Resources: Beyond the Youth Media Awards

With the ALA Midwinter Meeting comes a flurry of announcements. Librarians and others in the book industry are well aware of the Youth Media Awards, the literary awards from various divisions of ALA that were announced on Monday morning. While these awards are important, there are many other lists of books and media that librarian committees deliberate over and complete at the Midwinter Meeting (and beyond). These lists are useful sources to turn to for collection development and reader’s advisory throughout the year.

Committees made up of YALSA members put together six regular selection lists. With the exception the Outstanding Books for the College Bound list, these are selected annually. Selection lists don’t have a set number of titles, but could typically include 25-75 titles, with a top 10 list selected from the larger list.

Similar to the YALSA lists, ALSC also has a selection list that recognizes the best of children’s literature from the preceding year. The Notable Children’s Books list includes a category for older readers, ages 11-14, which could be useful for selecting books for middle school students. And while not part of the regular committee cycle, ALSC committees also generate regular themed booklists, many of which include middle school titles.

Members of ALA’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table select books for ages 0-18 with significant gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer/questioning content for the annual Rainbow List.

The Amelia Bloomer Project from the Feminist Task Force of the Social Responsibilities Round Table of the ALA highlights exceptional books with feminist content for young readers, ages 0-18.

The Asian Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA) annually selects outstanding books about Asian/Pacific Americans and their heritage for the Asian/Pacific American Awards for Literature (APAAL). Among the categories are awards for young adult books and children’s books.

The Sydney Taylor Book Award is presented annually to outstanding books for children and teens that authentically portray the Jewish experience by the Association of Jewish Libraries. The list includes awards, honors, and a list of notable titles for teen readers, as well as for younger and older children.

The American Indian Youth Literature Awards are presented every two years at the ALA Annual Conference by the American Indian Library Association to books exemplifying the best writing and illustrations by and about American Indians.


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