Beware of Open Manholes: An Interview with Daniel Handler

I had the opportunity to meet with Daniel Handler at the ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas last month to ask him a few questions about Intellectual Freedom and some other stuff.

Do you have a favorite banned and/or challenged book? What is it?

Well, Lolita is one of my favorite books in the world, so that would be my favorite in terms of the literary quality of the work being challenged. But the fact that there are forces keeping Lolita out of the hands of young people doesn’t sound like the most dire battle I’ve ever heard in my life. In my neighborhood in San Francisco, the closest library to me is the Castro branch which has a wide assortment of books for queer youth, both fiction and non-fiction. They always have a little flyer about how many times this has been challenged or where it’s been challenged and if you work at a table at the library, as I do, you see the number of people who check those books out, young people and their parents, and that’s what I think of when I thing of banned books; Books that are really crucial to someone who is trying to find their bearings, so that seems like a more poignant fight than Lolita. But if you ask me what my favorite banned book is, it’s not one of those.

What inspired the creation of “The Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faced with Adversity”?

I guess noble librarians faced with adversity and the fact that the success of the Snicket books has been driven by librarians all across our great country. The plight of librarians has been on my mind all the time. I visit countless libraries and the number of libraries that say “Everything is great, no one is giving us any problems” is pretty few and the number of libraries that say “We’re actually having a problem or two” is large. It literally feels to me that librarians put money into my hands, so to not put money into their hands seems rather silly. I’ve been a donor to libraries all over the place, but I felt like this prize was a fun way to single somebody out and certainly our first winner is a pretty amazing story. I’m sure we’re going to see a lot of amazing stories.

Librarians do face adversity every day and they have been known to try to protect themselves by guessing what their community is going to get upset about, by not buying a controversial title or tearing out pages. I just heard a story today about a school librarian who tore out page 36 of a particular book because she didn’t want kids to see what was on that page. What words of wisdom would you have for librarians who are tempted to censor in this way?

Words of wisdom? Gosh, now they have to be wise words! I have utter sympathy for librarians who are working diligently and sensitively with their community. I don’t have the temperament to be a librarian who would be challenged a lot on those sorts of issues. I would become short tempered and stubborn. I always like to hear the stories of librarians who are solving those problems through whatever means they can. I wouldn’t tear out page 36 of a book particularly if it sounds like the page isn’t worth tearing out, I don’t know what page would be worth tearing out, but I’m often not the best poster boy when banned book week comes along. When I was in middle school, if someone had asked me what I would like to see in the library, it would have been a lot of dirty magazines that would have been great. The fact that those aren’t widely available in the school libraries, I don’t find to be shameful censorship and so I think librarians have to make a lot of tough calls.

I attended the Guys Read event at ALA in 2012 where you read aloud the sex scene from The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love. Could you tell ALSC Blog readers about why you chose to do this?

My mother was going through bookshelves at my childhood home and she gave me this stack of books and said, “These were really your books and here they are.” They were kind of my favorite novels from age seventeen to twenty and I re-read them. One of them was The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love and I found to my amusement and surprise that all of the books that were my favorite books were filthy. And the thing is they were all high works of literature, not cheap trash at all. I was a serious reader by then. What I remember was, I really liked Robert Coover’s novel Gerald’s Party, but what I didn’t remember was there is a ton of sex in it. That was interesting to me. I was called on to be on this panel and talk about what guys want to read and I thought if you say one book that I think guys want to read would be The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love you might say “Why particularly that”, but if I read that scene you would think “Oh my god, that’s the truth”. I thought it would be fun to read it and to read it with no introduction whatsoever so people would think, “Oh my goodness what is this person saying.” Then I would say “HA! It’s from a Pulitzer prize winning book.” That was interesting to me.

Out in the audience, I observed that some librarians were extremely uncomfortable and some reacted quite emotionally to your reading. Did you hear from librarians after the event?

No, I certainly didn’t hear any complaints. Sexuality in literature is something that is interesting to me and I think that one of the things that we are concerned with is boys falling off the wagon of reading at a certain age and we know that this is a large slice of what they are interested in. And this is exactly the kind of book that gets pulled off the shelf, that’s interesting to me.

As an author, do you approach a book differently if it has a potentially controversial theme? Meaning, do you consider the censor as you write or re-write?

No. I don’t have much of a sense of what offends people, is what I’ve found out. So I don’t think I can second guess people at all. By far the most controversial thing that we’ve gotten letters about in A Series of Unfortunate Events is that there is a building demarcated in The Unauthorized Autobiography as “The Church of the Alleged Virgin”, which I just thought was funny. And they said, “How dare you say that Mary might not be a virgin?” and I say, “But alleged means you think it happened, right?” So the answer is: I don’t know what would offend people.

How much did you think about and or/discuss with your editor the use of the word “damn” in The Reptile Room?

There have been a few little challenges. There is a small sex joke in one of the other volumes. Challenges to Snicket have been small. It’s the other reason why I’m not a good poster boy for banned books. People assume that my books have been banned all over the place, but in fact it’s kind of here and there, very small. For instance, the use of the word damn in The Reptile Room comes with this long explanation about whether you should say the word damn or not and it concludes that you should not. It really couldn’t be a stronger object lesson on not using that language. There are many books I would challenge in terms of say, gender roles. I don’t know that I would challenge them as in take them off the shelves, but I would not push them towards my son.

Has an editor ever asked you to tone down a potentially controversial scene?

No, not my book editor. A couple of magazines have asked for Lemony Snicket pieces and then not been comfortable with them. It wasn’t because of outright sexuality; they weren’t comfortable with them at all. The Lump of Coal was originally commissioned for a magazine and they ended up kind of running it, but they didn’t like it at all and they couldn’t put their finger on what they didn’t like about it.

Tell me about the first time you heard that one of your books had been challenged.

Well the first time I heard about it was on a very early book tour and I was in Decatur, Georgia. I arrived at a school to do a school visit and I was met out front by a principal and the principal said, “We’ve canceled the school visit, because of the incest.” That was the first I’d heard of it, it’s a very jarring feeling to literally not be let in a building. I don’t mean to make it more dramatic than it was, but as a Jewish person, it kind of gets my dander up. It feels almost instinctual to me. It felt really awful, but I went to lunch with the people who were running the bookstore there at the time and they were full of stories about all the work that they have to do when books are challenged or banned for one reason or another. I was so new to children’s literature then that I didn’t really think about it being part of the job, but it’s a huge part of the job if you open a bookstore in Decatur, Georgia to be sensitive to what that community is going to be prickly about. I always thought, just have a bunch of books in your store and then you’re all done

Do you feel that the presence of censors has impacted the quality of writing for children?

What I actually think has impacted the quality of writing for children, maybe quality isn’t the right word, but what has impacted children’s writing in recent years is the influx of attention. I think that children’s writing for a long time was in kind of a ghetto in terms of public attention. The practitioners who came to it felt like they could do whatever they wanted to do because no one was paying attention. Now a lot of attention is being paid. Other writers I know have said that and I think that. The notion that you could sell a YA book on a pitch and get $500,000 had way more effect on what kind of YA is being written than any kind of censorship. The best writers who are tackling controversial topics are all doing fine. I haven’t heard anything about them giving up or hiding or anything like that. But I think the notion that this is something from which you could make a nice living has probably had more of an effect.

One problem that librarians are facing right now are the leveled reading programs currently used by many schools, which require children to read only titles at a particular reading level. I’ve seen books kids ripped out of kids’ hands “You can’t read that yet, it’s not on your level.” What are your thoughts on this?

I’m against it. I find it hard enough to see children’s literature and adult literature kept in different areas. For instance The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love which could find a wide readership for adolescents. Despite a very moving speech at a recent ALA, I don’t think it is being offered to teenagers. I have enough trouble with that. I think the reading level thing is pretty silly.

They put A Series of Unfortunate Events at 6th and 7th grade and kids are reading it much earlier than that.

It’s not noticeable, but we had a big push to put an age range on A Series of Unfortunate Events when it was first being published. My editor was against it. I didn’t know about children’s publishing at all so I said “Whatever they need to do on the back of the book, what do I care?” So what it says there is “10 up”, but it looks weird, it doesn’t say “ages recommended” or anything, so you might not know what that means. In one way I’m sympathetic because I think there are a lot of middle-schoolers [who want to read] A Series of Unfortunate Events and you don’t want to say “That’s a 4th grade book” to a 7th grader who wants to read it. So it works that way too. In general the categories seem pretty silly to me.

I heard there is a drink called the “Lemony Snicket”, what is in it?

There are many drinks called the “Lemony Snicket”. The original “Lemony Snicket” was made [because] my friends had an overactive lemon tree and this was before I was writing books as Lemony Snicket, it was just kind of a name that was bumming around with me and my friends. We had a bottle of white rum and we just did like a mash of lemons in the bottom of it and we would just put in rum and soda. There are all kinds of “Lemony Snickets” now and rum is no longer my go-to hard liquor so I don’t like to spread the original “Lemony Snicket” around.

So what’s your favorite “Lemony Snicket”?

I like a “Lemony Snicket” that has a little brandy, bitters and lemon. That’s what I like.

Anything else you want to tell the ALSC Blog readers?

Beware of open manholes.

Heather Acerro, Chair of the ALSC Intellectual Freedom Committee

Posted in ALA Annual 2014, Author Spotlight, Awards & Scholarships, Blogger Heather Acerro, Blogger Intellectual Freedom Committee, Books, Conferences/Meetings/Institutes, Intellectual Freedom | Leave a comment

Making a Difference Together

Can I tell you about the best thing I’ve ever done? I stood up in a Youth Services meeting and asked for help.

In the fall of 2012, by chance I’d learned about a seasonal shelter for homeless families within our service area. The Road Home’s Community Winter Shelter, I’d heard, was a converted warehouse; instead of storing bags of onions or drums of chemicals, we stored people. Appalling description, isn’t it? I didn’t know how much community support the Road Home has, or what a wonderful organization it is, and I certainly didn’t know that The Road Home is a nationally recognized leader in rapid rehousing. I just knew I wanted to do something to promote early literacy to families.

I drafted a proposal suggesting that we do weekly early literacy storytimes in the shelter and submitted it to my branch manager and our administrator. We secured approval from the shelter, and then I took the project to our youth services committee. I was nervous, but I knew I couldn’t do it alone: I have neither the off-desk time nor the emotional resources to visit the shelter myself every week. I braced myself and asked my fellow librarians for help.

How did it go? Easiest sell ever. I stood up, described the shelter, told my peers what I wanted to do, and how to sign up. I sat down, and my colleagues stepped up. Last season, twenty librarians visited the shelter to donate books and present early literacy storytimes at the family shelter. We presented 33 storytimes and donated hundreds of books. The work is hard, but rewarding. I’ll always be grateful I found the courage to ask my colleagues for help.

Tips for Working with Homeless Children & Families

  • Understand that these families live in chaotic circumstances.
    • Our goal is to engage the children as future readers and library users.
    • Some days the most valuable thing we accomplish is giving the parents a break so they can go take a shower.
  • Children living in unstructured environments often deal with the extra pressures they face by trying to control their environment. We try to be especially patient with kids who act out.
  • Many children in the shelter are not used to group activities, and are easily distracted.
    • We plan storytimes that are shorter, with more music and gross motor activities.
    • We accept that some kids can’t focus. It is OK to let those children play with toys while we focus our attention on other children who are engaged in the storytime.
  • Listen to the parents’ concerns and reinforce that you understand they want to help their kids get ready to read.
  • Parents appreciate having something to look forward to. We schedule our programs in advance and promote them with posters.

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Our guest blogger today is Heather Novotny.  Heather is a Senior Librarian, Children’s Outreach & Programming, at Salt Lake County Library Services.

Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.

If you’d like to write a guest post for the ALSC Blog, please contact Mary Voors, ALSC Blog manager, at alscblog@gmail.com.

Posted in Guest Blogger, Outreach | 2 Comments

Learning From Other Professions

I grew up singing, dancing and storytelling. My mom is an elementary music teacher, so music and movement have always been part of my life. So it’s a natural course for me to include a lot of music and movement in my storytimes.

My mom had been telling me about a method of teaching music known as Orff, which is a way to include music, movement, and drama in your teaching. She would tell me about the fun activities she would do in her music classroom and I would immediately think of how I could adapt it and use it at the library. So when the chance came up last month to attend a music workshop with my mom that was being facilitated by two leading Orff educators, Artie Almeida and Denise Gagne, I jumped at the chance.

I was a librarian in a room full of music educators, yet I felt at home. Here was a three day workshop on creative movement and singing, using dramas to tell stories, choreographed parachute routines, clapping and rhyming games, playing instruments and so much more. I came away from the workshop feeling energized and excited about using music and movement in my storytimes.

I took a few tips from what I learned from the workshop and applied them to storytime this past week. Before I got out my rhythm sticks, I explained exactly what I was going to have the preschoolers do, demonstrated what they would do, and had them practice several times before I passed out the sticks. Then the preschoolers accompanied me as I read Tap, Tap, Boom, Boom by Elizabeth Bluemle and played along to Tap Your Sticks by Hap Palmer. At my library dance party, I had the kids choreograph a parachute routine to Let It Go-as the music came to a crescendo, our parachute got larger. As the music was faster we shook the parachute quickly and slowed it down as the music became slower. These are simple things to incorporate into my programs and took what I was already doing and made them even better.

Attending the music educator workshop made me wonder why children’s librarians don’t collaborate more with other professions. We share a lot of similarities with elementary music teachers and could learn a lot from each other. I’m hoping to get involved in my local Orff chapter and learn more music and movement ideas. I hope to build a great collaboration between the library and my local music teachers and build on the music and movement programs I’m already doing. I think partnering with other professions and learning from their experts is a great way to expand our knowledge and also promote what we’re doing in the library.

So I encourage you to go out and meet your local music teacher! And collaborate with other professions to see what you can learn. And if you get a chance, attend an Orff workshop-they’re a lot of fun!

 

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Speaking Their Language

Several months ago, I wrote a post that I titled Engaging Parents After Storytime which was all about how to encourage parents to do activities together at home that would re-enforce storytime and early literacy skills.

A couple of commenters mentioned that they thought the article might address how to talk to parents/caregivers. And I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about that question and am prepared to offer some tips from a non-parent perspective!

Talk about the babies/children.

While I don’t have my own adorable anecdotes or years of experience to share, guess who does? The parents and caregivers in my storytimes. Before storytime formally begins (I open the door five minutes before start time) and after storytime formally ends, I spent a lot of time talking with the adults about the milestones I see have happened or are about to happen.

“Oh, I see that [baby] is working on sitting up — good job, [baby] and [caregiver]!”

This often results in other adults chiming in on their own experiences with milestones, creating a community share. If you don’t know the suggested ages for milestones, you can do some research to catch up. I do not emphasize where a baby “should” be and instead focus on providing information for parents/caregivers who ask development questions after storytime.

Talk about activities/library.

I can give you a ton of conversation starters for this heading:

Image courtesy of the author, originally posted on Instagram.

An interactive wall panel from PLA, available from The Burgeon Group.
[Image courtesy of the author, originally posted on Instagram.]

“[Baby] really enjoyed when we played The Shape Game today. Did you see these books on shapes?”

“I saw your family’s picture at Family Night. Did you know about our upcoming event this Thursday?”

“It’s great to see you together working on this puzzle!”

“[Child], you have the letter H in your hand. Let’s name things that start with ‘H’ together with your grown-up, okay?”

“I missed you last week! The theme was farm — here are the books we read since you were at the doctor’s.”

I talk about activities and the library to further connect parents to the library and its resources. Since we are all well-versed on what our libraries have to offer — this kind of conversation should come naturally!

Talk about common interests.

Just like you would do with anyone else in the world — be aware of your surroundings and talk about what you notice. I gain a lot of my information from the clothes the children come dressed in! I had one child dressed in a sports team jersey one day. That led to an easy conversation about the team’s standings in the play-offs. Just a few weeks ago, another child was dressed in a Muggle shirt and I got to have a great conversation with a parent & huge Harry Potter fan!

I’ve also noticed what books & DVDs are tucked in the diaper bags or in the bottom of the stroller. I’ve heard parents humming popular songs. I’ve even noticed dog hair on my pants and started talking about pets — anything I can do to make a personal connection with a parent!

Talk about what everyone has been reading.

We’re librarians, after all, aren’t we? If there’s a moment where you need an icebreaker, it’s easy to ask what everyone has recently read. That includes picture books and adult books, too! Be prepared to offer suggestions for the newest board books for your babies and read-a-likes for all.

Talk about relevant current events.

Like the recent New York Times article about the American Association of Pediatrics preparing to recommend reading from birth.

Or the amazing article from Mashable that Renee Grassi linked me to this past week about 3D printing being used to create raised illustrations of classic picture books for the blind.

Or stay up-to-date on baby product recalls — an invaluable resource for parents.

Where do you find articles like this? Twitter is a great suggestion. Or watching the news once a week. My favorite suggestion is reading the headlines online — People magazine does a daily round up on its Moms and Babies page that includes both celebrity news and parenting articles.

Talk about the weather and seasons.

This might not be as fun if you don’t live in Chicago, land of crazy weather and temperamental season changes. But I’ve never had parents laugh so hard as when we’re commiserating about the third straight day of torrential rain or the sudden fifty degree weather in July.

A thank-you card from a parent after storytime session.  [Courtesy of the author, originally posted on Instagram.]

A thank-you card from a parent after storytime session.
[Courtesy of the author, originally posted on Instagram.]


Building these relationships with the parents and caregivers has given me so much back — hugs and colored pictures and thank-you cards and a wonderful sense of community and belonging. I hope employing all or some of these techniques will help you make personal connections with your storytime adults. Do you have any other ideas to share? Let me know in the comments!

(And a special thanks to Jennifer and Awnali for the great blog post idea!)

- Katie Salo
Early Literacy Librarian
Indian Prairie Public Library
http://storytimekatie.com

Posted in Blogger Katie Salo, Storytime | Leave a comment

Book to Film: Coraline

Tomorrow marks the return of my favorite program we offer at the library: R.W.D., or Read, Watch, Discuss! I’ve written about my book-to-film club previously, but tomorrow kicks off our special summer session. First up: Neil Gaiman’s Coraline!

coraline3Oh, how I adore this book. I was always a fan of plucky heroines (and heroes!) and books that made me afraid to fall asleep. Coraline is all of those things and more. I read it as an adult first, but I know I would have loved it as a child, fan as I was of Betty Ren Wright and The House With a Clock in Its Walls. Coraline tells a remarkably creepy story – remarkable because it feels like something that really could happen, especially if one lives in a creeky old house with eccentric neighbors and parents who love you but don’t really have any time for you. The writing is wonderfully evocative, the tension nearly unbearable, and our heroine is fond of thoughts like, “Coraline wondered why so few of the adults she met ever made sense. She sometimes wondered who they thought they were talking to.” What’s not to love?

The film has two key differences from the book. First, there is the inclusion of a friend, Wyborn, whose grandmother’s sister was also taken by the Other Mother. Giving Coraline someone to talk to was a smart choice, as most of the book involves her inner monologue. I just wish Coraline was still allowed her solo, triumphant final defeat of the other Mother by the well, without the help of the added boy character.

Movie Coraline, blue hair and wellies at the ready.

Movie Coraline, blue hair and wellies at the ready.

The second major change is Coraline herself. Film Coraline, as voiced by Dakota Fanning, can be more than a little obnoxious, a choice by the filmmakers that I both respect (not too many borderline-unlikeable protagonists in a movie for kids) and dislike (borderline-unlikeable!) simultaneously. The personality change is jarring, especially since her literary counterpart is a slightly strange, mostly polite and good child.

What the film gets deliciously, marvelously correct is the eerie sense of dread that pervades Coraline’s world. Even when Coraline first visits the Other Mother, you can tell (to quote another famous literary mother figure) “Something is not right!”

Coraline is placed in her magical surroundings in this still from Animation Magazine. http://www.animationmagazine.net/features/coraline-set-photos/

Coraline is placed in her magical surroundings in this still from Animation Magazine. http://www.animationmagazine.net/features/coraline-set-photos/

 

And of course, there’s the animation itself. The Other Mother’s hand, skittering across the screen, is literally the stuff nightmares are made of. When Coraline first arrives, the seemingly perfect world is warm and colorful, with just the right touch of menace added by crooked shapes and gaping mouths. The character design is wonderfully evocative. Coraline is all spindly limbs and blue hair. Mr. Bobinsky’s anatomically impossible elongated arms and giant potbelly are the picture of someone gone to seed. The Other Mother goes from perfectly normal to hellish and creepy. When the world begins to disintegrate, the creators literally peel away the sets in front of our eyes. It’s marvelous stuff.

The beauty of the film is what wins me over to Coraline despite changes from the source material. We’ll see what the kids at my library think this afternoon!

Posted in Blogger Elisabeth Gattullo Marrocolla, Books, Children's Literature (all forms), Evaluation of Media | 2 Comments

Experience the Book & Media Award Acceptance Speeches

ALSC Award Acceptance Speeches

ALSC Award Acceptance Speeches (image courtesy ALSC)

The 2014 ALSC book and media award acceptance speeches evoked plenty of emotion. Some were funny and warm. Some were emotional and informative. You can read them yourself on the ALSC website! Download a copy of the PDF of each of the speeches:

You can also watch reaction videos from the 2014 ALA Youth Media Award winnersVideos of the award speech presentations and inspiration videos that concluded the banquet will be posted soon.

Posted in ALA Annual 2014, Author Spotlight, Blogger Dan Rude | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Let’s talk public awareness.

Hello, friends and fellow ALSC members. I want to introduce myself to you: I’m Amy Koester, and I am the new chair of the ALSC Public Awareness Committee.

In case you’re not particularly familiar with this committee, allow me to share its charge:

To promote awareness of the value of excellent library service for all children. To plan, execute, coordinate, and disseminate public awareness campaigns about the importance of library service for youth. To provide public awareness learning opportunities for library staff and other stakeholders.

Over the course of this next year, this committee will be working to expand public awareness of the excellent services that libraries offer to children and their families. That means any and all services–including those that we as professionals consider to be widely known.

I want to encourage you to think for a moment about the community you serve. Not just the folks who visit and use the library, but the community at large. Thinking about that community, ask yourselves some questions. Do all families in your community:

  • know how to get a library card? Do they understand what free services come with library card ownership?
  • know they can bring their children to the library for free programs?
  • understand that the library is a resource and partner for the development of their young children?
  • recognize that the library has materials that reflect and celebrate diversity, so no matter what their family looks like, they can feel welcome?

These are just a few questions we can start to ask ourselves when we step back from our day-to-day work and consider what, in fact, the public is aware of when it comes to library service for children. It is the work of myself and this committee to do everything we can to help bring awareness–and to help you bring awareness in your communities–to what the library can offer.

In conjunction with that work, you’ll continue to see monthly posts from the committee here on the ALSC Blog. We aim to make these posts as useful to you as possible, so if you have particular areas of library service that you’d like your public to be more aware of, I hope you’ll share those ideas in the comments. Or, if you’d rather engage in a more private conversation, feel free to email me at amy(dot)e(dot)koester(at)gmail(dot)com.

Chances are, if folks in your community don’t know about something the library offers, then folks in other communities are missing out, too. And we don’t want families and children to miss out on these excellent, vital library services just because they don’t know about them.

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Amy Koester is a Children’s Librarian with the St. Charles City-County Library District and is writing this post for the Public Awareness Committee.
 
Posted in Blogger Public Awareness Committee | 1 Comment

Inclusion of ALSC Award Titles on the Notable Children’s Book List

Occasionally ALSC members wonder why ALSC award titles are automatically added to our list of Notable Books for Children. The ALSC Board periodically considers issues such as this to make sure we’re shepherding our awards and lists of recommended media appropriately. At its Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, the ALSC Board reaffirmed the policy that all award and honor books chosen by ALSC book award committees will be automatically included on our Notable Books list. I am writing as a member of the Board because we wanted to share a summary of our discussion and thinking.

It was the consensus of the Board that the Notables list represents our division and, as such, should include the books cited by our award committees. Although some have argued that the Notables list should only include titles chosen by the Notable Books Committee itself, the Board sees the list as a cooperative effort between the Notables Committee and the awards committees. When members accept appointment to the Notables Committee, they do so with the understanding that the award titles, as specified in the Notables Manual, will be included on the final list.

It has also been suggested that including the award titles limits the number of books the Notables Committee can cite on its own. This is not at all the case. The Notables Manual does not specify a maximum number of titles for the Notables list. Clearly some Notables chairs prefer a shorter list than others, and some years produce more outstanding books than others, but the inclusion of award titles in no way limits the number of books the Notables Committee can add to its list.

This policy only applies to books honored by the ALSC award committees – Newbery, Caldecott, Batchelder, Belpré, Geisel, and Sibert. The Board respects the significance and value of other ALA youth book awards; only the ALSC award books, however, will be automatically included since these are the books chosen by our division’s members on our division’s committees. The Notables list on our website will include links to the other ALA youth book awards.

We welcome responses to this policy from our members.

Rita Auerbach on behalf of the ALSC Board

Posted in ALA Annual 2014, ALSC Board, Awards & Scholarships, Books, Children's Literature (all forms), Evaluation of Media | Leave a comment