For immediate release | January 31, 2011

ALSC names Carlson Distinguished Service Award winner

CHICAGO – Dudley Carlson is the 2011 recipient of the Association for Library Service to Children’s (ALSC) Distinguished Service Award. This prestigious award honors an individual who has made significant contributions to library service to children and to ALSC.

Carlson has been instrumental over several decades in supporting, nurturing and participating in the evaluation of books, one of the prime and longest-standing services that ALSC provides for libraries, librarians, parents and the community. As a member, chair and advisor to numerous book award and evaluation committees, including Newbery (chair 1985), Caldecott, Batchelder and Notable Children’s Books, she has provided guidance through reasoned thought and deep expertise. Her work also extends to other ALSC committees, including the instrumental Budget and Finance Committee.

Carlson has been described as having 'impeccable judgment and sound rational advice.' Because of this she has been called upon at several critical moments to help work through controversial or tough issues faced by ALSC leadership. In these circumstances it was always clear that Dudley was in it for the long haul, always willing to roll up her sleeves and pitch in to help where she was needed in ALSC.

Carlson started her career in the mid-1960s as a library trainee at the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore. After receiving her library science degree from Rutgers, she worked for the New York Public Library system for five years before leaving to take over the position of children’s librarian at the Princeton Public Library, in Princeton, N.J., in 1973.

During the 25 years Carlson worked for the Princeton Public Library, she enriched the lives of thousands of local children by connecting them with books and instilling in them a love of reading. Her outstanding service to the families of Princeton and the people of New Jersey earned Carlson a 1991 Governor’s Award, the Albert Einstein Education Award, from the New Jersey Congress of Parents and Teachers, for “achievements which produce a significantly improved educational environment.”

Carlson has served on the Boston-Globe Horn Book Award Committee and the New York Times Best Illustrated Books for Children Committee.

Through her strong and dignified leadership, Carlson has mentored many others in ALSC, modeling respect and encouragement of participation. ALSC members are richer for her work, her example and her presence.

ALSC is pleased to honor Dudley Carlson with the 2011 Distinguished Service Award. 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 4,200 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

The 2011 ALSC Distinguished Service Award Committee includes: Eliza Dresang, Information School University of Washington, Seattle, Wash.; Virginia Gustin, Sonoma County Library System, Sonoma, Calif.; Susan Stan, Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, Mich.; Caroline Ward, The Ferguson Library, Stamford, Conn.; and Gretchen Wronka, chair, Hennepin County Library, Minnetonka, Minn.


Dan Rude