CHICAGO, March 2, 2017 – The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) has awarded the 2017 Baker & Taylor Summer Reading Program Grant to the Nevada County Public Library, Nevada City, California.

The grant is designed to encourage outstanding summer reading programs by providing financial assistance, while recognizing ALSC members for outstanding program development. The program must be open to all children from birth to age 14 and programming that provides for inclusion of children with physical and mental disabilities is encouraged. This $3,000.00 grant is made possible by Baker & Taylor, a leading distributor of books, videos and music products to libraries, institutions and retailers. Nevada County is a rural county in California that is still recovering from an economic downturn almost ten years ago. They have seen a slow decline in young families with children and with the older community members outnumbering them, the younger generation do not always have productive outlets for their creative energies. The Nevada County Community Library will use the grant funds to reinvent summer reading by creating an educational and engaging program that revolves around STEAM.

The program will feature collaboration with school districts as well as other community organizations including groups who work with children in the autism spectrum to create their first special needs program as one of their STEAM events. “Full STEAM Ahead at the Library Summer Reading Program” by engaging the community as a whole will build civic engagement in the youngest members. The five week program will focus on open-ended creativity, encouraging families to work together and will culminate with an interactive exhibit at the County Fair.

“The committee is extremely excited about this Summer Reading Program using the current trend of STEAM programming and involving the entire community by having the children exhibit at the County Fair,” says Jennifer Mae Smith, Grant Administration Chair, “This program will truly bring excitement to the library as well as the children. The children will find that the library is no longer a place where the staff says “shh!!” but a fun, messy, creative, inspiring place that will help build their self-confidence.”

ALSC, a division of the ALA, is the world’s largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children. With a network of more than 4,000 children’s and youth librarians, literature experts, publishers and educational faculty, ALSC is committed to creating a better future for children through libraries. To learn more about ALSC, visit ALSC’s website at

Members of the 2017 ALSC Grant Administration Committee include: Jennifer Mae Smith, chair, Suffern (New York) Free Library; Robert Bittner, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada; Patricia Finnerty, Pioneer Library System, Canandaigua, New York; Eileen Makoff, PS 90 Edna Cohen School, Brooklyn, New York; Penny Markey, County of Los Angeles Public Library; Valerie McCurdy, Broward County Libraries, Weston, Florida; Amy E. Sears, Teaneck (New Jersey) Public Library; Gwen Vanderhage, Brodart, Williamsport, Pennsylvania; Bethany Vangrin, Harford County Public Library, Maryland.