Bite Thy Nails In Anticipation, Peoples – The Coming of the Ambassador is Nigh
To the nub, preferably. I just received the following missive. Here’s the press release:
First U.S. National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature to be Revealed on January 3, 2008
NEW YORK, NY December 13, 2007 – The Children’s Book Council (CBC), in association with the Library of Congress’ Center for the Book, will announce the inaugural National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, a children’s laureate for the United States, on January 3, 2008. Appointed for a two-year term, the post was created to raise national awareness of the importance of young people’s literature as it relates to literacy, education, and the development and betterment of children’s lives. The National Ambassador will choose a platform accordingly, also to be revealed on announcement date, and will advocate this policy throughout his/her travels and tenure.
The National Ambassador was chosen by a selection committee based on a number of criteria, including the candidate’s contribution to young people’s literature, known ability to relate to children, dynamic and engaging personality, among other considerations. The five members of the inaugural selection committee include:
Leonard Marcus – preeminent children’s book historian and critic. He has directed Parenting magazine’s annual Best Books of the Year Awards since its inception and is a three-time judge of the New York Times Best Illustrated Books of the Year prize. He is a standing member of The Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award committee.
Hazel Rochman – editor at ALA Booklist and now a contributing editor, reviewing books for children and young adults. She has served on numerous book committees, and chaired the National Book Award committee for young people’s literature.
Maria Salvadore – Coordinator of Children’s Service for the DC Public Library until 2000. Her work for numerous local and national organizations includes the Kennedy Center Education Department, Reading Is Fundamental, BPS Ready To Learn Service, WETA’s Reading Rockets, among many others.
Henrietta M. Smith – professor emeritus, School of Library and Information Science, University of South Florida. Service to ALA includes membership on Newbery, Caldecott, Batchelder, Carnegie and Notable Film committees and chair of the Wilder committee.
Jewell Stoddard – co-owner of the Cheshire Cat Book Store in Washington DC—one of the first children’s bookstores in the country. She has served on the Caldecott and Boston-Globe Horn Book Award committees, and chaired the 2002 Award committee for the Washington Post-Children’s Book Guild Award for Nonfiction.
Cast your bets now. Or don’t. Actually, I’ve no idea who’s even up for the running. Fun to think about, though.
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About Betsy Bird
Betsy Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.
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