Darien Library and the Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Family Foundation announce the formation of a Children's Librarian Fellowship at Darien Library, named in honor of Harold W. McGraw, Jr.

McGraw, who died in 2010, was an active supporter of the library who had a personal commitment to education and a belief in the important role a child's library experience can play in the beginning of life-long literacy.

The new Harold W. McGraw, Jr., Fellowship will honor his memory through a two-year salaried position for a stellar recent Master in Library Science graduate who demonstrates exemplary scholarship. The successful applicant will earn a position in the Children's Library from approximately July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2014.

"We're so pleased that Harold McGraw's name will continue to be associated with Darien Library," Louise Berry, director of the library, said. "He was a great friend to us, and to everyone in Darien. In particular, he promoted and supported children's literacy in many ways, and the Children's Library in our new building -- which opened on his 91st birthday, not by accident -- is named in his honor."

"My father supported what Darien Library stands for, especially the children's library, which is active in engaging children at an early age to love books, learning, literacy and thinking, and to have fun while doing it," said Sue McGraw on behalf of the McGraw family. "Our family thinks this is a great opportunity to support his interests, and we're confident the lessons learned here will provide benefit to many children."

The Fellowship committee is looking for candidates who demonstrate exemplary scholarship, possess a passion for working with children and the development of literacy and show significant leadership promise. In addition, candidates should have strong personal qualities and demonstrate a penchant for technology.

During the Fellowship, the Fellow will work as a member of the children's services team, providing reference and readers' advisory services in addition to creating and conducting programs for children and families. The Fellowship will provide experience growth and challenges in many areas, including: children's materials collection development; program development, implementation and evaluation; outreach to defined areas of the community; continuing education, professional development and support; and access to the latest technology.

The Fellow will receive direct mentoring by the library's assistant director for public service Gretchen Caserotti, and will have the opportunity to work on real-world, significant projects while gaining experience in close coordination with strong staff members.

The Fellowship is open to library and information studies graduates who have received a diploma from an accredited Library School in the United States between Dec. 1, 2011 and July 1, 2012. Applications are due March 30, 2012.

For more information about the fellowship, visit darienlibrary.org/mcgrawfellowship.

Born in 1918, Harold W. McGraw, Jr., was the chairman emeritus and former CEO of the McGraw-Hill Companies as well as twice board president and then an honorary trustee of Darien Library. He was a supporter as well as an leader, mentor and friend. He died in 2010.

Darien Library is ranked as one of the top 10 public libraries in the country for its size, according to Hennen's American Public Library Rating, and is a Library Journal Four Star Library. The library is among the busiest in the state with more than 1,400 people visiting on an average day, 90 percent of the town's residents holding library cards, and the highest per capita circulation in Connecticut, with more than 28 items per Darien resident. The library collection includes 120,000 books and 300 newspaper and magazine subscriptions.

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