Frequently Asked Questions

Awards/Notable Lists  |  Book Lists  |  Library/Literacy Awareness Campaigns  |  Other FAQs   

Awards/Notable Lists

How should I submit media (books, recordings, videos, software) for ALSC's awards and notable lists?

To submit works for consideration for ALSC awards and notable lists:
Review the terms and criteria for the award on the award's page, then review the submission process there.

Mail one copy of the work to the award committee chair. 

Only if submitting for Notable Children's Books, mail one copy of the work to the ALSC office (225 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 1300, Chicago, IL 60601). 

Standards are in place for the committee members to review and share submissions.

Neither the ALSC office nor the committee chair can confirm receipt of submissions. If you would like to confirm receipt of your submission please use a mailing service with delivery confirmation. Submissions that are dropped off in- person to the ALSC office will not be accepted.
The deadline for submitting works is December 31 of the publication year for ALSC awards and children's notables except the Odyssey Award and Notable Recordings which is October 31.

What books are in contention for the upcoming Newbery/Caldecott, etc. Awards?

The discussions and deliberations of ALSC’s Award Committees are confidential. Therefore, these committees do not share information about which titles they are discussing and do not make public the books that are in contention.

The one exception to the above rule is the Notable Children’s Books Committee. Their discussions at conference are open meetings and they announce the list of books that constitute their “discussion list” before each conference. Upcoming discussion lists are posted before each conference on our Web site.  Click here to visit the ALSC Notables site.

When are the Newbery and Caldecott awards announced?

The Newbery and Caldecott awards are announced with the other ALSC and ALA youth media awards during a press conference held during the ALA Midwinter Meeting each year. The Midwinter Meeting typically takes place in mid or late January and the press conference always falls on the Monday morning of the Meeting.

When is the Newbery/Caldecott Banquet?

The Newbery Caldecott awards banquet is scheduled annually during the ALA Annual Conference on Sunday evening from approximately 6:00 – 10:00 PM at a hotel.  It is open to all Annual Conference attendees.  Tickets for the banquet may be purchased through the Annual Conference pre-registration system, or on site at the Registration Desk located in the convention center.  There is a physical limit to the banquet room, so tickets are not always available on site.  Also, for those wishing to hear the award speeches and not attend the banquet, they may do so by arriving at the banquet at approximately 8:45 PM.  Chairs are provided at the back of the banquet room.

How are the Newbery and Caldecott Awards chosen? What is the process?

The Newbery and Caldecott Awards are chosen by committees of the Association for Library Service to Children. During the year, each committee member reads as many of the eligible books as possible, including all books suggested by other committee members and by other members of ALSC. Twice in the autumn, committee members cast preliminary ballots to begin to focus attention on the books likely to be of most interest in the selection discussions. No eligible book that has been suggested before the midwinter selection meetings is excluded from consideration, even if it was not nominated on a preliminary ballot.

During the selection meetings, the committee discusses all nominated and suggested books before beginning balloting. Each committee member votes for three books, with four points assigned to first choice, three points to second choice, and two points to third choice. To win, a book must receive at least eight first place choices and at least eight points more than any other book. Once a winner is chosen, the committee decides whether to name honor books and how many.

Can I listen to the Newbery/Caldecott Award speeches?

The Newbery, Caldecott, Legacy Banquet is held in conjunction with the ALA Annual Meeting each year. At this special event medal winning authors and illustrators are honored and make an acceptance speech for their winning titles. Recordings of the Newbery and Caldecott acceptance speeches given from 1977 to present are available for download using the links on the Newbery, Caldecott, Legacy Recordings page. You will find links for any speech where a recording was created. The Children's Literature Legacy Award acceptance speech is also included for years in which that award is given. Please note: 2018 is the first year of the CLLA speech.  2017-1989 were recorded as Wilder acceptance speeches along with the Newbery and Caldecott speeches. Wilder speeches prior to 1989 are not available as taped recordings. The recordings are housed in ALA's institutional repository with all other past speeches.

Where can I get a paper copy of the Newbery/Caldecott Award speeches?

The Newbery and Caldecott speeches are published each year in the Summer/Fall issue of Children and Libraries: The Journal of the Association for Library Service to Children and in the July/August issue of The Horn Book Magazine. Check your local library for copies of these publications.

How can someone participate on the Newbery and Caldecott awards committee?

Newbery and Caldecott Award Selection Committee members must be members of the American Library Association and the Association for Library Service to Children. Each Newbery and Caldecott committee is made up of fifteen members. ALSC members elect eight members to each committee on the ALA spring ballot. The ALSC President appoints the chair and six members to each Newbery and Caldecott committee. 

How can I purchase award/notable seals?

Foil seals depicting the ALA/ALSC Newbery, Caldecott, Sibert, Belpré, and Children’s Notable Media medals are available in packages of 24 seals (gold or silver) through the ALA Store. For more information on the seals,  visit the ALA Store. Seals are also available in bulk; they are pressure sensitive, packaged 1,000 to a roll, and sold only in multiple units of one thousand (1,000).  For more information on bulk seal orders, visit the ALA seals sales and permissions page.

Where can I get a poster that has all of the Newbery or Caldecott awards listed?

ALSC does not offer a poster with all of the Newbery or Caldecott award winners listed.  Baker & Taylor has generously produced posters of this kind. You may contact directly for more information. The ALA online store does offer posters  that feature the awards click here to order posters featuring the awards in general.

Who are Randolph Caldecott and John Newbery?

John Newbery was an eighteenth-century English publisher and bookseller. He is credited with establishing children’s literature as an important branch of book publishing. To learn about the history of the John Newbery Award  visit ALSC's Newbery Web page. Randolph Caldecott was a nineteenth-century English illustrator, known best for his contributions to children’s literature.  To learn about the history of the Randoplh Caldecott Award  visit ALSC's Caldecott Web page.

Who is Pura Belpré? 

Pura Belpré was the first Latina librarian from the New York Public Library. As a children's librarian, storyteller, and author, she enriched the lives of Puerto Rican children in the U.S.A. through her pioneering work of preserving and disseminating Puerto Rican folklore. 
The Pura Belpré Award, established in 1996, is presented to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth. It is co-sponsored by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), and the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking (REFORMA), an ALA Affiliate.

Book Lists

Do you have a list of recommended books for children?

ALSC offers many different lists of recommended books for children. Each year ALSC committees choose deserving books for the Newbery, Caldecott, Batchelder, Belpré, Geisel, and Sibert Awards, along with a list of Notable Children’s Books. Current and past winners for each of these awards can be found on  ALSC's Awards Web pages (use the links in the left-hand navigation menu to find past winner lists for each individual award) and  Notable Children's Book Web pages.

To find other ALSC recommended book lists based on specific themes or topics,  visit the Recommended Book Lists page of our website

What do you mean when you list books as "younger" "middle" and "older" readers?

According to the ALSC Notable Children’s Books Committee manual, these categories loosely represent the following:
Younger Readers – Preschool-grade 2 (age 7), including easy-to-read books
Middle Readers – Grades 3-5, ages 8-10
Older Readers – Grades 6-8, ages 11-14
All Ages – Has appeal and interest for children in all of the above ages ranges

Library/Literacy Awareness Campaigns

Does ALSC offer any support to me in promoting my library locally?

Yes!  Visit Kids! @ your library pages for free, fun resources.

Also, please click here to find out more about Children's Day/Book Day (El día de los niños/El día de los libros).

When is National Library Week?

National Library Week is held in April each year. To learn more,  visit ALA's National Library Week Web site.

When is Library Card Sign up Month?

September is Library Card Sign up Month. To learn more,  visit ALA's fact sheet on Library Card Sign Up Month.

When is National KidsDay?

National KidsDay (NKD) is annually scheduled for the first Sunday in August.  It is sponsored by the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.  ALSC works with its members to promote the day by distributing an NKD Making Memories Guide to those members willing to distribute the Guide in their library.  Also, several members conduct an NKD celebration in their libraries.  The list of participating members varies each year, so it is best to check the ALSC Web site for a current list of libraries.

When is Children's Book Week?

Children’s Book Week is held annually in May and is sponsored by the Children’s Book Council (CBC). Prior to 2008, it has traditionally been held in November. To learn more,  visit the CBC website.

What is National "Drop Everything and Read" Day?

April 12 has been proclaimed  National "Drop Everything and Read" (D.E.A.R.) Day. It is an initiative to encourage families to designate at least 30 minutes to put aside all distractions and enjoy books together…to make it a special time to "drop everything and read." The birthday of Newbery Award-winning author Beverly Clearly is the official national D.E.A.R. day, and Cleary's most popular book character, Ramona Quimby, is the program's official spokesperson.

What is Children's Day/Book Day (El día de los niños/El día de los libros)?

Children's Day/Book Day (Día) brings together children, books, languages, and cultures. Día's vision is to spread "bookjoy" every day by linking children from all languages and cultures with books, and celebrating together across the country on April 30. The Día mission is for every community to celebrate El día de los niños/El día de los libros. Its goals are to honor children, their languages and culture; to encourage reading and literacy; and to promote library collections and programs that reflect our plurality. For more information, visit the Dia website

How can I apply for ALSC Scholarships? 

There are two ALSC scholarships for which you may apply:  the Bound to Stay Bound Books scholarship ($6,500 for each of four awards), and the Frederic G. Melcher scholarship ($6,000 for each of two awards).  These scholarships are for individuals pursuing a master’s or advanced degree in children’s librarianship.  Each year, the application is made available around October 1 at  ALA's Scholarship Web site. The application is online only, with a March 1 deadline for submission, no exceptions.  For further information,  visit ALSC's Scholarships Web page.   

Other FAQs

I'm interested in becoming a children's librarian. Where can I find more information?

For more information on becoming a librarian who serves youth,  visit ALA's Human Resource Development and Recruitment Office Web site.

When is the next ALA conference?

 Future ALA Annual Conference and Midwinter Meeting dates are available on the ALA website under "Conferences and Events."

I'm doing a research project and need information about ALA and/or ALSC. Who should I contact?

ALSC is not a research library. The best (and most efficient!) way of obtaining this type of information is to contact the ALA Library or ALA archives.

When are the ALA elections held?

The election polls open in mid-March and close around the third week in April. Election results are announced the first week in May. For more ALA election information, visit ALA's Election website.

How can I order a READ poster?

READ posters are available through the ALA Store. For more information,  visit the ALA Store.