For immediate release | January 22, 2018

South Carolina State Library receives Maureen Hayes Author/Illustrator Award

CHICAGO -- The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) has awarded the 2018 Maureen Hayes Author/Illustrator Visit Award to the South Carolina State Library, Columbia, South Carolina.

The award, sponsored by Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, is designed to provide up to $4,000 to an ALSC member’s library to fund a visit from an author/illustrator who will speak to children who might otherwise not have had the opportunity to hear from a nationally known author/illustrator.

The South Carolina State Library will use the funds to enhance the Talking Books Services Art Gallery event, an annual program for students who are blind or visually impaired.

The South Carolina State Library Talking Book Services Student Art Gallery features the artwork of Spartanburg School for the Deaf and Blind students and other Talking Book Services students and patrons who are blind or visually impaired. While the event has traditionally been limited to students and their families and supporters, the South Carolina State Library hopes to expand the event to a wider audience with a presentation by Kathryn Otoshi, author and illustrator of several acclaimed books, including Beautiful Hands. Otoshi’s books introduce young people to complex issues through simple, colorful images and straightforward prose. Denise Lyons, South Carolina State Library Deputy Director said of Otoshi, “She is wonderfully engaging, and her work speaks volumes. I believe that she would be able to inspire a visually impaired audience with a strong, empowering message.” As part of this year’s event, the Library also hopes to coordinate a visit from Otoshi to a local school or library.

“The committee was impressed by South Carolina State Library’s commitment to serving underserved populations in innovative and effective ways,” said Hanna Lee, 2018 Grant Administration Committee chair. “Given the relevance of Otoshi’s art, and message, and the organization, and experience of South Carolina State Library, we are confident that this event will be an inspiring and empowering experience for everyone in attendance.”

“Simon & Schuster is proud to sponsor the annual Maureen Hayes Award to bring the joy of an author visit to deserving students,” says Michelle Leo, vice president and director of education and library marketing at Simon & Schuster. “We are delighted that the South Carolina State Library’s Talking Books Services program will be this year’s recipient, enabling them to provide an educational and entertaining experience to young readers and their families.”

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


Courtney Jones

Awards Coordinator

American Library Association

Association for Library Service to Children