Hello all!

The Odyssey Award for Audiobook Excellence held its first meetings during the recent ALA conference in DC. As chair of the committee, I want everyone to know about this exciting new youth award, a joint project of both ALSC & YALSA, recognizing the best in audiobooks created for listeners ages birth to eighteen. Next January, one Odyssey winner and possible honors will be named along with the Newbery, Caldecott, Sibert, and Printz Awards. We believe it is essential for ALSC and YALSA to provide the same level of support for this nonprint format that they have historically provided for print materials, by creating an annual award for the best audiobooks in the field. We believe that by doing so, ALSC and YALSA can not only assist their members to better serve their library patrons, but also raise the profile and standards of audiobooks by having those honored serve as models toward which all audio producers can aspire.

Please help us publicize the new award, and do your part by sending me any field nominations for titles that you feel are worthy of this honor. As a first-year committee, we do not have an official form, so please include the following information: Author, Producer, Copyright Date, Price, ISBN, and brief annotation with your rationale for nominating. The title must be released for children or young adults (birth-18) between Oct 1, 2006 & Oct. 1, 2007 and be distributed in the United States, allowing for English-language submissions produced in other countries. Field nominations must be seconded by a committee member. Learn more about the Odyssey Award criteria here: http://tinyurl.com/2nv6ft

Need more information about audiobooks? Listen to the podcast of a session at ALA’s Annual Meeting titled “Celebrating Excellence in Audiobooks for Children and Young Adults” featuring Bruce Coville, Judy Blume, John Green, and Jack Gantos sharing their experiences with audiobooks. You’ll get great ideas on promoting audiobooks, as well as some fascinating anecdotes & good laughs. Here’s the link: http://tinyurl.com/2kbwkl

And here’s a great example of audiobooks reaching mainstream acceptance: Wendy’s adds audiobooks to kids’ meals. Read the full article at http://tinyurl.com/3c9a26 I plan to write Wendy’s and thank them for including children’s literature audiobooks as a healthy choice in their kid’s meals. The next time you are grabbing a bite on the go, stop at Wendy’s and get a new, free, audiobook for your collection!

Happy Listening!

Mary Burkey, chair
2008 Odyssey Award Committee


About Mary Burkey

Mary Burkey is a middle school teacher-librarian, audiobook addict, and author of Book Links Magazine's audiobook column "Voices in My Head."

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