The ALA has named Paul Kelsey the recipient of the 2012 Scholastic Library Publishing Award. The honor, which was presented during the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, Calif., is bestowed on a librarian whose extraordinary contributions to promoting access to books and encouraging a love of reading for lifelong learning exemplifies outstanding achievement in the profession. Kelsey received a citation and $1,000 prize, donated by Scholastic Library Publishing.
Kelsey is an outstanding leader in the field of librarianship and children’s and young adult literature, notable for his creation of Launch Pad: Where Young Authors and Illustrators Take Off! Launch Pad is a wonderfully inviting website that displays the imagination and insight of young authors, poets and illustrators. The website allows young people to publish their creative work and provides dynamic collaborative opportunities as young writers and illustrators work together to create amazingly inventive online publications. His imaginative vision and passion for creativity benefit young people around the world. As one letter of nomination described, “Launch Pad is an innovative and exciting springboard which encourages children to enjoy reading, as well as rewarding their creativity by publishing their original work.”
Kelsey’s master’s degree in library and information science is from the University of Texas at Austin. He currently serves as the head of acquisitions at Sims Memorial Library at Southeastern Louisiana University and is publisher and editor in chief as well as creator of—Launch Pad: Where Young Authors and Illustrators Take Off! His accomplishments include:
- Creating an online structure of the Launch Pad website that allows readers to look at work by category, age of author or illustrator and where the author or illustrator is from; this encourages interaction.
- Helping to pair authors and illustrators to collaborate on projects and encourage working together.
- Making Launch Pad international with contributors and readers from the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, India, Pakistan, Thailand and beyond.
- Allowing Launch Pad to be open access and free of charge.
- Authoring 19 publications, productions, and presentations.
- Current and past membership in The American Library Association (2001-2007, 2012-present), The Catholic Library Association (2010), The Louisiana Library Association (2000-2004), and USAIN (2001-2007).
“Scholastic Corporation (NASDAQ: SCHL) is a leader in encouraging reading and using educational technology to foster a love of reading,” said committee Chair Georgie Donovan. “As someone who has helped young authors publish their works online, we felt that Paul Kelsey was well deserving of this award and demonstrated a strong connection with the same mission that Scholastic has to encourage the intellectual and personal growth of all children, beginning with literacy.”