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Manlius library media specialist wins We the People Bookshelf award for Youth Services Library at SU

June 17, 2008

Margaret Costello Spillett
315 443 1069

Margaret Costello Spillett

Kaye Kerr G'08 of Syracuse, a recent graduate of the M.S. in Library and Information Science School Media Specialization program in Syracuse University's School of Information Studies and the library media specialist at Enders Road School in Manlius, wrote a successful grant proposal for the We the People Bookshelf competition sponsored by the American Library Association and the National Endowment for the Humanities. She wrote the proposal for the Center for Digital Literacy's Youth Services Library, which is dedicated to providing a permanent collection of quality children's literature for use by pre-service and practicing teachers, librarians, library students and alumni.

The theme of this year's annual grant competition was "Created Equal." All winning proposals receive a collection of books relating to the chosen theme, and these books highlight significant moments in American history or themes integral to American culture and the nation's development.

"This year's 'Created Equal' Bookshelf theme provides SU¿s professors, students and alumni with the opportunity to reach out to more young students to help them explore, through literature-based discussions, the important need for equality and the struggles for equality that have changed our nation over time," Kerr says. "I hope that by writing, modeling and disseminating lessons incorporating We the People Bookshelf selections, we will continue to inspire young students from all different backgrounds to come together to explore commonalities that have shaped our nation and define who we are today."

Last year, three LIS students won "Pursuit of Happiness"-themed book collections through the We the People competition. Over the past year, SU professors, students and alumni have included those books in course work, lessons taught in schools, and lesson plans submitted to national databases for educators such as the Center for Digital Literacy's S.O.S. for Information Literacy site and its Reach for the STARS (Supporting Teaching of At-Risk Students) site. For more information visit S.O.S. for Information Literacy at or STARS at

About the We the People Bookshelf program

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) awards the We the People Bookshelves to U.S. public and school libraries across the country for use in programs primarily for young people. In return for receiving a Bookshelf, libraries organize programs that highlight the theme and encourage young readers to explore the selected books.

The American Library Association collaborates with NEH to deliver this program, assists in selecting the books, and works directly with the nation's libraries to disseminate information and to encourage libraries to take part in the We the People Bookshelf grant program.

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