NY Library Coordinator Wins Maybelline Education Award
This article originally appeared in SLJ's Extra Helping. <a href="https://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/subscribe.asp?screen=pi8">Sign up now!</a>
By SLJ Staff -- School Library Journal, 01/07/2009Jessica Fenster-Sparber, CEO of Literacy for Incarcerated Teens and a library coordinator who works with New York City’s incarcerated youth, is among 10 winners of the Maybelline New York Beauty of Education award, given to those who have made a difference in their community by supporting educational initiatives.
The program works with the New York City Department of Education and the Department of Juvenile Justice to ensure that all of the city’s detained youth have access to high-quality library materials and services.
Librarians and aides at individual detention center libraries choose books from authors such as Coe Booth, Sharon Draper, Walter Dean Myers, and Sharon Flake. Booth and Dean Myers have visited with students, and the program has held workshops with storytellers and dancers such as Lady Rocka.
Although there are some restrictions on certain themes—books with a lot of graphic violence and crime are not usually allowed—librarians, for the most part, choose a lot of popular fiction, nonfiction, and graphic novels for their patrons. Books are also donated by publishing houses, libraries, and private donations.
Literacy for Incarcerated Teens, which serves an estimated 7,000 youth between the ages of 8 and 16 annually, has also helped with the funding and collection development of libraries in detention centers throughout the Bronx and Brooklyn.
The Maybelline New York Beauty of Education award is given to educators from across the country who were selected through a nomination process with the help of the People, People en Español, and Essence magazine. Each of the 10 winners receives a $10,000 grant to support their cause.
Fenster-Sparber, who is currently getting her MLS at Queens College, joined Literacy for Incarcerated Teens in 2003 and currently serves as executive director.