Lexington, Kentucky to host ALSC 2007 Arbuthnot lecturer Kevin Henkes

Contact: Diane Foote
Executive Director, ALSC


For Immediate Release
July 25, 2006

Lexington, Kentucky to host ALSC 2007

Arbuthnot lecturer Kevin Henkes

CHICAGO - The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), is pleased to announce that Lexington, Kentucky has been chosen as the site of the 2007 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture to be held Sunday, March 4. Beloved children's illustrator and author Kevin Henkes will deliver the lecture, which will be hosted by The McConnell Center for the Study of Children's Literature at the University of Kentucky School of Library and Information Science.

The lecture will be held in conjunction with the annual McConnell Children's Literature Conference named in honor of Anne McConnell. According to James A. Nelson, Kentucky State Librarian, McConnell "had a huge impact on the lives and careers of many librarians, educators and writers..." as a University of Kentucky library school professor.

The Lexington proposal made the case that "Kevin Henkes is even better known and more adored here than elsewhere" because Prime Time Family Reading Time, a statewide family literacy program, has featured Henkes' book "Chrysanthemum" (Greenwillow, 1991) by providing it as the gift book to all participating families for two years of the program.
The proposal also appealed to the Arbuthnot Committee because of the activities conducted by the University of Kentucky School of Library and Information Science, which offers a wide range of children's literature and services courses and has worked with cooperating agencies to address the literacy needs of a state that ranks 46th in median household income and fifth in persons below the poverty level. The Arbuthnot Lecture will provide many literature and literacy professionals in the state with what the proposers called "a once in a lifetime opportunity" to promote literacy.

"We received very high-quality applications for the lecture," said William Teale, chair of the Arbuthnot Committee, "but the committee was unanimous in its assessment that the Lexington proposal was outstanding."

The Arbuthnot Lecture will be the highlight in a series of McConnell Children's Literature Conference activities that includes presentations and signings by other children's authors and illustrators. Cooperating agencies on the lectureship application were the Lexington Public Library, Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives and the Kentucky Humanities Council, Inc.

In addition to Teale, University of Illinois at Chicago, the 2007 Arbuthnot Lecture Committee includes Sharon Grover, Hedberg Public Library, Janesville, Wis.; Ginny Gustin, Sonoma County Library System, Santa Rosa, Calif.; Anitra Steele, Mid-Continent Public Library, Independence, Mo.; and Kathryn Whitacre, The Free Library of Philadelphia.