2009 ALSC Distinguished Service Award Winner named

Contact: Jenny Najduch

ALSC Marketing Specialist

(312) 280-4026



For Immediate Release

February 10, 2009

CHICAGO, Ill.—Jane Botham is the 2009 recipient of the Association for Library Service to Children’s (ALSC) Distinguished Service Award. This prestigious award honors an individual who has made significant contributions to library service to children and ALSC.

Botham began her library career when she received her Master’s in Library Science from the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Library and Information Science. She then went on to work at the New York Public Library, the San Francisco Public Library, the New York State Library and the Milwaukee Public Library, which was the last library position she held before retiring in 1998. Early in her career, she also worked for six months at the Seattle World’s Fair to help staff the children’s services department’s participation in it.

Besides her work in libraries, Botham also spent five years as the marketing director at Bradbury Press, where she frequently defended authors Judy Blume and Paula Fox for their controversial works, “Forever” and “The Slave Dancer.” Her fight against censorship of these works cleared the way for them to become national best sellers and milestones in children’s literature. After having worked in publishing, Botham was able to share with library colleagues a valuable understanding of the publishing industry and its relationship to children’s librarianship.

Having been a member of ALSC since 1957, she has served on numerous ALSC and ALA committees and has made a significant difference to each. She served as the ALSC President during a time of transition and helped to strengthen the organization with her strong leadership skills. In her retirement, Botham continues to act as a mentor and friend to younger librarians.

Botham’s contribution to the library profession can best be summed up, in the words of fellow ALSC member Mimi Kayden, “She knows so much, imparts it so well and is so entertaining when she does it.”Â

ALSC, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), is the world’s largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children. With a network of more than 4,200 children’s and youth librarians, literature experts, publishers and educational faculty, ALSC is committed to creating a better future for children through libraries. To learn more about ALSC, visit ALSC’s Web site at

 The 2009 ALSC Distinguished Service Award Committee includes: Tish Wilson, Dayton (Ohio) Metro Library; Diana M. Berry, Briarlake Elementary School, Decatur, Ga.; Corinne Camarata, Port Washington (N.Y.) Public Library; Dorothy J. Evans, Chicago; Angus Killick, Kingfisher Publishing, New York, NY.