Dr. Spencer G. Shaw

Dr. Spencer G. Shaw gives a speech after receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award

for his dedication to Librarianship in Academic and Children's Services at the BCALA-CT Diversity Conference held at Southern Connecticut State University's Department of Information and Library Sciences on October 29, 2005.

Spencer G. Shaw, D.Lit. Librarian, Educator, Consultant, Storyteller

Spencer Shaw, renowned Children's and Academic Librarian who has recently returned to Connecticut from an illustrious career nationwide, has a professional career that spans six decades. He has served as a Branch Manager in the Hartford (CT) Public Library; Program and Storytelling Specialist in the Brooklyn (NY) Public Library; Consultant in Library Service to Children in the Nassau County (NY) Public Library System; and Professor in the Information School, University of Washington. He has taught, as a visiting professor, at Queens College, Syracuse University, Drexel University, University of Maryland, Kent State University, University of Illinois, University of Wisconsin, University of Hawaii, University of North Texas, University of North Carolina-Greensboro, and University of Washington.

Throughout his career, Spencer Shaw has received national and international recognition as an authority in his specialized field, Library Service to Children. The American Library Association designated him as

"A leader among librarians and educators, an authentic and forthright spokesperson for children and youth librarians in the State of Washington and the nation, (contributing) enormously in motivating and guiding the nation's youth."

Dr. Shaw has contributed to books and journals, has given radio and television presentations and has narrated films. He has spoken in schools, colleges and universities; library, educational and allied organizations, including the American Library Association; Reading Is Fundamental: the International Reading Association; International Society for Education through Art; The National Council of Teachers of English; Association for the Education of Young Children; National Commission on Libraries and Information Science; International Association of School Librarians; National Association of Church and Synagogue Libraries; American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging; United States State Department Voice of America.

Spencer G. Shaw's International Commitments have included presentations in Australia where he was named an "Eminent American" by the Australian/American Council and invited to participate in the 1976 American Festival where he was a Guest Artist in a concert with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in the Sydney Opera House. Designated an "American Cultural Specialist" by the United States Information Service, he participated in New Zealand's 1990 Sesquicentennial Celebration. He has also lectured in Japan, Hong Kong, Canada, England, Cyprus, Netherlands, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Brazil.

His many Awards and Honors include:

  • Board of Directors, The Connecticut Storytelling Center of the Connecticut College in New London

  • Carnegie Corporation Fellowship for Graduate Study in Librarianship

  • Distinguished Alumnus Awards from Hampton University and the School of Library and Information Studies, University of Wisconsin

  • Cultural Diversity Award from Nordstrom

  • University of Washington Information School: Spencer G. Shaw Lecture Series

  • American Library Association: Grolier Foundation Award, Distinguished Service Award, President Association of Library Service to Children, Honorary Membership for Life

  • Washington Library Association: President's Award

  • Invercargill (New Zealand) Public Library: Spencer G. Shaw Reference and Research Storytelling Collection

  • Washington State Commission for the Humanities and the Washington State Library: The Nancy Blankenship Pryor Award, "Mr. Shaw is honored for his contribution in bringing to light ethnic and multicultural children's literature for the benefit of the people of Washington and for the enrichment of the literary heritage of our state."

  • 1970 White House Conference on Children: selected Delegate

  • National Book Foundation: Juror for the National Book Award in Literature for Youth

  • Who's Who in Library and Information Science

  • Who's Who Among Black Librarians



B.S. Degree, Hampton University


B.L.S. Degree, School of Library and Information Science, University of Wisconsin


Advanced Graduate Studies completed, Graduate Library School, University of Chicago


Honorary Degree, Doctor of Literature, University of Wisconsin