ALA leaders release statement regarding the deaths of ALSC members Kate McClelland and Kathy Krasniewicz

Contact: Macey Morales

Manager, ALA Media Relations



For Immediate Release

January 29, 2009

Chicago - The following is a statement released by American Library Association (ALA) President Jim Rettig and Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) President Pat Scales regarding the deaths of ALSC Vice President Kate McClelland and Notable Children’s Videos Committee Chair Kathleen Apuzzo Krasniewicz, who were killed in a hit-and-run accident as they traveled to the Denver Airport from ALA’s Midwinter Meeting on Wednesday.

“American Library Association members would like to extend our sincere condolences to the families, co-workers and communities served by Kate and Kathy,” said ALA President Jim Rettig. “This is a tragic loss for the library community, and the thousands of people who they touched and helped in their work in libraries for so many years.

“The depth of their contributions in supporting literacy efforts for our nation’s children left a meaningful mark on their community and they will be sorely missed.

“The American Library Association has lost two committed, dedicated members, who gave freely of their time to support and advance the mission of librarians everywhere.”

ALSC President Pat Scales said, “It’s difficult to express the grief that children’s librarians across the country are feeling at this time. Kate and Kathy contributed so much to our association, and even more to the thousands of children whose lives they touched.

“I’m quite certain that Kate and Kathy would urge us to seek comfort through story: it is story that gave their lives meaning, and it is story by which they will be remembered. This is, indeed, a sad day in the children’s book world.”

McClelland served on the ALSC Board and chaired the 2002 Caldecott Award Selection Committee. She was a member of the ALSC Notable Children’s Books Committee, Newbery Award Selection Committee and the Young Adult Library Services Association’s (YALSA) Michael L. Printz Committee. She was a contributor and reviewer for
School Library Journal and
Kirkus Reviews and as contributing intellectual architect of 'Radical Change: Books for Youth in the Digital Age,' by Dr. Eliza Dresang and published by H.W. Wilson.

In 2006, McClelland was honored with a
New York Times Librarian of the year Award; her nomination had been written by Krasniewicz. She retired from the Perrot Memorial Library in Old Greenwich, Conn., last year, as associate director and director of youth services.

Krasniewicz joined ALA and ALSC as a student member ten years ago, and was mentored by Kate, her supervisor at the time. Krasniewicz succeeded McClelland as Perrot Memorial Library director of youth services. Her participation in ALA includes service on the ALSC Sibert Medal Selection Committee, and membership in the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA).