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Toronto teacher-librarian wins inaugural Frances Lincoln Children’s Librarian Prize

Toronto teacher-librarian Krista Spence has been named the inaugural winner of the Frances Lincoln Children’s Librarian Prize.

The award, administered by Quarto Group imprint Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, recognizes a children’s or teen librarian who champions diversity and inclusion in their collection and community. The prize is open to school and public librarians working in Canada and the United States. The winner receives a book donation and $1,500 prize for their library and a trip to the American Library Association’s annual conference in June.

Spence is a a teacher-librarian at the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study Laboratory School in Toronto. In a statement, the prize committee lauded Spence as “a leader who embodies the values of diversity and inclusion within libraries but also understands the importance of centering the perspectives of BIPOC people for healing, reconciliation and a better world.”

The prize is part of the year-long celebration of Frances Lincoln Children’s Books’ 40th anniversary. Lincoln, the founding publisher of the imprint, was known for championing diversity and originality in her list.

A second librarian, Dara Gonzales of the Memphis Library Foundation, was named an honouree of the award.