CHICAGO – Linda A. Perkins is the 2012 recipient of the Association for Library Service to Children’s (ALSC) Distinguished Service Award. This prestigious award honors an individual who has made significant contributions to library service to children and to ALSC.
Perkins became involved with ALA
from the moment she graduated from library school at Case Western Reserve, and she continues to give her passion and energy to libraries today, even after her retirement from the Berkeley Public Library
in Berkeley, Calif. She began as a member of the 1978 Newbery-Caldecott (when it was still a joint committee) and served as chair of the Mildred L. Batchelder Award Committee in 1995. Perkins was a Priority Group Consultant in 1999 and 2001, and has served three terms on the ALSC
Board of Directors—the first time as a member, 1988-1992, the second as ALSC
President, 1991-1992, and the third as ALA
Her role as a champion of the Pura Belpré Award was one of her greatest contributions during that time. While serving as president of ALSC
, Perkins along with Oralia Garza de Cortés, Sandra Ríos Balderrama and Toni Bissessar of REFORMA
appeared before the ALSC
Board at Midwinter in 1993 to request a joint task force with the goal of establishing a joint book award “to encourage Latino authors and illustrators in their efforts to produce children’s works celebrating the Latino experience in the United States.” In her "Children’s Book Award Handbook," author Diana F. Marks wrote, “Linda Perkins, president of ALSC
at the time, became essential. A strong proponent of multiculturalism, she gave a boost of energy and credibility to the project. She also knew the ‘ropes’ of how to make the award a reality.” In 1996, Perkins served on the Pura Belpré Award Committee. Perkins also played a vital role in gaining support for and securing the adoption of ALSC
’s El día de los niños/El día de los libros
In Berkeley’s Board of Library Trustees resolution, on the occasion of Perkins’s retirement, its members proclaimed their gratitude to her for stepping in on “several occasions” as acting deputy director of the Berkeley Public Library and said, “Ms. Perkins’s ready wit and winning humor are among the many qualities that make her a beloved coworker.” From the time she began her career at Berkeley as a supervising program librarian, Perkins oversaw library services to young people continuously for 32 years.
Perkins’s passion for books and support of young people remains at full strength even in retirement. She volunteers at local elementary school Berkeley Arts Magnet, currently serves on ALSC’s 2012 Notable Children's Books Selection Committee and is a member of the Friends of ALSC Notables' Circle. Her commitment to addressing the needs of the young people she served in her public library system resulted in benefits for libraries and librarianship nationwide.
ALSC is pleased to honor Linda Perkins with the 2012 Distinguished Service Award.
, a division of the ALA
, is the world’s largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children. With a network of more than 4,000 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
The 2012 ALSC Distinguished Service Award Committee includes: Alan Bern, Berkeley Public Library, Berkeley, Calif.; Elise DeGuiseppi, Pierce County Library System, Tacoma, Wash.; Caroline Parr, Central Rappahannock Regional Library, Fredericksburg, Va.; Lucinda Whitehurst, St. Christopher’s School, Richmond, Va.; and Jennifer Brown, chair, children’s editor, Shelf Awareness, New York, N.Y.