Dickerson, Lehtonen, Schulz, Stovall, Takahashi, selected for ALSC Equity Fellowship

For Immediate Release
Wed, 10/21/2020


Alena Rivers

Deputy Director

Association for Library Service to Children

American Library Association


CHICAGO — The Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, has selected five fellows for the ALSC Equity Fellowship  ALSC welcomes Equity Fellows, Eboni Dickerson, Erika Lehtonen, Natassia Schulz, Melissa Stovall, and Mai Takahashi. ALSC thanks members of Storytime Underground for their generous donation in support of the ALSC Equity Fellowship and ALSC’s equity, diversity and inclusion efforts.

The ALSC Equity Fellowship program began in 2018 and was extended to an additional year for the pilot cohort of fellows. The program was developed to reduce barriers to participation for American Indian/Alaska Native/First Nations, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latinx, Middle Eastern, and/or Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander individuals. This year’s Equity Fellows will be the second fellowship cohort as ALSC has worked to continue the program since the pilot year in 2018.

The fellowship will provide recipients with funding for two-year ALSC and ALA memberships and one year of conference registrations and travel stipends for ALA Annual Conference. Fellowship recipients will also receive mentorship from members of the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion within ALSC Task Force. The recipients were selected from over 30 eligible applicants from all over the country. All demonstrated passion for service to children and dedication to the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

“We are excited to welcome our second cohort of ALSC Equity Fellows, each of whom demonstrates a strong commitment to enhancing library services to the diverse children and families in their communities. These five individuals will engage in mentoring opportunities, projects, and professional development that will positively impact their leadership skills”, said ALSC President, Kirby McCurtis. “We look forward to the contribution they will make to ALSC now and as they continue in their library careers”.

Eboni Dickerson is Branch Services Supervisor II, Children’s at Cuyahoga County Public Library, Cleveland, Ohio and is a past ALA Emerging Leader.

Erika Lehtonen is Youth Services Librarian at Timberland Regional Library in Shelton, Washington and is chair of the School Age Services Committee at Timberland Regional Library.

Natassia Schulz is a Kids and Teens Services Associate at Elmwood Park Public Library in Elmwood Park, Illinois and a Computer Help Desk Associate at Downers Grove Public Library in Downers Grove, Illinois and has over 11 years of library experience in public, academic and school libraries.

Melissa Stovall is a Library Media Specialist at Austin Independent School District with a combined career in teaching and library science.

Mai Takahashi is a Children’s Services Librarian at Seattle Public Library in Washington and serves on the committee for Outreach, Programming and Engagement at Seattle Public Library.

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) is driven by more than 4,000 members dedicated to the support and enrichment of library service to children. Our members include youth librarians, literature experts, publishers and educational faculty. ALSC supports its members in engaging communities to build healthy, successful, futures for all children. To learn more about ALSC and how to join, please visit our website at www.ala.org/alsc.