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May Hill Arbuthnot Lecture

The May Hill Arbuthnot Lecture is an annual event sponsored by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association. The organization counts selection as the lecturer among its "Book & Media Awards", for selection recognizes a career contribution to children's literature. At the same time, the lecturer "shall prepare a paper considered to be a significant contribution to the field of children's literature", to be delivered as the Arbuthnot Lecture and to be published in the ALSC journal Children & Libraries.[1]

May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Award
Awarded for body of work in the field of children's literature
Country United States
Presented by Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association
First awarded 1970

The lecture was established in 1969 to honor the educator May Hill Arbuthnot.[1] Arbuthnot was one creator of "Dick and Jane" readers and she wrote the first three editions of Children and Books (Scott, Foresman 1947, 1957, 1964). When informed of the new honorary lecture in her name, 'she recalled "that long stretch of years when I was dashing from one end of the country to the other, bringing children and books together by way of the spoken word."'[1]

The lecturer may be an "author, critic, librarian, historian, or teacher of children's literature, of any country". The Arbuthnot Lecture Committee selects one from a list of nominations, a process currently completed in January 15 to 18 months before the event. Then institutions apply to be the host: any "library school, department of education in college or university, or a children's library system". Several months later the same committee selects the host institution from the applicants.[1][2]


2014 lectureEdit

Andrea Davis Pinkney delivered the 2014 lecture at the University of Minnesota Libraries, Children's Literature Research Collections, Saturday, May 3, 2014 from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM (CDT). She was cited in January 2013 for "significant contributions to literature for young people provided through a body of work that brings a deeper understanding of African American heritage". She is the author of more than 20 books and founder of the "first African American children's book imprint at a major publishing company": Jump at the Sun at Hyperion Books for Children, the Disney Book Group (now Disney Publishing Worldwide). She is vice president and editor-at-large, Scholastic Trade Books.[1]


May Hill Arbuthnot Lectures[3]
Year Lecturer Title Host City, State
2019 Debbie Reese
2018 Naomi Shihab Nye "REFRESHMENTS WILL BE SERVED - Our Lives of Reading & Writing" Western Washington University Performing Arts Center Bellingham, Washington
2017 Jacqueline Woodson "What Gets Left Behind: Stories From The Great Migration" W. W. Hootie Johnson Performance Hall, University of South Carolina Columbia, South Carolina
2016 Pat Mora “Bookjoy! ¡Alegría en los libros!” Santa Barbara City College Santa Barbara, California
2015 Brian Selznick "Love Is a Dangerous Angel: Thoughts on Queerness and Family in Children's Books" DC Public Library
(May 8, 2015)
Washington, DC
2014 Andrea Davis Pinkney "Rejoice the Legacy!"
(YouTube recording)[clarification needed]
Children's Literature Research Collections, University of Minnesota Libraries Minneapolis, Minnesota
2013 Michael Morpurgo "War Boy to War Horse"
Nazareth College
New York Library Association
Rochester, New York
2012 Peter Sís "Reading in the Dark"
(MUOhio recording)
Miami University Oxford, Ohio
2011 Lois Lowry "Unleaving: The Staying Power of Gold"
[2] (brief YouTube recording)
St. Louis County Library Ladue, Missouri
2010 Kathleen T. Horning "Can Children's Books Save the World? Advocates for Diversity in Children's Books and Libraries" Riverside County Library System Riverside, California
2009 Walter Dean Myers "The Geography of the Heart" Langston Hughes Library of the Children's Defense Fund (CDF), Alex Haley Farm Clinton, Tennessee
2008 David Macaulay "Thirteen Studios"
(YouTube recording)[clarification needed]
South Central Library System Madison, Wisconsin
2007 Kevin Henkes "Books As Shelter: Going Home Again and Again" McConnell Center for the Study of Youth Literature, University of Kentucky SLIS Lexington, Kentucky
2006 Russell Freedman "The Past Isn't Past: How History Speaks, and What It Says to the Next Generation." Williamsburg Regional Library
The Library of Virginia
Virginia Foundation for the Humanities
Williamsburg, Virginia
2005 Richard Jackson "Mutuality" Free Library of Philadelphia
Julia R. Masterman Laboratory and Demonstration School
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2004 Ursula K. Le Guin "Cheek by Jowl: Animals in Children's Literature" Maricopa County Library District
Arizona State University
Arizona Center for the Book
Phoenix, Arizona
2003 Maurice Sendak "Descent into Limbo" Cambridge Public Library
Children's Literature, Inc.
Cambridge, Massachusetts
2002 Philip Pullman "So She Went Into the Garden" Le Frak Hall, Queens College Graduate School of Library and Information Studies Flushing, New York
2001 Susan Cooper "Time and Again" Scottish Rite Center
Multnomah County Library
Portland, Oregon
2000 Hazel Rochman "A Stranger Comes to Town" Thomas J. Dodd Research Center at the University of Connecticut Storrs, Connecticut
1999 Lillian N. Gerhardt "Editorial License: On Library Selection Connections" San Jose State University, School of Library and Information Science San Jose, California
1998 Susan Hirschman "Instead of a Lecture" Richland County Public Library and the College of Library and Information Science at the University of South Carolina Columbia, South Carolina
1997 Katherine Paterson "In Search of Wonder" Northern State University Aberdeen, South Dakota
1996 Zena Sutherland "A Life in Review" Dallas Public Library Dallas, Texas
1995 Leonard Everett Fisher "Imaginings and Images" University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, Wisconsin
1994 Margaret K. McElderry "Across the Years, Across the Seas: Notes from an Errant Editor" Coronado Public Library Coronado, California
1993 Virginia Hamilton "Everything of Value: Moral Realism in the Literature for Children" Virginia Center for the Book Richmond, Virginia
1992 Charlotte S. Huck "Developing Lifetime Readers" Montana Library Association annual conference Bozeman, Montana
1991 Iona Opie "The Nature and Function of Children's Lore" Library of Congress Washington, DC
1990 Ashley Bryan "A Tender Bridge" New Orleans Public Library New Orleans, Louisiana
1989 Margaret Mahy "A Dissolving Ghost: Possible Operations of Truth in Children's Books and the Lives of Children" University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
1988 John Bierhorst "Pushing up the Sun a Little" University of Oklahoma Norman, Oklahoma
1987 James Archibald Houston "A Primitive View of the World" Northern Illinois University DeKalb, Illinois
1986 Aidan Chambers "All of a Tremble to See His Danger" University of Arkansas Little Rock, Arkansas
1985 Patricia Wrightson "Stones into Pools" Indiana University
Stone Hills Area Library Services Authority
Bloomington, Indiana
1984 Fritz Eichenberg "Bell, Book and Candle" Minneapolis Public Library and Information Center Minneapolis, Minnesota
1983 Leland B. Jacobs "Children and the Voices of Literature" Center for the Study of Literature for Young People at the University of Georgia Athens, Georgia
1982 Dorothy Butler "From Books to Buttons: Reflections From the Thirties to the Eighties" Florida State University Orlando, Florida
1981 Virginia Betancourt "Information: A Necessity for Survival: Strategies for the Promotion of Children's Books in a Developing Country" Texas Woman's University Denton, Texas
1980 Horst Kunze "German Children's Literature From Its Beginning to the Nineteenth Century: A Historical Perspective" University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, Wisconsin
1979 Sheila Egoff "Beyond the Garden Wall: Some Observations on Current Trends in Children's Literature" University of South Carolina Columbia, South Carolina
1978 Uriel Ofek "Tom and Laura from Right to Left: American Children's Books Experienced by Young Hebrew Readers" Boston Public Library Boston, Massachusetts
1977 Shigeo Watanabe "One of the Dozens" Boise State University Boise, Idaho
1976 Jean Fritz "The Education of an American" Los Angeles Public Library Los Angeles, California
1975 Mollie Hunter "Talent Is Not Enough" Drexel University Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1974 Ivan Southall "Real Adventure Belongs To Us" University of Washington Seattle, Washington
1973 Bettina Hürlimann "Fortunate Moments in Children's Books" University of Missouri Kansas City, Missouri
1972 Mary Ørvig "One World in Children's Books" University of Chicago Chicago, Illinois
1971 John Rowe Townsend "Standards of Criticism for Children's Literature" Atlanta Memorial Arts Center Atlanta, Georgia
1970 Margery Fisher "Rights and Wrongs" Case Western Reserve University Cleveland, Ohio

Repeat lecturesEdit

University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee has hosted two lectures.

Two lecture titles allude to The Secret Garden, a 1911 novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e "The May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Award". Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), American Library Association (ALA). Retrieved 2013-05-03.
  2. ^ "Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Committee Manual" (PDF). ALSC, ALA. December 2007. Retrieved 2009-02-23.
  3. ^ "May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecturers". ALSC, ALA. 2014. Retrieved 2015-02-02.

External linksEdit