Secrecy, excitement, and jubilation are three words that, in my opinion, best embody the spirit of the YMA Announcements. In-person or virtual, the event retains its spirit of secrecy and great anticipation. As the President of ALSC, I was privileged this year to be among the “keepers of the secret.” But the virtual character of the event made it a torture to have to keep “the secret” for nearly a week prior to the announcements.
Planning the virtual event represents a great orchestration of efforts and expertise coordinated by the ALA Communications and Marketing Office and involving staff and leadership from ALA’s Divisions, Roundtables, Affiliates, Awards Committees, and more. In order to edit and put together the virtual event, committees submitted their selections much earlier to allow the Communications Office to put together the final script and pass it on to the presenters for pre-recording their sections. I am still in awe after I saw it all come together on Monday, when the announcements were made.
And yes, as President of ALSC, it was my dream to make the YMA Announcements from the stage, in a room packed with an eager audience of librarians, publishers, and media, and to hear their joyous uproar and applause as I announced each winning title. Even though the virtual experience was different than in my dreams, it was as rewarding as I had expected.
Kudos to all ALSC Awards Committee Chairs and Members for their historic selections! In a year when incidents of censorship and book banning are on the rise, each winning title was a statement for diversity and representation.
And kudos to all staff who worked behind the scenes to help produce a virtual program that continues to embody the spirit of the event!
Lucia M. Gonzalez
ALSC: Association for Library Service to Children