Kirsten Klink, a librarian for the New Albany-Plain Local School District, wrote this month’s Foundation in Focus guest column on behalf of the New Albany Community Foundation.

As a New Albany-Plain Local School District librarian, I have had the distinct pleasure of working with the New Albany Community Foundation, the district’s parent-teacher organizations and the New Albany Women’s Network to bring renowned authors to our schools. As we strive to foster a love of reading in all our students, author visits are a powerful avenue to create long-lasting excitement and interest in books.

Prior to each author visit, our faculty and staff members rally around the work of the visiting author to create enthusiasm for the visit.

From the classroom teachers using the literature in all areas of the curriculum, to the art teacher creating lessons aligned with the books, to the music teacher singing about the books, we are a community working together to encourage our students to love books.

Students essentially are immersed in the literature by the visiting author for weeks prior to the visit.

We have been fortunate to have hosted visits with many New York Times best-selling authors, Caldecott Medal recipients and Newbery Medal winners. In the 2015-16 school year, we welcomed the following authors:

* Kelly DiPucchio for grades K-2.

* Jarrett J. Krosoczka for grades 3-5.

* Jordan Sonnenblick for New Albany Middle School.

* Mindy McGinnis for New Albany High School.

Learn more about the authors who visited during the 2015-16 school year by searching the author by name on the district website, You can view photos from their visits and brief overviews of their time spent with our students.

As I worked with a second-grade class in the elementary library this week, several students were looking for specific books by author Peter Brown. Brown visited the district two years ago when these students were in kindergarten. What a powerful testament to our author series when they are still hungry for his books several years later.

This school year is no different. We will welcome three amazing authors early in 2017 to speak to our K-12 students:

* Lauren Castillo for grades K-2.

* Sarah Weeks for grades 3-6.

* Neal Shusterman for grades 7-12.

To learn more about these authors and their work, visit the library-services page at

School district leaders are grateful for the generous support of the New Albany Community Foundation and contributions from local donors, the New Albany Women’s Network and the PTOs.

Carolyn and Lance White helped launch the author-residency program years ago with a commitment of $50,000, and they have been supportive ever since. They established a fund at the community foundation to support the program and awarded 529 scholarships for the students connected with the author-residency program.

In recent years, New Albany residents Lynne and Martyn Redgrave have supported the program with annual gifts of $10,000. The Redgraves have been steadfast supporters of New Albany-Plain Local through the years, including supporting an extracurricular-activities scholarship fund each year and sponsoring speakers as part of the community foundation’s student lecture series.

We are thankful to all who have sustained this opportunity for our students for future years.