This project engages the subject of award-winning children’s materials through encounters with print and electronic texts, scholarship, and the development of programs in order to explore their use in public librarianship.  Award winning books and other materials have been recognized for a range of qualities. While for many years U.S. librarians had only two major awards  to guide their ideas of excellence in children’s literature, in recent years the number and the object of youth media awards has proliferated significantly. ALA alone has created three new awards in the last two years. This creates, for the youth services librarian, two immediate needs:  understanding the scope of the awards  and considering what recognized titles may contribute (or fail to contribute) to a library collection.  The aim, then, is both to gain a sense of the field of awards and to construct a critical awareness of its implications.

Five distinct yet inter-related areas of study and professional practice related to children and award winning children’s literature form a context for developing this knowledge:

  • History and culture as contexts for award winning youth literature
  • Scholarship and critical viewpoints within the field
  • The young person’s reading and literacy
  • Programming and instruction involving award winning materials for children
  • Texts, whether traditional or electronic, and related principles of collecting management.


  • To become familiar with the range of awards for media for young people
  • To analyze trends and issues associated with awards and notable titles
  • To consider notable and award-winning titles in relation to the rest of the youth collection


The following activities will be completed in order to help us complete our goals:

  • Create an electronic portfolio of learning with multi-media components that explore material
  • Blogging on primary and secondary source materials (main focus/content aggregator/bibliography)
  • Podcasting on primary and secondary sources (supplemental)
  • Book trailer (supplemental)
  • Participate in author-illustrator online chat (if available)
  • Participate in actual library settings, programming
  • Tours of local youth services facilities
  • Propose a story time
  • Essay on Popular Fiction vs. Award Winning Fiction
  • Bibliography extensive enough to indicate prior investigation of the proposed topic or area of study.