Evaluation of Media

Notable Children’s Recordings – a year in the life of a committee

As I sit here writing this, I realize that we are 14 weeks away from Midwinter! That seems like such a long period of time, but also like it is so soon. It means I am only 14 weeks away from my term as chair of Notable Children’s Recordings ending :’( But I also only have 14 weeks to finish all of the listening 😮 It’s a real rollercoaster of emotion over here.

What has the committee accomplished so far, in our nearly 11 months of work? We have listened to over 1100 hours of recordings – both audiobooks and musical CDs. We discussed 22 titles at our Annual meeting. In order to be eligible for the Notable Children’s Recordings list, recordings must have been released between Nov 1 2016 and Oct 31 2017 – so that means that anything not yet published is not eligible for this year’s list. It feels like we are making it through milestones left and right…and yet, there is still so much to do. We have to finish listening to eligible recordings. We have to compare submissions to best-of and end-of-year lists to be sure that we have done our due diligence in seeking out the best of children’s recordings released this year. We have to listen to titles that have been nominated by our fellow committee members. We have to compile our final discussion list and go through for a second listen to items that aren’t as fresh in our minds. We have to actually get to Denver and spend 3 full days discussing, analyzing, and voting on our final list. Whew!

If you have heard something amazing this year, the Notable Children’s Recordings committee wants to hear from you! We are still seeking suggestions from ALSC members (current, individual) of new children’s recordings that they have enjoyed this year. But before you jump on your email and send me your suggestions, please take a peek at the eligibility details and criteria that we are looking for (all of this information comes from the Notable Children’s Recordings Manual, which can be found here, if you are so inclined to go seek further information http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/notalists/ncr/ncrslctioncomm):


a) were released in the year preceding the Midwinter meeting during which the selections are made. (Exact dates: Nov 1, 2016-Oct 31, 2017)

b) are currently available through a U. S. distributor

c) are available on audiotape and/or compact disc (new formats will be included in the evaluation based on the recommendation of the Chair and the approval of the Board)

d) are produced in English. This requirement does not limit the use of words or phrases in another language where appropriate in context.


Recordings are evaluated on the following criteria:

  1. respects young people’s intelligence and imagination
  2. exhibits venturesome creativity
  3. in exemplary ways reflects and encourages the natural interest of children and young adolescents
  4. depicts excellence through the effective use of voices, music, sound effects, and language
  5. maintains high standards in aesthetic and technical aspects
  6. adapted materials remain true to, expand, or complement the original work

Stay tuned for our Midwinter discussion list, which will be published about two weeks before Midwinter (that’s 12 weeks from now for those of you who are counting.)


Chair of Notbable Sound Recordings committee listening over headphones
Photo courtesy of guest blogger

Allison Knight is a Children’s Services Librarian at Dayton Metro Library. No, she’s not wearing those headphones to ignore you – she’s wearing them because she’s listening to audiobooks and children’s CDs. Feel free to tap her on the shoulder if you want to say hi.

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


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