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Calling ALSC Members,
The ALSC Membership Committee is looking for booth volunteers! The ALA Annual Conference is the world’s largest library conference, with over 900 exhibitors. ALSC will have a booth in the ALA Member Pavilion on the exhibit floor (booth #1939). At the booth you can also get your questions about ALSC answered and pick up some free ALSC swag, including member ribbons for your conference badge.
To sign up, please visit the ALSC @ ALA Annual Conference wiki:
Please click ‘edit’ at the top of the page and login with your username and password, or create a username and password if you have not already. Please enter your full name at your preferred ‘Start Time’. A time slot will be considered full when two people have signed up for that particular time slot. If you have any problems signing up, or need a copy of the booth guidelines, please feel free to contact Sam Bloom or Dan Rude.
At this point I’m bleary-eyed, alarmingly over-caffeinated, and nursing a small blister (despite my sensible footwear selections.) I couldn’t be happier. It’s the best kind of exhaustion. I’ve spent the last few days talking about books, art, technology, and public service with- hands down- the smartest, most intriguing, hard-partying librarians, publishers, vendors, and assorted library-lovers.
Yesterday I met my fellow 2013 Caldecott committee members and our fantastic committee chair. We discussed the upcoming year, traded ideas on how we will organize our books and thoughts, and started the process of getting to know each other before the deluge of books begin pouring in. The overall takeaway for me was to keep an open mind, stay organized, and simply enjoy the experience.
Sitting in the audience at this morning’s Youth Media Awards I caught myself tearing up. Not from any particular winner or award, but from the sheer force of excitement and passion in the theater. That energy existed outside the convention center walls, too, as tweets, blog posts, and updates from people across the globe reacted to the announcements. As sentimental as it may sound, you cannot help getting caught up in the emotion and feeling immediately connected to the larger community of librarians, teachers, children, teens, and readers everywhere. In so many ways, it felt like home.
You know you’re a children’s librarian when …
you attend the huge, annual American Library Association Conference featuring famous authors like Harlan Coben, C.S. Harris, Erica Spindler, Laura Lipman, and Wendy McClure;
and you pass them all up because you can’t afford to miss
Grace Lin, Rick Riordan, Clare Vanderpool, Erin Stead, Tom Angleberger, Jeff Kinney, Richard Peck, and all the other wonderful authors and illustrators who gathered this week in New Orleans. I wish I’d had the time to meet them all!
And you, too! Next September we’ll be gathering in its capital city of Indianapolis for the ALSC Institute. If you attended or heard about the terrific and fun learning experience last year at the Institute in Atlanta, this is already on your calendar. If not, mark it now: September 20 – 22, 2012 at the Sheraton Indianapolis City Centre Hotel right in the heart of downtown Indy.
Joining us will be the talented Peter Brown, author/illustrator of The Curious Garden as well as the Chowder books, among others. You might also remember The Curious Garden as the 2011 Andrew Carnegie Medal winner for excellence in children’s video.
In addition to the many sessions and networking opportunities, we’ll also be able to tour the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and check out the Library’s infoZone. Learn more about this children’s library inside a museum here.
Institute Task Force Chair Joyce Welkie and her team are creating a continuing education opportunity not to be missed! Keep up with the details on our website, or look for more information at Midwinter. Registration will be open in the next few weeks.
Hope to see you in Indy!
I recently had the pleasure of attending a bilingual conference here in Nova Scotia called Celebrating Communities. When wearing my Teen Librarian hat, I am involved in a group called BaM! Body And Mind, a collaborative program that encourages youth to be active, in well, both body and mind. Our program was a finalist for one of the Celebrating Communities awards. We didn’t win, but that isn’t really what matters, because everyone at this conference was a winner. I know that sounds cliché, but in this case, I found it to be true. This was not a library conference. But it had everything to do with libraries, because we spent 3 days celebrating the best of the community we were in. The conference is presented every 2 years, and a different community is chosen to host and be highlighted. The thing I really came back from this conference with was the idea of CELEBRATING. I heard very little grousing in the 3 days I was at this conference. The idea of “Celebrating” really took hold, and besides hearing from speakers who regaled us with the stories of their successes, the participants all had good things to talk about. In these times of economic uncertainty and money woes, it was refreshing to be amongst folks who have hope, good ideas, and a real ambition to make their communities thrive. And while libraries were not on the agenda, several of the presenters mentioned libraries, because we all know that the library can be a pillar of the community. Let’s all remember to celebrate that, every day, even in small ways. So go on, celebrate YOUR community. Celebrate your library, because you never know who it is that you are helping, it could be the next Bill Gates, or maybe even Vernon d’Eon. (Yes, you are going to have to do some research to find out who Vernon d’Eon is!)
The ALA 2010 Midwinter Meeting is January 15 – 19, 2010, in Boston, Massachusetts.
The ALSC daily schedule with room locations is listed on the ALSC Web Site.
If you will be in Boston, on Friday, January 15, from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m., plan to attend ALSC Speed Networking. The object of the evening is to meet as many professionals as you can. Participants will be organized to move around the room, meeting new colleagues and exchanging ideas every couple of minutes. The event is free. Please RSVP by January 4, 2010.
For more Midwinter Meeting information, visit the ALSC Web Site, the ALA Web Site and ALA’s Official Midwinter Meeting Wiki.
The American Library Association 2010 Youth Media Awards will be held this Monday, January 18, beginning 7:45 a.m. EST. If you aren’t able to attend in person, visit http://alawebcast.unikron.com/ for a live webcast. The number of available connections for the Webcast is limited and the broadcast is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
The ALA will instantly announce presentation results using Twitter. Members can view live updates on the ALA Youth Media Awards press kit and via tweets at http://twitter.com/ALAyma. Members can also follow live updates via the Youth Media Awards RSS and the ALA Youth Media Awards Facebook page.
Much work will take place at ALA Midwinter (January 15-19 in Boston). To understand more about the work of ALSC, you may visit ALA Connect where the ALSC Board Midwinter agenda and documents are available to be downloaded and viewed. The URL is http://connect.ala.org/node/91780.
The 26th Annual Virginia Hamilton Conference on Multicultural Literature for Youth will be held on Thursday, April 8 & Friday, April 9, 2010 at the Kent State University Student Center, Kent, Ohio. The conference provides a forum for discussion of multicultural themes and issues in literature for children and young adults.
“New Horizons – the Next 25 Years!” is the theme of the conference, featuring authors Pam Muñoz Ryan and Laurie Halse Anderson and illustrator, R. Gregory Christie.
The Thursday, April 8, evening program will feature a keynote address by the 12th Annual Virginia Hamilton Literary Award winner, Pam Muñoz Ryan and a performance by The HeartBEAT of Afrika. On April 9th, Friday, a variety of local and national speakers will present workshop sessions on multicultural picture books, notable books for a global society, young adult novels for girls, cultural graphic novels and puppet books. Friday’s conference agenda will include a “conversation” session with the three featured presenters.
The registration fee for both Thursday evening and Friday is $150; for Thursday evening only, $40; Friday only, $120. Contact the Office of Continuing and Distance Education at (330) 672-3100 or (800) 672-KSU2 to register. Or register on-line at http://www.yourtrainingresource.com (Click Program, Conference.)
Registration is now open for the 3rd Annual National Latino Children’s Literature Conference which will be held April 23 and 24, 2010 at The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama. For more information, visit the conference website: http://www.latinochildlitconf.org. The Conference is sponsored by the School of Library & Information Studies and the Office of the Provost and the Division of Academic Affairs at the University of Alabama.
The conference was created to promote high-quality children’s literature about the Latino cultures and to offer a forum for librarians, educators, researchers, and students to openly discuss strategies for meeting the informational, educational, and literacy needs of Latino children and their families.
Early-Bird Registration (on or before April 15) for the 2 day event is $105. After April 15, the registration fee is $120. More registration information is available at the conference website.
Conference Chair Dr. Jamie Campbell Naidoo was featured April 22, 2009, on an ALSC Blog podcast.
On Monday morning, January 10, 2011, The American Library Association (ALA) will announce its Youth Media Awards as part of the midwinter conference. Beginning at 7:45 am PST, nineteen different awards will be announced including:
- Coretta Scott King Book Awards which honors African American authors and illustrators of outstanding books for children and young adults that demonstrate sensitivity to “the African American experience via literature and illustration.”
- John Newbery Medal for the most distinguished American children’s book published the previous year.
- Michael L. Printz Award awarded to a book that exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature.
- Randolph Caldecott Medal awarded to the artist of the most distinguished American Picture Book for Children published in the United States during the preceding year.
- Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal awarded to the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguished informational book published in English during the preceding year.
- Schneider Family Book Award which honors an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences.
- Theodore Seuss Geisel Award is given to the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguished American book for beginning readers published in English in the United States during the preceding year
For the first time, the Stonewall Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award will also be announced as part of the ALA Youth Media Awards. This award is administered by the ALA’s Stonewall Book Awards Committee of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Round Table and is awarded annually to English-language works for children and teens of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered experience.
To allow as many interested people as possible the opportunity to hear the announcements, the ALA will provide a free live webcast. The number of available connections for the webcast are limited. Online visitors interested in following the announcements live can bookmark http://alawebcast.unikron.com. Visitors can begin logging in to the webcast at 7:30 am PST; the Youth Media Awards will begin at 7:45 am PST.
It’s always an exciting time! Hope you can join us!
Just a reminder that discounted advance registration for ALA Midwinter 2011 ends on Monday, November 29th. Registration includes access to:
- over 200 discussion groups
- 0ver 2000 committee meetings and events
- Youth Media Awards
- much, much more!
Complete information about the midwinter conference, to be held in San Diego from January 7th through 11th, is available here.
See you in California!
What do chocolate, a naughty red cat, radishes, amazing librarians and flotsam & jetsam have in common? They were each well represented at the dessert party thrown by MacMillan Children’s Publishing Group last night.
I spoke with the adorable Jack Gantos about his new book Dead End in Norvelt. It sounds brilliant and it probably is, considering the author. I don’t want to go off on a tangent here, but isn’t Hole In My Life one of the best books you’ve read ever? Seriously, like EVER?? (I also heard last night that Jack does a fantastic reading of his new book on audio – check it out!)
I chatted with the gifted naturalist April Pulley Sayre about birds and other things we both adore. April has some wonderful new books out this year: If You’re Hoppy (which is getting all kinds of well-deserved attention) and Rah, Rah, Radishes! A Vegetable Chant. Radishes! is a lovely book, illustrated with photos taken by April at her local farmer’s market: support your local farmers, eat lots of veggies and read this freshly grown book!
I also had the chance to meet Loree Griffin Burns, the talent behind the award winning Tracking Trash: Flotsam, Jetsam and the Science of Ocean Motion (which is now in it’s fifth printing) and last year’s fabulous The Hive Detectives:Chronicle of a Honeybee Catastrophe. Loree is delightful! She talked a little about the work she does at school visits; contact her if you are looking for a dynamic author to invite to your community.
I also met some amazing librarians. Librarians who are out there working every day to connect these authors and their books with the kids who need to read them. The kids who may not be able to identify asparagus, who may not understand why honeybees are so important, or who may need to read about a kid who kinda sounds a little familiar. Thanks authors, editors, publishers and librarians for all of the wonderful things you do! (Shout out to the awesome Karen MacPherson woot-woot!)
Oh, I forgot to mention the chocolate – it was delish.
Want to make your storytimes more interactive, inclusive and interesting?
Enrich your storytime programs with sign language! Susan Kusel, Youth Services Librarian at Arlington County Central Library, VA will help the Preschool Discussion Group explore this topic at ALA Annual/Chicago. She will do a short presentation on sign language and its use in storytimes. Join us for the discussion and share your ideas, skills and experiences. See you in Chicago!
Sunday, July 12
1:30 pm - 3:00 pm
Palmer House, Spire Room
The Preschool Discussion Group is open to all!
Linda Ernst, Co-Convenor
Sue McCleaf Nespeca, Co-Convenor
I’m uncertain how frequently I will blog during the 2009 American Library Association’s annual conference. I will attempt to give an overview of my daily activities while I’m there. However, don’t be surprised if you don’t read any entries from me until Wednesday. Special thanks to all the folks who have offered to blog about their conference experience! I’m sure I’m not the only one who is looking forward to reading what you did and learned.
For people who subscribe to Twitter, the hashtags #ala2009 and #ala09 are being used by some who will “tweet” the conference.
I hope to see you in Chicago!
Manager, ALSC Blog
Last evening I attended the Booklist Books for Youth Forum where Russell Freedman, Jean Feiwel, Candace Fleming, and Deborah Hopkinson discussed their stories behind their Lincoln books. I jotted some notes while each was speaking:
Russell Freedman, author of Lincoln: A Photobiography:
- “There have always been more books about Abraham Lincoln than anyone could read over several lifetimes.”
- “I grew up in the cherry tree era of the children’s biography. My favorite example of invented dialogue comes from the Abraham Lincoln story in Childhoods of Famous Americans: ‘Books!’ said his father. ‘Always books. What is all this reading going to do for you?’ ‘Why I’m going to be president.’ Such cardboard characters.”
- Shared that a source from the 1930s stated that Lincoln was in such grief over the death of his son Willie that he twice had his son exhumed to see his face. “I couldn ‘t find another source to confirm the story so I dropped it from the book, but I always wondered if it was true.”
- “The man is more interesting than the myth.”
Jean Feiwel, editor of Lincoln Shot! A President’s Life Remembered:
- “Most discouraging words heard around the world: Children won’t read nonfiction.”
- “We must prize and protect nonfction.”
- “We wanted an unconventional visual book. We debated format for over a year. We were concerned about real-life issue of shelving in bookstores and libraries but decided the controversial way to go was look of original period newspaper.”
- “Let’s make the New York Times have a nonfiction for children list. And the National Book Award.”
Candance Fleming, author of The Lincolns:
- “Where’s Mary in the old story?”
- “Add to the old story and make it new, to question the history that we already know and to maybe turn it into a new story.”
“History for me the small moments, dinner table discussions, recipes and shopping lists.”
- “Show them [young people] the human moments that lead up to the big moments.”
- She also shared her family’s secret title for the book, but really the story is best in her telling of it, so I’ll leave you to wonder.
Deborah Hopkinson, author of Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek: A Tall, Thin Tale:
- She quoted Sam Wineburg and referenced the Why Historical Thinking Matters website.
- “Today’s children spell library G-O-O-G-L-E. Informational literacy is a must.”
- “History: the only kind of time travel that exists.”
Congratulations and many thanks to Jane Botham for all the great work she does, has done and will do to promote and ensure exceptional library service to children.
By Monday morning of Annual Conference, I’m usually starting to feel the lack of sleep and overload of information catch up with me. This year’s Charlemae Rollins ALSC President’s Program was an invigorating and moving experience that woke the audience, figuratively and literally. To begin, the St. Ailbe’s Children’s Choir of Chicago gave a rousing performance of gospel songs which brought everyone to be ready to hear Melba Pattillo Beals speak. Beals is the author of Warriors Don’t Cry: A Searing Memoir of the Battle to Integrate Little Rock High School and White is a State of Mind: Freedom is Yours to Choose.
Beals urged the audience to be louder about the role of librarians in education. She asked us: without librarians, where would we be? She would not have known who she was, she says, and would not have realized that she as a person was valued. Beals implored us to open up our hearts and souls to our communities, to let people know the impact that libraries can have on their lives.
You can read more about this program on the PLA Blog.
Greetings! I’m Anne Heidemann, Children’s, Tween, and Teen Services Department Head for the Canton Public Library in Canton, Michigan.
I was delighted to be able to attend this year’s awards banquet celebrating the 2009 Caldecott, Newbery, and Wilder awards. It is always an exciting evening and the glamour and pomp in the air is palpable. After a delicious meal (deep-fried risotto, anyone?), the speeches started with Beth Krommes’ acceptance for the 2009 Caldecott Medal for The House in the Night. Krommes related a charming story about how when she received The Call, she mistakenly assumed the person on the other end was a potential illustration client and began writing down her contact information, only realizing after a few moments that Nell Coburn was actually the chair of the 2009 Caldecott committee. Krommes told us the tale of how this book came to be and what a tremendous effect this experience has had on her life. Having received this great honor, she is filled with wonder, gratitude, and great hope for the future.
Following Krommes was Neil Gaiman, accepting the 2009 Newbery Medal for The Graveyard Book. Gaiman’s speech was enchanting, as was his demeanor and humility. Gaiman divided his speech into numbered sections ‘for no reason’, an effective method of lightening the mood and bringing the audience along through the many ways he is appreciative and grateful to have received this prestigious award. Who knew that winning a literary award could make a father cool in the eyes of his children? He also addressed the issue that had many people talking after the awards press conference: what does it mean that a popular book won the Newbery? In Gaiman’s eyes, it isn’t about whether a book is good or good for you, it’s about books you love. We needn’t choose sides. Gaiman also endeared himself to children’s librarians by noting that despite his having been a ‘feral child raised among the stacks,’ libraries are not child care facilities.
The final speech of the night was Ashley Bryan, accepting the 2009 Wilder Medal for his substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children. Often by the time the final speech of the night rolls around, the crowd has been sitting for hours after a rich meal (and possibly a few cocktails), and it can get a little sleepy in the room. With a rousing, interactive speech like no other I’ve ever heard, Bryan completely reinvented the acceptance speech. He had everyone in the room participating in call and response poetry and singing spirituals. One day shy of his 86th birthday, Bryan showed more energy on the dais than I can recall having seen. Three terrific speeches from three captivating artists - what a night!
By: Teresa Walls,
Blog: ALSC Blog
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During the 2009 Annual Conference, the American Library Association’s Council adopted the Minors and Internet Interactivity statement as part of ALA’s Interpretations of the Library Bill of Rights. As stated in the introduction to the Interpretations,
Although the Articles of the Library Bill of Rights are unambiguous statements of basic principles that should govern the service of all libraries, questions do arise concerning application of these principles to specific library practices. […] These documents are policies of the American Library Association, having been adopted by the ALA Council.
Please read Minors and Internet Interactivity, which is available on the ALA Web Page (Mission & History–> Key Action Areas–> Intellectual Freedom –> Policies, Statements, Guidelines.) To provide for ease in commenting, it is also included here in its entirety:
Minors and Internet Interactivity: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights
The digital environment offers opportunities for accessing, creating, and sharing information. The rights of minors to retrieve, interact with, and create information posted on the Internet in schools and libraries are extensions of their First Amendment rights. (See also other interpretations of the Library Bill of Rights, including “Access to Digital Information, Services, and Networks,” “Free Access to Libraries for Minors,” and “Access for Children and Young Adults to Nonprint Materials.”)
Academic pursuits of minors can be strengthened with the use of interactive Web tools, allowing young people to create documents and share them online; upload pictures, videos, and graphic material; revise public documents; and add tags to online content to classify and organize information. Instances of inappropriate use of such academic tools should be addressed as individual behavior issues, not as justification for restricting or banning access to interactive technology. Schools and libraries should ensure that institutional environments offer opportunities for students to use interactive Web tools constructively in their academic pursuits, as the benefits of shared learning are well documented.
Personal interactions of minors can be enhanced by social tools available through the Internet. Social networking Web sites allow the creation of online communities that feature an open exchange of information in various forms, such as images, videos, blog posts, and discussions about common interests. Interactive Web tools help children and young adults learn about and organize social, civic, and extra-curricular activities. Many interactive sites invite users to establish online identities, share personal information, create Web content, and join social networks. Parents and guardians play a critical role in preparing their children for participation in online activity by communicating their personal family values and by monitoring their children’s use of the Internet. Parents and guardians are responsible for what their children—and only their children—access on the Internet in libraries.
The use of interactive Web tools poses two competing intellectual freedom issues—the protection of minors’ privacy and the right of free speech. Some have expressed concerns regarding what they perceive is an increased vulnerability of young people in the online environment when they use interactive sites to post personally identifiable information. In an effort to protect minors’ privacy, adults sometimes restrict access to interactive Web environments. Filters, for example, are sometimes used to restrict access by youth to interactive social networking tools, but at the same time deny minors’ rights to free expression on the Internet. Prohibiting children and young adults from using social networking sites does not teach safe behavior and leaves youth without the necessary knowledge and skills to protect their privacy or engage in responsible speech. Instead of restricting or denying access to the Internet, librarians and teachers should educate minors to participate responsibly, ethically, and safely.
The First Amendment applies to speech created by minors on interactive sites. Usage of these social networking sites in a school or library allows minors to access and create resources that fulfill their interests and needs for information, for social connection with peers, and for participation in a community of learners. Restricting expression and access to interactive Web sites because the sites provide tools for sharing information with others violates the tenets of the Library Bill of Rights. It is the responsibility of librarians and educators to monitor threats to the intellectual freedom of minors and to advocate for extending access to interactive applications on the Internet.
As defenders of intellectual freedom and the First Amendment, libraries and librarians have a responsibility to offer unrestricted access to Internet interactivity in accordance with local, state, and federal laws and to advocate for greater access where it is abridged. School and library professionals should work closely with young people to help them learn skills and attitudes that will prepare them to be responsible, effective, and productive communicators in a free society.
Adopted July 15, 2009, by the ALA Council.
People told me that the ALA Conference would be big. I saw the numbers and told my husband, friends and family before I left that tens of thousands of librarians would be there. Still, I found myself completely overwhelmed by the sheer size of the event when I finally got there. Do I go to awards events and see authors speak? Buckle down and try to attend informative programs that could help me be a better children’s librarian in the future? Sit in on meetings to learn more about how to get involved in ALA? Take some time out and “do Chicago”?
In the end I did a mix of all of the above. The Newbery, Caldecott and Wilder Award speeches were definitely a highlight. Eight-six year-old Author/Illustrator Ashley Bryan gave a warm, invigorating speech with call and response that touched everyone in the audience and brought them to their feet. Neil Gaiman’s speech wasn’t too shabby either.Another highlight was Chicago itself. I made time to visit the Field Museum, resplendent with pirate paraphernalia and the Chicago Art Institute where all of the paintings from the board game Masterpiece live.
Despite the feeling of “so much to see, so much to do @ ALA Chicago” I left feeling that I had managed to schedule in the perfect mix of business and fun. Next time I attend an ALA Conference (and I am sure there will be a next time) I hope to do so as a part of a committee. On Tuesday morning, I left ALA Chicago with a warm, fuzzy feeling that should keep me going strong as I finish up my MLIS and move out into Libraryland.
ALSC Student to Staff Volunteer
- The 2010 ALSC Preconference, Drawn to Delight: How Picture Books Work (and Play) Today, will take place on Friday, June 25, 2010, 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., during the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.
Speakers include award-winning author/illustrator Brian Selznick and Megan Lambert, Instructor of Children’s Literature Programs at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art; additional speakers will be announced at a later date.
- The ALSC National Institute will be September 23-25, 2010, in Atlanta, Ga. The institute will be held at the Emory Conference Center on the campus of Emory University.
Ashley Bryan, Carmen Deedy, John McCutcheon, Brian Selznick, and Walter Dean and Christopher Myers are scheduled to attend. An evening reception at the Center for Puppetry Arts is planned. Specifics regarding registration and programs will be posted on the ALSC Web site as plans develop.
If you’ve never been to ALA Annual Conference, apply today for the Penguin Young Readers Group Award!
This award, made possible by an annual gift from the Penguin Young Readers Group, enables up to four children’s librarians to attend their first ALA Annual Conference. Librarians must work directly with children in elementary, middle school or public libraries, and have one to ten years of experience as a children’s librarian by the opening of the Annual Conference. Each winner will each receive a $600 stipend to attend the conference. All applications must be in December 1, 2009. For more information or to apply for the award, visit the ALSC Web site.
Questions? Please contact Linda Ernst, chair of the ALSC Grant Administration Committee, at email@example.com.
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The American Library Association (ALA) will provide a free live webcast of its Youth Media Awards, a national announcement of the top books and media for children and young adults, on Jan. 18, at 7:45 a.m. EST. The award announcements are made as part of the ALA Midwinter Meeting, which will bring together librarians, publishers, authors and guests to the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center from Jan. 15 to 19.
For the complete press release, click here.