Over the Rainbow Book List Committee

Charge

Promote the improved quality and accessibility of GLBTQ literature through the provision for adult readers of an annual annotated bibliography of books for general readership published within the assigned calendar year or between July 1st and December 31st of the previous calendar year.  Ad hoc committee members would select titles which exhibit commendable literary quality and significant authentic GLBTQ content and are recommended for adults over age 18.  The OTR Project would coordinate with other GLBTRT committees to promote the improved quality and accessibility of GLBTQ literature.
Adopted 2011 ALA Annual, GLBTRT Membership Meeting
 
 

Roster

Kelly McElroy (Chair, February 1, 2014, to January 31, 2015)
Rev. Rebecca Butler (Member, February 1, 2014, to January 31, 2016)
David Bruce Combe (Member, February 1, 2013, to January 31, 2015)
Annaliese Fidgeon (Member, February 1, 2013, to January 31, 2015)
Robert Graziano (Member, February 1, 2014, to January 31, 2015)
Jessica Jones (Member, February 1, 2013, to January 31, 2015)
Rosalinda Hernandez Linares (Member, February 1, 2014, to January 31, 2016)
Mr. Derek Hunter Marshall (Member, February 1, 2014, to January 31, 2016)
Mr. Matthew Windsor (Member, February 1, 2014, to January 31, 2016)
John Amundsen (Staff Liaison, July 1, 2012, to June 30, 2015)
Michelle Harrell Washington (Primary Staff Liaison, July 1, 2012, to June 30, 2015)

Displaying active committee roster as of 07/31/2014. Last retrieved on 07/31/2014. Members can log in to view full contact information for committee members.

About

The Over the Rainbow (OTR) Project is a committee of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table (GLBTRT) of the American Library Association (ALA).  OTR creates an annual, annotated bibliography of books for general adult readers aged 18 years or older that have commendable literary quality and significant, authentic gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, or questioning (GLBTQ) content. OTR will work with the Stonewall Book Awards Committee, Rainbow Books, the GBTRT Newsletter, and creators of subject bibliographies to promote the improved quality and accessibility of GLBTQ literature.
 
Each annual bibliography will cover books published within the assigned calendar year or between July 1 and December 31 of the previous calendar year. OTR will release the list of titles at the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting, usually held in January.
 
The bibliography is not meant to be all inclusive but is intended as an annual core list for readers and librarians searching for recommendations of a cross-section of the year’s GLBTQ titles.  Although the bibliography attempts to present a variety of reading tastes and levels, no effort will be made to balance this bibliography according to subject, area of interest, or genre.

For more information:

Questions and Suggestions:

Composition

The Over the Rainbow Book List Committee (OTR) consists of six to ten members (called jurors) and is led by a chair.  The committee will have a liaison from the GLBTRT Board and an ALA Staff Liaison.

Procedures

OTR Jurors and Chair

OTR shall be composed of six to ten members (called jurors) and is led by a chair.  Jurors and the chair begin their terms following the conclusion of the ALA Midwinter Meeting.
 
OTR jurors serve a two-year term beginning at the conclusion of the ALA Midwinter Meeting. Each juror is eligible for an additional one-year term, if there is a lack of volunteers. A one-year hiatus before consideration for reappointment is required after completion of two consecutive terms. Every effort will be made to maintain gender parity. 
 
Leadership duties of OTR are assumed by a committee chair. The chair serves in that capacity for one year. Chairs are not reappointed unless there are extenuating circumstances. 

Eligibility and Recommendations for Consideration

To be considered for the list, a book must be published within the assigned calendar year or between July 1 and December 31 of the previous calendar year. Eligibility of books originally published outside the United States will be determined according to the original publication dates in the United States. Books must be distributed in the United States during the period of eligibility to be considered for the list. Revisions of previously published books will be considered if the revision is to such an extent as to make the book substantially different from the previous edition. Any book removed from consideration at the beginning of the first ALA Midwinter Meeting is eligible for consideration during the following year if it meets the eligibility requirements. Any book recommended for consideration and discussed at ALA Midwinter Meeting will be ineligible for consideration during the following year.
 
Jurors must read a book in its entirety before recommending it for consideration. All jurors will make recommendations and discuss them electronically.
 
Anyone may suggest a book to OTR jurors for consideration. If a book is suggested by someone not on OTR, at least one juror must read and recommend that book for it to be considered. The deadline for non-juror suggestions is September 30. Suggestions will not be accepted from the publisher of a proposed book, agents or representatives of the author, or anyone else who may stand to gain directly from the recommendation of the book.  A short statement describing why the book is being suggested shall accompany the request, which is to be submitted to the OTR Chair or to the OTR Suggestion Form on the OTR website http://www.glbtrt.ala.org/overtherainbow/.  Juror recommendations for consideration must be sent to other OTR jurors by October 31.
 
OTR jurors are expected to read as many of the books under consideration as they can. All jurors will be informed of each new recommendation as it is made. Review copies of a book will be requested from its publisher as available. During the year, jurors will actively participate in ongoing discussions of books, both those under consideration and those merely suggested. Jurors will also expected to read book reviews of books under consideration, either by consulting review sources directly available to them or by reading reviews posted or otherwise distributed by other OTR jurors.

Selection

Much of the process of discussing and selecting the books will be carried out electronically. Jurors will recommend books, discuss them, and participate in straw polls electronically prior to the ALA Midwinter Meeting. The results of the straw polls will be compiled and disseminated to the jurors of the Project within a week.
 
The official selections will be made by the conclusion of the ALA Midwinter Meeting. Decisions will be reached by consensus, meaning that each juror accepts the decision. If the group cannot come to consensus, the decision will be made with no more than one person dissenting. For a book to be put on the list, at least half of the active OTR jurors must have read the book and agreed with its inclusion. The book is then annotated by the jurors. Jurors can only participate in the final discussion of books they have read in their entirety.

Announcement of Selections

The Chair will notify the authors and/or publishers of the selected books as soon as soon as the final decision is made. At the ALA Midwinter Meeting the Chair will notify the GLBTRT Board and the American Library Association, particularly the ALA Public Information Office and the ALA Office for Literacy and Outreach Services, of the selections.
 
In collaboration with the Chair of the GLBTRT External Relations Committee, the Chair shall prepare a press release announcing the selections. Copies of this announcement shall be sent to the editor of the GLBTRT Newsletter, the ALA Public Information Office, library and bookselling periodicals, publishers, booksellers, periodicals, and newspapers that address library professionals and GLBTQ books. The press release shall also be distributed widely through electronic discussion groups, blogs, etc.

Requirements and Duties of OTR Jurors

Jurors must be members of the American Library Association and the GLBTRT.
 
Jurors are required to attend committee meetings at two consecutive ALA Midwinter Meetings.  Jurors who are unable to attend committee meetings held at ALA Midwinter without first obtaining an excused absence from the committee chair, may be asked to resign from the committee.
 
Jurors may not suggest a book for consideration that they have contributed to, edited, or in any other way been affiliated with, or a book authored or edited by a member of their immediate family or anyone with whom they currently share a household.
 
Jurors shall adhere to the following requirements and responsibilities:
  • Select books that exhibit commendable literary quality and significant, authentic GLBTQ content for adults age 18 and over.
  • Actively seek and recommend books for consideration.
  • Keep abreast of current GLBTQ publishing and notify the Committee of eligible candidates.
  • Read and critically evaluate as many current literature and nonfiction GLBTQ books as possible.
  • Participate actively in Committee discussions of books both recommended for consideration and those eligible for consideration.
  • Submit recommendations of GLBTQ books throughout the year for the OTR list.
  • Work collaboratively to acquire and relay to the Committee book reviews and other information pertinent to eligible books.
  • Follow the rules and procedures of the OTR Project Committee and meet the deadlines established by the chair.
  • Perform other duties as deemed necessary by the chair.
  • Not be a member of another media selection or award committee during their term on OTR.
  • Jurors completing terms on OTR are strongly encouraged to participate on other committees within the GLBTRT.

Requirements and Duties of the Chair

In addition to the requirements and duties of OTR jurors, the Chair is proscribed from holding any other official positions within the GLBTRT throughout the course of their term.
 
The Chair shall adhere to the following requirements and responsibilities:
  • Offer the GLBTRT Chair-elect/Chair recommendations for committee members who will maintain a balance of geographical regions of the United States, racial and ethnic groups, and types of libraries. Every effort will be made to maintain gender parity.
  • Keep abreast of the publication of eligible books and compile lists of eligible books.
  • Ensure that small and academic presses are given the same consideration as large trade and mass-market press publications.
  • Ensure that the Committee complies with American Library Association and GLBTRT policies and procedures, as well as its own.
  • Set and meet deadlines agreed upon by the Committee, the GLBTRT, and the American Library Association.
  • Pursue and advocate for adequate funding for the OTR Project with the GLBTRT and the American Library Association.
  • Report on the Committee’s work to the GLBTRT Board and its general membership via appropriate Round Table discussion lists and newsletters, and at American Library Association conferences/meetings.
  • Perform other duties as deemed necessary by the Committee and the GLBTRT.

Version History

Origin

The Over the Rainbow Book List is an expansion of the highly successful Rainbow Book List.  Over the Rainbow Book List is created by a committee of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table (GLBTRT) of the American Library Association (ALA).

The project was proposed in February 2010 and was formally charged as a GLBTRT ad hoc committee by the GLBTRT Steering Committee in April 2010. The round table Steering Committee received the below project proposal documents. The committee's progress was evaluated by the round table Steering Committee at the ALA 2011 Annual Conference.  The Over the Rainbow Book List Committee was formally voted in as a standing round table committee at the GLBTRT Membership Meeting, 2011 ALA Annual Conference.

GLBTRT Membership Meeting Documents, 2011 ALA Annual Conference:

Project Proposal Documents:

Ad hoc Committee Reports:

  • 2011 ALA Annual Conference, Over the Rainbow Ad hoc Committee Report [pdf: 29.8]
  • 2011 ALA Midwinter Meeting, Over the Rainbow Ad hoc Committee Report [pdf: 66kb]
  • 2010 ALA Annual Conference, Over the Rainbow Ad hoc Committee Report [pdf: 71kb]

Get Involved

Serving on a GLBT Round Table committee requires membership in ALA and GLBTRT. Learn more by visiting our membership page. To volunteer for a committee, visit our volunteer form page.