For immediate release | February 13, 2012

2012 Hayes Award goes to Hartford (Conn.) Public Library

CHICAGO – The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) has awarded the 2012 Maureen Hayes Author/Illustrator Visit Award to the Hartford Public Library, Hartford, Conn.

The award, sponsored by Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, is designed to provide up to $4,000 to an ALSC member 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 city of Hartford, Conn. is one of the poorest small cities in the nation in terms of families with incomes below the poverty level (34 percent), and persons under the age of 18 living in poverty (47 percent). In addition, the NAEP exam revealed the state has the largest achievement gap between low-income students and their more affluent peers and minority groups in seven out of 10 measured categories. Therefore it would be an outstanding event for children and youth to be exposed to a nationally recognized author/illustrator.

The author/illustrator will visit a fine arts high school, a library branch within a high school and be featured at an evening event for the community at the downtown Hartford Public Library. Workshops at the high schools will engage the author and students in sharing their artwork. Children writing for the African-American youth magazine The Read will have an opportunity to interview the author for an article. Lastly, Hartford families will join the author at an evening event. The author will discuss his work, illustrations and techniques. A book signing and reception will follow.

“Working with a nationally-known author/illustrator is a powerful opportunity for students”, said Nancy Baumann, Grant Administration Committee chair. “The committee felt this would be an important experience for children, young adults and families.”

The Maureen Hayes Author/Illustrator Visit Award was established in 2005 with funding from Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing to honor Maureen Hayes for her life-long efforts to bring together children and authors/illustrators.

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