CHICAGO — The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) and the Friends of ALSC have awarded two scholarships to the 2013 ALSC Preconference, A Wild Ride: 75 Years of the Caldecott Medal. The winners of the scholarship are Pamela Mann, children's services coordinator, Morgan County (W.Va.) Public Library, and Angela Reynolds, head of youth services, Annapolis Valley Regional Library, Bridgetown, Nova Scotia.
Friends of ALSC was created to ensure excellence in the Association's traditional programs and services and to support growth in new directions as our profession meets the exciting challenges of the 21st century. Over the last year, the Friends of ALSC have supported professional development for members by giving more than $2,500 in scholarships to ALSC programming, including the 2012 National Institute and the 2013 Preconference.
Mann and Reynolds were chosen from a pool of more than 25 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 Preconference; financial need for scholarship, personally and professionally; and well-roundedness of the applicant. Applications were reviewed by an ALSC Board sub-committee.
Mann is tremendously involved in her community as a volunteer. She has worked with the local community theater and taught computer classes to senior citizens and science and art classes to home-schooled children. She brought the importance of early literacy to young parents with Head Start, volunteered for Family Reading Night at the local elementary school, served as chair and co-chair for the West Virginia Library Association (WVLA) Children’s Round Table and is currently serving as assistant editor of the WVLA quarterly newsletter.
"I live and work in a very small community. Our library is, to many, the hub of information and socialization in our community, but it is small and underfunded. We have a wonderful, dedicated staff, but we are all part-time, including our director. There are no funds for anyone on the staff to attend conferences or any other non-required "extracurricular" activities. Thanks to this scholarship, I very much look forward to attending the ALSC Preconference, as I think it will benefit my ability to provide quality materials and programming for my young patrons,” said Mann. “My entire thirteen years of library work has been devoted to library services to children. When I began at my library, there was little or no attention paid to either programming for children, or to developing our juvenile and young adult collections. I felt called to turn things around and to create a children’s area that is welcoming and usable. Recently, we've welcomed a new staff member with a passion for Young Adult services, who has done a wonderful job of creating an area in our library that is just for our YA patrons. With her help, and the help of our awesome staff and volunteers, we've made our library a wonderful, welcoming place for children and families, and I look forward to continuing to grow and improve our services to children.”
In addition to being the head of youth services at her library, Reynolds writes regularly for the ALSC blog, served on the 2006 Carnegie Award Committee, the 2007-2009 Notable Children’s Recordings Committee and the 2011 Wilder Award Committee. Outside of ALSC, she is an avid volunteer in her community, working with organizations including First Book in Portland, Ore. and the Family Matters Family Resource Centre Bridgetown, Nova Scotia. She has also led Picture Book workshops for the Nova Scotia Library Association and for the Atlantic Provinces Library Association.
“Being a children’s librarian is, to me, a lifestyle as well as a career. I believe that this preconference will give me a deeper understanding of how picture books are created and an understanding of the art and social context of the books, which I could share with others,” said Reynolds. “I work in a very small, rural library system, and attendance at this preconference will benefit not only me, but the other Youth Services librarians and teachers in Nova Scotia, as I would share my knowledge at future conferences and workshops. I consider ALSC a lifeline to my career as a librarian.”
The ALSC Preconference invites attendees to take a wild ride through the past, present and future of award-winning children’s book art by celebrating 75 years of the Randolph Caldecott Medal. Participants will hear about the creative process from an array of Caldecott winners, as well as editors, art directors, and production managers, and engage with one another in small focus groups and interactive, critical discussions of Caldecott medal books throughout the years. More information about the Preconference can be found on the ALSC website.