Thom Barthelmess elected ALSC vice-president

Contact: Diane Foote

Executive Director,

Association for Library Service to Children

(312) 280-2162

For Immediate Release,

February 10, 2009

CHICAGO – Thom Barthelmess, Youth Services Manager, Austin Public Library, has been elected vice-president/president-elect of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA). The vice presidency became vacant in late January with the sudden death of Kate McClelland, who had been elected to the position last spring. ALSC Bylaws call for a vacancy in the office of vice president to be filled by a vote of the Board of Directors, electing from their membership someone in his second or third year of service. Barthelmess assumes the office of vice-president/president-elect immediately and will assume the ALSC presidency at the close of ALA’s Annual Conference in July 2009 in Chicago.

Barthelmess believes that libraries and librarians hold a unique responsibility to foster an inquisitive, pluralist culture that introduces to all children a world bigger than they might have imagined possible.

“As children’s librarians, serving toddlers to tweens, in public and school libraries, we commit ourselves to employing the magic of literature and equipping young people with tools to find and make their way,” says Barthelmess. “I pledge to carry this commitment into every corner of our professional endeavor.”

Barthelmess is in his third year of ALSC Board service and has also served on the ALSC Membership Committee, the Newbery Award Selection Committee and the ALSC Notable Children’s Recordings Committee (including a term as chair), among other ALA activities. He is only the third male to serve as ALSC President, following Spencer Shaw in 1975-76 and Steven Herb in 1996-97.

Barthelmess earned his M.L.S. from the University of Pittsburgh and his B.A. from Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa. He is currently the youth services manager at the Austin (Tex.) Public Library and will soon begin a new position as lecturer and curator of the new Butler Children’s Literature Center at Dominican University’s Graduate School of Library and Information Science in River Forest, Ill. He has previously served as youth services coordinator and youth services supervisor at Spokane County Library District and worked as a circulation clerk and library assistant in the Children’s Room at the Main Branch of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

For more information, contact ALSC at (312) 280-2163 or visit