For immediate release | March 6, 2012

Schubert, Barbus, Klein, Alvis receive Penguin Young Readers Group Award

CHICAGO - The Association for Library Service to Children has awarded the 2012 Penguin Young Reader’s Group Award to Heather Schubert, Hill Country Middle School Library, Eanes ISD, Austin , Texas; Eric Barbus, San Francisco-North Beach Branch, San Francisco; Linda Klein, Anchorage Public Library, Anchorage, Alaska; and Donna Alvis, Ephesus Public Library, Roopville, Ga.

The $600 stipend, made possible by an annual gift from Penguin Young Readers Group, enables up to four children’s librarians to attend their first American Library Association’s Annual Conference. Applicants must demonstrate an involvement in ALSC as well as other professional and educational associations. New programming or innovations initiated by the applicants is highly important. Less than 10 years of experience of working directly with children in elementary, middle schools or public libraries is required.
Creating a “safe environment for learning and enrichment, a place where teens have a voice” is the basis for Heather Schubert’s middle school library. Hosting in-school events such as Wimpy Kid Day and a Hunger Games party besides creating and running the Austin Teen Book Festival are just a couple of initiatives she provides for students at Hill Country Middle School and the community. She also volunteers at a local juvenile detention facility promoting reading activities for young men who weren’t readers and are now reading several books a month.
Creating a better and more accessible collection is Eric Barbus’ goal at the North Beach branch. An outreach storytelling program with the public schools to promote reading and the public library are also part of his work. Additionally, he reviews for the Association of Children’s Librarians of Northern California and is co-chair of the Distinguished Books Committee.
Updating the Mother Goose program, providing outreach to students at Crossroads, an alternative public school for pregnant teens, and planning and running the first International Observe the Moon Night are some of the ways Linda Klein has contributed to the library program at the Anchorage Public Library. She is constantly working on opportunities to collaborate with various community partners to bring events to the library.
Being a one person staff in a branch library is a challenge. With no prior experience or mentor, Donna Alvis has taken advantage of every webinar to provide a quality program and collection. Running summer reading, hosting a poetry contest for students, promoting community awareness for causes such as helping Marines in Afghanistan, saving change for Heifer, Intl., publishing a community cookbook and hosting a guest from Ephesus’ sister city in Turkey are just a some of her initiatives.
“The committee expressed excitement about the work and professionalism of the recipients,” said Nancy Baumann, Grant Administration chair. “Everyone will benefit from attending the annual conference.”
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 4,000 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 website at
Members of the 2012 ALSC Grant Administration Committee include: Nancy Baumann, chair, University of Missouri School of Information Science & Learning Technologies; Melanie Lyttle, Madison (Ohio) Public Library; Krista Britton, Prince William (Va.) Schools; Lori Hancock, The Lexington School, Ky.; Amy Koester, St. Charles City-County Library District, Mo; Katherine Tekakwitha McCabe, Briarcliff Middle School, N.Y.; Kristine Springer, St. Joseph County (Ind.) Public Library; Tracy-Lyn Van Dyne, Brentwood (N.Y.) Public Library; Vera Wexler, Greenwich Education Group; and Ursula Jacobs-Guidry, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, N.C.


Dan Rude