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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Literary and Related Awards, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 50
1. ALSC Awards Overseas: A View from the Bologna Children’s Book Fair

This spring I had the opportunity to attend the Bologna Children’s Book Fair along with 12 graduate students and their instructor, ALSC Past President and former Butler Children’s Literature Center Curator Thom Barthelmess. As the current Curator, I was eager to not only travel with such fun, smart, and like-minded colleagues, but to learn what children’s literature looks like around the world, and how the world sees us these days. The upshot? They like our books. Our politics, not so much.

Welcome to the Bologna Children's Book Fair!

Welcome to the Bologna Children’s Book Fair!

While I was traveling on Dominican’s dime with support from the Butler Family Foundation, this trip also posed an opportunity for me, as ALSC Fiscal Officer, to learn firsthand about the impact, if any, of ALSC’s book and media awards internationally.

Buying and selling rights to publish children's books in other countries and other languages is the primary business of the Fair.

Buying and selling rights to publish children’s books in other countries and other languages is the primary business of the Fair.

The first thing I learned should have been obvious: In addition to the vast market at Bologna for buying and selling rights to translate books to and from various languages and to publish them in other countries, there is a vibrant market and interest in original illustration. I saw three exhibits: the annual juried Bologna Illustrators Exhibition (featuring only one American illustrator this time, YooHee Joon); “Artists and Masterpieces of Illustration: 50 Illustrators Exhibit 1967-2016,” a special exhibit commemorating the 50th anniversary of the annual one; and one featuring art from wordless picture books (the accepted term overseas is “silent books”). Beyond these exhibits, illustrators also promote their work directly to publishers here: the market for text is a translation one, so it’s not a place for authors to pitch manuscripts, it’s a more open opportunity for art.

High energy in the international bookstore booth itself

High energy in the international bookstore booth itself

A fascinating debate broke out on a panel discussion about the 50th anniversary exhibit. Panelist Leonard Marcus noted the positive development of an “international visual vocabulary” that has made it increasingly difficult to pigeonhole a book’s country of origin; Etienne Delessert countered that it’s still quite easy to identify an American picture book, at least (not necessarily a compliment). This reminded me of the ALSC Board’s decision a few years ago to maintain ALSC award eligibility for books originally published in the United States and by a U.S. citizen or resident, that “reaffirmed the importance of identifying and rewarding authentic and unique American children’s literature, in keeping with award founder Frederic Melcher’s original intent for these awards.” (Foote, The Newbery and Caldecott Awards: A Guide to the Medal and Honor Books, 2010 edition).

Leonard Marcus speaking on a panel discussion about the "50 Illustrators Exhibit 1967-2016

Leonard Marcus speaking on a panel discussion about the “50 Illustrators Exhibit 1967-2016”

Note the array of awards listed on the sign outside the international bookstore booth: Only one ALA/ALSC award seems to have any play here.

Note the array of awards listed on the sign outside the international bookstore booth: Only one ALA/ALSC award seems to have any play here.

These storied ALSC awards that have been around for decades are sacred in our association and well-known in the United States, but what do people overseas know, or think, about them?

While our awards don’t have nearly the impact on the business of publishing outside the United States as they do stateside, high international interest in illustration seems paralleled by interest in the Caldecott Medal, if not the others. This observation is supported by the ALSC office, which reports infrequent queries about seal use from international publishers, almost all about the Caldecott. U.S. publishers with whom I spoke indicated they’re never asked about awards or seals. However, I noticed many books that were published in other countries and languages were in fact ALSC award winners, even though they did not bear the award seal. This could mean overseas publishers recognize our awards as arbiters of quality and are therefore more likely to buy books that win, seal or no seal; or that they might want seals for book promotion purposes but don’t know how to procure them.

Click to view slideshow.

There is certainly an upside to promoting seal use internationally to raise the international profile of ALA, ALSC, and our media awards. Challenges include the need for publishers in other countries to respect U.S. trademark law (our seal images are ALA’s intellectual property); the need for an acknowledgement printed on the book that the non-U.S. edition is not the exact one evaluated by the committee; and the desire of some overseas publishers to work wording in their own language into the seal image itself. ALSC works hard to protect the integrity and reputation of these awards that have stood us in such good stead over the past 80 or so years, so we’ll continue to carefully shepherd appropriate seal use while encouraging its worldwide adoption to the extent we can.

(All pictures courtesy of Guest Blogger)


Our guest blogger is Diane Foote. Diane is assistant dean and curator of the Butler Children’s Literature Center at Dominican University GSLIS in River Forest, Illinois, and the ALSC Fiscal Officer. She can be reached at [email protected].

Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.

If you’d like to write a guest post for the ALSC Blog, please contact Mary Voors, ALSC Blog manager, at [email protected].

The post ALSC Awards Overseas: A View from the Bologna Children’s Book Fair appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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2. Ten Ways to Publicize Notable Children’s Books

In her 2002 Newbery Award acceptance speech, Linda Sue Park recalled how her father, a Korean immigrant, regularly took her and her siblings to the library and helped them find books. As an adult, she had once asked how he chose the books. As she relayed his explanation in her speech, it brought tears to the eyes of librarians in the audience: “He left the room for a few moments,” she said, “and came back with a battered accordion file and handed it to me. Inside were dozens of publications listing recommended children’s books–brochures, flyers, pamphlets–and most of them were issued by ALA.”

As this moving story shows, booklists can be enormously helpful to parents and teachers, and even the kind of young reader who likes lists. Instead of being overwhelmed by all those books on the shelves, the library user has a guide with ideas from experts.

I’m a great fan of the ALSC lists, and particularly Notable Children’s Books. Many years ago I served on the committee so I know how much work and care goes into creating it. Yet do these annual lists reach as many young readers as we’d like, either directly or through parents and teachers? I’m confident we can spread the word about these books even further. Here are some ways to share the list online or in print:

Ten Ways to Publicize Notable Children’s Books

1. Use the power of social media to connect to ALSC’s online version of the list. You’ll find “share the page” buttons for Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Stumbleupon, Reddit, Digg, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Addthis.

2. In the past, libraries could buy brochures of the list. Now you can print out the whole list or part of it at the ALSC website, and make it available as a good old-fashioned list on paper for library patrons. Or, if you want a list without annotations, I’ve created versions by age group that can be found here:

3. Create a bookmark with a link to the online list and an explanation of what it offers.

4. Make a book display of the Notables books or a bulletin board display. There’s a reason that publishers pay to have their books displayed at the front of bookstores: those are the books that catch people’s eye. Displays serve the same function in libraries. Have the lists or bookmarks there for patrons to take home.
Notable Seal

5. Put a Notables sticker on the books. ALA sells these along with other award stickers at the ALA Store. They can be used for the Notable books, recordings, videos, and software.

6. Talk about the Notables books! Booktalk the books formally in schools and informally to individual patrons. Share your enthusiasm. Remind parents about the lists at gift-giving times.

7. Make sure your local bookstore knows about the list. They might want to highlight recommendations from experts, too, with displays and lists.

8. Alert your local newspaper, freebie parenting magazine or local family radio program about the list and send them a copy or the link. To respect copyright, follow the simple directions at ALA’s Copyright Statement.

9. Create a Voki —- a free, talking avatar at voki.com —- to promote the booklist. You can view my Voki here.

10. Write a note or email to local teachers recommending 3-5 Notable titles that you think would be particularly enjoyed by their students. Handselling individual titles can go a long way.

More ideas means more sharing the message about Notables, so please add ideas of your own in the comments!

Kathleen Odean, a children’s librarian for 17 years, is the author of Great Books for Girls and Great Books for Babies and Toddlers, and chaired the 2002 Newbery Award Committee. She currently gives workshops for educators on new YA books. She is writing this post for the Public Awareness Committee. You can reach her at kathleen [at] kathleenodean [dot] com.

The post Ten Ways to Publicize Notable Children’s Books appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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3. Texas Bluebonnet and 2×2 Reading List Updates

Howdy from the Lone Star State!

The Children’s Round Table of the Texas Library Association had a strong start to the new year.

In January the Texas 2×2 Committee announced the 2016 Texas 2×2 reading list of 20 recommended books for children, age 2 through grade 2. The content, presentation and interest levels of the books vary broadly and generally range from board books to beginning chapter books. On its website the committee also provides a cute boot-shaped coloring page and recommended activities and discussion points. Even if you do not live in Texas, I recommend that you look at the great selection of books!

Courtesy of the Texas Bluebonnet Award committee

Another exciting recent development occurred in early February. The Texas Bluebonnet Award committee announced that When the Beat Was Born: DJ Kool Herc and the Creation of Hip Hop by author Laban Carrick Hill and illustrator Theodore Taylor III was 2016 Texas Bluebonnet Award Winner! You can watch the announcement video that went live on YouTube at 7 a.m. on February 12.

I explained the basics of the Texas Bluebonnet Award in a previous post, but to summarize: the Texas Bluebonnet Award Winner is selected by children (in Texas) in grades 3-6 who read at least five of the 20 books in the Bluebonnet nominee list. This year 152,369 students in 1,536 institutions cast their votes and let their opinions be known! WOW!

The winning author and illustrator will be the special guest speakers at this year’s Bluebonnet Luncheon during the Texas Library Association Annual Conference in Houston, TX in April.

Have any other state children’s book awards or lists been announced recently? Brag about your reading list in the comments below! What do you think of this year’s Bluebonnet Award Winner and the newest Texas 2×2 Reading List?

Note: I am not on either the 2×2 or the Bluebonnet selection committee – I am just an enthusiast!

The post Texas Bluebonnet and 2×2 Reading List Updates appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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4. How the Morris Seminar Changed My View on Awards

My view of the YMAs this year! [Photo courtesy of the author, originally posted on Instagram.]

My view of the YMAs this year! [Photo courtesy of the author, originally posted on Instagram.]

It began immediately after the Youth Media Awards were announced on Monday. Quiet whispers to friends and colleagues: “I was surprised by this committee’s choice” and “Why wasn’t this title selected?” and “How could that title have won?” and “My pick didn’t win and it should have!”

While I’ve often heard this kind of discussion after the announcement, I haven’t always had the words to articulate a response. But this year’s announcements for me were colored by a very new and different experience — on Friday, I had the great privilege of attending ALSC’s 2016 Morris Seminar. Here are some of the things I learned:

  • Every book has faults. It’s about what book rises to the top of the pile.
  • Only discuss the books on the table. You can’t talk about books from previous years.
  • When you read independently, you read in a vacuum. The committee as a whole is stronger together.
  • While at a group discussion, it is possible to change your mind several times in the span of a few minutes.
  • No one is as widely read as the committee and no one has re-read as often as the committee.
  • The committee must come to a consensus. Even committee members may not see their favorite awarded.

So, where does that leave you with your commentary? With your thoughts? With the books that you wanted to win?

Just because your favorite book didn’t win a shiny sticker doesn’t mean its days are over. Maybe that book won a different award — an invisible award — one that only you can award.

I tweeted this last year after the YMAs. [Screenshot courtesy of the author.]

I tweeted this last year after the YMAs. [Screenshot courtesy of the author.]

Instead of worrying about how the committee didn’t honor your choice, you honor it. You champion it. You make sure that it gets in the hands of your patrons or students and your readers. Choose it for storytime. Create a display around it. Suggest it to be the next book club book in your library or your friends group or your town. Put it on a booklist. Nominate it for your state’s reader award if you have one.

Making your difference of thoughts from the committee’s known may make you feel better, but it can take away the committee’s hard work and joy. And it doesn’t help your choice.

Take the time to make a positive contribution. Take the time to award your own choice. Award it your heart and your time and your energy. Make it the winner of your own awards.

So, what books are you going to champion? Who won your heart this year and how are you going to promote it? Let me know in the comments!

– Katie Salo
Early Literacy Librarian
Indian Prairie Public Library

The post How the Morris Seminar Changed My View on Awards appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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5. Welcome to 2016 & See You at Midwinter!

Cheer, cheer, cheer the year,
A new one’s just begun.
Celebrate with all your friends,
Let’s go have some fun!
Clap, clap, clap your hands,
A brand new year is here.
Learning, laughing, singing, clapping,
Through another year.

–Anonymous (to the tune of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”)

Happy New Year, everyone!

Seeing out the old year, one of my final presidential activities of 2015 was also one of the most interesting. I was very happy to represent ALSC at the “Breakthroughs in Parent Engagement and Early Literacy” forum, presented by New America and the Joan Ganz Cooney Center, sponsored by the Joyce Foundation, and held here in Chicago at Erikson Institute’s Technology in Early Childhood (TEC) Center. It was led by Lisa Guernsey and Michael Levine, authors of the book Tap, Click, Read: Growing Readers in a World of Screens, which Lisa talked about when she presented the keynote at last summer’s Leadership & ALSC meeting at ALA Annual in San Francisco.

Andrew & Aimee at #TechEarlyLit. Photo credit: Tamara Kaldor @chiplaypro

Andrew & Aimee at #TechEarlyLit. Photo credit: Tamara Kaldor

I was joined that day by ALSC Executive Director Aimee Strittmatter, and other attendees included researchers, educators, parent-engagement specialists, and policymakers, all coming together to gain a clearer picture of the changing terrain of parenting and early learning programs in formal and informal settings, and exploring new initiatives in this area, particularly those involving evolving technology like apps. It was a chance for ALSC to spread the word about children’s librarians’ roles as Media Mentors and to collaborate with colleagues from such groups as the Institute for Educational Leadership, the Ounce of Prevention Fund, the Thirty Million Words Initiative, and the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Early Learning.

Photo source: http://www.erikson.edu/

Photo source: http://www.erikson.edu/


For more perspectives on the forum, you can check out tweets from the day using #TechEarlyLit.



MW16_ImAttendingSeeing in the new, one of the first ALSC events of 2016 starts this week, as Midwinter is much earlier than usual this year. For those of you who will be in Boston, the list of ALSC activities is available here, and everybody at home can follow along here on the ALSC Blog and on Twitter with #alamw16 and #alaleftbehind. Especially useful will be the exploration of the many ways you can take advantage of our newly updated Core Competencies at Leadership & ALSC on Saturday morning (January 9) at 8:30 a.m. Eastern (in person: Convention Center Room 153A; at home: #leadALSC).


I can’t wait to be back in Boston, get to see so many friends, visit local libraries as part of my #ALSCtour, and of course learn the winners of the Youth Media Awards (YMA) on Monday morning (January 11) at 8:00 Eastern. (#ALAyma) I’ll be putting on a tie very early to emcee this year’s announcements, which is, IMO, the most exciting presidential duty, even for this non-morning person, and one which comes with a sneak peak at the winners (my lips & tweets are sealed!). If you’re planning to watch in a more casual outfit, you can check out the details on this year’s virtual pajama viewing party here. Best wishes to all of the award committees and thank you for your hard and fun work!

Midwinter is also very important for ALSC as one of the two times a year our entire Board comes together in person to work on our strategic future. (#ALSCboard) The Board’s agenda and accompanying documents are available to all here, and you will definitely be hearing from me afterwards with an account of our meetings. I’m particularly looking forward to our mega-issue discussion on ALSC’s role in the future of summer reading & learning, and if you have any thoughts or questions on any of these agenda items, please feel free to let me know at [email protected]

Cheers to the years, old and new!


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6. Mock Election Results

2016 ALA Youth Media AwardsEvery year libraries and schools around the United States offer Mock Election programs in preparation for the annual Youth Media Awards. These discussions are a great opportunity for children’s literature aficionados to gather and talk about a topic they love and to learn more about some of the great, recently published books for kids.

We are developing a page on the ALSC Blog with many of the results from this year’s Mock Elections around the country. Check it out here. You can also find this tab on the homepage of the ALSC Blog.

So far, we have some results from:

  • Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana
  • Eastern Shore Libraries
  • Lane Libraries, the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, and other nearby schools in southwest Ohio
  • Massachusetts Library System

We’d love to include your Mock Election. If you are willing to have us post your results, just send off the names of your mock winner and honor titles to [email protected] with other pertinent information you would like to share, including the name of your library, your city/state, a url to your library and/or Mock Election site, the number of participants, and a contact name & email for further information.

We look forward to posting a wide variety of results. Check back often to see what titles libraries and schools are selecting this year in their Youth Media Award Mock Elections. And stay tuned to find out the real winners as they are announced at the Midwinter Conference on January 11, 2016 in Boston.

The post Mock Election Results appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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7. Newbery-Caldecott-Wilder Banquet Videos

The award acceptance videos from the 2015 Newbery-Caldecott-Wilder Banquet are now available. These speeches took place at the 2015 ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco. Below are the three videos from each of the winners. You can also watch the video of the full banquet (running time 1 hour 45 minutes 54 seconds). Enjoy!

Kwame Alexander – Newbery Speech

Dan Santat – Caldecott Speech

Donald Crews – Wilder Speech

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8. Weekend of celebration at #alaac15

In addition to the Gay Pride celebrations in San Francisco this weekend, we  also had an opportunity to celebrate & honor award-winning authors as they accepted their well-deserved accolades.

You can now read the acceptance speeches online.  (How cool is that?) Just click to download and read the speeches.

Batchelder  [PDF – 652K]

Belpré  [PDF – 595K]

Caldecott  [PDF – 616K]

Carnegie  [PDF – 936K]

Geisel  [PDF – 1MB]

Newbery  [PDF – 2MB]

Sibert  [PDF – 1MB]

Wilder  [PDF – 1MB]


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9. Pura Belpré Celebración #alaac15

Sunday’s Pura Belpré 19th annual award ceremony featured a vibrant mix of illuminating speeches, laughter, and entertainment that celebrated Latino Children’s Literature.

Highlights included:

  • Yuyi Morales’s acceptance speech in which she vividly recounted her positive and life-changing experiences as a young mother and new immigrant visiting the San Francisco Public Library’s Western Addition branch. Ann, a librarian at the branch, put The Watsons Go to Birmingham in her hands and it was the first English language chapter book she loved, that she shared with her son.
  • Duncan Tonatiuh invited civil rights leader Sylvia Mendez, the subject of his award-winning book Separate Is Never Equal, to address the audience.
  • United States Poet Laurete Juan Felipe Herrera’s speech chronicled his research and writing that documented the extraordinary achievements of Hispanic-Americans.
  • Heartfelt speeches by Susan Guevara, John Parra, and Marjorie Agosín.
  • A fantastic performance by by Quenepas, a Bomba youth song and dance ensemble.

This fantastic event was hosted by the dream team Reforma and ALSC, and is always one of the highlights of ALA conferences. Next year will mark the 20th Anniversary of the Belpré Award and it promises to be a huge occasion. See you in Orlando!

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10. Dreams Do Come True

In the world of children’s literature, I can’t think of a day that hasn’t been better than the one before it. On Monday morning, February 2nd, this theory proved true. Diversity in children’s literature was honored in a multitude of ways. Librarians, families, teachers and kids all awaited the Monday morning Youth Media Award announcements with anticipation. They waited to hear if their favorite girl would win an award in more than one category, if their favorite author would garner the top prize, if the book that reflected their lives and spoke to them would stand tall and proud amongst the best of the best. As the medal winners’ names were spoken, dreams were coming true all across the country.

Each day that you have an opportunity to talk about diversity in children’s literature is a day when you are making the world more welcoming and real for all children. Literature awards can spark all kinds of conversations about why we need diverse books. (#WeNeedDiverseBooks).

The news spread far and wide like fire on a prairie (or snow headed for Chicago). Those announcements, though, were just a smattering of the literature awards that will be given this year. Also announced at the American Library Association’s Midwinter conference were the winners of the The Asian Pacific American Library Association (APALA) literature awards. These include a winner and honor book in children’s, young adult, and picture book categories.

The Asian Pacific American Library Association was established in 1980 to create an organization that would address the needs of Asian Pacific American librarians and those who serve Asian Pacific American communities. Since 2001 they have been honoring the best books published in the previous year for children and young adults related to Asian/Pacific American experiences (either historical or contemporary) or Asian/Pacific American cultures.

The APALA winners are announced during the midwinter meeting, but there is no fanfare until the annual ALA conference awards ceremony. And so, while we were all shouting “hooray” for the likes of Jacqueline Woodson, Kwame Alexander, Duncan Tonatiuh and others……..even more dreams were quietly coming true.

2015 Winners:Tiger Girl
Young Adult

Winner: Tiger Girl by May-Lee Chai (GemmaMedia)

Honor: Shadow Hero by Gene Luen Yang (First Second), illustration by Sonny Liew.


Winner: Gaijin: American Prisoner of War by Matt FGaiginaulkner (Disney/Hyperion Books)

Honor: Ting Ting by Kristie Hammond (Sono Nis Press, Canada)

Picture Book

Winner: Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin by Chieri Uegaki and Qin Leng (Kids Can Press)

Hana Hashimoto


Honor: Father’s Chinese Opera by Rich Lo (Sky Pony Press)






Andrea R. Milano is a Youth Services Librarian at Multnomah County Library in Portland, Oregon and she is writing this post on behalf of the Public Awareness Committee.

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11. My First ALSC Awards Committee Experience at #alamw15

Today I attended my first meeting as an official member of an awards committee. When I found out I chosen for the Geisel Award Committee I was very honored and excited. And nervous.

I was excited to have an excuse to read lots and lots (and lots) of books for beginning readers. I’m looking forward to gaining a deeper understanding and appreciation of this art form through repeated readings and thrilling discussions.

I was nervous because they’ll be lots and lots (and lots) of books to read in just a year! Where will I put all those books in my teeny, tiny house? Will my notes be detailed enough?

Thankfully, this first meeting calmed my nerves, and simultaneously raised my excitement level. Our chair was so friendly and supportive. She talked about the suggestion and nomination process, as well as logistical elements (deadlines, meetings, etc.). We also discussed ways to organize our notes, the importance of getting feedback from kid readers, and the detailed criteria for this award.

So how do I feel now? Anxious! I can’t wait for books to arrive so I can start the process!

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12. In Response to the Award Committee Conversation #alaac14

Dear fellow ALSC members:

Please pardon my delay in joining the current conversation surrounding the clarification of confidentiality in regard to reviewing, social media and electronic communication for members of ALSC award committees. My hotel does not have wi-fi and the business center closes at 4 pm, (apparently most of “what happens in Vegas” doesn’t happen online), and combined with required meetings yesterday my reading and response to email has been significantly delayed.

Over the past several years the ALSC office and officers have fielded a growing number of inquiries from members of award committees regarding appropriate written expression which maintains the confidentiality and integrity of the awards. The guidelines that had served us well were no longer sufficient to navigate the wildfire landscape of electronic communication and the exponential dissemination of opinion that occurs.

In response, the ALSC Board appointed a task force which including past and present award chairs, reviewers and a blogger and a representative from publishing to provide a broad and textured range of perspective. This dedicated group diligently consulted with colleagues, discussed and deliberated before presenting their recommendation to the ALSC Board last January during midwinter. There was further careful consideration and conversation between the Task Force and the Board in a public meeting which ultimately resulted in adoption of their recommendations. Mahnaz Dar from School Library Journal interviewed me and reported on this issue shortly after Midwinter.

The intention of this clarification is to support, not suppress the members of the award committees. Some recent responses have labelled this action as “preemptive” in a pejorative manner. To return to the wildfire analogy, it is better to prevent a fire than try to contain one that has been set ablaze. Indeed, there have been cases when an individual has (inadvertently) crossed the line of confidentiality and has later removed a blog post.

That is becoming ever more difficult in this age of instant re-tweeting and “sharing”. Once information and opinion has been unleashed, it can no longer be retrieved. Even traditional means of disseminating information can unintentionally go awry, (e.g. the unfortunate premature release of this year’s acceptance speeches prior to the awards banquet, ironically by The Horn Book). By providing clear and, yes, cautious parameters members have a better sense of the expectations of conduct and can avoid these missteps which are potentially embarrassing for the poster.

The issue of reviewing while on an awards committee predates the current communication climate. During my tenures on award committees, I elected to review only titles that would were ineligible for that committee: books from other countries, books for young adults, etc., as did many of my fellow committee members. The editors of School Library Journal understood and, indeed, expected and respected that discretion.

The Task Force and the Board carefully considered the implications of these clarifications regarding the service of editors of review media on award committees. It was determined that there would not be an issue if those editors did not publish signed reviews of eligible books. Again, titles outside the parameters of the committee’s consideration could be individually and specifically reviewed. We recognize the expertise and experience of these professionals and value their contribution to the process.

Award committees have structures in in place that preserve the integrity of process and thus the award itself. Indeed, I have twice had the privilege of serving as a judge for The New York Times Best Illustrated Books, (both times with Roger Sutton). We were strictly prohibited form telling anyone of our role until after publication of the list to avoid undue influence over selection and revelation. (This required months of keeping a delicious secret to myself, when I love to share information!) I am currently a judge for the National Book Award which has its own set of guidelines regulating conduct and confidentiality.

It is the responsibility of the Board to protect the integrity of the process of the ALSC awards in stewardship this very valuable asset of the association. We would have been remiss not to have responded to the changing conditions that necessitated this thorough examination and careful contemplation of practice.

I am grateful to all for your passion and professionalism surrounding this issue and for the opportunity to address your concerns and questions.

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13. ALSC Response to Horn Book July/August 2014 Issue Editorial #alaac14

As many of us begin to gather in Las Vegas for this year’s ALA Annual Conference, the excitement is building for the big event on Sunday evening, the Newbery-Caldecott Banquet, when we’ll celebrate the medal- and honor-winning book creators of two of the most prestigious awards in the world. This year there is a bit more buzz than usual as folks read and respond to this week’s editorial in Horn Book which expresses some concerns about a months-old revision to ALSC’s “Policy for Service on Award Committees”. As a member of the ALSC Board of Directors and chair of the Task Force that developed the recommendations that were subsequently adopted unanimously by the entire Board last January, I’m happy to provide some background about the updates.

This Policy, which applies to those ALSC members serving on the selection committees of the book and media awards administered solely by ALSC (including the Caldecott, Geisel, Newbery, and Sibert, among others), has existed for a long time with the purpose of supporting members in fulfilling the responsibilities that come with the honor of accepting the opportunity to volunteer on one of these committees. These include guidelines on issues ranging from the importance of attending the committee meetings to the fact that it wouldn’t be fair for an author or a publisher of an eligible book (or their close family members) to serve on a committee that could possibly consider their own book for a medal.

They also include guidelines regarding the confidentiality of the award process. This is an area in which the ALSC leadership and staff receive many, many questions every year from committee members who are anxious to respect the privacy of fellow committee members and creators of eligible titles. Those aspects of the guidelines, as they stood through last year, were causing more confusion than clarity, in large part because they were written before the full advent of social media and therefore couldn’t entirely take into account the increased number of forums which exist today where books and media are publicly and electronically discussed.

To address that, last year the ALSC Board appointed a Task Force which I chaired and which included members with backgrounds in blogging, reviewing, marketing for a major publisher, serving on many different award committees, chairing the Newbery committee, and consulting for chairs of award selection committees. Our objective was “To review and update the ALSC Policy for Service on Award Committees document with further clarification in regard to the confidentiality and conflict of interest guidelines as they pertain to bloggers and others engaged in social media activities while serving on an ALSC Award Committee” and to provide those recommendations to the ALSC Board for their action on them.

Task #1 was to determine if maintaining the integrity and confidentiality of the awards and the award process, as mentioned above, even still mattered in this day and age. After all, some media awards encourage open, public discussion (such as ALSC’s Notable Lists) and some present short lists of nominees (like the Academy Awards). Following conscientious discussion, consideration, and consultation with many stakeholders over many months, it became clear that confidentiality remains key to the success of these particular awards which are so important to ALSC members, the publishing industry, and kids around the world.

In today’s electronic environment, any recorded comments can quickly and uncontrollably go viral, and the Horn Book editorial is a perfect example of how words (like the revised ALSC guidelines), written with the best of intentions, can be taken out of context, misconstrued, and distributed within seconds. In short, when they’re no longer confidential the writer has no control over how they’re used.

Another change over time is that book reviews and their journals are moving further and faster away from being individual print copies in a pile on a desk seen only by collection development librarians and are very much part of the e-environment, quickly turning into database articles, tweets, posts, and marketing material for online shopping. When reviews (which by definition tell the writer’s opinion of the quality of the material—how “distinguished” it is, to use a word appearing in many an ALSC award criteria) go public in these and other ways, and the name on them is that of a committee member, it can be (and has been) easily interpreted as showing the hand of the committee. It also can be (and has been) very possible for committee members to hold off on tweeting, Facebooking, and posting about titles which are eligible for their specific award (and only their specific award) for the short time of their service.

An additional product of the Task Force was an expansion of the FAQs, which all award committee members receive, which offer guidance and support for how to talk about and promote books during award committee service, because it is extremely important, as the FAQs say, to “obtain a variety of critical opinions about books under consideration throughout the year,” and that can most definitely be done “without violating confidentiality guidelines.”

Please feel free to take a look at our Task Force’s documents, which are available on ALA Connect with no log-in necessary:

These are simply taking the guidelines which have been in place for many, many years, applying them to today’s digital reality, and clarifying the gray areas so that committee members may perform and enjoy both their committee work and their other professional responsibilities, which may or may not include publishing signed reviews, while respecting the integrity and excitement of the most important awards for children’s books and media.


Our guest blogger today is Andrew Medlar. Andrew is the Division Councilor for ALSC, serving on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors, and chaired the ALSC Award Service and Social Media Review Task Force in 2013.

If you’d like to write a guest post for the ALSC Blog, please contact Mary Voors, ALSC Blog manager, at [email protected].

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14. New Edition of Newbery & Caldecott Awards Guide

Get your copy of the “The Newbery and Caldecott Awards: A Guide to the Medal and Honor Books, 2012 Edition” from the ALA Store!

What book was honored with a Newbery Award in 1931? Or awarded the Caldecott Medal in 1957? In 1974? Last year? Updated to include the 2012 award and honor books, “The Newbery and Caldecott Awards: A Guide to the Medal and Honor Books, 2012 Edition” gathers together the books deemed most distinguished in American children’s literature and illustration since the inception of the renowned prizes. Librarians and teachers everywhere rely on this guidebook, published by ALA Editions, for quick reference and collection development and also as a resource for curriculum links and readers’ advisory. With an easy-to-use streamlined look and format, the 2012 guide features:

  • A new essay by Deborah Stevenson, director of the Center for Children’s Books at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, on how the awards are consistently a big moment for children’s books to be noticed and celebrated outside the library world;
  • Explanations of criteria used to select the winners;
  • Updated bibliographic citations and indexes for the award winners.
  • This volume includes photos of the 2012 Newbery and Caldecott Medalists and the remarks of the award selection committee chairs, providing an understanding of why this year’s books were selected.

For more than eight decades, librarians from the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) have intensely scrutinized the children’s books published annually, selecting the winning and honor books for the Newbery and Caldecott Awards.

Order your copy today through the ALA Store!

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15. Using the Cybils for Readers’ Advisory

I hope you are all aware that in a few days, on Valentine’s Day, the 2011 Cybils Award Winners will be announced!

However, did you know that the lists of Cybils Finalists, posted every New Year’s Day for the last 6 years, are a wonderful resource for Readers’ Advisory?

I know, I know, ALSC and YALSA have a full slate of youth media awards, and I definitely follow them avidly and spread the word about the winners and honor books.  But the Cybils, given by kidlit bloggers, have a different emphasis. 

First, the Cybils judges are trying for books with kid appeal.  They do want books with literary merit, but they must also believe that the books will appeal to kids.

But the big reason you can turn to the Cybils for Readers’ Advisory is because of the nature of the Finalists.  The first round of Cybils judging is done by panelists who choose the Finalists.  The panelists are not looking for one stand-out book and runners-up.  They are looking to build a list of outstanding books in that particular genre for the past year.

Because the panelists are working on making a list, they work for variety in terms of appeal, theme, protagonists’ gender, and so on.  For example, you won’t have a whole stack of Historical Novels with a Female Protagonist, as might happen with the Newbery.  (And that’s fine with the Newbery; it has a different purpose.)

One more reason the Cybils Finalists lists work well for Readers’ Advisory is the sheer number of categories.  There’s no overlap; right from the start the panelists make sure a book is only considered in one category.  But where else are you going to find a judged list of the best children’s Book Apps of the year?  As well as PoetryEarly Chapter Books?

Here are all the categories along with links to this year’s Finalists:

Book Apps

Easy Readers & Early Chapter Books

Fantasy & Science Fiction (Middle Grade)

Fantasy & Science Fiction (Young Adult)

Fiction Picture Books

Graphic Novels

Middle Grade Fiction

Nonfiction for Middle Grade & Young Adult

Nonfiction Picture Books


Young Adult Fiction


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16. And the 2012 Notables are….

In January, prior to the ALA Midwinter Conference, we posted the discussion lists for the books under consideration, videos under consideration, and sound recordings under consideration for the Children’s Notables 2012 lists. All the Notables lists have now been posted.

Click here for a complete list of 2012 Children’s Notable Books.

Click here for the list of 2012 Notable Children’s Recordings.

Click here for the list of 2012 Notable Children’s Videos.

What an incredible selection of resources! Great job, committees!

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17. Today Show and the Youth Media Awards

Dear ALSC Members,

This week, you may have heard that Newbery and Caldecott medalists, Clare Vanderpool and Erin C. Stead did not appear on the NBC’s Today Show. Noting that it has been a decade long tradition to interview the medal winners following the Youth Media Awards, Publishers Weekly posted an article today addressing this news.

The Public Information Office of the American Library Association has issued this statement regarding the situation:

“The American Library Association did reach out to the Today Show, and multiple conversations took place between show producers and Pro-Media Communications, ALA’s media relations firm,” said Mark Gould, director, ALA Public Information Office. “Unfortunately we were turned down.

“The ALA Youth Media Awards have had a spot on the Today Show for more than a decade, and while not being on this year was a disappointment for ALA members and book lovers across the country, we hope the Today Show can find room for us in the future.”

While our awardees may not have received the national coverage on the Today Show, they have received coverage in many of the major print newspapers across the country. Also, and most importantly, it is our members and other frontline youth services staff who bring attention and awareness of the Youth Media Award winners to the children and families in their communities.

Thank you for your support and most importantly, ensuring distinguished literature for children is reaching our young readers.

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18. How To Get Newbery/Caldecott Seals

Here at ALSC Headquarters, we’re excited about the recent Youth Media Awards announcements. We had a great Midwinter Meeting and now it’s back to business. One of the first things we wanted to explain the process for purchasing your new award seals.

Foil seals depicting the ALA/ALSC Batchelder, Belpre, Caldecott, Carnegie, Geisel, Newbery, Odyssey, Sibert and Children’s Notable Media medals are available in packages of 24 seals (gold or silver) through the ALA Store. Additionally, seals are also available in bulk.

We take a great deal of pride in being able to offer these awards and so we try to make it easy to obtain these seals quickly. And, our gold and silver seals will help your patrons spot recommended books more easily. For more on the awards and ALA Permissions, please check out the ALSC Frequently Asked Questions section.

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19. REMINDER: Registration open for ALSC Online Courses

With the ALA Midwinter Meeting in San Diego fast approaching already here, it’s time to start thinking about continuing education. Opportunities like Midwinter and ALSC’s online courses go hand-in-hand! Please be reminded that the registration deadline for ALSC’s popular online courses is Monday, January 31, 2011. Courses run from February 7 through March 18.

You wouldn’t want to miss out on this winter’s great offerings of courses including:

Information Literacy – From Preschool to High School
Instructor: Maryann Mori, Director, Waukee Public Library

Out of This World Youth Programming
Instructor: Angela Young, MSLS, Youth Services Librarian, Lorain Public Library System

Introduction to Graphic Novels for Children
Instructor: Janet Weber, MLIS, Youth Services Librarian, Tigard Public Library

The Newbery Medal: Past, Present, and Future
Instructor: Kathleen T. Horning, Director, Cooperative Children’s Book Center, University of Wisconsin- Madison

Online classes are a great way to keep current on the latest trends in youth services, as well as offering you some great inspiration for programming ideas. Our experienced instructors consistently receive rave reviews from students.

Registration is now open for all of our courses. To register, please visit ALA’s online registration page. Follow up your Midwinter experience by signing up for a class!

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20. An Invitation from the ALSC 2011 Batchelder Award Committee

The 2011 Mildred L. Batchelder Award Committee invites you to help identify eligible titles. The terms of the award are as follows:
“The Mildred L. Batchelder Award shall be made to an American publisher for a children’s book considered to be the most outstanding of those books originally published in a foreign language in a foreign country and subsequently published in English in the United States during the preceding year.” Honor books may be named.

There are additional considerations. Eligible books are for readers within the age range of 0-14 years. Readers “should be able to sense that the book came from another country.” Books should have a “substantial” translated text since this award focuses on text rather than illustration. Books should not be unduly Americanized. Both fiction and nonfiction are eligible, but folklore is excluded.

For your information, the 2011 Award will be announced at the ALA Youth Media Awards press conference at Midwinter in January 2011 (San Diego) and presented at the Annual Conference in June of 2011 (New Orleans).

To learn more about the Award and for listings of current and past winners, see the Mildred L. Batchelder Home Page

: http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/batchelderaward

With these terms and considerations in mind, please suggest titles by contacting me at

[email protected]

Thank you for participating in this important work of ALSC.


Susan Faust

2011 Mildred L. Batchelder Award, Chair

Committee Members: Sheila Cody, Adrienne Furness, Tessa Michaelson, and Kristy Lyn Sutorius

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21. 2010 Coretta Scott King Book Awards

Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award:
Charles R. Smith Jr., for “My People” (written by Langston Hughes, published by Atheneum)

Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor:
E.B. Lewis for “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” (written by Langston Hughes, published by Disney Jump at the Sun)

Coretta Scott King Author Award:
Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, author of “Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshal” (illustrated by R. Gregory Christie, published by Carolrhoda)

Coretta Scott King Author Honor:
Tanita D. Davis, author of “Mare’s War” (published by Knopf)

The Coretta Scott King Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement: Walter Dean Myers

Coretta Scott King Steptoe for New Talent 2010:
Kekla Magoon, author of “The Rock and the River” (published by Aladdin)

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22. Check out the ALSC Award list


2010 ALSC Award Winners

In order to post the winning information as expeditiously as possible, we are providing a straight list of 2009 ALSC award winners, including book title, author, and publisher. Additional information, including annotations and book cover images for each award-winning title, will be posted to the individual award pages as soon as possible.

Newbery Medal

“When You Reach Me,” written by Rebecca Stead, published by Wendy Lamb Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books

Newbery Honor Books

“Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice” written by Phillip Hoose, published by Melanie Kroupa Books/Farrar Straus Giroux, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group

“The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate” written by Jacqueline Kelly, published by Henry Holt and Company

“Where the Mountain Meets the Moon” written by Grace Lin, published by Little Brown and Company Books for Young Readers

“The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg” written by Rodman Philbrick, published by The Blue Sky Press, an imprint of Scholastic Inc.

Caldecott Medal

“The Lion and the Mouse” illustrated and written by Jerry Pinkney, published by Little, Brown and Company Books for Young Readers

Caldecott Honor Books

“All the World” illustrated by Marla Frazee, written by Liz Garton Scanlon, published by Beach Lane Books

“Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in Colors” illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski, written by Joyce Sidman, puslished by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

2011 Arbuthnot Honor Lecture

Lois Lowry

Batchelder Award

“A Faraway Island” written by Annika Thor, translated by Linda Schenck, published by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books

Batchelder Honor Books

“Big Wolf and Little Wolf” written by Nadine Brun-Cosme, illustrated by Olivier Tallee, translated by Claudia Bedrick, published by Enchanted Lion Books

“Eidi” written by Bodil Bredsdorff, translated by Kathryn Mahaffy, published by Farrar Straus Giroux

“Moritito II: Guardian of the Darkness” Written by Nahoko Uehashi, illustrated by Yuko Shimizu, translated by Cathy Hirano, published by Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic Inc.

Belpre (Illustrator) Award

“Book Fiesta!: Celebrate Children’s Day/Book Day; Celebremos El día de los niños/El día de los libros” illustrated by Rafael López, written by Pat Mora, published by Rayo, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

Belpre (Illustrator) Honor Books

“Diego: Bigger Than Life” illustrated by David Diaz, written by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand, published by Marshall Cavendish Children

“My Abuelita” illustrated by Yuyi Morales, written by Tony Johnston, published by Harcourt Children’s Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

“Gracia Thanks” illustrated by John Parra, written Pat Mora, published by Lee and Low Books Inc.

Belpre (Author) Award

“Return to Sender” written by Julie Alvarez, published by Alfred A. Knopf

Belpre (Author) Honor Books

“Diego: Bigger Than Life” written by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand, illustrated by David Diaz, published by Marshall Cavendish Children

“Federico García Lorca” written by Georgina Lázaro, illustrated by Enrique S. Moreiro, published by Lectorum Publications Inc.

Carnegie Award

“Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!” produced by Paul R. Gagne, Weston Woods Studios, and Mo Willems

Geisel Award

“Benny and Penny in the Big No-No!” written and illustrated by Geoffrey Hayes,

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23. The Coretta Scott King Book Award Online Resource

The Coretta Scott King Book Award Online Curriculum Resource Center (http://TeachingBooks.net/csk) is a free, multimedia, online database for educators and families featuring more than 250 original recordings with award-winning authors and illustrators and hundreds of lesson plans.

The resource center includes more than nine hours of originally produced audio with Coretta Scott King Book Award (CSK) authors and illustrators talking about their books in two- to three-minute clips. Searches can be executed by author, illustrator, title, grade level, and curriculum area, as well as by the year or specific Coretta Scott King Book Award citation. Select “All” to scroll through the cover images of all 231 different books that have received this great honor.

In addition to free, online primary source materials (audio recordings and book readings), the collection features hundreds of lesson plans and original movies filmed in the studios of some of the award-winning authors and illustrators.

This project began in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards. The resource center was recently selected for inclusion in the American Library Association’s Great Web Sites for Kids. If you would like more context about the creation of this resource center, please visit Nick Glass’s blog post about it at: http://forum.teachingbooks.net/?p=2476

For more information about the Coretta Scott King Book Award, visit the Coretta Scott King Book Award pages on the ALA web site.

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24. Youth Media Awards to be announced Monday

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.

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25. ALA Youth Media Awards LIve Webcast

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.

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