Katie Clausen is the Recipient of the 2020 Davis Cup Award

Youth Services Forum (YSF)

October 1, 2020

The Illinois Library Association’s Youth Services Forum is pleased to present the 2020 Davis Cup Award to Katie Clausen, the Early Learning Center Manager of the Gail Borden Public Library District. This annual award, honoring Marion Davis, recognizes an individual who has made an outstanding contribution in library services to youth. This award is proudly sponsored by the ABDO Publishing Company.

Katie Clausen joined the Gail Borden Public Library in 2016 as the Early Literacy Center Manager. Since then, she has been instrumental in creating and implementing innovative, specialized programs and services for their youngest patrons. She is described as an asset to the community, a leader in children’s librarianship, and an “Illinois library rock star”. She is a member of ILA, ALA, and ALSC, and is a trainer for child advocacy programs Gateways and ACE Interface.

An early literacy champion, Katie focuses on the need for young children to develop necessary pre-K skills. She launched a Kindergarten Readiness program, updated the library’s 1000 Books Before Kindergarten, and created programs like Tiny Tech, Little STEAMers, and Messy Play. In response to recent changes in programming needs, Katie proved flexible and professional in supplying Facebook Live story times, and took part in the RAILS library system roundtable discussion about virtual programming.

Katie has impacted her library community directly with innovative changes to the library’s Early Childhood Center, creation of special programs and community events like Baby Fest and the Preschool and Childcare Information Fair, and also through her outreach efforts. She has built close working relationships with community groups including area educators, The Elgin Partnership for Early Learning, The Alignment Collaborative for Education, and the local Health Department.

Katie has an extraordinary talent and drive for sharing her extensive knowledge of children's programming and services with others who work with children in libraries and in schools. She has been active in the library profession, participating in (and publishing for) ILA, ALSC, and ALA. As a champion for Kindergarten Readiness and discovery-based play, Katie has published multiple articles on the topic, including chapters in ALA publication 60 Ready-to-use Coding Projects.

Beyond her library workplace, Katie has shared her knowledge to librarians and educators across Illinois. She is an experienced speaker, having presented numerous times at ILA Annual and other regional conferences, presenting on discovery-based play, early literacy tools, best picture books, and more. Katie also serves the library profession through webinars, workshops and virtual training opportunities for Gail Borden Library, area educators and library staff statewide.

As stated in a letter of nomination:

“Katie Clausen is a talented, enthusiastic advocate for providing children with the best books, materials, and programs that get them ready for life. She has shared her knowledge across many mediums: publications, presentations and webinars. All in all, Katie embodies the Marion Davis spirit of resourcefulness, professionalism and caring!”

Congratulations to Katie on receiving this well-deserved award for her outstanding services to children and families.

The Davis Cup Award will be presented at a ceremony that will be held in conjunction with the 2020 Illinois Library Association Annual Conference, which will take place virtually in October

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