2015 Light the Way Grant Winner

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has announced that the Putnam County Library in Cookeville, Tennessee is the recipient of the 2015 Light the Way: Library Outreach to the Underserved Grant. As the winner of the grant, the library will receive $3,000 for their Books to You! Summer Outreach project.

The Light the Way Grant, which honors Newbery medalist and Geisel winner Kate DiCamillo, is now in its sixth year. Although originally conceived as a one-time award, it has continued to be presented with the kind generosity of Candlewick Press

Putnam County Library plans to use the funds to provide weekly door-to-door outreach to two underserved populations in the community. Recognizing the success of an existing program in the school district, the library will partner with teacher volunteers to provide a variety of reading materials for the traveling collection as well as food for the children. The program aims to foster community and trust between families, schools and the library, while supporting the literacy needs of the community.

The committee stated, "We were especially pleased that the project will take the library to the community, serving those who may not otherwise have the means to visit the public library. The project also speaks to the trend of the library as a partner in offering social services through its plan to offer food. We also commend the project’s attention to strengthening librarian-teacher relationships.”

Candlewick Press is an independent, employee-owned publisher based in Somerville, Mass. Candlewick publishes outstanding children’s books for readers of all ages, including books by award-winning authors Kate DiCamillo, M. T. Anderson and Laura Amy Schlitz, the widely acclaimed 'Ologies and Judy Moody series and favorites such as the Maisy and Where's Waldo? books. Candlewick's parent company is Walker Books Ltd., of London with additional offices in Sydney and Auckland.

ALSC, a division of the ALA, is the world’s largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children. With a network of more than 4,200 children’s and youth librarians, literature experts, publishers and educational faculty, ALSC is committed to creating a better future for children through libraries. To learn more about ALSC, visit ALSC’s Web site at www.ala.org/alsc.

Members of the 2014-15 ALSC Library Service to Special Population Children and Their Caregivers Committee include: Africa Hands, Louisville, Ky; Amanda Struckmeyer, Middleton Public Library, Middleton, Wis.; Amy Seto Musser, Central Library of Denver Public Library, Denver, Colo; Jordan Boaz, New York Public Library, N.Y.; Lesley Mason, DC Public Library; Renee Grassi, Glen Ellyn Public Library, Glen Ellyn, Ill; Sylvia Aguiñaga, DIY Girls, Los Angeles, Calif.