Many youth librarians dream of being on a state or national committee that selects the best book, media or digital content annually for kids 0-18. Many also wonder how do I get there?
1. Read (listen) widely and deeply in youth literature.
2. Join the professional organization that sponsors the award (WLA, ALA, NCTE, USBBY, etc)
3. Be active in that organization; don't just push to get on the award committees.
4. Volunteer to review books for SLJ or VOYA. It's good practice to develop your critical eye.
5. Own and take to heart KT Horning's excellent From Cover to Cover: Evaluating and Reviewing Children's Books.
6. Practice discussing books (and remember discussion is as much about listening as talking). Attend book discussions like the CCBC's monthly book discussions one Wednesday of the month 3:30-5:30 pm (the next one is Wed August 24). Click on this link to read about and get the booklist.
7. Attend the WLA Conference program: Librarian Dreaming - Serving on a Book Award Committee on Thursday Oct 27 1:45-2:30 in Milwaukee to learn more. Conference registration opens soon!
Sue Abrahamson, Waupaca Area Public Library, Waupaca; Karli Pederson, Milwaukee Public Library; Shawn Brommer, South Central Library System, Madison
Ever wonder what it's like to serve on a youth book award committee? This panel will feature Wisconsin librarians currently serving on state and national youth book award committees who will share their experiences and offer information on how to be selected for an award committee, how to prepare for serving and what the process is like. Q and A to follow.
What other suggestions do you have? Please share!