For immediate release | July 26, 2011

Miami (Ohio) University chosen as site for 2012 Arbuthnot Lecture

CHICAGO - The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) announced that the 2012 May Hill Arbuthnot Committee has chosen Miami University in Oxford, Ohio as the site of the 2012 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture featuring Peter Sís.

“The committee was extremely pleased by the serious, thoughtful and creative applications to host the 2012 Arbuthnot lecture,” said Arbuthnot chair, Shawn Brommer. “Ultimately, we felt that Miami University’s application offered an exciting, once in a lifetime opportunity for the University and the community of Oxford, Ohio.”

Dr. Brenda Dales, professor in the Department of Teacher Education, submitted a unique application that connects the departments of Teacher Education, Theater Studies, public libraries and the local school district. Miami University has an established and on-going connection with teachers and students in schools in the Czech Republic and meaningful exchanges will be facilitated between children in classrooms in the Czech Republic and Talawanda (Ohio) Public Schools.

“We are exceptionally overjoyed to host Peter Sís,” said Dales. “Peter Sís' presence and words at Miami University will inspire and enliven passion for children's literature, and assist in invigorating international partnerships and understandings.”

Sís was chosen to be the 2012 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture presenter at the 2011 ALA Midwinter Meeting held Jan. 7 – 11 in San Diego. Born in Brno, Czechoslovakia in 1949, he attended the Academy of Applied Arts in Prague and the Royal College of Art in London. He has lived in the United States since 1982. Sís was awarded the 2008 Robert F. Sibert Medal for "The Wall: Growing Up behind the Iron Curtain" and has illustrated three Caldecott Honor books. Sis’ work is admired throughout the world, and in 2003 he was named MacArthur Fellow, an honor bestowed by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

The May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture celebrates May Hill Arbuthnot, who served as a strong voice for children’s literature. Each year a lecturer is chosen who will prepare a paper considered to be a significant contribution to the field of children's literature. This paper is delivered as a lecture each April, and is subsequently published in Children & Libraries, the journal of ALSC. The lecture series was founded in 1969 with sponsorship from Scott, Foresman and Company. The lectureship is now funded by the ALSC May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Endowment, and administered by ALSC.

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

Members of the 2012 Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Committee are: chair Shawn S. Brommer, South Central Library System, Madison, Wis.; Betty B. Carter, Coppell, Texas; Caroline M. Kienzle, Seminole, Fla.; Debra A. Mitts-Smith, Children's Literature Scholar; St. Paul, Minn.; and Sylvia G. Tag, Western Washington University, Bellingham, Wash.


Dan Rude