McCurtis elected ALSC 2020-2021 president

For Immediate Release
Thu, 04/11/2019


Laura Schulte-Cooper

Program Officer, Communications


Kirby McCurtis, an Administrator at Multnomah County Library, Portland, Oregon, has been elected vice president/president-elect of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA). 

“I am honored and grateful to the membership for entrusting me with this responsibility,” McCurtis said. “I’m excited to join the leadership of ALSC and am committed to ensuring that all people who provide service to children have a voice in our division. In fulfilling this role, my hope is to be a role model and an inspiration to children, particularly those who might never have considered library service as a future profession.”

McCurtis earned her MLIS from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 2008. Prior to her current position, she served as a Youth Librarian for Multnomah County Library (2012-2017), and as a Youth Librarian at the San Diego Public Library (2009-2012) and San Diego County Library (2008-2009). 

McCurtis has been an ALSC member for five years and an ALA member for 12 years. She is also a member of the Black Caucus of ALA (BCALA) and of the Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table. An ALA 2010 Emerging Leader, she served as a member-at-large on ALA Council (2011-2014), as president of the New Members Round Table (2015-2016) and as Secretary of BCALA (2016-2018). McCurtis also has worked on numerous ALSC committees, including Newbery, Nominating and Notable Children’s Books, and on the Equity and Inclusion Task Force (2016-present). Her ALA committee work includes Resolutions (2013-2015) and Literacy (2014-2016).

In addition to her work within ALSC and ALA, McCurtis is a frequent program and webinar presenter, including "Let's Talk about Race with Kids," ALA 2018; “We Speak Your Language: Strengthening Early Literacy for Diversity,” Texas Library Association Conference, 2013; and  “Cuddle Up & Read: Storytimes for Pregnant and Parenting Teens,” Education Institute, Canada, webinar, 2012, among others. In 2012, McCurtis launched Black Storytime at Multnomah County Library. 

Among numerous awards and honors, McCurtis participated in the 2014 Multnomah County Leadership Academy, was among Library Journal’s 2013 Movers & Shakers and received a DEMCO New Leaders Travel Grant, PLA Conference, 2012. She also is the author of “Black Storytime: Empowering Children, Growing Community,” in “Libraries, Literacy, and African American Youth” (Libraries Unlimited, 2016) and “Transform Lives through Literature” in the “Journal of the Oregon Association of School Libraries Quarterly” (Spring 2016).

Three members were elected to serve on the ALSC Board of Directors: April Mazza, Massachusetts Library System, Natick, director-at-large; Maggie Jacobs, New York Public Library, New-to-ALSC board member; and Amber Creger, Schaumburg Township (Illinois) District Library, fiscal officer.

The newly elected vice president, fiscal officer and board members will be seated to the ALSC Board of Directors in June 2019, at the close of the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, DC.

Individuals elected to serve on the 2021 Caldecott, Children’s Literature Legacy, Newbery and Sibert committees are:

2021 Caldecott: Carmen Boston, DC Public Library, Washington, DC; Edie Ching, Silver Spring, Maryland; Alec Chunn, Eugene (Oregon) Public Library; Melissa Depper, Arapahoe Library District, Centennial, Colorado; Hanna Lee, Oxford, Mississippi; Erin Nguyen, Knox County Public Library, Knoxville, Tennessee; Sarah Okner, Vernon Area Public Library, Vernon Hills, Illinois; and Mary Schreiber, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Parma, Ohio.

2021 Children’s Literature Legacy: Betsy Bird, Evanston (Illinois) Public Library; Chelsea Couillard-Smith, Hennepin County Library, Minnetonka, Minnesota; and Jonathan Hunt, San Diego County (California) Office of Education. 

2021 Newbery: Arika Dickens, Bellevue (Washington) School District; Joanna K. Fabicon, Los Angeles Public Library; Hyunjin Han, Mandel Public Library, West Palm Beach, Florida; Susan Dove Lempke, Niles-Maine District Library, Niles, Illinois; Linda M. Pavonetti, Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan; David Saia, Heim Middle School, Williamsville, New York; Eva Thaler-Sroussi, Needham, Massachusetts; and Sarah Bean Thompson, Springfield-Greene County (Missouri) Library.

2021 Sibert: Ingha Chopra, Santa Monica (California) Public Library; Maria Cotto, Pawtucket (Rhode Island) Public Library; Andrea Vaughn Johnson, Chicago; Angelique Kopa, Towson, Maryland; and Cheryl Perez Shrake, Chicago.

Jamie Naidoo appointed the following award committee chairs: Annisha Jeffries, Cleveland Public Library, 2021 Caldecott Award Committee chair; Junko Yokota, Evanston, Illinois, 2021 Children’s Literature Legacy Award Committee chair; Jonda McNair, Clemson (South Carolina) University, 2021 Newbery Award Committee chair; and Brandy Sanchez, Columbia (Missouri) Public Library, 2021 Sibert Award Committee chair. Cecilia McGowan, current ALSC vice president/president-elect, will appoint the remaining members of these committees, as well as members of ALSC’s other prestigious award committees this fall.

ALSC, a division of the ALA, is the world’s largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children. With a network of more than 4,000 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, visit ALSC’s website at