CHICAGO — Children’s and young adult authors, illustrators and publishing groups will wait in anticipation as the American Library Association (ALA) announces the top awards in children’s and young adult literature and media. The ALA Youth Media Awards, 7:45 a.m. CT, Jan. 23, Dallas Convention Center Theatre, are part of the ALA Midwinter Meeting which brings together nearly 10,000 library workers, authors and publishers.
The ALA Youth Media Awards honor children’s and young adult authors, illustrators and producers of children’s audio and video materials. The awards include such prominent literary prizes as the Coretta Scott King Book Awards, John Newbery Medal, Michael Printz Award, Randolph Caldecott Medal, Schneider Family Book Awards and 13 other distinguished awards for youth literature. A complete list of 2012 awards is available at www.ala.org/yma.
Recognized worldwide for the high quality they represent, the awards serve as a guide for parents, educators, librarians and those interested in providing youth with the very best reading and viewing materials.
This year marks the 75th awarding of the Caldecott Medal. The Medal honors the illustrator of the year's most distinguished American picture book for children. Presented every year since 1938, the medal is named for Randolph Caldecott, a 19th-century English illustrator known for the action, vitality and humor of his picture books. Dorothy P. Lathrop won the first Caldecott Medal in 1938 for "Animals of the Bible." Receiving the Caldecott Medal virtually guarantees that the winning book will remain in print and on library and bookstore shelves for years to come. It is administered by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of ALA.
The Alex Award will celebrate its 10th anniversary. The Alex Award is given to 10 books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12 through 18. Becoming an official ALA award in 2002, the award is named for Margaret Alexander Edwards, a pioneer in young adult services at the Enoch Pratt Library in Baltimore. Her work is described in her book “Fair Garden and the Swarm of Beasts,” and over the years she has served as an inspiration to many librarians who serve young adults. The name of the award is taken from the nickname of Edwards, who was called “Alex” by her friends. It is administered by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the ALA, and sponsored by the Margaret Alexander Edwards Trust.
The ALA will provide a free live webcast of the presentation. Approximately 10,000 viewers are expected to join more than 1,300 onsite audience members for the announcements. The webcast will be available the morning of the announcements by going to http://tinyurl.com/ymawebcast. Connections will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Those not able to logon to the webcast can follow real time results via Twitter @ alayma and the ALA Youth Media Awards Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/alayma.
Following the announcements, ALA’s homepage at www.ala.org will feature an award wrap release that will detail all 2012 selections. Videos from winning authors also will be available later in the day on the ALA Youth Media Awards YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/ALAYouthMediaAwards.