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The Friends of ALSC have awarded three scholarships to the 2018 ALSC National Institute to Kim Engle, Hyunjin Han, and Sophie Kenney in efforts to support ALSC’s goal of continuing education for children’s librarians. This year a third scholarship was awarded to a North Carolina member who identified as a member of the LGBTQAI+ community. This additional scholarship was made possible due to ALSC being named the 2017 recipient of GLBTRT’s Award for Political Activism after the state’s discriminatory legislation led to the cancellation of the 2016 National Institute. All scholarships include a $1,000 travel stipend to cover airfare and hotel lodging. The ALSC Institute is taking place September 27-29, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Engle, Han, and Kenney were chosen from a pool of more than 50 well-qualified applicants. Criteria for selection included commitment to children’s library services and to ALSC; leadership qualities as displayed through library and community involvement; need for professional development and desired outcome for attending the ALSC Institute; financial need for scholarship, personally and professionally; and well-roundedness of the applicant. Applications were reviewed by ALSC member leaders.
Kim Engle, recipient of the North Carolina LGBTQIA+ scholarship, is a Library Associate/Children’s Specialist and has been working with children in a library setting for 20 years. Engle has been a member of ALSC for the past two years. “While all aspects of serving children and teens in the library are important to me, I have a particular interest in early literacy and outreach. I've accepted it as my mission to partner with community leaders and with other agencies that work with underserved populations to overcome barriers and bring early literacy programs to these children and their parents who so desperately need the help,” said Engle.
Hyunjin Han is the Children’s Librarian at the Mandel Public Library in West Palm Beach and is a member of ALA, ALSC, and the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA). Han was also a member of the Building Partnerships Committee with ALSC in 2016. “I believe that the ALSC National Institute provides high quality professional training which focuses on serving children and families,” said Han. “It is also a great chance to connect with other children’s librarian professionals nationwide."
Sophie Kenney is the Youth Services Librarian at the Broward County Main Library in Boca Raton, Florida, and has been an ALA member for the past six years. Kenney is currently serving on the ALSC Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, the ALSC Awards Program Review Task Force, and the ALA Public Awareness Committee. Additionally, Kenney is also an ALSC Mentor. “I believe that there are always more ways we can include diversity in our programming and am excited to learn from the Identity in Children's Literature discussion,” said Kenney. “The connections I make at the Institute will contribute to my personal growth and career development while also guiding my current Task Force work with ALSC.”
The ALSC National Institute, devoted solely to children’s and youth library services, offers a small, intimate setting for participating in programming and getting to know colleagues. It is one of the only conferences devoted solely to addressing issues in library service to youth, literature and technology with practical approaches in advocating and supporting children and families.