For immediate release | June 27, 2014

Martin, Stark-Smith awarded Friends of ALSC Institute scholarships

CHICAGO — The Friends of ALSC (Association for Library Service to Children) have awarded scholarships to the 2014 ALSC National Institute to Nicole Martin and Gesse Stark-Smith in efforts to support ALSC’s goal of continuing education for children’s librarians. The scholarships include Institute registration; transportation to and from the Institute; and two nights at the Oakland Marriott where the Institute is being held. The ALSC Institute is taking place Sept. 18-20, 2014 in Oakland, Calif.

Martin and Stark-Smith were chosen from a pool of more than 50 well-qualified applicants. Criteria for selection included commitment to children’s library services and to ALSC; leadership qualities as displayed through library and community involvement; need for professional development and desired outcome for attending the ALSC Institute; financial need for scholarship, personally and professionally; and well-roundedness of the applicant. Applications were reviewed by an ALSC Board sub-committee consisting of current Board members.

Nicole Martin is a children’s librarian at the Grafton-Midview Public Library, in Grafton, Ohio. Since July 2013, Martin has been a member of the ALSC Public Awareness Committee. She is also a member of the Ohio Library Council. Martin was recently nominated as a 2014 Northeast Ohio Regional Library System Rising Star Librarian. She also reviews audio-visual materials for School Library Journal.

“I want to attend the ALSC National Institute because of the amazing networking and educational opportunities available through participation,” said Martin. “My involvement with ALSC thus far in my career has been wonderful and I would love to continue to be professionally involved on the national level with ALSC.”

Gesse Stark-Smith is the bilingual youth librarian at the Multnomah County Library in Fairview, Ore. She served on the ALSC Popular Picks for Preteens Task Force. She is currently a member of the Amelia Bloomer Project as part of the Feminist Task Force through ALA’s Social Responsibilities Round Table. She also reviews for School Library Journal.

"I am eager to attend the Every Child Ready to Read® en Español: A How-to Workshop," said Stark-Smith. "I’m also interested in sessions that would help me expand my programming offerings for families with young children."

The ALSC National Institute, devoted solely to children’s and youth library services, offers a small, intimate setting for participating in programming and getting to know colleagues. Programs will delve into some of the most important topics in library service to children such as using technology in programming, what’s hot in children’s spaces, working with underserved populations, and using local partnerships to improve programming. For more information about the ALSC Institute please visit


Dan Bostrom

Marketing Manager, Membership