CHICAGO – As the publishing industry prepares for the announcement of the American Library Association’s (ALA) Youth Media Awards, authors and illustrators of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) literature for youth will have their fingers crossed in hopes of receiving the coveted Stonewall Children’s and Young Adult Literature Award.
The Stonewall Children’s and Young Adult Literature Award joins the ALA Youth Media Award announcements, which include such prominent literary prizes as the Coretta Scott King Book Award, John Newbery Medal, Michael Printz Award, Randolph Caldecott Medal, Schneider Family Book Awards and 13 other distinguished awards for youth literature.
The award is administered by the ALA’s Stonewall Book Awards Committee of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Round Table and is awarded annually to English-language works for children and teens of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered experience.
“Children’s books regarding the GLBT experience are critical tools in teaching tolerance, acceptance and the importance of diversity,” said ALA President Roberta Stevens. “Our nation is one of diverse cultures and lifestyles and it is important for parents, educators and librarians to have access to quality children’s books that represent a spectrum of cultures.”
The demand for quality GLBT children’s books continues to grow as the nation becomes more diverse. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services an estimated 14 million children have a gay or lesbian parent, and the most current U.S. Census data shows that more than 56 percent of same-sex households have at least one child under the age of 18.
Recognized worldwide for the high quality they represent, the ALA Youth Media Awards guide parents, educators, librarians and others in selecting the best materials for youth. Selected by committees composed of librarians and other literature and media experts, the awards encourage original and creative work in the field of children’s and young adult literature and media.
The members of the 2011 Stonewall Book Awards Committee are: Chair Lisa Johnston, Sweet Briar College, Sweet Briar, Va..; W. Stephen Breedlove, Connelly Library, La Salle University, Philadelphia; Amanda Clay, Lakeview Elementary School, Norman, Okla.; Dave Combe, Ventura County Library, Ventura, Calif.; Lewis Day, Houghton Library, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.; Sharon Flesher-Duffy, Nashua High School Media Center, Nashua, N.H.; Roland Hansen, Columbia College Library, Chicago.; Analisa Ornelas, Innovative Interfaces, San Francisco; Stephen Patrick, Jonesborough, Tenn.; Jason Phillips, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.; Roseann Szalkowski, Skokie Public Library, Skokie, Ill.; Gypsey Teague, Clemson University, Clemson, S.C.; Corwin Watts, Lincoln Public Schools, Lincoln, Neb.; and Rose Yndigoyen, St. Joseph’s College, Brooklyn, N.Y.
For information on the Stonewall Children’s and Young Adult Literature Award and other ALA Youth Media Awards, please visit www.ala.org/yma.