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 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 Jeanette Larson.

Name and current position: Jeanette Larson, retired from Austin Public Library but I remain active by teaching for Texas Woman’s University and as a freelance consultant and trainer

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

I have the time to devote to this important responsibility. The Edwards committee is kind of a culmination point for my career and one of the banner committees on which I’d like to serve.

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

Longevity in the profession. The Edwards Award honors lasting achievement and it takes time spent reading YA lit and working with teens to have the perspective necessary for this award.

What experience do you have with materials selection and evaluation?

Served on Newbery, Nonfiction Award, Morris Award, and BBYA. Wrote 3rd ed of CREW: A Weeding Manual for Modern Libraries; regularly published in Book Links; reviewed for SLJ and Booklist for many years.

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

Years of experience reading and getting to know authors and teens. I’ve also served on several other selection committees and committees that select “lifetime” achievement honorees.

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

I am semi-retired and have the time to devote to the reading required. My experience on other selection committees has taught me good techniques for time management, record keeping, and note taking.

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

I like many authors who have been honored. I’m thrilled Laurie Halse Anderson won because her work is so varied and she’s such a strong proponent of YA lit.

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

I’m not sure I should answer this, since I can think of several authors I hope will be honored over the next years.

What else do voters need to know about you?

I love being a librarian in part because of wonderful books and the fabulous authors. I would be honored to be elected to give out YALSA’s “Nobel Prize.”

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

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