Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop to deliver 2021 ALSC Children’s Literature Lecture

For Immediate Release
Mon, 01/27/2020


Communications and Marketing Office

ALA Media Relations



PHILADELPHIA – Literary scholar Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop will deliver the 2021 ALSC Children’s Literature Lecture. The announcement was made today by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), during the ALA Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits held January 24 - 28, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  

Formerly known as the May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture, the ALSC Children’s Literature Lecture Award expands on May Hill Arbuthnot’s professional legacy and celebrates the many voices and perspectives that all lecturers bring to this Award. Each year, an individual of distinction in the field of children’s literature is selected to deliver a distinguished lecture on behalf of ALSC.

“Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop’s scholarship has changed the language and the lenses with which we examine children’s literature,” stated 2021 ALSC Children’s Literature Lecture Award Selection Committee Chair Jennifer M. Duffy. 

Dr. Sims Bishop, Professor Emerita at The Ohio State University, has served on numerous noteworthy committees for ALA and other organizations, and has been recognized with prestigious awards for her work. Her research, writing, and teaching have informed and expanded conversations about representation of African Americans in children's literature and provided a critical framework for research and pedagogy. Her essay, "Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Glass Doors," is not only cited globally, it has inspired shifts in publishing, teaching, and the inclusion of authentic, diverse voices in literature for children and teens.  

“ALSC is thrilled that Dr. Sims Bishop is the first lecturer to receive this honor under the new name,” said ALSC President Cecilia P. McGowan. “Her body of scholarly work addressing the importance of African American literature and diverse, multicultural literature as a whole, embodies the spirit of this award dedicated to scholarship and critical thought.” 

The lecturer, announced annually at the ALA Midwinter Meeting, may be an author, illustrator, editor, critic, librarian, historian or teacher of children’s literature, of any country, who shall prepare a paper considered to be a significant contribution to the field of children’s literature. The paper is delivered as a lecture each April or May, and is subsequently published in Children and Libraries, the journal of ALSC. Once the name is made public, institutions wishing to host the lecture may apply. A library school, department of education in a college or university, or a public library system may be considered. Applications to host the 2021 lecture will be available online from ALSC at www.ala.org/alsc this spring. 

Members of the 2021 ALSC Children’s Literature Lecture Award Selection Committee are: Chair Jennifer M. Duffy, King County Library System, Kirkland, Wash.; Christine A. Jenkins, University of Illinois, ISchool, Champaign, Illinois; Nancy J. Johnson, Western Washington University, Bellingham, Wash.; Ana-Elba Pavon, Oakland (Calif.) Public Library, Elmhurst Branch; Karen M. Rowell, Fay B. Kaigler Children's Book Festival, The University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, Miss.

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) is driven by more than 4,000 members dedicated to the support and enrichment of library service to children. Our members include youth librarians, literature experts, publishers and educational faculty. ALSC supports its members in engaging communities to build healthy, successful, futures for all children. To learn more about ALSC and how to join, please visit our website at www.ala.org/alsc.

 For more information on the ALSC Children’s Literature Lecture, please visit www.ala.org/alsc/chll; for more information on all ALA Youth Media Awards, please visit www.ala.org/yma