Thursday, January 19, 2012

Watching the ALA Media Awards on Monday

On Monday, the American Library Association announces the winner of their awards. Various committees have been meeting all year long, by email and in person, choosing the best of various types of books and audio Visual versions of books. (Thus the award ceremony is called the Media Award Ceremony.)

I've actually been in the room when these were announced and I have to tell you that the tension grows tighter and higher as they are announced, leaving the major awards of Caldecott and Newbery for last.  One year one of my own books was in contention for one of these awards and I was sitting in the meeting room, on pins and needles until I gave myself a good shake, telling myself that my editor, who was also at the media awards, would have told me if I had won. (another one of her books did win.)

For years, the minute the award ceremony ended, librarians would rush out of the room and fight over the pay phones in the hallway so that they could, 1) order more copies of the winners and 2) tell their staff at their workplace what the winners were.

Nowadays, everyone is cool.  There are companies who will instantly order X-many copies of the books for your library system AND the winners are posted on the ALA website an hour after the announcements. Some librarians are either Tweeting the announcements or posting the info on their blogs the minute they happen. So all the librarians attending this event have to do is remain in the room and casually discuss the winners and hash over the ones that should have won. (in their opinion)

Recently, the award ceremony has been streamed over the Internet. Last year, the whole student body (and faculty) of Vermont College of Fine Arts gathered in a meeting room and watched the streaming announcement as it happened.  So exciting. Why?  Because I WAS SITTING NEXT to ONE of THE WINNERS! Rita Williams-Garcia, one of our faculty members, won the Corretta Scott King award plus also a Newbery Honor, in addition to her National Book award for One Crazy Summer. 

If you want to watch it on this coming Monday, here's the info:

For those of you who will not be in Dallas on Monday, you can watch the award press conference here, at least until it crashes due to traffic overload! If and when that happens, you might find the Twitter feed more useful.
 All this is supposed to begin at 7:45 a.m. MT, which would be 8:45 for east coasters, 5:45 for west coasters, etc.

I hope your book/ media wins!


Ms. Yingling said...

Thanks for the link. I always tell my students about the Newbery, but only order the winners if they are books I think my students will read. (And let's see if you actually get this comment!)

WendieO said...

Your comment shows beautifully.

Anonymous said...

Way cool on sitting next to one of the winners, Wendie!

Thanks for sharing. One day I would, love love to be in the room when the winners are announced!