ALA Annual 2017

2017 Penguin Random House Young Readers Group Award

Recognize Yourself or a Colleague with ALSC Professional Awards

Yes, it may feel as though Annual Conference just ended, but applications for the 2017 Penguin Random House Young Readers Group Award are already open! What is the Penguin Random House Young Readers Group Award, you might ask? The Penguin Random House Young Readers Group Award provides for up to four children’s librarians to attend their first ALA Annual Conference and the Caldecott-Newbery-Wilder banquet.

The $600 stipend provided is made possible by an annual gift from Penguin Young Readers Group and Random House Children’s Books.

Kelly Shea was one of the recipients of the 2016 Penguin Young Readers Award (the award was formerly sponsored solely by Penguin Young Readers Group). In her guest post last week, she wrote that before winning, she had assumed that she was “young and inexperienced, and therefore unworthy of notice from all the brilliant librarians who have come before.” When, to her surprise, she was selected as a winner and attended the Annual Conference, she found that even a “young, naïve, inexperienced voice matters.”

What you learn at the Annual Conference can have an incredible impact not only on you, but also at your library. Kristel Sexton wrote in her guest post about her plans for new programming, including yoga-for-tweens inspired by the InbeTWEEN: Services and Programs for Tweens in Public Libraries session. Her Annual Conference experience lent new energy to the library, “affirming the good work my coworkers and I are doing – and all librarians everywhere really.”

If selected, how do you prepare for the Annual Conference? Elizabeth Esposito recommends asking yourself lots of questions beforehand: “What do you want to learn? What can you learn to make the library experience for kids and families even more educational, unique, and fun? What knowledge and resources can you bring back to share with your colleagues that would be new, exciting, and different?” Once you have an idea of what you want, plan out a schedule and stick to it. When you return home, share your experience – “Hopefully, your new-found energy and enthusiasm will excite those around you, too.”

Selections are partly based on ALSC involvement and library experience, but the award is intended for relative newcomers to the field: applicants must have less than ten years’ experience. Start your application today – like Kelly, you may come away inspired:

The energy of ALSC is addictive. I swear they could have convinced me to sign up for anything. Everyone is passionate about providing a standard of excellence for library services for children. Seeing all those other people with the same drive as me was nothing short of inspiring.

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