Alabama, Florida, Missouri libraries win 2018 Bookapalooza Program

For Immediate Release
Tue, 04/03/2018


Courtney Jones

Awards Coordinator

Association for Library Service to Children

American Library Association


CHICAGO -- The Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC) has awarded the 2018 Bookapalooza Program to three libraries: Chilton/Clanton Public Library, Clanton, Alabama; Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach, Florida; and Daviess County Library, Gallatin, Missouri.

The award includes a variety of materials from books to DVDs and audiobooks. These materials have been received at the ALSC office from publishers for selection committees to evaluate for awards and notables consideration. To make room for the next year’s publications, Bookapalooza was created to infuse three collections with new materials for children from birth through age 14.

In a rural community desperately lacking library funding, Bookapalooza will allow the Chilton/Clanton Public Library in Alabama to extend its reach and diversify its collections. The three-branch system serves a large and rapidly growing population, providing critical services to combat poverty and low literacy. With juvenile collections subsisting mainly on donations, staff with be able to use the new materials for new storytimes, middle grade book clubs, and in the library’s new outreach visits to towns within the service area that do not have a library branch of their own. The materials will also support the library’s collection diversification project.

Through their Let’s Read program, Mandel Public Library staff train volunteer readers to bring the magic of stories and word play into classrooms of four Title 1 elementary schools and corresponding preschools in West Palm Beach. Bookapalooza will enable the library to add many new, beautiful, and diverse books to their Let’s Read collections, allowing volunteer readers to share the best new children’s books with the 500 students reach each week by the program. The new materials will help children develop stronger reading skills and fall in love with reading—with books that reflect the experiences and aspirations of children in our diverse world.

The Daviess County Library, serving a population impacted by poverty and incarceration, will collaborate with community partners to share Bookapalooza materials via small libraries throughout the rural region. The library, having identified a need among the county’s youngest residents, is introducing an inaugural comprehensive early literacy program in partnership with county schools, a Mennonite school, an Amish school, daycares, the county-wide Parents as Teachers program, and the local health department. By providing access to these new materials through longer-term loans from locations closer to residents, library staff hope to reduce barriers and emphasize the importance and fun of reading.

“The committee was truly moved by the need demonstrated by the applicants and heartened to see the innovative work that libraries are doing to meet that need,” said Hanna Lee, Grant Administration Committee chair. “We are thrilled that the Bookapalooza materials will find their way to eager young readers through the creative and thoughtful initiatives led by the recipient libraries.”

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 4,000 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