003 Grolier Foundation Award recipient named

Contact: Cheryl Malden



For Immediate Release

April 25, 2003

2003 Grolier Foundation Award recipient named

Penny Markey, coordinator of youth services and assistant library administrator at the County of Los Angeles County Public Library is the 2003 recipient of the American Library Association (ALA) Grolier Foundation Award.

The $1,000 award and citation, donated by the Grolier Publishing Company, is presented to a librarian whose “unusual contribution to the stimulation and guidance of reading by children and young people” exemplifies outstanding achievement in the profession.

“The jury selected Penny Markey for her distinguished service, on the local, state and national level, that has influenced children and youth librarians and the patrons they serve,” said Chair Drucilla Gullion.
“And for her unwavering determination to assure access to underprivileged young readers to the world of books and the lifelong pleasures of reading.”

Markey has been tireless in her efforts to bring library services and books to children, parents and caregivers.
She instituted The Begin at the Beginning with Books Programs, in which bilingual library workers brought books and parenting information into the clinics where low-income women receive care during their pregnancy.
This was the prototype for the Association of Library Service to Children (ALSC) sponsored “Born to Read” program which serves underserved children throughout the United States, encouraging reading and using the library at an early age. ALSC is a division of

PBS television series John Merror Report “In Search of Heros,”
profiled Markey as a hero for the Begin at the Beginning with Books Programs.
She has won numerous honors including commendations from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, National Association of Counties Awards, and attended a White House Reception in celebration of the 1989 Year of the Young Reader from the Library of Congress Center for the Book.

“Penny Markey is a standard bearer for ensuring that children and libraries go hand in hand,” said Julie Cummins 2001 Grolier winner. “She has unflaggingly promoted reading, books and library services for children.
Her creativity, dedication, enthusiasm, vision and professionalism make her the ‘poster child’ for this award.”

An active member of the ALA and ALSC, she currently is a member of ALA Council.
Markey has published several articles and written numerous grants and seminars for librarians, teachers and administrators.
She has instituted many collaborative programs and partnerships throughout Los Angeles.

Markey has an M.S.L.S. and a B.A. from Case Western Reserve University.

The Grolier Award will be presented Tuesday,
June 24, during the ALA/CLA joint Annual Conference in Toronto.