For immediate release | March 7, 2013

Vogel, Wick, Smith, Vernola receive Penguin Young Readers Group Award

CHICAGO — The Association for Library Service to Children has awarded the 2013 Penguin Young Readers Group Award to Janet Vogel, Frederick (Md.) County Public Libraries; Krissy Wick, Madison (Wis.) Public Library; Heather Smith, Eastern Lancaster County Library, New Holland, Pa.; and Andrea Vernola, Kalamazoo (Mich.) Public Library.

The $600 stipend, made possible by an annual gift from Penguin Young Readers Group, enables up to four children’s librarians to attend their first American Library Association’s Annual Conference. Applicants must demonstrate an involvement in ALSC as well as other professional and educational associations. New programming or innovations initiated by the applicants is highly important. Less than 10 years of experience of working directly with children in elementary, middle schools or public libraries is required.

Supervising a transition from a 2,500 square foot facility to a 25,000 square foot area, reorganizing the service model to adjust to additional programming with less staff, and managing the Early Start Bookmobile are just a few of the many responsibilities Janet Vogel has taken on over the past year. She also initiated a partnership with the Frederick County Infants and Toddlers Program (FCTIP) to present Storyland: A Sensory Storyland for Little Ones complete with story time boxes which contain materials for a variety of 12 programs. She also serves on several committees with the Maryland Library Association and Race to the Top.

Community outreach, collection development and collaboration with the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) are just several of the duties Krissy Wick addresses in her position as a youth services librarian. Her programming with Group Summer Reading Club, Overture Center for the Arts and a Prince and Princess Party sparks huge attendance. Krissy is introducing a new program, Book a Day, which provides training with educational toys and books for parents and caregivers that focuses on Spanish-speaking families, an underserved group in the community.

Active programming, grant writing and reader recognition are just a few of the exciting activities developed by Heather Smith. The programs include Dance Me a Story which encourages children ages 3 to 6 to act out a classic fairy tale through dance; Danger Club for children ages 8 to 12 features science experiments; and Super Readers Council provides children with discussions skills by creating book talks and book trailers. Her grant writing provides funding for Parent-Child Workshops where early childhood professionals work with parents and caregivers and Teen Reading Lounge, an interactive literacy and art program for teens. Additionally, Heather has presented I Can Read Wall of Fame as a poster session at the 2012 Pennsylvania Library Association Annual Conference.

If you are in Kalamazoo on a Saturday, you might want to check out Andrea Vernola’s First Saturdays at KPL. Responding to a request from the school superintendent, First Saturdays at KPL was created to promote literacy and increase family usage of the public library. Through creative partnering with various community organizations, First Saturdays initially attracted 300 people and continues to grow. Collaboration with the public schools has also produced programming for literacy nights for families to showcase the library’s programming and ways to help their children with reading. Andrea also utilizes social media to connect patrons to the library’s Pinterest page filled with literacy tips, craft ideas and children’s booklists.

“The committee is delighted with the creativeness of the programming and amount of professional involvement,” said Nancy Baumann, grant administration chair. “Attending the annual conference will be of great benefit to each recipient.”

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 2013 ALSC Grant Administration Committee include: Nancy Baumann, chair, University of Missouri School of Information Science & Learning Technologies; Krista Britton, Prince William (Va.) Schools; Jonathan Hunt, Modesto (Calif.) City Schools; Julie Danielson, Smyrna, Tenn.; Ursula Jacobs-Guidry, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, N.C.; Amy Koester, St. Charles City-County Library District, Mo.; Deanna Mae Romriell, Salt Lake City (Utah) Public Library; Patty Saidenberg, New York, N.Y.; and Destinee Sutton, King County Library System, Burien (Wash.) Library.


Caroline Jewell

Awards Coordinator

Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC)

1-800-545-2433 ext.5839