Melissa Sweet to keynote 2015 ALSC Charlemae Rollins President's Program

For Immediate Release
Fri, 02/27/2015


Dan Bostrom

Membership and Marketing Manager



CHICAGO — The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), announced the theme and speakers for the 2015 Charlemae Rollins President’s Program. Award-winning author and illustrator Melissa Sweet and literacy advocate Judy Cheatham, vice president of Literacy Services at Reading is Fundamental, will share the stage to present an informing and inspiring look at the creation of excellent nonfiction and the matchmaking of great books and kids who need them.

This year’s program, entitled “More to the Core: From the Craft of Nonfiction to the Expertise in the Stacks,” will explore libraries’ role in innovative implementation of programs and services to support the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Even if CCCS isn’t a part of your educational landscape, great nonfiction books – how they are created and ways to connect them to children and families – is central to our craft and critical to our ability to collaborate with our communities.

Melissa Sweet is the Caldecott Honor artist of "A River of Words" by Jen Bryant, "The Sleepy Little Alphabet" by Judy Sierra, "Mrs. Harkness and the Panda" by Alicia Potter, and, most recently, "A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin" by Jen Bryant, which received a Schneider Family Book Award and a Robert F. Sibert Honor Award, among others. She is also the author-illustrator of "Balloons Over Broadway," which was awarded a Robert F. Sibert Medal.

"We're very excited to be welcoming Melissa and Judy to deliver this year's program," said Charlemae Rollins President's Program Planning Committee Co-chair Christine Caputo. "As two highly-respected figures in children's literature, we anticipate an amazing presentation on how nonfiction enriches and fulfills kids' dreams and aspirations."

“The shift to the Common Core State Standards has had a profound impact on how children’s librarians work with their schools and communities,” said Charlemae Rollins President's Program Planning Committee Co-chair Katie O’Dell. “We believe that this presentation will showcase some great ways that libraries can bridge the gap and foster a love of nonfiction in youth.”

The ALSC Charlemae Rollins President's Program is sponsored in-part by the Charlemae Hill Rollins endowment. During her distinguished career in librarianship, Mrs. Rollins was a critical voice in expanding materials that addressed the black experience. Among her numerous awards, she became the first black woman to receive an honorary membership in ALA, an honor bestowed upon her in 1972.

ALSC, 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 4,200 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