2008 ALSC/Tandem Library Books Literature Program Grant winner named

Contact: Jenny Najduch
ALSC Marketing Specialist
(312) 280-4026
jnajduch@ala.org
For Immediate Release,
February 19, 2008

2008 ALSC/Tandem Library Books Literature Program Grant winner named

CHICAGO - The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has awarded children's librarian Lisa M. Shaia with the 2008 ALSC/Tandem Library Books Literature Program Grant for her program “Superhero Club” at the Bristol Public Library.

The ALSC/Tandem Library Books Literature Program Grant is designed to honor a member of ALSC who has developed and implemented a unique and outstanding reading or literature program for children (infants through age 14). The award provides a grant of $1,000 to support the winner's attendance at the ALA Annual Conference, to be held in Anaheim, Calif., June 26 - July 2. The award is made possible through an annual grant from Tandem Library Books.

Shaia's program, Superhero Club, encouraged children to use their imagination by creating a superhero alter-ego, complete with a costume, accessories, superpowers and a sidekick. Each club member then drew a comic book starring his superhero and at the end of the session, used their superhero powers to compete against supervillains in an obstacle course.

The program, which ran for five weeks in the spring and then eight weeks in the summer, introduced club members to the superhero genre and encouraged them to read from the library's growing graphic novel collection. It is Shaia's hope that introducing young readers to pleasure reading, such as comic books and graphic novels, will keep them interested in reading through their 'tween and teen years and into adulthood.

“I believe this program is so successful because the superhero genre transcends age, race, sex and children's interests,” said Shaia. “The club provides children with a way to use their imagination that they don't get a chance to do any other way. Instead of watching a television show or playing a video game, they can create a persona and lose themselves in their own story.”

ALSC 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 all children by creating better opportunities. To learn more about ALSC, visit their Web site at www.ala.org/alsc.

Members of the 2008 ALSC/Tandem Library Books Literature Program Grant Committee were: April Rachelle Roy, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Mo.; Natalie Arthur, Johnson County Public Library, Whiteland, Ind.; Marna L. Elliott, Somerset County Library System, Kingston, N.J.; Jerri J. Heid, Ames Public Library, West Des Moines, Iowa.