The May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Award

2014 Arbuthnot Lecture  |  2015 Arbuthnot Lecture  |  2016 Arbuthnot Lecture  |  About May Hill Arbuthnot

2014 Arbuthnot Lecture with Andrea Davis Pinkney 

Photo of Andrea Davis Pinkney

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Reserve your ticket now!

Read the press release announcing the host site

Read the press release announcing the lecturer

Watch the video capturing Andrea Davis Pinkney's reaction to hearing she was named the Arbuthnot Lecturer.

Host Location:
University of Minnesota Children's Literature Research Collections
Doors open at 7:00 pm. Willey Hall, University of Minnesota, West Bank Campus
For more information contact

Hotel information: Special rates at the Marriott Courtyard if booked by April 11, 2014.  If calling by phone, 877-699-3216, please mention “Arbuthnot Honor Lecture.” If booking online at, include the appropriate code: ARBARBA (for King room) or ARBARBB (for Queen room). 

2015 Arbuthnot Lecture with Brian Selznick 

Photo of Brian Selznick
Read the press release announcing the lecturer

Host Site Applications are now being accepted by the 2015 Arbuthnot Committee. The deadline to submit your application is Friday, May 16, 2014.

2016 Arbuthnot Lecture

Question Mark? Who will be the 2016 lecturer?!ALSC members -- Time to put on your thinking caps!  The 2016 Arbuthnot Selection Committee will take suggestions for the 2016 lecturer beginning April 1, 2014. Please note: you must be an ALSC personal member for your nomination to be considered. Information on how to submit your nomination will be posted here on April 1. The deadline to submit your nomination will be May 14, 2014.


About May Hill Arbuthnot 

photo of may hill arbuthnotMay Hill Arbuthnot (1884-1969) was born in Mason City, IA, and graduated from the University of Chicago in 1922, receiving her master's degree in 1924 from Columbia University. Along with educator William Scott Gray, she created and wrote the Curriculum Foundation Readers— better known as the "Dick and Jane" series—for children published by Scott, Foresman and Company (now Pearson Scott Foresman).

Her greatest contribution to children's literature, however, was her authorship of Children and Books, the first edition of which was published in 1947. In 1927, she joined the faculty of Case Western Reserve University, and there she met and married Charles Arbuthnot, an economics professor. She also served as editor of both Childhood Education and Elementary English. Her other works include The Arbuthnot Anthology of Children's Literature and Children's Books Too Good to Miss

To link Arbuthnot's name with an oratory award makes perfect sense. When accepting the award in 1969, she recalled "that long stretch of years when I was dashing from one end of the country to the other, bringing children and books together by way of the spoken word."  She also affirmed, "I am a strong believer in the efficacy of direct speech.... a forthright vigorous lecture can set fire to a piece of literature that had failed to come to life from the printed page." She was thrilled at the prospect of this award providing a forum for "new voices speaking with new insight and new emphasis in the field of children's lectures." (Quote from The Arbuthnot Lectures, 1970-79, ALA/ALSC, 1980.)

The lecturer, announced annually at the ALA Midwinter Meeting, may be an author, 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. Once the name is made public, institutions wishing to host the lecture may apply. A library school, department of education in college or university, or a children's library system may be considered. This paper is delivered as a lecture each April, and is subsequently published in Children & Libraries, the journal of the Association for Library Service to Children. ALSC established the lecture series in 1969 with sponsorship from Scott, Foresman and Company. The lectureship is now funded by the ALSC May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Endowment, and administered by ALSC.

Arbuthnot Award Manual (Word)
Arbuthnot Award Manual (PDF)
Policy for Service on the Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Committee (Word)

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