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.
This week we are focusing on the 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 Diane Tuccillo. Name and current position: Diane P. Tuccillo, Teen Services Librarian, Poudre River Public Library District, Fort Collins, CO–where I have been working since 2007
Why did you decide to run for a YALSA selection committee?
I’ve always dreamed of serving on the Edwards Committee as a culmination of my long and dedicated career working with teens, books, and reading.
In a nutshell, what will you bring to the committee?
Many years of experience reading, reviewing, booktalking, and promoting and sharing books with teens and colleagues! I can keenly and fairly evaluate all genres of teen literature and I’m very familiar with its history.
What experience do you have with materials selection and evaluation?
24+ years practical experience with YA collection development in libraries; teaching YA lit and acquisition at several universities. I’ve reviewed books for School Library Journal since 1980 and reviewed for VOYA from 1980-2008.
What makes you a good fit for this committee in particular?
I’m familiar with YA lit from the ’60s til now- from reading as a teen myself, through my years as an English teacher, and my longstanding YA services career. I have a strong knowledge of YA lit’s roots.
How do you plan to manage the reading load required by selection committee participation?
I like to savor books, but I can read and comprehend very fast when necessary- rereading the most important books under consideration slowly and carefully, though!
What have been some of your favorite past winners of this particular award?
All past winners are impressive. Some of my favorites are Robert Cormier, Lois Duncan, Judy Blume, Gary Paulsen, Jacqueline Woodson, Lois Lowry, and Laurie Halse Anderson.
What books should have won the award, but didn’t?
Tough question. There are several authors who may not yet have won the award, but who might still come under consideration: John Green, Robin McKinley, Will Hobbs, Sarah Dessen, M.T. Anderson.
What else do voters need to know about you?
I love the hard work and deliberations that come with being on a book award committee. I also work directly with teens in the library. I know what books connect with them–an important consideration for Edwards.
This interview was cross-posted on The Hub and The YALSAblog.