For immediate release | February 25, 2014

Minnesota, Alabama, Florida libraries win 2014 Bookapalooza Program

CHICAGO — The Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC) has awarded the 2014 Bookapalooza Program to three libraries: Talahi Community School, St. Cloud, Minn.; North Shelby Library, Birmingham, Ala.; and Northwood Elementary School, Crestview, Fla.

The award includes a variety of materials from books to DVDs and audiobooks. These materials have been received at the ALSC office from publishers for selection committees to evaluate for awards and notables consideration. To make room for the next year’s publications, Bookapalooza was created to infuse three collections with new materials for children age birth through age 14.

The Talahi Community School has plans to use the Bookapalooza collection for many innovative programs that include a reading outreach project with a nearby retirement community, the STEM program for the St. Cloud School District and the newly created reading garden where the children will have an alternative place to read when the weather is nice. The school serves a diverse K-5 population of 586 students with much collaboration from the St. Cloud community. The children who attend Talahi are at the 93-percent factor in free and reduced meals and more than 30 percent of the children come from single parent homes.

For several years, the North Shelby Library was forced to adopt a very conservative spending plan and purchased only items that were deemed extremely necessary. This led to a shortage of quality materials

within the children’s department. The Bookapalooza collection will allow early literacy programming to continue as well as placing up-to-date materials in the juvenile collection. Materials will be heavily promoted by turning the children’s department into the “Bookapalooza Headquarters,” and patrons will be made aware of the new items through flyers, “spotlight” on new items and features in the library newsletter. With the large amount of programming and publicity offered at North Shelby Library, the Bookapalooza materials will be heavily circulated.

The Northwood Elementary School serves more than 25 percent minority, more than 60 percent disadvantaged students and 50 percent free or reduced lunch students. Since 1999, the school library was intermittently open with various media assistants and volunteers, until its closure in 2009. With the re-opening of the new library the Bookapalooza materials will provide new and multicultural literature to a Title I neighborhood school. Plans for the materials include a visual arts program to expose students to illustrators within literature and extended day library services to the day care housed within the school and a neighboring K-12 special needs school. The library will provide a media and art integration specialist who is trained to supervise and study with special needs students and will provide an opportunity for the special needs students to gain social and life skills experience within the neighborhood.

“All of the recipients demonstrate great need for materials for their readers and also future readers who may not have access to library materials or patronize a library which has no funding to acquire materials,” said Nancy Baumann, grant administration committee chair. “The committee is thrilled about the Bookapalooza materials finding their way into the hands of children who need reading materials.”

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 2014 ALSC Grant Administration Committee include: Nancy Baumann, chair, University of Missouri School of Information Science & Learning Technologies; Sondra Sue Eklund, Fairfax County (Va.) Public Library; Jonathan Hunt, San Diego (Calif.) County Office of Education; Susan Poulter, Main Library Nashville (Tenn.) Public Library; Elizabeth Stalford, Bellevue (Wash.) Public Library; Julie Danielson, Deanna Mae Romriell, Salt Lake City (Utah) Public Library; Patty Saidenberg, New York, N.Y.; Destinee Sutton, Burien (Wash.) Library.


Caroline Jewell

Awards Coordinator

Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC)