Bill Morris Seminar: Book Evaluation Training

The Bill Morris Seminar: Book Evaluation Training is sponsored by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA).  Made possible through funds from the William C. Morris Endowment.

Check out a ALSC Blog post from a past Morris participant about her experience and takeaways!


The purpose of the Bill Morris Seminar: Book Evaluation Training is to honor and support William C. Morris’ dedication to connecting librarians, and ultimately children, with excellent children’s books. This seminar will bring new ALSC members and members with limited evaluation experience together with those who have served on ALSC’s media evaluation committees in an environment to train and mentor them in the group process and in children’s media evaluation techniques.  The seminar will result in new and emerging leaders for future ALSC evaluation committees.

The 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 was a long-time ALSC member and friend, the recipient of the first ALSC Distinguished Service Award, and an advocate for children’s literature and librarians.  Morris envisioned his endowment funding programs, publications, events, and/or awards that would promote excellence in children’s literature.


This summer, the Association for Library Service to Children is seeking applications for the Bill Morris Seminar: Book Evaluation Training to be held on Friday, January 24, 2020, prior to the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  The seminar will be facilitated by ALSC member leaders including past committee members and chairs of evaluation committees, and will focus on children’s book and media evaluation.

The ALSC William C. Morris Endowment will support those selected to attend the training seminar by offering the seminar at no charge to the attendee.  This includes all materials, breakfast and lunch.  To help defray additional costs for hotel and other expenses, a $350 stipend for each attendee will be provided from the Morris Endowment.

An advisory group consisting of ALSC member leaders who have previously served and/or chaired evaluation committees will review the applications and letters of nomination to select the attendees.

Selected attendees will be required to complete pre-seminar readings and assignments so that they are able to fully participate on the day of the seminar.  This will include reading articles, books and materials for discussion.  Assignments and some materials will be available to access online.

Candidate information

Candidates should be ALSC members with limited evaluation experience.  The seminar is intended for those who have not served on book award evaluation committees in the past.  Applicants must:

  • Be personal members of ALSC as well as ALA. Organizational members are not eligible.
  • Seek permission from supervisor for time off to attend the seminar, prior to submitting application.
  • Have access to a computer, internet, email and a printer. 
  • Submit a completed application and recommendation by the due date.  Late entries will not be considered.  Applicants will receive confirmation that their application has been received within 1 business day. 
  • Arrange for 1 letter of recommendation from ALSC members or library peers who can attest to your potential as an ideal candidate for children’s media evaluation training.  Letter must be submitted at time of application submission.
  • If selected, maintain ALSC membership and be a potential candidate for future service on an ALSC media evaluation committee. 


Please contact Alena Rivers, ALSC Deputy Director, at or 800-545-2433 ext. 5866. 

Application and notification

The application is now closed. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance by early October 2019.