UW Today

This is an archived article.

February 10, 2005

Endowed seat in children’s librarianship named for author Beverly Cleary

An endowed professorship in children’s librarianship, believed to be the first such endowment anywhere, has been created at the University of Washington’s Information School in honor of a renowned children’s writer.


The Beverly Cleary Endowed Professorship in Children and Youth Services will focus on training librarians in that field and offering continuing education to the region’s libraries.


Cleary is a 1939 graduate of the UW Information School, formerly the School of Library and Information Science, and a winner of its distinguished alumni award.


“I believe in that ‘missionary spirit’ among children’s librarians,” Cleary said. “Kids deserve books of literary quality, and librarians are so important in encouraging them to read and selecting books that are appropriate.”


As a UW student, Cleary specialized in library work with children. After working for several years as a librarian, she went on to write more than 30 award-winning children’s books, creating beloved characters such as Ramona Quimby and Henry Huggins.


The Cleary Professorship was created with gifts from the Cleary family, alumni, the library community and fans of Cleary’s work. It will allow the Information School to recruit a senior scholar in the field of children and youth library services, said Mike Eisenberg, the Information School dean.


“We’re very excited,” he said. “Once the Cleary Professor is hired, the Information School will have one of the largest and strongest children and youth services programs in the country. The University of Washington will be an even more powerful force for educating outstanding librarians to teach and nurture our youth.”


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For more information, contact Tiffany Vajda, Information School development director, at (206) 543-4458 or tiffanyv@u.washington.edu. The Information School is on the Web at www.ischool.washington.edu. More information about Cleary: www.beverlycleary.com.