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Every Child Ready to Read
Dia de los ninos
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Frequently Asked Questions
ALSC Bylaws are in the ALSC Handbook of Organization

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association, is the world’s largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of service to children in all types of libraries.

Core Purpose:
Creating a better future for children through libraries.

Primary Goal:
To lead the way in forging excellent library service for ALL children.

Core Organizational Values (not in priority order):
Member Services
Integrity and Respect
Equity of Access
Excellence and Innovation

ALSC, one of the 11 ALA divisions, has more than 4,000 individual and institutional members. Members are part of a vast network of colleagues, including librarians, educators, publishers, parents and children’s advocates. Member benefits include:

• Children and Libraries: The Journal of the Association for Library Service to Children, three times a year;
• ALSConnect, a quarterly newsletter;
• discounts on publications, products, and registration for ALSC events, including educational and professional development opportunities;
• the opportunity to serve on over 60 committees, including prestigious award committees, and task forces and to participate in many discussion groups on hot topics and current trends and issues in service to children;
• the ALSC Wiki at, which offers a forum for disseminating information among the membership;
• electronic discussion lists including ALSC-L for keeping up to date with ALSC news, ALSCSTORY for storytelling discussions, ALSCPUBSCH for discussion of school and public library partnerships, and more;
• the ALSC Web site at;
• eligibility for ALSC’s scholarships, grants, and professional awards;
• professional advisory service to those interested in children’s librarianship; and
• representation on the national level as ALSC advocates for excellent library service to children through participation in ALA’s Legislative Days.

ALSC administers the most prestigious awards in children’s literature—the Newbery and Caldecott Medals, as well as several other awards and lists of recommended children’s media. These awards, and others, are announced during the ALA Midwinter Meeting and presented to the award winners during the ALA Annual Conference. ALSC awards and publications provide direction to librarians, parents, educators and others who work with children. Awards also recognize and demonstrate appreciation for publishers who produce the best material for children.

• The John Newbery Medal honors the author of the past year’s most outstanding contribution to children’s literature.
• The Randolph Caldecott Medal honors the illustrator of the past year’s most distinguished American picture book for children.
• The Laura Ingalls Wilder Award honors an author or illustrator for an outstanding contribution to children’s literature over a period of years.
• The Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award is given for the most distinguished informational book published in the preceding year.
• The Mildred L. Batchelder Award acknowledges the best children’s book published in a foreign language and then translated into English in the preceding year.
• The Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Children’s Video honors an outstanding video production for children released during the previous year.
• The May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture is given by someone who has made a “distinguished contribution” to the field of children’s literature.
• The Pura Belpré Awards, given biennially in conjunction with REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking, recognize outstanding original works written or illustrated by a Latino/Latina author or illustrator.
• The Theodor Seuss Geisel Award honors the author and illustrator of an outstanding book for beginning readers.
• The first ALSC/Booklist/YALSA Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production will be awarded in 2008.
• “Notable” and “Great” lists highlight recommended children’s media, including Notable Books for Children, Notable Children’s Recordings, Notable Children’s Videos, Great Interactive Software for Kids, and Great Web Sites for Kids.

Grants, Professional Awards, and Scholarships
ALSC provides funding for attendance at ALA meetings and conferences, recognition for exemplary library programs, and scholarships through a number of programs. Support from corporate sponsorship underwrites many of the ALSC grants and scholarships.

• ALSC/BWI Summer Reading Program Grant
• ALSC/Tandem Library Books Literature Program Grant
• Louise Seaman Bechtel Fellowship for one month’s study at the University of Florida’s Baldwin Libraries
• Frederic G. Melcher Scholarships for MLS study by those who intend to enter children’s librarianship
• Bound to Stay Bound Scholarships for MLS or PhD study by those who intend to enter children’s librarianship
• Penguin Young Readers Group Awards for first-time travel to ALA’s Annual Conference
• Distinguished Service Award
• Maureen Hayes Award for hosting a nationally-known author or illustrator at a library that has not had the opportunity to do so in the past
• Bookapalooza program, providing a collection of books, videos, audiobooks and recordings to selected libraries

ALSC Initiatives
• ALSC is the national home of El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children's Day/Book Day), thanks to a series of grants from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Día is an annual April 30 celebration of children, families, reading and cultures. 2006 marked the 10th anniversary of Día, founded in 1996 by children's book author Pat Mora. Hundreds of libraries nationwide host Día celebrations with family programs including bilingual story hours, book giveaways and other literacy events. Target is Día's first official national sponsor. Visit
• The ALSC Born to Read project (initially funded by the Prudential Foundation) builds partnerships between librarians and health care providers in order to reach out to new and expectant "at-risk" parents and help them raise children who are "born to read."
• ALSC’s Kids! @ your library public awareness campaign offers tips and tools that librarians can use in their own communities, including print and audio PSAs, a downloadable song about libraries by Grammy Award-winning singer/storyteller Bill Harley, and more. Visit
• ALSC and the Public Library Association (PLA) have partnered on the Every Child Ready to Read project to incorporate the latest research into a series of parent and caregiver workshops to provide public libraries with vital tools to help prepare parents for their critical role as their child's first teacher. These tools were developed by Dr. Grover C. Whitehurst and Dr. Christopher Lonigan, well-known researchers in emergent literacy, and have been tested and refined by library demonstration sites around the country.

Partnerships with outside organizations allow the association to more efficiently and effectively develop and distribute high quality promotional materials to libraries throughout the country.

• ALSC and Houghton Mifflin created the "Curious About . . . " story hour program based on the Curious George books designed to encourage children to come to the library to satisfy their curiosity.
• JumpStart’s Read for the Record, on September 20, 2007, encourages librarians, parents, teachers and children to read Ferdinand the Bull in order to set a new world record for the number of people reading the same book on the same day.
• Drop Everything and Read (DEAR) Day is an annual April 12 initiative to encourage families to designate at least 30 minutes to put aside all distractions and enjoy books make it a special time to "drop everything and read." The birthday of Newbery Award-winning author Beverly Cleary is the official national D.E.A.R. day, and Cleary's most popular book character, Ramona Quimby, is the program's official spokesperson.
• The Boys and Girls Clubs Day for Kids (formerly National KidsDay) is a day set aside each year in September to celebrate America's children through the gift of meaningful time with a positive adult. Further information is available on the BGC Web site at .

Professional Education
ALSC members remain on the cutting edge of library service to children through participation in ALSC- and ALA-sponsored institutes, preconferences and education programs at national and regional conferences. ALSC develops competencies for children’s librarians in an effort to promote, strengthen and support the education of children’s specialists. We offer workshops and programs at Preconferences and during the ALA Annual Conference, and the ALSC Institute is held in even years in September, rotating among various locations around the country.

50 East Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60611
800-545-2433, ext. 2163

Updated 05/07



Related Links

ALSC Statement on Equity of Access
ALSC Division Leadership Roster
ALSC Board of Directors
Organizational structure of the Association for Library Service to Children.