In February we are posting interviews with each of the 2012 Candidates for YALSA’ Award Committees. This week we are focusing on the’ Margaret A. Edwards Award’ Committee. Each day this week we’ll post an interview with one of the candidates for’ that committee. We are posting alphabetically by candidate’s last names.

The YALSA Nominating Committee for 2012 has been working hard to select candidates’ for this year’s election. The Edwards Committee is charged with honoring an author, as well as a specific body of his or her work, for significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature. The annual award recognizes an author whose book or books, over a period of time, have been accepted by young adults as an authentic voice that continues to illuminate their experiences and emotions, giving insight into their lives. The book or books should enable them to understand themselves, the world in which they live, and their relationship with others and with society. To see more about this committee, please see their policies and procedures’ here. Committee size: 5, three to be elected, plus two appointed by the YALSA President-Elect.

This is your chance to get to know this year’s candidates that have been nominated to’ serve on the Edwards Committee.

Barbara Moon is a candidate for the Margaret A. Edwards Award Committee.

What experience do you have that makes you a good candidate for the award position for which you are running?
I have had the honor of serving as a member of the Odyssey Award Committee and the Great Graphic Novels for Teens Selection Committee. In my current position as a Youth Services Consultant, I regularly read and review young adult literature.

Why do you want to be a member of this awards committee?
I look forward to the Margaret A. Edwards Award announcement each year and have been excited about each committee’s selection. I have had the opportunity to hear many of the award winners speak, both at the annual conference and in other venues. These authors’ works reflect many of the qualities of fine YA literature.

What are you most looking forward to in being a part of this award decision process?
Literature for young adults is vibrant and exciting. It would be an honor to meet with other professionals who share an appreciation for the outstanding contributions that have been made to this field.

What do you feel are the key factors for decision-making for this award?
From my experience, the key factors in the decision-making process are: a focus on the purpose and criteria for the award as outline by YALSA, a committee chair who is skillfully oversees the process, and committee members who are willing to work together and remain open to additional points of view.

The reading load for awards committees is very high, how do you plan on managing the work load of award committee life?
My past experiences have been that it is best to stay on top of the reading, and if possible front-load the work. Extenuating circumstances often arise, but if I stay current on reading, when unexpected emergencies come up, they can be overcome.

What have you learned from past experiences on awards, juries, or other YALSA committees that you will bring with you to this committee?
I have learned to evaluate literature according to a specific set of guidelines. I have become more focused in my reading and use of time in order to accomplish the tasks of the committee. I have enjoyed meeting so many interesting and diverse individuals, who offer me fresh perspectives.

In your experience how has the YALSA Awards and Selected Lists helped you as a librarian or made your work better or easier or different than expected?
I have learned so much! I am continually amazed at the incredible people who work in this field. They have been kind enough to offer me advice and support long after the committee work is complete. ‘ I treasure those professional as well as personal relationships.

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