2017 Arbuthnot Lecture Site Application Deadline Extended

For Immediate Release
Thu, 05/05/2016


Courtney Jones

Awards Coordinator


American Library Assoication



CHICAGO — The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) and the 2017 May Hill Arbuthnot Lecture Committee are proud to announce the opening of the application to host the 2017 event featuring Newbery Honor and National Book Award winning author, Jacqueline Woodson.

The Arbuthnot Lecture is an annual event, announced at the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting, in which an author, critic, librarian, historian or teacher of children’s literature presents a paper that makes a significant contribution to the field. A library school, department of education in a college or university or a children’s library system may be considered. The lecture is administered by ALSC.

Host site application forms can be downloaded at http://www.ala.org/alsc/2017-arbuthnot-honor-lecture. The applications deadline has been extended to June 10, 2016. Information about host site responsibilities is included in the application materials. The lecture traditionally is held in April or early May.

In January, Jacqueline Woodson was selected by the Arbuthnot Lecture Committee to speak in 2017.

“Woodson’s characters are accessible and real.  She doesn’t protect them from some of the harsh realities of life, but she does give them hope," said 2017 Arbuthnot committee Chair Ellen Ruffin.  "She writes for every child, but her ability to capture the minds and hearts of children who have been marginalized, and her ability to give them courageous characters to know is her hallmark.  Woodson will be an excellent Arbuthnot Lecturer.”

Raised and educated in both South Carolina and Brooklyn, New York, Woodson embraces both worlds. Woodson’s books often speak to young people who feel as if they live on the edge, are different.  She writes about young people who face enormous difficulties. Woodson is a truly distinguished author of books and poetry for young people: she has earned critical acclaim for an astonishingly wide range of work, including picture books, fiction, nonfiction and poetry. Through her work, she has shown an unflagging commitment to honestly representing the lives of young people whose ethnicities, socioeconomic or cultural background are historically underrepresented in books for children. Her contributions to American children’s literature are enormous, and she is an eloquent – even transcendent – speaker. Woodson is an ideal choice for the Arbuthnot 2017. 

ALSC established this lecture series in 1969, with sponsorship from Scott, Foresman and Company (now Pearson Scott Foresman) in honor of author May Hill Arbuthnot.  The lectureship, now funded by the ALSC May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Endowment, has the distinction of featuring many notable authors, critics, librarians, historians, and  teachers of children’s literature from  various  countries.  Past lecturers over the decades have included Mary Ørvig, Leland B. Jacobs, Virginia Hamilton, Maurice Sendak and Richard Jackson. 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 4,000 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 Web site at www.ala.org/alsc.