On January 3, 2012, the Library of Congress, the Children’s Book Council, and Every Child a Reader announced the appointment of Walter Dean Myers as the third National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature for 2012-2013. Librarian of Congress James H. Billington offered the following remarks on Myers' appointment:
Walter Dean Myers is one of America's preeminent authors of books for young people. He is a lifelong advocate for reading for young people, and he has practiced what he preaches in schools and detention centers across the country.
An inauguration ceremony, presided by Librarian of Congress James H. Billington and attended by 2010-11 National Ambassador Katherine Paterson and 2008-09 National Ambassador Jon Scieszka, took place on Tuesday, January 10, 2012, at 11 a.m. in Room LJ-119 of the Library of Congress's Thomas Jefferson Building. [View recording of inaugural ceremony.]
For his two-year term as National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, Walter Dean Myers traveled across America to promote his platform, "Reading is Not Optional."
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.