January 14, 2004

Contact: Linda Mays, ALSC Program Officer, 312-280-1398.
Michelle Fadlalla, Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, 212-698-7325.

(CHICAGO) The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), and Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing are pleased to announce the creation of a new award for an author/illustrator visit to a library. Named for the late Maureen Hayes, who in the 1980s was the Director of Library Services for Atheneum, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, the Maureen Hayes Author/Illustrator Visit Award joins ALSC's prestigious family of awards.

The award will provide up to $4,000 to an ALSC member library to fund a visit from an author/illustrator who will speak to children who have not had the opportunity to hear a nationally known author/illustrator. The applicant is required to work cooperatively with other types of libraries (academic, public and school) and bookstores within the local community to coordinate and publicize the visit, thereby also reaching a broader audience. Applicants also must present the library's educational goals for the event and how these fit with the local community's education goals.

"We are grateful to Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing for helping the ever-constricting library funds go further with this new award," said ALSC President Gretchen Wronka. "There is a certain magic to meeting the author or illustrator of a favorite book, and we're pleased that to make sharing this experience a little easier."

"We couldn't be happier to assist in providing children with the opportunity to establish a personal connection with a beloved author or illustrator and lay the foundation for a lifelong appreciation for books and reading," said Rick Richter, President and Publisher of Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing.

The award will be given for three years, beginning in 2006. For more information, please visit

ALSC is the world's largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of service to children in all types of libraries. ALSC sets the agenda for the future of children's library service and acts as a child's advocate urging policy makers to support library service for children.