In 1919, at the urging of Franklin K. Mathiews, Librarian of the Boy Scouts of America, Children's Book Week was introduced to focus attention on the need for quality children's books and the importance of childhood literacy. In 1944-1945, Frederick Melcher, then Editor of Publishers Weekly, entrusted the responsibility for Book Week to the newly established Association of Children's Book Editors. As this group expanded Book Week activities, it evolved into what is now known as the Children's Book Council.
Since that time, the CBC has been the administrator for and sole sponsor of Children’s Book Week, which is now the nation’s longest-running literacy initiative. The CBC Foundation, Every Child a Reader, is now responsible for the overall administration of this event.
Over the past sixty years, we have developed from an organization created to oversee Children’s Book Week into an active and vibrant advocate for the children’s publishing industry. Our work includes educational programming for employees of our member publishers, collaborative projects with other national associations, and literacy initiatives that highlight the quality and variety of children's literature available today.