Tag Archives: ALA Annual

Time to Pass the Gavel: Coretta Scott King Book Awards Chair Dr. McLinn’s Message to the CSK Community at ALA Annual

Dr. Claudette McLinn

It is with a great sense of gratitude and satisfaction that I write my final message as Chair of Coretta Scott King Book Awards Committee/Community during the 50thAnniversary of the CSK Book Awards founding. 

As of June 26, 2019, the end of the Annual Conference, my esteemed colleague Alan Bailey will assume the role of Chair, and I cannot think of anyone more qualified and prepared to serve as your 2019-2021 Chair. Indeed, all the CSK Executive Board members with whom I’ve had the pleasure to serve, as well as the incoming members, are eminently qualified to help lead the committee into the future. My thanks and best wishes also go out to those CSK Standing Committee members and CSK 50thAnniversary Planning Committee members whose terms will be completed at the end of this month and who have served with diligence, enthusiasm, and commitment. 

As I transition to the role of Immediate Past-Chair, I am truly humbled and honored to join such an outstanding group of individuals who have served CSK in this role. As I look back over the past two years, I am immensely proud of all that our committee has accomplished during that time, especially during the CSK 50thAnniversary celebration. 

For now, suffice it is to say that our CSK committee members, ODLOS staff, ALA supporters and leaders have done an outstanding job of moving the committee forward despite numerous challenges. I can’t wait to see what the future holds!

Finally, I would simply like to say “Thank you!” to every CSK Committee member for allowing me the privilege of serving as your Chair over this past two years. It is an experience I will never forget and which I will treasure for the rest of my life. You, the members, are the reason our committee exists and the reason why we as leaders do what we do. I hope you will keep fighting the good fight and never forget that your skills are crucial to the safety, health, and well-being of countless librarians, library workers, authors and illustrators, parents, and students across this country. That is something we can ALL be proud of! 

Thank you, and onward and upward! 

Dr. Claudette S. McLinn   Chair, Coretta Scott King Book Awards Committee, 2017 – 2019 Chair, Coretta Scott King Book Awards 50thAnniversary Planning Committee, 2016 – 2019 #CSK50

This is the message delivered by Dr. Claudette McLinn, outgoing Chair of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Committee, at the 2019 ALA Annual’s CSK Membership Meeting on June 26.

Opportunity at ALA Annual: Visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture

Photo credit: Susan Polos

As you visit DC for Annual, some sites must not be missed. One is the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC).  Here are some tips to expedite your visit:

  • VIP TOURS are being offered on Thursday June 20 and Tuesday June 25 beginning at 9:30 am on each day. Contact Bettye Smith at bls.csktreas2018@gmail.com if you would like to participate.  Sign up is required – Deadline is May 3. For security reasons, all names must be submitted to the museum.
  • GROUP VISITS – If VIP tours are not convenient or available, group tickets may be obtained.  Go to website https://nmaahc.si.edu/visit/groups for more details.  (This does not include any tours.  The Welcome Desk inside the museum will have more information if any tours are available.)
  • WALK-INS – For entry into the museum Monday through Friday after 1:00 pm, no passes are required.
  • SAME DAY PASSES – These are available online at https://nmaahc.si.edu/visit/passes each day beginning at 6:30 am. Up to 4 passes per order may be obtained.
  • ADVANCED TIMED PASSES – These are available online 3 months prior to the month of your visit.  Unfortunately the date for June has passed.

Please check the museum website https://nmaahc.si.edu or email Bettye Smith at bls.csktreas2018@gmail.com if you have additional questions.

Bettye Smith is treasurer of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Committee.

CSK at ALA 2018

There were five Coretta Scott King Book Award events during the 2018 ALA Annual Conference, and all were wonderful.

The first events were the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Executive Board Meeting, followed by the Community-General Meeting, both the morning of Saturday, June 23, at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans.

Secretary Jené Brown, Chair Dr. Claudette McLinn, and Chair-Elect Professor Alan Bailey listen as action items are debated.

Jené Brown, Dr. Claudette McLinn, Prof. Alan Bailey. Photo: Susan Polos
CSK Executive Board Meeting. Dr. Bracy, Erika Marks, Sam Bloom, Elisa Gall, Amber Hayes, Deborah Taylor. Photo: Susan Polos

Members of the CSK Executive Board considered proposals. We had an opportunity to meet Amber Hayes, the new ODLOS Outreach and Communications Program Officer, whose responsibilities include work with the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Committee.

CSK Membership Meeting. Photo: Susan Polos

The Coretta Scott King Book Awards General Meeting was well attended. Two CSK Book Awards Jury members were elected: Jewel Davis and Maegen Rose.

Members of the CSK Book Awards Committee Executive Board, Back row: Dr. Safi S. M. Safiullah, Elisa Gall, Susan Polos, Crystal Carr Jeter, Sam Bloom, Jené Brown, Deimosa Webber-Bey, Bettye Smith, Nick Glass, Erika Marks, Carmen Boston. Front Row: Deborah Taylor, Dr. Pauletta Bracy, Dr. Claudette McLinn, Professor Alan Bailey. Photo: Susan Polos

We were able to take an official photo of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Executive Board.

Later on June 23, at 6 p.m., members and friends gathered for the Coretta Scott King Book Awards – Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement Reception to celebrate 2018 Virginia Hamilton honoree Eloise Greenfield.

Jan Spivey Gilchrist, Dr. Claudette McLinn, Eloise Greenfield, Deborah Taylor at Virginia Hamilton Award Reception 2018. Photo: Michael McLinn

The sold-out Coretta Scott King Book Awards Breakfast was held on Sunday, June 24, from 7:00  a.m.to 9:30 a.m. at the Hilton Riverside.

Jené Watson presenting. Photo: Susan Polos

On Monday, the CSK program, “Using Coretta Scott King Award-Winning Books to Enrich Programs and Instruction in Public, School, and Academic Libraries,” was offered at 10:30 a.m. in the Morial Convention Center to a standing-room-only crowd.

Dr. Jonda McNair, Andrea Jamison, Jené Watson, Alan Bailey. Photo: Susan Polos

Professor Alan Bailey moderated the panel while Dr. Jonda McNair, Andrea Jamison, and Jené Watson presented.

Many other informal gatherings and opportunities to connect were also part of the ALA experience. Our CSK Technology Committee, usually virtual, met in person!

The CSK Technology Committee Meeting at ALA 2018. Photo: Susan Kusel

If you have any photos from ALA in New Orleans specific to the Coretta Scott Book Awards Committee, please share them in the comments.

We’ll see you next at Midwinter in Seattle – and here on the blog, as well.

Post by Susan Polos and Maegen Rose

Susan Polos works as a school librarian at Fox Lane High School in Bedford, NY.  She is chair of the CSK Book Awards Technology Committee.

Maegen Rose works as a school librarian at Rye Country Day School in Rye, NY. She is a member of the CSK Book Awards Technology Committee. 

A Tribute to Jason Low

Jason Low at 2017 CSK Awards Breakfast.
Photo: Mary Jo Humphreys

The Coretta Scott King Awards breakfast is always the highlight of my ALA conference trip. This year was even more special as I watched Jason Low’s face and demeanor shine with joy and pride when Caldecott Winner and Coretta Scott King Illustrator Winner Javaka Steptoe applauded the dedication to diversity from Lee & Low’s publishing house. Steptoe said:

“For those of you who believe multicultural titles do not sell, I say this to you: I have received checks for over fifteen years from every book I have published with Lee & Low. They have taken the time to find places outside the system where diverse communities exist. They are invested in keeping their backlist alive and do not throw money away on projects they will not support. They publish a spectrum of multicultural books without concern about competition. I understand that you don’t want the head to compete with the tail, but you have to at least support the books in your backlist about people of color that are succeeding.”

Jason Low is a strong voice behind the movement for more diverse books. He not only seeks out new diverse authors, but he also puts in the time to write articles, lead panels, contact publishers, create surveys, and fund data studies to share with the publishing and library industry. One of his recent initiatives was Lee & Low’s infographic series, which illustrates the lack of diversity in many industries, including publishing, film, television, theater, and politics. Several infographics have gone viral and were picked up by outlets including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Huffington Post. The first infographic, on the lack of diversity in children’s books over a twenty-year period, is now used in articles, college classes, and reports to illustrate the problem.

Low recently created the Diversity Baseline Survey, a landmark study that measures different aspects of diversity among publishing staff and reviewers. The study is the first of its kind in scope and subject, looking at racial diversity and gender, sexual orientation, and disability among employees.

Jason Low was a featured speaker at the Texas Library Association Diversity Summit in April 2014. I continue to see Low inconspicuously sitting in a corner or stopping for a brief visit at diverse author events.  His presence at the Brown Book Shelf presentation in San Antonio brought a smile to the faces of Kelly Starling Lyons and Gwendolyn Hooks. He does not tolerate librarian excuses such as “my community will not support that type of book” but, on the contrary, gently seeks to change the minds of those who are not supportive of the ALA Core Values.  He has made more than a few uncomfortable challenging the slow movement toward changing the statistics of diverse books and author representation in this publishing field.

Javaka Steptoe’s words resonate with all of us. Jason Low’s pleas and passions come alive in his voice, gentle laugh, and a mighty pen. Low remains optimistic and channels his energies into concrete, actionable steps. The world has changed, and Jason Low sets the example of leadership in this change. When children and adults enter libraries or bookstores and can read books and see illustrations in these books about people like themselves, we can thank Jason Low and his publishing house for continuing this uphill struggle and for being a friend to all.

Post by Mary Jo Humphreys

Mary Jo Humphreys is a retired school librarian and administrator who continues to be active in the Texas Library Association.  She served as Coordinator of the Texas Bluebonnet Committee and Chair of the Texas Association of School Librarians.

YMA Awards, CSK, Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop, and Congressman John Lewis: What a day!

Anticipation ran high as the crowd began to gather at 6:00 a.m. for the 8:00 a.m. American Library Association Youth Media Awards on Monday, January 23, 2017, held in the Georgia World Conference Center in Atlanta, Georgia.

Many distinguished books were published in 2016; the buzz and enthusiasm were practically palatable as one entered the rapidly filling room.   As the committees entered to sit in the reserved spaces, we got a shot of the Coretta Scott King committee settling in.  The Coretta Scott King Award jury was chaired by Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop, who had a great day herself.  

Before the book awards were announced, we learned that Dr. Sims Bishop was honored as the recipient of the Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement. After the standing ovation, CSK Awards Committee Chair Pauletta Brown Bracy had to ask Dr. Sims Bishop to stand so that the crowd could see her!

The CSK (Author) Medal was awarded to Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell, who won an unprecedented number of awards for March: Book Three, including Printz, Sibert, and YALSA Nonfiction), while the CSK Andrew Aydin (Illustrator) Medal was awarded to Javaka Steptoe for Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. Steptoe also won the Caldecott Medal.

CSK  (Author) Honors were awarded to Jason Reynolds for As Brave As Me and Ashley Bryan for Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life. Bryan also won a CSK (Illustrator) Honor for Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life. CSK (Illustrator) Honors were also awarded to R. Gregory Christie for Freedom in Congo Square and Jerry Pinkney for In Plain Sight.

The John Steptoe New Talent Award was given to Nicole Yoon for The Sun is Also a Star.

Post by Liz Deskins