The May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Award

 2016 Arbuthnot Lecture  |  2017 Arbuthnot Lecture  |  About May Hill Arbuthnot

2016 Arbuthnot Lecture with Pat Mora 

Photo of Pat Mora and a collage of her books
The 2016 Arbuthnot Lecture will be delivered by Pat Mora on April 15, 2015. Save the date, more details to follow in Spring 2016.
Pioneering author and literacy advocate Pat Mora has written more than three dozen books for young people that represent the Mexican American experience. 

Read the press release announcing the 2016 lecturer


Host Location:

Santa Barbara Public Library System
Santa Barbara, CA


2017 Arbuthnot Lecture 

Photo of Pat Mora and a collage of her books
The 2017 May Hill Arbuthnot honor lecturer will be  announced on Monday, January 11, 2016 at ALA's Midwinter confererence in Boston!








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 or May, 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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