Late in August, the YALSA Board voted to approve Board Document 33. For a two-year pilot period, the Margaret A. Edwards Award Celebration will be moved from its current iteration as an event at the Annual Conference to the YALSA Symposium, beginning at the November, 2019 Symposium in Memphis, TN.
The Margaret A. Edwards Award, established in 1988, honors 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 is administered by YALSA and sponsored by School Library Journal magazine. It recognizes an author’s work in helping adolescents become aware of themselves and addressing questions about their role and importance in relationships, society, and in the world. The Edwards award celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2018.
The rationale for this change is outlined in Board Document 33. By moving the Edwards Celebration from Annual to the YALSA Symposium, we believe that there will be a greater focus on the accomplishment made by the winner of the prestigious award. Having the Edwards Celebration among so many other options at the Annual Conference can create difficulties for those wanting to attend but unable, whether due to timing or cost of multiple ticketed events. Another benefit to moving the Edwards Celebration to the Symposium is the addition of the Member Awards to this event. We would like to highlight the significant accomplishments of members and invite them to be celebrated in an appropriate venue. We have received the endorsement of School Library Journal in piloting the changes to the event.
Related to this, back in February, the YALSA Board had approved a proposal to eliminate the requirement for an author to accept the Edwards Award in person as a condition of the award. School Library Journal also endorsed this change.
A group will be formed in the coming months to explore the best ways to enact these changes and plan an event befitting the Edwards and Member Awards recipients.
Happy September! Are you a member of YALSA and would like to serve on one of the Book Award committees? Click on the Committee Volunteer Form (found under Sign Up to Participate). If you apply, be sure to indicate any previous experience you have with book discussion groups, award or selection list skills, and/or review writing. I will be looking for a diverse field of potential appointees for each award committee comprised of members with varying levels of experience.
As a reminder, all of the YALSA Book Award committee members are appointed beginning with the 2020 awards, based on a membership ballot decision. Appointments will be made in October, so you must volunteer no later than September 30 to be considered. Members will serve a one year term beginning Feb. 1, 2019.
The six award committees are:
Consider being selective in your choices: although you are able to select all of the committees on the form, I will be able to better gauge specific interest if you do not choose them all (or even most of them). Before the form, please be sure to review the resources on this web page to make sure that committee work is a good fit for you.
Finally, please remember that this is a substantial obligation; in many cases, you will be reading or listening to up to hundreds of titles in 2019 to determine the best of the best. Bear in mind when deciding whether or not to volunteer if the obligations of your personal & professional lives can also include this major commitment.
I thank everyone in advance for their desire and interest in volunteering to serve on these prestigious committees. Due to the limited allotted spots available, not everyone will receive the opportunity to serve.
Todd Krueger, YALSA President-Elect
Have you wanted to get involved in YALSA but don’t know where to start? Are you a committee pro but don’t have the time to commit to a full-year term? Are you a YALSA member who likes a shorter-term volunteer opportunity?
Member award juries and short-term groups may be just what you are looking for! Juries work for just 3 months, and short-term groups work for 6 months. What does a jury do? They vet applications for a particular member grant or award and choose a winner. Short term groups focus on completing a specific job.
Juries (3-month appointment, starting Nov. 1; 4-month appointment for chairs, starting Oct. 1)
Short Term Groups
The jury and short-term group volunteer window is open until August 1. Use this form to volunteer! If you have been appointed to a group you will receive an official invitation from YALSA’s Membership Marketing Manager, Letitia Smith, some time in Sept. You will not hear anything from YALSA in Aug. If invited to serve, accept your place on the group by responding to the email and be ready to jump in when you hear from the chair.
Thanks for all the time and talent you volunteer to YALSA! If you’re looking for other ways to get involved, visit the YALSA web site for more opportunities!
If you have questions, feel free to get in touch with me (email@example.com).
Todd Krueger, YALSA President-Elect