Librarian of Congress James H. Billington will announce the next National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature on January 3, 2012. The post was created by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, the Children’s Book Council (CBC) and Every Child a Reader 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. Appointed for a two-year term, the National Ambassador will choose a platform that reflects his or her personal interests (also to be revealed on the announcement date) and advocate this policy throughout his or her travels and tenure.
The National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature is named by the Librarian of Congress based on recommendations from a selection committee representing many segments of the book community. The selection criteria include the candidate’s contribution to young people’s literature and ability to relate to children. The members of this year’s selection committee were:
- Jennifer Brown, Children’s Editor, Shelf Awareness
- Valerie Koehler, Bookseller, Blue Willow Books, Houston, TX
- Hillias Jack Martin, Assistant Director for Public Programs/Lifelong Learning for Children, Teens and Families, New York Public Library
- Katherine Paterson, National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, 2010-11
- Caroline Ward, Librarian/Youth Services Coordinator, Ferguson Library, CT; Professor, Pratt Institute
- Seira Wilson, Book Editor, Amazon.com
- Junko Yokota, Professor, National-Louis University; Director, Center for Teaching Through Children's Books
The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, the Children’s Book Council (CBC) and Every Child a Reader are the sponsors of the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature initiative. Financial support for the National Ambassador program is provided by Penguin Young Readers Group, Scholastic Inc., HarperCollins Children’s Books, Random House Children’s Books, and Candlewick Press.