Audio books

The Odyssey Award – An “Ear-opening” Experience

Medal given to the Odyssey Award winnerBeing chair of The Odyssey Award 2020 has been an “ear-opening” experience! Who knew that there were so many ways to download a book and listen – I am currently using 5 different apps for listening to publisher submissions, a CD player, my iPad, computer and Android Phone. I have also become a spreadsheet expert.  My amazing assistant has been so helpful in setting up a spreadsheet that tracks the over 450 titles we have received to date. Currently, the entire committee has listened to 819 days (8 hours each) of audios. Without spreadsheet formulas, auto fill, tabs, and other behind the scene details, we would not be able to accurately  track who has listened to what, the status, time, reviews posted to our private group, etc.

Knowing that audio books have exploded in popularity and use, there has been interesting research and information coming out about listening vs. reading.  I found this to be an excellent opportunity to educate my teachers and staff in the importance of listening skills, hearing fluency, and how every learner/reader is different. American Libraries Direct (8/27/2019) included a link to an article in Discover Magazine and the research on brains when listening and reading.  Listening Library/Books on Tape has a free poster and research on why listening to audiobooks is not cheating.

With all of that being said, The 2020 Odyssey Award committee is asking the ALSC/YALSA membership to submit audiobook titles for consideration. This annual award is given to the producer of the best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults, available in English in the United States. For the complete terms and criteria, please refer to the ALSC and YALSA websites.

Please remember: Only audiobooks from the 2019 publishing year are under consideration for the award. Also, please note that publishers, authors, illustrators, or editors may not suggest their own titles via the ALSC website.

Please go to  to post your suggestion. You will need to have your ALA login & password handy to access the suggestion forms.

The submission deadline for suggestions for the Odyssey Award from the ALSC/YALSA membership is October 15, 2019.

Sharon Haupt is the retired District Librarian for San Luis Coastal Unified School District. She currently is working at Cuesta College Library updating the Children’s and Young Adult sections and working with the Library Tech program and PreSchool on library visits as part of their curriculum. 

This post addresses the following ALSC Core Competencies: IV. Knowledge, Curation, and Management of Materials

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