For immediate release | March 29, 2012

ALSC invites applications for 2013 Arbuthnot Lecture with Michael Morpurgo

CHICAGO - The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) and the 2013 May Hill Arbuthnot Lecture Committee are proud to announce the opening of the application to host the 2013 event featuring well-known children’s laureate Michael Morpurgo.

The Arbuthnot Lecture is an annual event, announced at the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting, in which an author, critic, librarian, historian or teacher of children’s literature presents a paper that makes a significant contribution to the field. A library school, department of education in a college or university or a children’s library system may be considered. The lecture is administered by ALSC.

Host site application forms can be downloaded at Applications are due May 11, 2012. Information about host site responsibilities is included in the application materials. The lecture traditionally is held in April or early May.

In January, Michael Morpurgo was chosen by the Arbuthnot Lecture Committee to speak in 2013. “The author of more than 100 titles of humor, magic and realism, Morpurgo movingly captures the struggles faced by both children and animals during wartime,” stated 2013 Arbuthnot Committee Chair Susan J. Pine.

Born in England, Michael Morpurgo was teaching when he discovered the magic of storytelling and began writing. His books are noted for their imagination, power and grace. In 1976, he and his wife established the charity Farms for City Children. He is an officer of the Order of the British Empire and served as Britain’s third Children’s Laureate. His novel, “War Horse,” has wowed theater audiences in London and New York and movie audiences all over.

ALSC established this lecture series in 1969, with sponsorship from Scott, Foresman and Company (now Pearson Scott Foresman) in honor of author May Hill Arbuthnot. The lectureship, now funded by the ALSC May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Endowment, has the distinction of featuring many notable authors, critics, librarians, historians and teachers of children’s literature from various countries. Past lecturers over the decades have included Mary Ørvig, Leland B. Jacobs, Virginia Hamilton, Maurice Sendak and Richard Jackson. Peter Sís will deliver the 2012 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture on April 4, 2012, hosted by Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

ALSC, a division of the American Library Association (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 Web site at


Caroline Jewell