In mid-January, there is excitement in the air for authors, publishers, librarians, and readers as the annual Book & Media Awards and the Youth Media Awards are announced. The announcements are made during the American Library Association’s Mid-Winter Meeting each year. This year, the American Library Association is changing their format to something called LibLearnX. “LibLearnX will offer innovative and participatory education programs to help you learn, network, and find solutions. Attendees can expect a combination of different formats geared toward higher-level education conversation, hands-on interaction, and trend-scanning information,” as noted on the LibLearnX website. A large number of awards are presented at the Book & Media Awards and the Youth Media Awards. You may explore them all through American Library Association’s website at https://www.ala.org. Today we will provide information about five of these awards.
Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence:
Started in 2012, this medal is awarded to one adult fiction and one adult nonfiction title each year. The award was established to provide a guide for adults that are looking to select quality reading materials. Each year, a long list of titles is selected under each category and then that list is reduced to a short list of three titles each of fiction and nonfiction from which the medal winner is chosen. To view previous years’ winners and finalists, https://www.ala.org/rusa/awards/carnegie-medals.
Coretta Scott King Book Awards:
These awards started in 1969 and were created by two librarians and a book publisher that desired to create a method to recognize and encourage the talents of African American authors and artists. The award commemorates the late Martin Luther King, Jr., and his wife, Coretta Scott King. The awards committee names winners in three categories: Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award, Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Book Award, and Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award. Books that are selected “demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values.” To view previous years’ winners and honorees, https://www.ala.org/rt/emiert/cskbookawards.
John Newbery Medal:
First awarded in 1922, the Newbery Medal was the first book award for children’s literature in the world. Even today, it is still the most discussed and well-known award for authors of children’s literature. The award is named after John Newbery, an English publisher in the 18th century, that was perhaps the first to recognize that children’s literature could be a profitable venture. To be considered a candidate for the medal, an author must be an American citizen and their work published in the United States. The medal is awarded to the author of “the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children” in the previous year. Each year the committee names one medallion winner and normally includes several honor winners. To view the previous years’ winners and honorees, https://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/newbery.
Randolph Caldecott Medal:
Established in 1937, the Caldecott Medal was created to recognize and honor the artists/illustrators of children’s picture books. The Newbery Medal already recognized authors of juvenile literature and many felt artists/illustrators should also be recognized. Thus, this second medal was established. Like the Newbery, the Caldecott Medal winner must be an American citizen and their work published in the United States. The medal is awarded to the illustrator of “the most distinguished picture book of the year.” The award is named for Randolph Caldecott, who was a prominent illustrator in England in the 1800s. To view previous years’ winners and honorees, https://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/caldecott.
Michael L. Printz Award:
Named for a high school librarian that was active in YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association), a division of the ALA (American Library Association). The award is sponsored by Booklist, a publication of the ALA, and was established in 2000 to recognize a work that exemplifies excellence in young adult (teen) literature. Libraries had started separating children's fiction into juvenile fiction and young adult fiction. The creation of this award allowed for recognition of the young adult category. Unlike the Newbery and Caldecott medals, books previously published in other countries may be considered if an American edition has been published within the designated period. The committee names one winner and several honor winners as well. To view previous years’ winners and honorees, https://www.ala.org/yalsa/printz-award.
These are just a few of the honors that will be bestowed January 23-24, 2022. It is an annual event that many anxiously await. Count me among them as a librarian that is passionate about reading.