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Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Selected as Host Site for the National 2024 Children’s Literature Lecture

Will welcome celebrated author Rita Williams-Garcia to Pittsburgh on Wednesday, April 17th at the Main Library in Oakland

Pittsburgh, PA  –   – 

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, together with the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Computing and Information, has been named the host site of the annual Association for Library Service to Children’s (ALSC) 2024 Children’s Literature Lecture. Last held in Pittsburgh in 1989, the ALSC Children’s Literature Lecture is a national event geared toward adults who work with children and/or who have an interest in children’s literature featuring an author, critic, librarian, historian, or educator presenting a paper considered to be a significant contribution to the field of children’s literature.

Bestselling and multiple award-winning author Rita Williams-Garcia will present her paper, “A Funny Thing About Memory,” on Wednesday, April 17th at 7 pm at the CLP – Main Lecture Hall in Oakland (4400 Forbes Avenue). A book signing will follow. The event is recommended for adults and students in grades 6-12.

“Hosting this prestigious event is an immense honor for our Library and for Pittsburgh,” said Andrew Medlar, President & Director of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. “We are deeply gratified and humbled by ALSC’s decision to choose our library system from among their pool of many applicants. We eagerly anticipate bringing this enriching and enjoyable occasion to our community, and we look forward to extending a warm welcome to all attendees as we draw inspiration from the remarkable words of Rita Williams-Garcia.”

Rita Williams-Garcia is the New York Times bestselling author of novels for young adults and middle grade readers. Her middle-grade novel, Clayton Byrd Goes Underground won the 2018 NAACP Image Award for Literature for Young People and was a 2017 National Book Award Finalist. Williams-Garcia is most known for her Gaither Sisters trilogy that begins with One Crazy Summer, with her most recent novel, Gone Crazy in Alabama ending the saga. Her novels have been recipients of numerous awards, including the Coretta Scott King Award, National Book Award Finalists, Newbery Honor Book, Junior Library Guild, and the Scott O’Dell Prize for Historical Fiction. She served on faculty at the Vermont College of Fine Arts Writing for Children MFA Program and she resides in Queens, New York. Williams-Garcia’s novels span genres and time periods, but each encourages readers to uncover truths about the world, the characters, and even the reader themselves.

ALSC originally established the lecture series in 1969 as the May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Award, and was renamed as the Children’s Literature Lecture by the ALSC Board of Directors in January 2020. The purpose of the award remains the same: a lecture series that celebrates scholarship and critical thinking about literature for children, which are ever-evolving.

The 2024 ALSC Children’s Literature Lecture is being hosted in cooperation with Allegheny County Library Association, August Wilson African American Cultural Center, and United Black Book Clubs of Pittsburgh.

This event is free and open to the public. Registration is encouraged. For more information visit


About Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh - To Foster Literacy, Enable Exploration and Create Connections with Our Neighbors

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh supports individual and collective achievement, access to knowledge, and a sense of joy and belonging. Through the community’s investment, the Library is enhancing the lives of people in the greater Pittsburgh region with dynamic and diverse resources such as creative learning programs for children and teens, job and career assistance for our community's workforce, and free computer and Internet access for all. Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh builds community, enables learning, provides access and values people.


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