CHICAGO — The Association for Library Service to Children has awarded the 2020 Penguin Random House Young Readers Group Award to Amalia Butler, Maplewood Memorial Library (New Jersey); Carla Davis, Multnomah County Library (Oregon); Jennifer Minehardt, New York Public Library.
The $600 stipend, made possible by an annual gift from Penguin Young Readers Group and Random House Children’s Books, enables up to four children’s librarians to attend their first American Library Association’s Annual Conference. Applicants must demonstrate an involvement in ALSC as well as other professional and educational associations. New programming or innovations initiated by the applicants is highly valued. Fewer than 10 years of experience of working directly with children in elementary, middle schools or public libraries is required.
In addition to her regular duties as a children’s librarian, Butler has implemented an anthology writing program for the past three summers, encouraging children to write and illustrate their own original stories. She has also served as a Supercharged Storytime trainer through the State Library of New Jersey, developed a partnership for Conversations on Gender workshops for caregivers, and done programming for non-parental caregivers on worker’s rights and childcare skills. Butler is a member of APALA and is currently serving as chair of ALSC’s Managing Children’s Services Committee.
Davis works in the Youth Service Department at the Midland Branch of the Multnomah County library where she does various programs including Black Storytime, reflecting and promoting African American culture and experiences, and promoting library use and attendance by the Black community. Davis also works with teens and adults, hosting a teen-led Teen Talent Showcase and initiating an adult Black History Gospel Timeline program, showing how gospel music developed from the 18th century to present day. She is currently on the MCL Community Engagement team to help prepare Black children ages 0-6 for Kindergarten readiness through a grant from Meyer Memorial Trust.
Outside of regular programming, Minehardt has focused on Early Literacy. Through an Early Literacy innovation grant, Minehardt spearheaded workshops teaching caregivers about screen-time with children, interactive and engaging play to learn and develop literacy skills. These workshops, and additional workshops around family literacy, engagement and play culminated in a large Early Literacy event for families at the Roosevelt Island Branch. Minehardt is currently serving on the ALSC Children and Technology Committee and will participate in the Bill Morris Seminar at the 2020 ALA Midwinter Conference.
“This year’s grant recipients have already accomplished so much in enriching their communities and through their commitment to building literacy and agency of children and the general public,” said Ariana Hussain, Grant Administration chair. “We know that our awardees will continue to thrive and benefit from the experience of attending ALA Annual conference, and further enrich ALSC as a division through their current and future service as leaders in librarianship.”
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 about ALSC, visit ALSC’s website at www.ala.org/alsc.