endowment Fund may send a check to the ALSC office (50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611) and stipulate in the note field that it is for the Morris Endowment. Donors will be recognized in the ALSConnect newsletter, on the ALSC Web site, and in the PowerPoint presentation at the next Newbery/Caldecott Banquet.