On January 5, 2010, the Library of Congress, the Children’s Book Council, and Every Child a Reader announced the appointment of Katherine Paterson as the second National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature for 2010-2011. Librarian of Congress James H. Billington offered the following remarks on Paterson's appointment:
Katherine Paterson represents the finest in literature for young people. Her renown is national as well as international, and she will most ably fulfill the role of a national ambassador who speaks to the importance of reading and literacy in the lives of America's youth.
An announcement ceremony, presided by Librarian of Congress James H. Billington and attended by 2008-09 National Ambassador Jon Scieszka, took place on Tuesday, January 5, 2010 at the Library of Congress's Thomas Jefferson Building. [View recording of announcement ceremony.]
For her two-year term as National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, Katherine Paterson traveled across America to promote her platform, "Read for Your Life." Alongside her travels, Paterson's appointment also included a monthly essay series published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, detailing Paterson's views on "writing and literature for young people, the wonder and imagination found within great books, common questions novice writers ask, and [her] own personal experiences throughout her historic career."
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 his or her contributions to young people’s literature, the ability to relate to kids and teens and dedication to fostering children’s literacy in all forms. The selection, made by the Librarian of Congress, is based on recommendations from an independent committee comprising educators, librarians, booksellers and children’s literature experts.