April 19, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Kathleen T. Horning Named 2015 ALSC Distinguished Service Award Recipient

Kathleen T. Horning

Kathleen T. Horning, Photo credit: J. Matzner

Kathleen T. Horning is the 2015 recipient of the Association for Library Service to Children’s (ALSC) Distinguished Service Award. ALSC is a division of the American Library Association (ALA), and this award honors an individual who has made significant contributions to library service to children and to ALSC.

Horning, the director of the Cooperative Children’s Book Center at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, has been a long-time advocate for multiculturalism and diversity in literature for children and teens.

She has served ALSC on an organizational level as president, member of the board of directors, chair of the Caldecott 75th Anniversary Task Force, and co-chair of the pre-conference celebrating 75 years of Caldecott books. As ALSC president, she forged strong ties with REFORMA resulting in the annual Pura Belpré Award and strengthening the national Día celebrations. She has also served on many media evaluation and award committees, including chairing the 1995 Newbery Committee and the 1997 Batchelder.  She is currently serving on the 2015 Laura Ingalls Wilder Committee.

112013alscHorning has extended her expertise in children’s literature through her participation on many book committees of ALA, and other organizations, including the Ezra Jack Keats Award Committee, the Charlotte Zolotow Award Committee, the ALA Coretta Scott King Award Jury, the ALA Stonewall Book Award, and the Hans Christian Andersen Award Committee for the United States Board on Books for Young People.

She is both an author and a teacher. Her title, From Cover to Cover: Evaluating and Reviewing Children’s Books (HarperCollins, rev. 2010) is a classic guide for all youth librarians. She has also written Multicultural Literature for Children and Young Adults, 1980–1990, Volume 1 (1991), co-authored with Ginny Moore Kruse and Multicultural Literature for Children and Young Adults, 1991–1996, Volume 2 (1997), co-authored with Kruse and Megan Schliesman. (Both titles were published by the Madison, WI, Department of Public Instruction.) For ALSC, she has taught “The Caldecott Medal: Evaluating Distinguished Picture Art” in 2011 using Moodle. In addition, she has also taught “The Newbery Award, Past, Present, and Future,” also using Moodle, from 2009 to 2011.

In 2010, Horning delivered the May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture, titled “Can Children’s Books Save the World? Advocates for Diversity in Children’s Books and Libraries.”

“K.T.,” says awards chair Julie Cummins, “is a visionary leader, literary critic, brilliant scholar, gentle teacher, and inspirational mentor who lives by a high standard for children’s and teen literature. She has been a passionate and knowledgeable advocate for diversity and multiculturalism in youth literature in all her professional work. Through her professional service to ALSC and through her service on multiple award committees for ALSC, ALA, and other organizations, she has fully demonstrated her drive for excellence. She is strongly committed to the membership of ALSC, frequently engaging new members in probing conversations. She is a consummate professional who imbues every discussion with incredible insight, grace, and wit.”

Also worth reading:

SLJ’s “Children’s Books: Still an All-White World?” By Kathleen T. Horning