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Terms and Criteria

The Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Children's Video was established by the Carnegie Corporation of New York as part of the ALA-Carnegie Quality Video for Youth Project and is awarded through a Carnegie endowment. The Carnegie Medal is presented annually to an American producer for the outstanding video production for children (up to age 14) released in the United States in the previous calendar year. It is selected by the Carnegie Award Selection Committee of the Association for Library Service to Children.


  1. The Medal shall be awarded annually to the producer of the most distinguished U.S. video for children distributed in the United States during the preceding year. There are no limitations as to the character of the video except that it be original in that format or released concurrently with another film format.
  2. The Award is restricted to producers who are citizens or residents of the United States.
  3. The video can be feature length, but not a theatrically released feature.
  4. The video can be based on another medium or made for another medium (e.g., television).
  5. Adaptations of material originally produced in other mediums should remain true to, expand, or complement the original work in some way.
  6. The video should be available for use in homes, public libraries, and with community organizations.
  7. The committee in its deliberations is to consider only the videos eligible for the Award, as specified in the terms.


  1. A "video for children" is a medium that essentially provides the child with an audiovisual experience; it can be in a cassette or DVD format.
  2. A "video for children" is one for which children are the potential audience. The video exhibits respect for children's understandings, abilities, and appreciations. Children are defined as persons up to and including the age of fourteen, and videos for this entire age range are to be considered.
  3. "Distinguished" is defined as
    • marked by conspicuous eminence and distinction: noted for significant achievement
    • marked by excellence in quality
    • individually distinct
  4. The "producer" is the person (or persons) who supervises or finances the production of a video. The producer may also be the director. The producer may be awarded the Carnegie Medal posthumously. (Note: Only one Medal is presented, regardless of the number of producers involved in the video selected.)
  5. "Original in that format" means that the video is not a re-release of an earlier work released in a film format.
  6. "Distributed in the United States" specifies that videos originally distributed in other countries are not eligible.
  7. "Distributed...during the preceding year" means that the video has a release date in that year, was available for purchase in that year, and has a copyright date no later than that year. A video might have a copyright date prior to the year under consideration but, for various reasons, was not released until the year under consideration. If a video is distributed prior to its year of copyright as stated in the video, it shall be considered in its year of stated copyright. The intent of the definition is that every video be eligible for consideration, but that no video be considered in more than one year.
  8. "Resident" specifies that the producer has established and maintained residence in the United States as distinct from being a casual or occasional visitor.
  9. The term "only the videos eligible for the Award" specifies that the committee is not to consider the entire body of work by the producer or whether the producer has previously won the award. The committee's decision is to be made following deliberation about the videos for the specified calendar year.


1. In identifying a distinguished video for children,
a. committee members should consider

  • excellence of execution in the special techniques of the medium;
  • excellence of visual interpretation of story, theme, or concept;
  • excellence in the use of sound;
  • excellence in the delineation of plot, theme, characters, mood setting, or information presented;
  • excellence in acting, when appropriate;
  • excellence in the appropriateness of technique or treatment to the story, theme, or concept.

b. committee members must consider excellence of presentation for a child audience.
NOTE: The committee should keep in mind that the award is for distinguished use of the medium. The award is not for didactic intent or for popularity.

The terms and criteria for videos to be considered for ALSC's Carnegie Medal, honoring outstanding video productions for children released during the previous year.