ALA to support multicultural literature for youth with enhanced 2019 Youth Media Awards

For Immediate Release
Tue, 01/30/2018

Contact:

Macey Morales

Deputy Director

Public Awareness Office

mmorales@ala.org

CHICAGO - Librarians and library staff work to transform lives by connecting youth with materials that celebrate diversity, abolish cultural invisibility, and foster understanding.  The American Library Association (ALA) and its professional affiliates will highlight the best of the best in multicultural literature for youth by adding additional announcements to its 2019 ALA Youth Media Awards.

The United States is becoming more diverse. Demographics predict that by the year 2050, African-Americans, Asian Pacific Islanders, Latino/Hispanics and Native Americans will constitute most Americans, yet multicultural literature for youth is at a low point. According to the University of Wisconsin’s Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC), only a third of the 3,400 books  received by the CCBC written for children in 2016 were by and/or about people of color.  

“Often children in the United States are not exposed to print or digital materials that reflect themselves or their culture,” said ALA President Jim Neal. “A child’s lack of exposure to other cultures paves the way to bigotry and cultural invisibility. The addition of professional affiliate awards can only assist with our efforts to encourage understanding and abolish cultural invisibility.”

In an effort to bring awareness about and encourage the creation of more books that depict diverse cultures, or by authors of color, the ALA will highlight titles selected by the American Indian Library Association (AILA)Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA), and the Association of Jewish Libraries (AJL), during the upcoming 2019 ALA Youth Media Awards.  In the meantime, the ALA encourages readers of all ages to visit the affiliate websites to learn more about their 2018 award winners.  

Recognized worldwide for the high quality they represent, the ALA Youth Media Awards, including the prestigious Coretta Scott King Book, Caldecott, Newbery and Printz Awards, guide parents, educators, librarians, and others in selecting the best materials for youth. Award winners rarely go out of print and stay on library shelves for decades to come.

For more information regarding the ALA Youth Media Awards, please visit ILoveLibraries.org/yma.

About the ALA
The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with more than 57,000 members in academic, public, school, government, and special libraries. The mission of the American Library Association is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.  

About the American Indian Library Association (AILA)
An affiliate of the American Library Association (ALA), the American Indian Library Association is a membership action group that addresses the library-related needs of American Indians and Alaska Natives. Members are individuals and institutions interested in the development of programs to improve Indian library, cultural, and informational services in school, public, and research libraries on reservations. AILA is also committed to disseminating information about Indian cultures, languages, values, and information needs to the library community.  

About the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA)
APALA is a professional library organization dedicated to cultivating Asian Pacific American leadership through mentorship and professional engagement, advancing social justice, and providing opportunities for dialogue and networking to promote the needs of APA professionals and those who serve APA communities.

About the Association of Jewish Libraries (AJL)
The Association of Jewish Libraries promotes Jewish literacy through enhancement of libraries and library resources and through leadership for the profession and practitioners of Judaica librarianship. The Association fosters access to information, learning, teaching and research relating to Jews, Judaism, the Jewish experience and Israel.