What is the oldest award ALA gives? Who are all the recipients of the Margaret Mann Citation? When did publishers start sponsoring ALA awards?
These and related questions routinely reach the ALA Library staff. Some come from other staff, researching an award for a member committee, others come from our member volunteers who are working to prepare an anniversary history of their division, and yet more come from library school (or other) students seeking to learn about this key part of ALA's activities. "Gaining information on ALA awards" has consistently been ranked as a top reason for visiting ALA's website.
With an understanding of the range of inquiries, the ALA Library staff, assisted by our colleagues who are liaisons to ALA's award committees, have built the Awards, Grants, and Scholarships database, attempting to capture all information on all of ALA's forms of recognition, both now and in the past. We're not done yet ... but we're closer, with just some 30 years of history to add.
The database currently includes over 310 various recognition opportunities with 105 professional recognition awards, 50 grants, 67 media awards and 19 scholarships currently offered by ALA and its committees, divisions, and round tables. The database is both searchable and browsable and links to available information on deadlines, criteria and past winners. (And yes, we're hoping that information from the missing 30 years will be added, but retrospective conversion projects take time!)
Now for the trivia:
The Newbery Medal was first awarded in 1922, making it the oldest continuously given award of ALA. The second oldest award is the Oberly Award, which was first given out in 1924 as the "Oberly Memorial Prize."
The Best Books for Young Adults list has been published semi-regularly on an annual basis since July of 1931. The list of Notable Children's Books has been around since 1940, with the Notable Books for Adults going strong since 1944.
The H.W. Wilson Company has sponsored the John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Contest since 1946, making it the oldest sponsored award.