For immediate release | March 2, 2012

Waukegan Public Library wins 2012 Marshall Cavendish Award

CHICAGO - The Waukegan (Ill.) Public Library has been named the 2012 winner of the Marshall Cavendish Excellence in Library Programming Award. The award, donated by the Marshall Cavendish Corporation, is given in recognition to either a school or public library that demonstrates excellence in library programming.

The Waukegan Public Library’s creation of an Early Learning Center (ELC) to meet the demands of a community affected by changing demographics and a lack of resources, especially for children ages 0-7, provided a model for community engagement. The Early Learning Center was designed to both support and celebrate its diverse community and to provide early intervention to help bolster lagging literacy rates among for children entering school so they enter school on par with their peers. Through innovative programming entitled, Championing Our Littlest Learners, The ELC program also focused on the importance of parents as “first teachers.” Elizabeth Stearns, assistant director of Community Services believes that this is especially important to help reinforce a commitment to continue pre-literacy skills, while providing a foundation for student success.

By identifying a lack of services for children ages 0-7 in its present learning environment and providing a solution for improving its community literacy rates, the Waukegan Public Library has become a model for library and community partnerships.

The annual award, consisting of $2,000 and a citation of achievement will be presented at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, Calif., in June.

Members of the 2012 Marshall Cavendish Award committee are: Chair Angela A. Williams, Syracuse University, N.Y.: Karen Apland,: Stacy Creel, University of Southern Mississippi, AL: Sara Pope, Houston Public Library, Texas: Caroline Ward, Ferguson Library, Stamford, Conn.

More information about the Marshall Cavendish Excellence in Library Programming Award including how to submit a nomination is available on the ALA website.


Cheryl Malden