ALSC Charlemae Hill Rollins President's Program

ALSC Charlemae Hill Rollins President's Program

The ALSC Charlemae Hill Rollins President's Program is sponsored by the Charlemae Hill Rollins Endowment, which supports quality programming at the annual ALSC President's Program, which takes place during ALA Annual Conference. 

Past President's Programs

2022: Bondaries Be Gone! Using Stories to Intersect and Connect
2021: "The POW(!)er of Graphic Novels to Support Youth Literacy"
2020: "Telling Our Authentic Story: Connecting, Sharing, and Bridging Divides through Children's Literature"* featuring Cece Bell, Erin Entrada Kelly, Oge Mora and Janet Wong
2019: "Subversive Activism: Creating Social Change Through Libraries, Children's Literature, and Art"
2018: "Considering All Children: A New Idea for Evaluating and Engaging around Books for Youth" featuring Margarita Engle, Debbie Reese, Jason Reynolds, Ebony Thomas and Edith Campbell (resource guide
2017: "Plugging into the Digital Age: Libraries Engaging and Supporting Families with Today’s Literacy" featuring Chip Donohue, Sarah Lytle and Lisa Regalla
2016: "Libraries: The Space to Be" featuring Marty Sklar, Erica Fortescue, Brian Lee and George Schafer
2015: "More to the Core: From the Craft of Nonfiction to the Expertise in the Stacks" featuring Melissa Sweet and Judy Cheatham
2014: "The Ripple Effect: Library Partnerships that Positively Impact Children, Families, Communities, and Beyond" featuring Amy Dickinson and Anna McQuinn
2013: "Think with Your Eyes!"* featuring Pat Bliquez, Mary Erbach, Elizabeth McChesney, Oren Slozberg and Brian Wunar

* - notes a link to ALSC-member-only content, including recordings and resource guides. Please visit the ALSC Membership page to learn more about the benefits of membership. 

About Charlemae Hill Rollins 

Charlemae Hill Rollins was born in 1897 in Yazoo City, Mississippi, and spent most of her childhood in Oklahoma in the company of her grandmother, a former slave. After teaching school in Oklahoma, she moved to Chicago with her husband and son.  It was at this time that her distinguished career in librarianship began with an appointment at Chicago Public Library in 1927.  When the George Cleveland Hall Branch opened in 1932, she was named head of the children’s room.  She remained in that position until her retirement in 1963.

Her work with children expanded beyond the storytelling and reading-guidance activities that she so deftly performed. In linking the children and their literature, she soon realized the critical inadequacy of materials relating specifically and positively to the black experience. Thus began her career as a crusader against stereotypical images of black youth in children’s literature.

Mrs. Rollins held offices in the Illinois Library Association and the Catholic Library Association.  She chaired the 1956-57 Newbery-Caldecott Award Committee, and served as president of the Children’s Services Division (now ALSC) of the American Library Association from 1957 to 1958, becoming the first black librarian to lead the division.  Also as a first among her race, Mrs. Rollins became the first black woman to receive an honorary membership in ALA, an honor bestowed upon her in 1972.  Her other awards included the American Brotherhood Award of the National Conference of Christians and Jews in 1952; the Grolier Foundation Award of ALA in 1955; the Constance Lindsay Skinner Award of the Women’s National Book Association in 1970; and the Negro Centennial Award in 1963.

Adapted from “Charlemae Hill Rollins and her Peers,” by Pauletta Bracy, Public Libraries 21(3): 104-5 (Fall 1982); copyright ©1982 by the American Library Association for the Public Library Association.