Bill Morris Seminar: Book Evaluation Training

The 2022 Bill Morris Book Evaluation Seminar is going virtual!

With the sunsetting of ALA's Midwinter, which has traditionally served as the Morris Seminar host event, ALSC is taking an opportunity to do something that has never been done before - host a Virtual Bill Morris Seminar: Book Evaluation Training! 

This year, Morris Seminar participants will gather virtually every Friday in February 2022 to learn together about children's media evaluation techniques. Participants will hear from experts in the field of children's media evaluation, as well as from those who have served on ALSC's media evaluation committees, to develop their professional evaluation skills. As we look to the future of children's media evaluation, including how to work collegially in a virtual environment, there is no better way to practice those skills than through a virutal Morris Seminar! This is also a fantastic opportunity for those who have been unable to apply for the seminar in the past due to an inability to travel or lack of institutional travel support

(If you were hoping to apply for an in-person experience, please note that ALSC expects to host our next Morris Seminar in-person.) 

Details

The 2022 Virtual Morris Seminar will run from 12:00pm ET - 2:00pm ET the following Fridays:

- Friday, February 4, 2022 from 12:00pm-2:00pm ET
- Friday, February 11, 2022 from 12:00pm-2:00pm ET
- Friday, February, 18, 2022 from 12:00pm-2:00pm ET
- Friday, February 25, 2022 from 12:00pm-2:00pm ET

These periods will be a mix of keynote speakers and panel discussions from ALSC member leaders, including past evaluation committee members and chairs, and seminar-style evaluation discussions with participants, led by experienced member leaders.

Through the support of the ALSC William C. Morris Endowment, ALSC offers this training seminar at no charge to attendees. Additionally, this year's virtual Morris participants will be offered the opportunity to take the popular online course, The Newbery Medal: Past, Present and Future with KT Horning, in the Spring of 2022 (April-May, 2022); this spring offering of the course will be available only to 2022 Virtual Morris participants, as a benefit of their participation in the Virtual Morris Seminar, and will be available to participants free-of-charge.The 2022 Virtual Morris Seminar application is now open! The application will close September 30, 2021. An advisory group consisting of ALSC member leaders who have previously served and/or chaired evaluation committees will review the applications and letters of nomination to select the attendees.

Applicant Information

Applicants for the Morris Seminar should be ALSC members with limited evaluation experience. The seminar is intended for those who have not served on book award evaluation committees in the past. Applicants must:

  • Be personal members of ALSC as well as ALA. Organizational members are not eligible.
  • Seek permission from supervisor for time off to attend the seminar, prior to submitting application.
  • Have access to a computer with microphone and video capacity, internet, and email. 
  • Submit a completed application and recommendation by the due date. Late entries will not be considered. Applicants will receive confirmation that their application has been received within one business day. 
  • Arrange for ONE letter of recommendation from ALSC members or library peers who can attest to your potential as an ideal candidate for children’s media evaluation training. Letter must be submitted at time of application submission.
  • If selected, maintain ALSC membership and be a potential candidate for future service on an ALSC media evaluation committee. 
Selected participants will be required to:
  • Attend each week's seminar discussion for the entire duration of the meeting.
  • Complete pre-seminar readings and assignments so that they are able to fully participate on the day(s) of the seminar (including reading articles, books and materials for discussion, most of which will be available online).
  • Acquire the texts for small-group evaluation discussions themselves. 

Special thanks to HarperCollins Children's Books for their continued support of the Bill Morris Seminar: Book Evaluation Training and their commitment to honoring Bill Morris's legacy. Thank you, HarperCollins!

Questions

Please contact Sarah Polen, ALSC Program Officer, Continuing Education, at spolen@ala.org or 800-545-2433 ext. 4026. 

Purpose

The purpose of the Bill Morris Seminar: Book Evaluation Training is to honor and support William C. Morris’ dedication to connecting librarians, and ultimately children, with excellent children’s books. This seminar will bring new ALSC members and members with limited evaluation experience together with those who have served on ALSC’s media evaluation committees in an environment to train and mentor them in the group process and in children’s media evaluation techniques. The seminar will result in new and emerging leaders for future ALSC evaluation committees. (Check out a ALSC Blog post from a past Morris participant about her experience and takeaways!)

Application and Notification

The application for the 2022 Virtual Bill Morris Seminar: Book Evaluation Training will open September 1, 2021 and close September 30, 2021. Applicants will be sent an acceptance or regrets letter in early November. 

The Bill Morris Seminar: Book Evaluation Training is sponsored by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA).  Made possible through funds from the William C. Morris Endowment. The William C. Morris Endowment was established in 2000 and activated in 2003 upon the death of Morris, former vice-president and director of library promotion at HarperCollins Children’s Books.  Morris was a long-time ALSC member and friend, the recipient of the first ALSC Distinguished Service Award, and an advocate for children’s literature and librarians.  Morris envisioned his endowment funding programs, publications, events, and/or awards that would promote excellence in children’s literature.