The winner of the 2022 Storylines Betty Gilderdale Award for services to children’s literature is Dr Libby Limbrick MNZM, Ph.D. The award is named after Betty Gilderdale, best known perhaps for her “Little Yellow Digger” books but also a lifelong advocate for and supporter of New Zealand children’s literature. Read more about the award, all recipients, and Libby’s lecture on the Storylines Betty Gilderdale Award page.
Libby was presented with her award, and gave the Storylines Spring lecture on Sunday 6 November at National Library in Auckland. The event also included the presentation of Storylines Notable Book Awards.
For more than three decades, Dr Limbrick has been a tireless advocate for children’s reading and literature, supporting local children’s authors, publishers, as a classroom teacher, author, academic and volunteer, including accompanying writers and illustrators as part of the Storylines Story Tours. She had a distinguished academic career at University of Auckland from 1993 to 2015, building up an international reputation in the field of literacy education. In addition, Dr Limbrick has worked over many decades for several organisations connected to children’s literature. She was a founding member and chair of the Storylines Trust, and long-time chair of the Trust’s management committee. She was instrumental in Storylines hosting in Auckland the World Congress of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY, the only global organisation working for children’s books and literature). She was not only a driver of the bid for New Zealand to be the host nation, but was co-director of the event and the primary fundraiser of the considerable costs required. The event attracted 450 delegates from all over the world and was regarded by IBBY as an outstanding success.
Her outstanding service to the children’s and young adult literature community in this country, not only Storylines but also as a trustee of Duffy Books in Homes, and her influence on others in the sector cannot be underestimated.
Previous winners of the Storylines Betty Gilderdale Award include administrators/book critics and editors Sarah Foster and Crissi Blair, author Lorraine Orman, librarians Jennie Skinner and Rosemary Tisdall, and literary agents Frances Plumpton and the late Ray Richards.