It began 37 years ago, a small event at The University of Southern
Mississippi designed to give area school librarians and educators
an up-close look at the latest works of authors and artists in the
field of children's literature.
The 37th Fay
B. Kaigler Children's Book Festival, to be held March 31, April
1 and 2 at the Hattiesburg Lake Terrace Convention Center, will
include hundreds of visitors from all over the country, a testament
to the growing popularity of the festival. This year's festival
will include seven national speakers, 16 workshops, two luncheons,
a storytelling performance, and an evening gala.
is intended to inspire, invigorate, and educate professionals who
work with children every day, and to pass along their love of books
and reading to children in schools and libraries," said Dr.
Rosemary Chance, assistant professor in the Southern Miss School
of Library Science.
is sponsored in part by the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation and by Fay
B. Kaigler, a retired elementary school teacher who lives in McComb.
All festival events will take place in the convention center. Participants
will have two opportunities to visit the Southern Miss campus to
view the de Grummond Children's Literature Collection (in McCain
Library) and the Children's Book Review Center (in Cook Library).
begin Wednesday afternoon, March 31, with registration, book sales,
and a choice of four one-hour concurrent workshops: "Picture
Books and Beyond"; "Storytelling with Pizazz"; "Put
a Story in Your Pocket"; and "Coretta Scott King Awards."
At 7 p.m., Ann St. Romain, a master storyteller who is also a former
children's librarian from Baton Rouge, will present a storytelling
performance entitled "Once Upon a Shoe."
1, will include the largest attendance of the three days. Jerry
Pinkney, an award-winning illustrator, is the 36th recipient of
the Southern Miss Silver Medallion, which will be presented to him
at a general session beginning at 9 a.m. followed by a speech entitled,
"A Sense of Place." Pinkney has won five Randolph Caldecott
Honor Books for his beautiful illustrations. His most frequently
used medium is watercolor.
same session Vickie Ross, a branch librarian from Okolona, will
be presented with the Kaigler-Lamont Award, which recognizes librarians
and teachers who promote children's reading.
students, faculty, and staff may attend four general sessions for
no charge, including the storytelling session, the Silver Medallion
session, Robert Sabuda's session, and the Keats Lecture. Students,
faculty, and staff may register for all sessions, including workshops
for $20. There is a $15 charge per luncheon - Thursday and Friday;
the charge for the gala evening on Thursday, featuring a speaker
and dessert reception, is $10. Southern Miss personnel must be registered
to add these food events.
School librarian Joree Bryant, a Southern Miss alumnus who has attended
the event in the past, also plans to take part in this year's festival.
She believes the event is a great way to show support for the work
of children's literature authors and artists, and to provide inspiration
for future generations who choose children's literature as a career.
lucky to have this festival in our area," Bryant said. "I've
been going since about 1994, and I look forward to meeting the authors
and artists, hearing speeches, finding out where they get their
ideas and seeing their artwork.
important aspect is getting to network with other school librarians,
and find out what works for students in their libraries," she
For more information
on the festival, including registration information call (601) 266-4228
or visit http://www.usm.edu/slis/bookfest.htm.