The Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Children's Video, supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, was awarded for the first time in 1991 to honor outstanding video productions for children released during the previous year. The annual award is given to the video's producer by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of ALA, through a Carnegie endowment.
Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) may be best-remembered by his establishment of free public libraries meant to make available to everyone a means of self-education. In 1881, when he began the project, very few public libraries existed; he spent over $56 million to build 2,509 libraries throughout the English-speaking world. After the program was terminated in 1917, the Carnegie Corporation continued for about 40 years in providing funds to improve libraries' services. Today the Corporation continues to fund programs for adult education and education in the fine arts.
Video productions that receive the Andrew Carnegie Medal meet criteria that include the following: they show respect for a child's intelligence and imagination, and reflect and encourage children's interests; they take advantage of the special techniques of the medium, including visuals, voices, music, language, and sound effects; and, if adaptations of materials originally produced in other mediums, they remain true to, expand, or complement the work. Only entries originally released in the United States, and produced by a U.S. citizen or resident or by a company headquartered in the U.S. are eligible.
The winning producer is selected by the Carnegie Award Selection Committee of ALSC, announced at the ALA Midwinter Meeting (usually in January), and receives the medal at the Annual Conference in June.