Broward County Library Presents the 26th Annual Conference on Children's Literature and 11th Annual Ashley Bryan Art Series
DATE: March 20, 2013
MEDIA CONTACT: Loria Hyatt, Libraries Division
PHONE: 954-357-7336

"Reading Is Not Optional" is the theme for Broward County Library's joint 26th Annual Conference on Children's Literature and 11th Annual Ashley Bryan Art Series, to be held April 26 at the Main Library, 100 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301, in the first floor auditorium. The day-long event offers a free learning opportunity to those who encourage children through books including teachers, parents, librarians, media specialists and child care workers. Registration and refreshments will begin at 9 a.m.
"Reading Is Not Optional" embodies the work of the keynote speakers for the event, Walter Dean Myers and Shane Evans. Author Walter Dean Myers is the 2012-13 National Ambassador for Young People's Literature and is the critically acclaimed author of more than 100 books – National Book Award finalists Monster, Autobiography of My Dead Brother and Lockdown among them – and the winner of five Coretta Scott King Awards and two Newbery Honors. He is the winner of the first Michael L. Printz Award (for excellence in young adult literature, given by the American Library Association), as well as the first recipient of Kent State University's Virginia Hamilton Literary Award for Lifetime Achievement. In 2008, he won the May Hill Arbuthnot Lecture Award. He is considered one of the preeminent writers for young people.

Artist, author, musician and illustrator Shane Evans received international recognition as the 2012 Coretta Scott King Award-winner for Underground: Finding the Light to Freedom. The author of more than 30 books, Evan’s accolades include The Boston Globe Horn Book Award, the 2011 NAACP Image Award and the Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children. The widely popular Disney Channel Shanna Show is based on characters created by Evans for the Shanna book series such as Shanna’s Teacher Show, Shanna’s Ballerina Show and Shanna’s Princess Show.

Additional Conference/Art Series Guests
Gerald Hausman
is an award-winning writer, editor, teacher and storyteller who has published more than 70 books for children and adults and has performed storytelling throughout the U.S. and Europe. He has received 35 awards and honors from the American Folklore Society, Bank Street College of Education, Parent’s Choice and the American Library Association.

Early childhood educational consultant Jane Kitson is the author of over 350 original songs and fingerplays and her presentation provides dynamic strategies for enriching early literacy programs. Emphasis is placed on the importance that rhythm, rhyme and repetition have in developing “ready-to read” skills.

The Conference and Art Series are free and open to the public, but registration is required and can be completed online. Presenters’ books and CDs will be available for purchase and autographing. Books & Books will be the book vendor for the Conference. Parking is available in the adjacent City Park garage (east side of the library) for $1.25 per hour. Park on levels 2 or 3.

The joint Conference on Children’s Literature and Ashley Bryan Art Series is sponsored by the Friends of Fort Lauderdale Libraries, the Friends of the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center, Florida Center for the Book, and the Broward Public Library Foundation.

For further information, contact Youth Services Administration at 954-357-7336,

The award-winning Broward County Libraries Division, founded in 1974, is the ninth largest library system in the nation by population served and one of the busiest, with more than 9 million walk-in customers visiting its 40 locations annually. The library has more than 3.4 million items and 2,000 computers for public use and offers hundreds of events and programs to meet the needs of the Broward County's diverse community. It continues its strong emphasis on literacy, after-school programs and electronic access. In addition to our comprehensive web site,, customers can visit BCL WoW – Broward County Library Without Walls – for free eBooks, music, audiobooks, apps and more. Customers may also follow Libraries on Facebook and Twitter. Libraries Division also administers the services, programs, collections and exhibits of the Historical Commission.

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