The American Library Association’s Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC) sponsors an award each year called the Newbery Medal, named for 18th-century British bookseller John Newbery. It is awarded annually to the author of the “most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.”

Carrie Kienzle, former library director for the Irving, Texas school system and now full-time resident of Apalachicola, is a member of the 2013 Newbery Medal Selection Committee. After she has reviewed the books - about 200 of them all published in 2012 for readers up to age 14 - she is free to give the copies away, and this year they are all coming to the Apalachicola Municipal Library as their permanent home.

The books, however, will be taking a short detour to the Franklin County School, through an arrangement with the librarians, Patty Creamer and Carol Davis, to be viewed and checked out through the school library. We hope to have them there by the end of January to coincide with the announcement of the 2013 Newbery winners. This will hopefully show young readers in Franklin County they have a library in Apalachicola they can use as well as the two county library branches in Eastpoint and Carrabelle – for exciting recreational reading.

The Apalachicola library often feels its junior collections, including a large Young Adult (860 titles) are not as well-utilized by junior readers in the county. Carrie donated most of these while a member of the Michael L. Printz Medal Committee for YA literature.

Titles being considered by the Newbery Committee are secret until the award is announced, but they include books by very well-known authors in fantasy; gritty contemporary plots with teen protagonists; gentle tales of small town life with dogs; and even graphic novels. Lots of variety is ensured by the nomination of many new talented authors, but you will have to wait to know who. Visit to learn more.

While the Apalachicola Municipal Library has not quite finished its automation project, and rolled out an AML website, it is still accessible online. Google “Apalachicola Municipal Library,” select the “librarytechnology” link and click on the online catalog. You will go to where you can browse the catalog. Placing reserves and renewing books requires the use of your patron number which you can request from us, since we have not yet started to issue cards.

This library, as I have written about before, has a space problem; as we add new books, and retain lots of classics and favorites, we are running out of book space. Anyone interested in expressing their opinion about various options is welcome to attend the library board meetings held the first Monday of each month at 5 p.m. here at 74 6th Street. The meeting schedule is posted on the city website.

Caty Greene is the librarian for the Apalachicola Municipal Library. To reach her, call 653-8436.