Administrative and Management Skills

The Importance & Wonder of Award Seals

Header for ALA Award Seals page

Every book awards season, readers and librarians alike anxiously count down to the ALA Midwinter meeting where, at the Youth Media Awards, the announcement of winners and honorees will take place. For ALSC members, the Newbery Medal, Caldecott Medal, Pura Belpré Medal, Sibert Medal and the Geisel Award – to name a few – looms large. Equally as important as the books chosen for those prestigious medals and awards, are the award seals that will soon appear on those books.

As librarians, we know the wonder of seals. We’ve experienced the joy of having a reader come to the library in search of specific award-winning titles or watching them peruse displays and running their fingers over shiny gold or silver seals prominently placed on the cover. Award seals are special and denote the best of the best published books in a given year. Readers enjoy knowing that a book is an award-winner and they like the visual representation that award seals provide.

On a more practical level, award seals also provide a lesser known, yet very important service. They raise much needed funds to support the organization bestowing the honor. Within ALSC, revenue from award seals help fund operating costs, important programming, and special initiatives.

Awards seals can be purchased in the ALA store and are a great way to both ensure that award-winners in your library are always highlighted and support the work of ALSC.

Today’s post was written by Maegen Rose. Maegen is a middle school librarian in New York City and a current member of the ALSC Budget committee.

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


  1. Emily Mroczek

    one cool aspect of being on the Newbery Committee was being able to pick where the seals went! It’s harder than it looks! I tried to get the seal on Merci Suarez’s head but was outvoted, hahaha

  2. Mary Landrum

    I recently read “The Snowy Day” to a preschool class. When I held up the book one child said, “That book has a pretend coin on it!” I was so glad the child noticed and commented! I took the opportunity to explain what the “pretend coin” means.

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