ALSC recognizes three libraries with Bookapalooza

For Immediate Release
Wed, 02/23/2011

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CHICAGO - The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), and the 2011 ALSC Grant Administration Committee have announced three winners of the 2011 Bookapalooza program. The winners are the Houston Elementary School in Spartanburg, S.C., the Meade County Public Library in Brandenburg, Ky. and the Florence County Library System in Florence, S.C.

The Bookapalooza program is an annual award that recognizes three libraries around the country with collections of library materials. The collections consist of books, videos, audiobooks and recordings produced in 2010 and submitted by children’s trade publishers for the 2011 award and media evaluation committees. Intended to help transform each library’s collection, the Bookapalooza award provides an opportunity for communities to use these new materials in creative and innovative ways. The Bookapalooza program aligns with ALSC’s core purpose of creating a better future for all children through libraries.

In the face of a challenging environment, the Houston Elementary School has thrived. Though it has a school poverty index of 86 percent, the library media center at Houston is integral to students’ academic growth and development. Due to the poverty index, the media center is often the only source for reading materials. In the fall of 2008, Houston became a Problem Based Learning School through a partnership with the Center of Excellence for Research, Teaching and Learning (CERTL) at Wake Forest University. With Problem Based Learning (PBL) students solve problems to integrate learning with existing knowledge, emphasize real world situations for students, and place the students in real life roles. At present, the library cannot provide students with enough up-to-date print materials to perform proper research. Houston plans to work new materials into the curriculum, giving teachers more opportunity to expose students to fact-finding and research.

With no community center in the area, the Meade County Public Library serves as a central hub of activity for the city of Brandenburg. Like other communities in the area, Brandenburg is currently experiencing a demographic shift, due to the Base Realignment and Closure project underway at neighboring Ft. Knox. The region expects 4,300 new military and civilian personnel and their families to be relocating to the area. The materials received through the Bookapalooza award will play a vital role in the library’s 50 Books program, launched in 2011. The program is aimed at addressing literacy at all age levels.

The Florence County Library System offers service to a diverse population through a main library, five branch libraries and a bookmobile. The children's staff makes regular weekly visits to schools, day care facilities and Head Starts to do story times and other programs, seeing more than 10,000 children annually. The system recently converted the bookmobile, which had previously gone to retirement homes and various neighborhoods throughout the county, into a Children's Literacy Bookmobile with the goal of promoting childhood literacy through reading. The Florence County Library System plans to use the Bookapalooza materials in coordination with the bookmobile while also dividing materials among their branches to use in story times around the library system.

ALSC, a division of the American Library Association (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 website at www.ala.org/alsc.

Members of the 2011 ALSC Grant Administration Committee include: Susan Velfort, chair, King County (Wash.) Library System; Nancy Baumann, School of Information Science & Learning Technologies, University of Missouri; Krista Britton, Prince William (Va.) Schools; Lori Coffey Hancock, Lexington (Ky.) School; Melanie Lyttle, Madison (Ohio) Public Library; Katherine Tekakwitha McCabe, Briarcliff Middle School, N.Y.; Kristine Springer, St. Joseph County (Ind.) Public Library; Tracy-Lyn Van Dyne, Conetquot (N.Y.) Public Library; and Vera Wexler, N.Y.