Office of Library Services, NYC DOE, wins H.W. Wilson Library Staff Development Grant

Contact: Cheryl Malden

Program Officer

ALA Governance Office

(312) 280-3247


For Immediate Release

March 5, 2009

The American Library Association is announcing the Office of Library Services, New York City Department of Education, as the 2009 recipient of the H.W. Wilson Library Staff Development Grant. The award is presented annually to a library or library organization demonstrating the greatest need for a staff development program furthering the goals and objectives of library services. The award is donated by the H.W. Wilson Company and consists of a citation and $3,500 to assist with the development of a library staff-training program.

The Office of Library Services will use the award to support professional development for the New Yorkers Read - Eight Million Reasons to Read Book Clubs. Librarians will learn how to conduct non-fiction book clubs and integrate Web 2.0 tools into their book club practices.

The New Yorkers Read - Eight Million Reasons to Read Book Clubs project is part of a larger campaign addressing the crisis in middle school achievement levels, which indicate a large gap along racial/ethnic lines and a disengagement of middle school students, ultimately leading to their failing to finish high school and short circuiting their career and life choices. This professional development is part of a New Yorkers Read - Eight Million Reasons to Read Grant seeking to connect middle school students with the larger world through the use of non-fiction books.

“In New York City, large pockets of poverty (77 percent of NYC middle school students receive free or reduced lunch), recent immigration (14 percent are English Language Learners) and now the current economic crisis impact heavily on the already fragile period of middle school growth,” stated Judith Schaffner in her documentation. “Last year, the NYC DOE office of Library Services offered, funded and administered a Tween to Teen Grant…We focused on the emotional and social needs of middle school students and used young adult fiction for the book clubs. We have received glowing accounts from participating librarians.”

“The New Yorkers Read - Eight Million Reasons to Read Book Clubs initiative builds on a successful book club reading project carried out the preceding year and is a role model for engaging and supporting middle school students,” said Carol Lee Anderson, jury chair.

Barbara Stripling, director of the Office of Library Services, said, “We are thrilled to have received this grant. The money will allow us to expand the professional resources we can offer supporting our building-level librarians as they conduct nonfiction book clubs with their students.”

Members of the 2009 H.W. Wilson Staff Development Award committee are: Chair, Carol Lee Anderson, University at Albany University Libraries, SUNY, Albany, N. Y.; Samantha Hines, University of Montana, Mansfield Library, Missoula, Mont., Jennifer W. Lang, Princeton University Library, Princeton, N. J.; Tobi Oberman, Skokie Public Library, Skokie, Ill.;Â Christine A. Whittington, Greensboro College Library, Greensboro, N. C.

The H.W. Wilson Award will be presented on Tuesday, July 14, at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago.

The deadline for submission of applications for the 2010 H.W. Wilson Award is Dec. 1. Guidelines and application forms are available on the ALA Web site:Â  Â