ALSC selects three libraries for third annual Bookapalooza program

Contact: Aimee Strittmatter

ALSC Deputy Director



For Immediate Release

February 17, 2009

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has announced the winners of the third annual Bookapalooza program. The three libraries selected to receive a collection of children’s materials are Fletcher (Okla.) Public School Library, Laguna (N.M.) Public Library and Henry Whittemore Elementary School Library (Waltham, Mass.). The ALSC Executive Committee reviewed and scored the applications.

The collections, which consist of books, videos, audiobooks and recordings produced in 2008 and were submitted by children’s trade publishers to the 2009 award and media evaluation committees for consideration, are intended to help transform each library’s collection and provide an opportunity for these materials to be used in each community in creative and innovative ways. The Bookapalooza program aligns with ALSC’s core purpose of creating a better future for all children through libraries.

“Public and school libraries all across the nation are suffering severe budget cuts. This is seriously affecting collection development and children’s programming at a time when our nation’s youngest citizens and their families are turning to libraries for their recreational and informational needs. I’m thrilled that the Bookapalooza program can make a difference to three libraries and the children they serve,” said ALSC President Pat Scales.

The Fletcher Public School library council, consisting of students in the seventh-11th grades, will use part of the collection to conduct a family night to introduce the collection to parents, as well as through booktalks and during reading buddy times. The collection will also be used to increase and enhance the existing collection in the soon-to-be constructed central library. Debbie Arthur, Fletcher librarian said, “Acquiring this collection will create excitement among the students and community and spark their interest in reading new materials.”

Laguna Public Library is one of 18 Native American tribal libraries in New Mexico. Laguna Library Director Janice Kowemy said, “Programs created from the acquired collection will provide children with activities to engage in when school is out for yearly breaks. The library should be a place for positive social culture, a place of ideals for youth and the marvel of self-identity. It is important to have a place where youth are able to learn about the wonders of the ‘outside world,’ obtain information and learn where they come from.”

“Bookapalooza materials will allow the Whittemore School Library to launch a new program called
Read Out Loud! Pass It On! to draw parents and their children– together – into the school library so that they can choose books to read aloud at home. By involving parents in the program, we are hopeful of raising the reading skills and reading enjoyment of students as well as their parents,” said Mary Kenslea, library teacher at the Henry Whittemore Elementary School Library. Waltham is an ethnically diverse urban community located in the metropolitan Boston area.

Information on how to apply for the 2010 Bookapalooza program will be available later this spring on the ALSC Web site at, then click on “Professional Awards.” For more information contact the ALSC office, (800) 545-2433, ext. 2163, or e-mail,