Online summer school with ALSC

CHICAGO – The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) is offering two online courses this summer: The Newbery Medal: Past, Present and Future, to celebrate the end of the 100th anniversary of the Newbery Medal, and a brand new course, Read art in picture books. Both classes are asynchronous and begin on July 5, 2022.

The Newbery Medal: Past, Present and Future asks the question: what does it mean when we recommend Newbery Award recipients to children in our communities? Should Newbery’s seal of approval last for 100 years? Why is this gold medal often considered the “kiss of death” by children? How can we help parents and teachers understand what the Newbery Medal is and isn’t? Participants in this popular six-week course will gain a solid understanding of the history of the Newbery Medal and how it has evolved over time; an opportunity to read, discuss and review past and present Newbery winners with colleagues; a change to speak with former Newbery committee members and a Newbery author, and programming suggestions using Newbery winning books. This course is offered as the final online course in the ALSC’s Newbery 100 year-long celebration.

The course instructor is KT Horning, retired director of the Cooperative Children’s Book Center at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and author of “From Cover to Cover: Evaluating and Reviewing Children’s Books.” She has taught numerous courses for the ALSC over the years, including courses on the Newbery and Caldecott awards.

Reading Art in Picture Books is a four-week course that delves into all aspects of a picture book, including art and its relationship to story text. In the course, participants will develop visual literacy skills and learn to evaluate picture books by describing artistic elements, media, style and design. This is an excellent course for those preparing to review picture books, serve on book awards committees, or better evaluate picture book collections.

The course instructors are Heidi Hammond, associate professor in the MLIS program at St. Catherine’s University, and Gail Nordstrom, public library consultant for Viking Library System. Together, Heidi and Gail co-authored Reading the Art in Caldecott Award Books: A Guide to Illustrations and presented an incredibly popular program on picture book art at ALSC’s A Celebration of Illustration! virtual conference day in the spring of 2021.

Register for ALA’s new e-learning website today!

The Association for Library Service to Children is the world’s largest organization dedicated to supporting and improving library services for children. The ALSC network includes more than 4,000 children’s and teens’ librarians, children’s literature experts, publishers, teachers of schools of education and library science, and other adults who are dedicated to creating a better future for children through to libraries. For more information about the ALSC, please visit

Karen O. Fielding