The Sacramento Public Library chosen as site for 2020 Arbuthnot Lecture

For Immediate Release
Fri, 07/12/2019


Alena Rivers

Deputy Director

Association for Library Service to Children

American Library Association


The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) announced that the 2020 May Hill Arbuthnot committee has chosen Sacramento Public Library as the site of the 2020 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture featuring Neil Gaiman, a Newbery Medal author and library advocate.

The 2020 Arbuthnot committee selected Neil Gaiman to present the 2020 Arbuthnot for his fierce advocacy of youth services librarians and his commitment to Intellectual Freedom, one of the core values librarianship, and to the Freedom to Read.

“The Sacramento Public Library’s winning bid to host the Arbuthnot lecture impressed the 2020 Arbuthnot committee by featuring community partnerships with school, academic and public libraries, dynamic programming that would spread across 1,000 square miles and 28 branch locations, including art camps or classes, children’s inspirational programs, manipulative learning stations, writing workshops, and cemetery tours,” said Lisa Von Drasek, the 2020 Arbuthnot Committee chair.

When informed of the selection of The Sacramento Public Library CEO and Director, Rivkah Sass, exclaimed, “We are beside ourselves with delight for the honor of hosting Neil Gaiman and the 2020 Arbuthnot lecture. Sacramento Public Library is thrilled and over-the-moon to share Neil Gaiman and his genius with fans of all ages. The excitement will be felt from the shores of Lake Tahoe to the Golden Gate Bridge!”

An announcement of the date and time of the lecture will be posted in the Fall of 2019.

The May Hill Arbuthnot 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 spring and is subsequently published through ALSC’s journal, Children & Libraries. ALSC established the lecture series in 1969 with sponsorship from Scott, Foresman, and Company. The lectureship is now funded by the ALSC May Hill Arbuthnot 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 2020 Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Committe are: Chair Lisa Von Drasek, University of Minnesota, MN; Anna Coat, Livingston (N. J.) Public Library; Dr. Cyndi Giorgis, Arizona State University, Tempe, Ariz; Dr. Steven Herb, Penn State University, State College, Penn.; and April Roy, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, MO.