Paying it forward

locke kidsThe buzz leading up to the ALA Youth Media Awards announcements Monday morning, full of predictions and premonitions, rightly focuses on the books themselves. The criteria for the big awards are all different, but they share a stalwart dismissal of the definition of popularity as inherently valuable. We look for literary and/or illustrative excellence, knowing that the best way to build a population of curious and voracious readers is to purposefully challenge them with excellent excellence. But it’s too easy to let that focus distract us from the very real work of matching kids and books, which sits at the heart of youth librarianship (at least as far as I’m concerned).

And today I have the great pleasure of having my attention diverted to such happy togetherness of kids and books with these pictures, sent to us from the Josephine Locke School, the most recent recipient of a grant of new books from the Butler Center. The Locke Librarian, Sabrena Wetzel, is a longtime friend of the Butler Center, and we enjoyed working with her to distribute books to the library there.

Each year the Butler Center receives new books from our friends in publishing, and each year we pull the previous year’s books, to make room for the next. We work with local libraries, schools, and other agencies to place those books where they’ll do the most good, and boy, howdy, they appear to be doing some good at Josephine Locke!

If you’d like to be considered for a book grant, drop us a line. We’d love to meet you!

shared reading

kids reading

2 thoughts on “Paying it forward

    • I’d love to be considered for books for our library. I’m a grad of Doinican’s Library and Information Science program and would love to make this connection between my school and stuents and the Butler Center. I can be reached by email at: or by phone at: 773-330-5533. Thanks in advance for your consideration.

      Eileen Holzhauer

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