YALSA Election: An Interview with Edwards Award Committee Candidate Jan Chapman

Get ready to vote! The YALSA election runs from March 19 through April 25, and to help you be an informed voter, we’re sharing interviews with each of the 2014 candidates for YALSA Award Committees.YALSA_173x79

This week we are focusing on Margaret A. Edwards Award Committee, which honors an author, as well as a specific body of his or her work, for significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature.

Candidates, who will be presented in alphabetical order, were asked to craft “Twitter-length” responses (i.e. around 140 characters). Full biographical information on all of the candidates can be found on the sample ballot.

Today we have an interview with Jan Chapman. Name and current position: Jan Hornbeck Chapman, Teen Librarian, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Strongsville Branch

Why did you decide to run for a YALSA selection committee?

I’ve served on other YALSA selection committees (Printz & OBCB)- truly a highlight of my career! Reading wonderful books, discussing with peers, and rewarding deserving author(s). What could be better?

In a nutshell, what will you bring to the committee?

I will bring my enthusiasm and passion for the work of the committee. I’ll also bring my many years of experience in reading and evaluating YA literature to the table.

What experience do you have with materials selection and evaluation?

I’ve selected and purchased materials for the teen collection at the libraries where I have worked. I’ve also reviewed for VOYA for 14 years and am an online reviewer for ALAN PICKS.

What makes you a good fit for this committee in particular?

I believe that I have demonstrated that I am able to be a strong voice on a committee, but also someone who is able to see another point of view.

How do you plan to manage the reading load required by selection committee participation?

I’ll just let my husband, two dogs, and two cats know that they’re on their own! Seriously, I have found a method of pacing a large reading load so I am not overwhelmed at the last minute.

What have been some of your favorite past winners of this particular award?

I love the work of Ursula K. Le Guin, Jacqueline Woodson, Tamora Pierce and Laurie Halse Anderson.

What books should have won the award, but didn’t?

Two names that come to mind are Sarah Dessen and Scott Westerfeld.

What else do voters need to know about you?

I love what I do as a teen librarian and I’m a tireless advocate of YA lit. If elected, I’ll work hard to bring my passion and experience to the committee’s deliberations. Thank you for considering me!

This interview was cross-posted on The Hub and the YALSAblog.

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