Are you excited about the YALSA elections? They are coming up soon (March 19th-April 27th), and your participation is vital! This is your chance to help determine the who will be deciding on those books featured in our wonderful awards in the next few years. Many positions are appointed, but three lists rely on elections to fully populate them. This year the positions open on the YALSA awards slate are (the full slate with candidates is available on the YALSAblog):
- Margaret A Edwards
- Excellence in Nonfiction
- Michael L. Printz
While you are no doubt very familiar with the awards themselves, you might be less familiar with what is expected of the folks serving on those committees.
â€¢’ Margaret A. Edwards: The five year member selection committee will serve an 18 month term. The committee will be responsible for the final selection of the recipient of the Award. The committee making its selection of nominees must be aware of the entire range of books for young adults and will take into account the following:
o Does the book(s) help adolescents to become aware of themselves and to answer their questions about their role and importance in relationships, society and in the world?
o Is the book(s) of acceptable literary quality?
o Does the book(s) satisfy the curiosity of young adults and yet help them thoughtfully to build a philosophy of life?
o Is the book(s) currently popular with a wide range of young adults in many different parts of the country?
o Do the book(s) serve as a “window to the world” for young adults?
Committee members are expected to attend three conferences (two for meetings, one for the award luncheon celebrating their chosen author).
â€¢ Excellence in Nonfiction: The Committee shall consist of a chair, eight members, a Booklist consultant, and an administrative assistant if the Chair requests. Members serve a fifteen month term with a possible extension depending on the timing of the award ceremony. Committee members will begin reading titles to be published beginning November 1 of that year. The announcement of winners will take place at the Midwinter fifteen months from that point. All members are required to attend all Award Committee meetings held during the selection process.
â€¢ Michael L. Printz: The Committee shall consist of a chair, eight members, a consultant from the staff of Booklist, and an administrative assistant if the Chair requests. Members serve 17-month terms beginning February 1 and ending June 30 of the following year. All members are required to attend all Printz Committee meetings held during the selection process.
For each of these positions experience with book evaluation and committee experience are required. Award committee members should have strong critical thinking skills, be good at time management, be able to communicate effectively, and have high ethical standards.
As you determine who you will vote for in 2012, keep these roles, duties, and skills in mind. You can read more about each position in the Committees section of the YALSA website.