Salvadore is 2019 ALSC Distinguished Service Award Recipient

Maria B. Salvadore is the 2019 recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC). This prestigious award honors an individual who has made significant contributions to library service to children and to ALSC.

Salvadore is the former coordinator of children’s services at the DC Public Library System, and a long-time literacy consultant and advisory board member for various educational non-profits.

She has served ALSC as a member-leader in numerous positions over 35 years of membership. Her expertise in literature benefitted a number of media evaluation and award committees, including chairing the 1994 Caldecott Committee. She has served on advisory boards and helped shape ALSC partnerships including NASA @ your library, Born to Read, READ * WRITE * NOW, and Prescription for Reading.

“Maria Salvadore has continuously found innovative ways to bring quality children’s literature to families in the DC area and beyond,” said chair Judy Zuckerman.  “She has lent her vision and wisdom to shape programs at the local, national, and international levels, always striving to allow children to see themselves in the books they read and in the images they view.  Her work has given countless children opportunities to flourish.”

Salvadore is an educator and author as well as an outstanding librarian. She was an adjunct professor in the College of Information Studies and in the College of Education of the University of Maryland, and while there she served on the Advisory Council to the team that created the International Children’s Digital Library.  Her belief in the importance of books for all children in multiple formats and multiple languages was clearly articulated in the years when online books – particularly for children – were a rare commodity.  She is the co-author (with Susan Hepler) ofBooks Your Kids Will Talk About, and a contributor to Anita Silvey’s book, Children’s Books and Their Creators

A strong interest in early childhood education and literacy propelled Salvadore through earning a BS, MEd, and MLS from the University of Maryland College Park. She worked in the District of Columbia Public Library while in college. After completing her MLS, Salvadore left Washington to serve as Coordinator of Children’s Service at the Cambridge (MA) Public Library. During this period, she taught as an adjunct at Simmons College and worked with the Center for the Study of Children’s Literature in outreach to schools.  She returned to Washington as Deputy Coordinator of Children’s Services where she later was promoted to Coordinator.

Susan Roman, Dean Emerita of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Dominican University, notes, “None of this outstanding work would be possible if she [Salvadore] didn’t have the intelligence, the vital personality, the warmth of a good colleague/friend, the vision to see how you can change people’s lives through good literature, the respect for every individual, and the sincere desire to make reading a joy for everyone.”

In response to news of the award, Salvadore said, “I remain utterly flabbergasted, amazed and flattered. I am truly honored to have been selected; to be recognized for doing what I have loved doing and what I continue to believe in. Frankly, I’m more comfortable working behind the scenes!”

ALSC is pleased to honor Maria B. Salvadore with the 2019 Distinguished Service Award.

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) is driven by more than 4,000 members dedicated to the support and enrichment of library service to children. Our members include youth librarians, literature experts, publishers and educational faculty. ALSC supports its members in engaging communities to build healthy, successful, futures for all children. To learn more about ALSC and how to join, please visit: www.ala.org/alsc.

The 2019 ALSC Distinguished Service Award Committee includes: Chair, Judy Zuckerman, Brooklyn, NY; Ellen Ruffin, Hattiesburg, MS; Destinee Sutton, Seattle, WA; Deborah Taylor, Baltimore, MD.; and Junko Yokota, Evanston, IL