Tish Wilson, Assistant Director of Youth Services at the Dayton Metro Library, has been appointed Chair of the 2018 Caldecott Committee. The Caldecott Medal is awarded each year to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association. Past winners include Maurice Sendak for Where The Wild Things Are, Ezra Jack Keats for The Snowy Day and Brian Selznick for The Invention of Hugo Cabret.
“I am so incredibly honored and very, very excited,” said Wilson. “My professional work at Dayton Metro Library has helped me to achieve this.”
Caldecott Committee members are both appointed and elected from public and school libraries and library education programs across the country. Diversity of opinion is key; committee members represent many different geographic regions, large and small libraries, with diverse racial and cultural backgrounds.
“To be selected by her peers to lead the selection of one of the most prestigious children’s book awards is probably one of the greatest honors for a children’s librarian,” said Tim Kambitsch, Dayton Metro Library Executive Director. “Tish Wilson loves to share her vast knowledge of children’s literature and her passions for what reading does to help kids and teens become successful adults.”
The Caldecott Medal has been awarded since 1938. The award announcements are the premier event of the American Library Association’s Midwinter Conference. Wilson was a Caldecott Committee member in 1986 when the now-classic holiday story The Polar Express was chosen as winner. She anticipates she will read well over 500 picture books between January 1 and December 31, 2017.
“One of the reasons they give you so much notice is so you can clear your calendar,” she jokes.
Wilson has worked for the Dayton Metro Library since 1980 when she was hired as Children’s Librarian at the Trotwood Branch. Andrew Medlar was one of the children who attended her storytimes there. He is now Assistant Chief of Technology, Content and Innovation at the Chicago Public Library, and serves as the current President of ALSC.
“I'm absolutely delighted that Tish will be serving our profession and young book lovers everywhere by chairing the 2018 Caldecott Committee,” Medlar said. “Her influence on me as a reader--going back to many after-school elementary book club discussions in Trotwood--and as a librarian, has been personally transformative and I know she will bring that same special wisdom, passion and dedication to this national responsibility.”
“In all likelihood this is the last book award committee I will serve on,” said Wilson. “It feels like coming full circle. I want to nurture, excite and grow the next generation of library professionals,” she said. “It’s theirs now.”