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Press Release Fun: The New National Ambassador of Young People’s Literature is Nigh!

New National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature

to Be Announced on January 3, 2012

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,
  • 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.

The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress was established in 1977 to use the resources of the Library of Congress to stimulate public interest in books and reading. With public and private sector support, the center carries out its mission through a national network of affiliates in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and in cooperation with more than 80 national reading promotion partners such as the Children’s Book Council. The center plays a key role in the Library of Congress’s National Book Festival, held each year on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. For more information about the center, go to

The Children’s Book Council, established in 1945, is the nonprofit trade association of publishers of trade books for children and young adults in the United States. The CBC promotes the use and enjoyment of trade books for young people, most prominently as the official sponsor of Children’s Book Week, the longest running literacy event in the country. The goal of the Children’s Book Council is to make the reading and enjoyment of books for young people an essential part of America’s educational and social goals, as well as to enhance the public perception of the importance of reading by disseminating information about books for young people and about children’s book publishing. For more information about the CBC, please visit

Every Child a Reader is a 501(c)(3)literacy foundation, the mission of which is to instill a lifelong love of reading in children. Every Child a Reader fulfills its mission by supporting positive programs and opportunities, such as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and Children’s Book Week, that help promote the enjoyment and importance of reading among America’s youth. For more information about Every Child a Reader, please visit

For more information about the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, go to

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Virginia Anagnos, (212) 576-2700 x222,

Havelock Nelson, (212) 576-2700 x235,

Goodman Media International, Inc. for Library of Congress and Children’s Book Council

About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth 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.