While the John Newbery Medal may be one of the highest honors a children’s book can receive, the corollary is that for a children’s librarian, serving on the committee is one of the highest honors as well.
Stephanie Bange, a local librarian who is serving on the 2015 committee as one of only 15 members selected from across the country, is relishing every moment of that honor. (Note: Jean Gaffney, of the Dayton Metro Library, served on the 2011 Newbery Medal committee.)
“So far I’ve received 375 books and at least 95 to 98 percent of them are chapter books. I’m a master gardener by avocation, but this year I’m spending most of my time indoors, reading, as soon as I get home from work. I tell my friends I’ll see them . . . eventually,” Bange said, laughing. “I’m devoted to reading, savoring every minute of the experience, and incredibly honored. Serving on this committee is the pinnacle of a librarian’s career.”
And what a career Bange has had. She currently serves as director of Wright State University’s Educational Resource Center, joining the university in that role in 2009. Before that, she was a children’s librarian at the Kettering-Moraine and Wilmington-Stroop branches of the Dayton Metro Library for 12 years, after working in various librarian positions in locations around the United States and in the Philippines. Her bachelor’s degree is in school librarianship from Northwestern State University and she holds a master of library science from Louisiana State University.
Read the entire story at DaytonDailyNews.com (subscription required).