Rita Williams-Garcia to deliver 2024 Children’s Literature Lecture

For Immediate Release
Mon, 01/30/2023


ALA Media Relations

Communications and Marketing Office

American Library Association


NEW ORLEANS — Author Rita Williams-Garcia will deliver the 2024 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 LibLearnX: The Library Learning Experience held January 27-30 in New Orleans.

“Williams-Garcia’s heartfelt, multilayered titles, often emotionally challenging, always thoughtfully composed, provide today’s readers with touchstones for Black cultural and historical experiences, through unforgettable characters encountering transformative moments in time,” said 2024 Children’s Literature Lecture Award Committee Chair Debra S. Gold.

Williams-Garcia was born in Queens, New York. Her father was in the military and the family lived in various locales from California, Arizona, Georgia, and back to Queens, which provided inspiration for her realistic, strong prose. Always entertaining others with her stories from an early age, Williams-Garcia sold her first short story to Highlights Magazine at age 14. Williams-Garcia has written more than a dozen books for children and teens and is the recipient of multiple awards, including the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, the Scott O’Dell Historical Fiction Awards, three Coretta Scott King Author Awards, and a Newbery Honor Award.

The Children’s Literature Lecturer, announced annually, 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 wanting 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 lecture will be available online from ALSC at www.ala.org/alsc this spring.

Members of the 2024 Children’s Literature Lecture Award Committee are: Chair Debra S. Gold, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Cleveland, Ohio, Retired; Christine Chai, Los Angeles Public Library; Elissa Gershowitz, The Horn Book, Boston, Massachusetts; Angela Moffett, Children’s Fairyland, Oakland, California; and Nicole Powell, Berkeley Public Library, California.

ALSC is the world’s largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children. With a network of almost 4,000 children and youth librarians, literature experts, publishers, and educational faculty, ALSC is committed to creating a better future for children through libraries. To learn more about ALSC, visit their website at http://www.ala.org/alsc.

For more information on the Children’s Literature Lecture Award and other ALA Youth Media Awards, please visit www.ala.org/yma.

 The American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, ALA has been the trusted voice for academic, public, school, government and special libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit www.ala.org.