2007 ALSC/Tandem Library Books Literature Program Grant winner announced

Contact: Marsha Burgess
Program Coordinator
For Immediate Release
February 13, 20007

2007 ALSC/Tandem Library Books Literature Program Grant winner announced

CHICAGO - Diane Williamson of the Abbotts Hill (Ga.) Elementary School has been named the winner of the 2007 ALSC/Tandem Education Resources Literature Program Grant for her program, “Kindergarten Overnighters’ Club.” Sponsored by Tandem Library Books, the award is administered by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA).

The ALSC/Tandem Library Books Literature Program Grant is designed to honor a member of ALSC who has developed and implemented a unique and outstanding reading or literature program for children (infants through age fourteen). The award provides a grant of $1,000 to support the winner’s attendance at the ALA Annual Conference, to be held in Washington, June 21-27, 2007. The award is made possible through an annual grant from Tandem Library Books (formerly Sagebrush Education Resources).

The “Kindergarten Overnighters’ Club” encourages incoming kindergarten students to use the school’s media center, in order to increase the number of books checked out and read by kindergarteners and/or their parents. Diane’s motivation was to encourage reading at an early age in order to influence later school achievement. She enlisted the willing participation of seven kindergarten teachers and parents. The program was successful: the number of books checked out in the program’s inaugural year quadrupled from the previous year.

“Diane Williamson fulfilled the purpose of this award by bringing children and books together and instilling a lifelong love of reading,” said selection committee chair Susan Knipe, Everett (Wash.) Public Library. Her committee chose the winner during ALA’s 2007 Midwinter Meeting in Seattle.

Other members of the selection committee are Natalie Arthur, Johnson County Public Library, Ind.; April Roy, children’s services supervisor, Kansas City (Mo.) Public Library; and Susan Velfort, King County Library System, Wash.