On January 18, 2023, the Library of Congress and Every Child a Reader announced the appointment of Meg Medina as the eighth National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature for 2023-2024. Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden offered the following remarks on Medina's appointment:
I am delighted Meg Medina will serve as the next National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. Meg’s warmth and openness, coupled with her long-running commitment to young readers, libraries and librarians, is extraordinary. I look forward to the ways she will invite young people—especially Spanish and bilingual speakers—to share their favorite books and stories.
Medina herself shared the following words on her appointment:
It’s an enormous honor to advocate for the reading and writing lives of our nation’s children and families. I realize the responsibility is critical, but with the fine examples of previous ambassadors to guide me, I am eager to get started on my vision for this important work. More than anything, I want to make reading and story-sharing something that happens beyond classroom and library walls. I want to tap into books and stories as part of everyday life, with all of us coming to the table to share the tales that speak to us and that broaden our understanding of one another.
For her two-year term as National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, Medina will engage readers across the country via her platform "Cuéntame!: Let’s talk books." Inspired by the phrase Spanish-speaking friends and families use to catch up with one another, "Cuéntame!" encourages connection amongst families, classrooms, libraries, and communities by talking about books—both those books that reflect the readers’ lived experiences and those books that expose readers to new perspectives.
An inauguration ceremony External, presided by Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden and attended by 2020-22 National Ambassador Jason Reynolds, took place on Tuesday, Jan. 24, at 10:30 a.m. in the Members Room (LJ-162) of the Library of Congress's Thomas Jefferson Building.
The National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature raises national awareness of the importance of young people’s literature as it relates to lifelong literacy, education and the development and betterment of the lives of young people.
The National Ambassador is selected for their contributions to young people’s literature, an ability to relate to kids and teens and a dedication to fostering children’s literacy in all forms. The selection, made by the Librarian of Congress, is based on recommendations from field experts and an independent committee, both comprising educators, librarians, booksellers and children’s literature specialists.