Bill Morris Seminar: Book Evaluation Training

William Morris Seminar: Book Evaluation Training

The Morris Seminar is a biennial, all-day seminar that takes place the day immediately preceding ALSC National Institute.

2024 Bill Morris Book Evaluation Seminar at ALSC National Institute

Applications for the 2024 Bill Morris Seminar: Book Evaluation Training are now open! Applications will close on March 15, 2024 at 5pm CST.

Morris Seminar participants will gather on Thursday, September 19, 2024, at the Hilton Denver City Center in Denver, Colorado, to learn together about children's media evaluation techniques. Participants will hear from experts in the field of children's media evaluation, as well as from those who have served on ALSC's media evaluation committees, to develop their professional evaluation skills.

Please note: Attending the Bill Morris Seminar does not register participants for ALSC National Institute; Morris participants will be able to register for Institute at a special, reduced rate if they choose to stay for National Institute.


The 2024 Morris Seminar will run all day on Thursday, September 19, 2024.

The day will consist of a mix of keynote speakers and panel discussions from ALSC member leaders, including past evaluation committee members and chairs, and seminar-style evaluation discussions with participants, led by experienced member leaders.

Through the support of the ALSC William C. Morris Endowment, ALSC offers this training seminar at no charge to attendees; this includes all materials, breakfast and lunch. To help defray additional costs for hotel and other expenses, a $450 stipend for each attendee will be provided from the Morris Endowment. Further, should they choose to stay and further their professional development beyond the seminar, the participants at the seminar will be eligible for a reduced registration rate for ALSC 2024 National Institute.

The 2024 Morris Seminar application opens January 29, 2024, and will remain open through March 15, 2024. Notification of application status and acceptance/regrets is expected in early May.

Applicant Information

Applicants for the Morris Seminar should be ALSC members with limited evaluation experience. The seminar is intended for those who have not served on ALSC book award evaluation committees in the past. Applicants must:

  • Be personal members of ALSC as well as ALA. If you have questions about membership, please email contact ALA's Membership Office.
  • Seek permission from supervisor for time off to attend the seminar prior to submitting application.
  • Submit a completed application and recommendation by the due date. Late entries will not be considered. Applicants will receive confirmation that their application has been received within one business day.
  • Arrange for ONE letter of recommendation from ALSC members or library peers who can attest to your potential as an ideal candidate for children’s media evaluation training. Letter must be submitted at time of application submission.
  • If selected, maintain ALSC membership and be a potential candidate for future service on an ALSC media evaluation committee.

Selected participants will be required to:

  • Attend the seminar for the full duration of the day.
  • Complete pre-seminar readings and assignments so that they are able to fully participate at the seminar (including reading articles, books and materials for discussion, many of which will be available online).
  • Acquire the texts for small-group evaluation discussions themselves.


The purpose of the Bill Morris Seminar: Book Evaluation Training is to honor and support William C. Morris’ dedication to connecting librarians, and ultimately children, with excellent children’s books. This seminar will bring new ALSC members and members with limited evaluation experience together with those who have served on ALSC’s media evaluation committees in an environment to train and mentor them in the group process and in children’s media evaluation techniques. The seminar will result in new and emerging leaders for future ALSC evaluation committees. (Check out a ALSC Blog post from a past Morris participant about her experience and takeaways!)

The Bill Morris Seminar: Book Evaluation Training is sponsored by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), and is made possible through funds from the William C. Morris Endowment. The William C. Morris Endowment was established in 2000 and activated in 2003 upon the death of Morris, former vice-president and director of library promotion at HarperCollins Children’s Books. Morris was a long-time ALSC member and friend, the recipient of the first ALSC Distinguished Service Award, and an advocate for children’s literature and librarians. Morris envisioned his endowment funding programs, publications, events, and/or awards that would promote excellence in children’s literature.


Please contact Sarah Polen, ALSC Deputy Director, by email or by phone: 800-545-2433 ext. 4026.