Comments on the Awards

"More significantly, the awards, and especially the shortlists, are important tools for discovery—increasingly useful in an age in which fewer people read reviews, either because they’re too busy, or because so many newspapers have slashed book coverage. Best of all, the experience has made me a much better librarian. Looking for some reading advice? Bring it on." —Brian Kenney, Director, White Plains Public Library and 2014 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence selection committee member 

“Being nominated for this award means so much to me. Much of my early reading happened in a Carnegie Library. I was allowed to linger after school in the children's section of the Rathmines Library in Dublin before catching the bus home. I think I must have been only six or seven years old, and one of my earliest adventures in the world was to go downstairs, after I had eaten every book on the shelves, in order to ask for a ticket to the adult section. The library was a safe and profoundly exciting place for me. My grandmother, my mother and my siblings form three generations of busy library users, and my sister is a librarian who has worked in Ireland, London and Somaliland. In short, I am a believer, and this nomination matters enormously to me. I will treasure it.” —Anne Enright, author and Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction 2012 Finalist for her novel The Forgotten Waltz

"As someone who came of age in libraries and relied on librarians and the Carnegie Medal to direct me to fresh fictional worlds, I'm so glad this award exists for adult literature now, and so grateful to be a part of it." —Karen Russell, author and Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction 2012 Finalist for her novel Swamplandia!

“Librarians devote their lives to helping the public—people from all walks of life and backgrounds—to become lifelong learners. The awards will celebrate the best of the best and serve as a guide to help adults select quality reading material, making a real contribution to our country being a nation of readers.” —Molly Raphael, 2011-2012 ALA President

“The Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction recognize literary excellence. But more, they also celebrate the important role librarians play in opening up the world of imagination, education, and aspiration to new readers and avid book lovers alike.” —Vartan Gregorian, president of Carnegie Corporation and past president of the New York Public Library

“I'm thrilled to be chairing these new awards that honor not only outstanding works of literature and their authors, but also the memory of Andrew Carnegie, who played a pivotal role in the development of public libraries around the world.” —Nancy Pearl, former librarian, author, and media commentator on books

“Co-sponsoring these awards for adult books that recognize excellence and encourage reading as the Newbery and Caldecott Medals do for children’s literature is a natural fit for Booklist, especially since the awards will guide librarians, library users, and others in selecting quality reading materials—something Booklist does every day.” —Bill Ott, Editor and Publisher, Booklist

“Although books are delivered in many formats today, the power of a magnificent piece of literature and the beauty of the written word is still something to be honored and RUSA is privileged to be involved in these new awards.” —Susan Hornung, executive director, Reference and User Services Association (RUSA)

“Libraries play a vital role in their communities nationwide, and librarians are at the heart of it all. Each works on a day-to-day basis with a community of readers that discover and explore everything from best-sellers to scholarly works, and each has a unique perspective on what people love to read. We are very pleased to collaborate on a new project with Carnegie Corporation that nourishes the public’s love of learning and reading.” —Keith Michael Fiels, executive director, ALA.