Midwinter was indeed an exciting time as you can tell from the blog posts about good times at Reading Terminal Market, discussion groups and Networking Uncommons and, of course, those ever popular Youth Media Awards. Well, while the exclusive book award committees were tucked away in hotel rooms, the Library Services to Special Population Children and Their Caregivers (yes, say that five times fast) met to select a winner of the ALSC/Candlewick Press “Light the Way: Outreach to the Underserved” Grant.
This year’s applicant pool included 29 submissions from libraries coast to coast seeking funds for outreach programs and services to an impressive variety of special populations. From children with autism to youth in detention facilities to teen parents and their children to children and families in homeless shelters, this year’s batch of applications was yet another reminder of the hard work being done to make our libraries welcoming spaces for all children and families.
Several applications rose to the top as finalists and one application especially impressed the committee with its well-written responses demonstrating a clear need for outreach and services to the special population, partnerships with local organizations, sustainability, and the ability of the proposed programs to be replicated by other libraries. The winner of the 2014 Light the Way Grant is the LGBT Center of Raleigh Library.
The LGBT Center of Raleigh Library plans to use the funds to serve members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill Research Triangle Community. The Library will partner with Out! Raleigh, SAGE Raleigh and Marbles Kids Museum to offer programming for LGBT and ally families with children ages 0-6, and plans to expand its family story time and collection using grant funds. The committee is excited to support programs for this traditionally underserved population. Congratulations to the LGBT Center of Raleigh Library! And thank you, Candlewick Press, for your ongoing support of library services to special populations.
Candlewick Press is an independent, employee-owned publisher based in Somerville, Mass. Candlewick publishes outstanding children’s books for readers of all ages, including books by award-winning authors Kate DiCamillo, M. T. Anderson and Laura Amy Schlitz, the widely acclaimed Judy Moody series and favorites such as the Maisy and Where’s Waldo? books. Candlewick’s parent company is Walker Books Ltd., of London with additional offices in Sydney and Auckland.
Members of the 2013-14 ALSC Library Service to Special Population Children and Their Caregivers Committee include: Jordan Boaz, New York Public Library, N.Y.; Africa Hands, Louisville, Ky; Sara Hathaway, Columbus, Ohio; Rebecca Hickman, NSU Alvin Sherman Library, Fort Lauderdale, Fla; Lesley Mason, DC Public Library; Amy Seto Musser, Central Library of Denver Public Library, Denver, Colo; Amanda Struckmeyer, Middleton Public Library, Middleton, Wis.