The ALA Youth Media Awards #alayma12 were held in a real theater this year, complete with cushy seats. This meant that as each award was announced, not only did the huge space resound with cheers and shrieks and applause, but also librarians were literally bouncing in their seats with excitement. The theater was a pulsating mass of passionate book lovers. The Academy Awards would be SO much more interesting if that audience were this passionate and raucous!
The award announcements aren’t just the end of a long year of hard work by the award committees. They herald the beginning of an exciting time when the award books are handed over to all librarians, teachers, and booksellers. Now we have a fresh batch of exciting books to use in our never-ending quest to encourage reading and great books for kids.
So now that we’ve recovered from the dizzying drama of the awards announcement, let’s get to work. Make displays of the award winners, offer to booktalk them at schools and community organizations, discuss them in book clubs for kids or adults, build programs around them – and of course hand them to kids, parents, and teachers at every opportunity. By promoting the big children’s literature awards, we are promoting all books for children.
I dream of a day when not just librarians but children, parents and teachers are bouncing in their seats as the Youth Media Awards are announced!