For immediate release | February 6, 2024

ALA Announces Recipients of the 2024 Jason Reynolds/Simon & Schuster Travel Grant

The American Library Association is pleased to announce the selection of five recipients of the 2024 Jason Reynolds/Simon & Schuster Travel Grant. Established in 2022, the grants are intended to support ALA’s work of advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion within the library field.

The grant will cover the expenses of five (5) Black/African American youth or teen services librarians or school librarians/media specialists who work in either public or school libraries. Recipients will receive up to $3000 (and not less than $1,500) to pay for expenses related to attending the ALA Annual Conference including (but not limited to) travel, housing, registration, and a ticket to the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Round Table Breakfast.

Jason Reynolds, one of the grant’s namesakes, is excited about the selection of these recipients and commented, “It’s an honor to award these five librarians with this year’s travel grant. Though grants are often seen as gifts, to me, this is an investment in the possibilities of these dedicated public servants, so that they may deposit even greater investments in their communities. And that’s a gift to us all.”

The recipients, who were selected by ALA representatives, will be acknowledged on Sunday, June 30, 2024, during the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Round Table Breakfast (CSKBART) at the 2024 American Library Association (ALA) Conference in San Diego. Grants are funded by Simon & Schuster and administered by ALA.

Recipients of this year’s travel grants include the following people.

Radhiya Abdul-Raheem

Abdul-Raheem currently works as a Youth Services Librarian in the Fulton County Library System (Atlanta, Georgia). She says that choosing to study library science was a defining moment in her life. She is enthusiastic about spreading awareness of the boundless possibilities to those who face various life challenges. She wants to see library services become more accommodating to individuals who have reading and/or physical challenges ─particularly the youth and disabled. She believes that her perspective and life experiences allow her to provide exceptional service and empathy to library patrons. She says she is “especially proud of her contributions in providing cultural programming so that young readers of color can associate reading and exploring with their own brilliance.” Abdul-Raheem is excited to attend the ALA Annual Conference because “it will equip her with knowledge regarding innovative practices in various areas of the profession, such as the use of artificial intelligence.” In addition, conference attendance will “afford her the opportunity to engage in the exchange of ideas with librarians who face similar challenges and achievements in the field, as well as contribute to discussions on building libraries to be more inclusive hubs for information seekers.” She feels confident that attending the conference will ultimately result in more impactful programming and services to the communities in which she works.

Torrion Carter

Torrion Carter currently works as a School Media Specialist/Librarian in the Historic Cherry Hill Elementary Middle School for Baltimore City Public Schools (Baltimore, Maryland). She believes that attendance at the ALA Annual Conference will be “a pivotal opportunity in her professional growth by allowing her to establish meaningful connections, share knowledge, and foster collaboration.” She says that “The conference's wealth of workshops and sessions will keep her updated on the latest trends in library science and youth/teen services, equipping her to better cater to the evolving needs of young library patrons while inspiring her to continue to advocate for positive change in the library profession.” She also notes that the association’s “dedication to diversity and inclusion mirrors her own values.” She is confident that attendance at the ALA Annual Conference will “introduce her to various initiatives and strategies for promoting diversity and equity in library services, and ultimately empower her to create more inclusive and culturally sensitive programs ─aligning with her passion for advancing library services for Black/African American youth and teens.”

Hawa Jalloh

Jalloh currently works as a Librarian at the Glenarden Branch of the Prince George's County Memorial Library System (Severn, Maryland). Since she recently took on the responsibility of teen programming, her hope is “to connect with individuals at the ALA Annual Conference who are willing to share knowledge and best practices about how to best serve teens at the library.” She is especially interested in attending sessions focused on teen mentorship, programming, outreach, and social media. She commented, “Not only do I want to get teens in the door to see all that we have to offer, but I want them to stick around ─even if this means expanding our services and moving me out of my comfort zone.” She is confident that attending the ALA Annual Conference will “help her to improve as a librarian as well as enhance her ability to connect with the community” which she describes as a largely underserved population. Her goal in attending the conference is “to gain the tools, knowledge, skills, and relationships that will ensure professional development lasting well beyond the conference.”

Teria Richardson

Teria Richardson currently works as an Intermediate/Teen Librarian at the Akron-Summit County Library - Maple Valley Branch (Akron, Ohio). Richardson believes that attendance at the ALA Annual Conference will “allow her to encounter professional development on a national level” ─something which she has yet to experience. She acknowledges that “as an information professional, she is called upon to help get information into the hands of people so they can better themselves. This is first possible by learning from more experienced people like the speakers featured at the ALA conference.” In addition to having an opportunity to learn from colleagues, Richardson is confident that she will also gain new insights and tools, while learning new concepts to use when serving her community.

William Anthony Taylor

Taylor currently works as the Youth Services Director at the Cynthiana-Harrison County Public Library (Cynthiana, Kentucky). Taylor acknowledges that he is not the typical librarian. Commenting that “In a country where a small percentage of librarians are male and an even smaller percentage are Black, I fully realize that I am an extreme minority in my field. Every day I am cognizant of the preconceptions of being a two-fold minority in a position that I love. Being in this position motivates me to be the very best at my job.” He wants to be an example for young children; to let them see that librarians can look like him. Taylor believes that attending the ALA Annual Conference will “enhance his entire librarian skill set and allow him to soak in knowledge as he learns from some of the best luminaries in the profession through networking, asking questions, and listening.” He is confident that attending the Annual Conference will be “life changing.”

About the American Library Association

The American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For nearly 150 years, the ALA has been the trusted voice for academic, public, school, government, and special libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit

About Jason Reynolds

Jason Reynolds is a #1 New York Times bestselling author, a Newbery Award Honoree, a Printz Award Honoree, a two-time National Book Award finalist, a Kirkus Award winner, a Carnegie Medal winner, a two-time Walter Dean Myers Award winner, an NAACP Image Award Winner, and the recipient of multiple Coretta Scott King honors. He’s also the 2020–2022 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. His many books include All American Boys (cowritten with Brendan Kiely); When I Was the Greatest; The Boy in the Black Suit; Stamped (cowritten with Ibram X. Kendi);As Brave as You; For Every One; the Track series (Ghost, Patina, Sunny, and Lu); Look Both Ways; Stuntboy, in the Meantime; Ain’t Burned All the Bright and My Name Is Jason. Mine Too. (both with Jason Griffin); and Long Way Down, which received a Newbery Honor, a Printz Honor, and a Coretta Scott King Honor. He lives in Washington, DC. You can find his ramblings at


Kimberly Redd, MSHTM

Program Manager, Certification & Talent Development

American Library Association

Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment (HRDR)