The Newbery Medal: Past, Present and Future

Tuesday, 7/6/2021

What does it mean when we recommend Newbery Award winners to the children in our communities? Should the ALA seal of approval stand for 100 years? Why is that gold medal often considered the “kiss of death” by kids?  How can we help parents and teachers understand what the Newbery Medal is – and isn’t? This 6-week online course will give participants a solid grounding in the history of the Medal and how it’s changed over time; an opportunity to read, discuss and consider past and present Newbery winners with their colleagues from across the nation; a chance to talk to former Newbery Committee members and a Newbery author, and suggestions for programming using Newbery-winning books.

This is a six-week Moodle course run asynchronously, meaning you will never need to login to a class on a certain date/time. This course will begin the week of July 6, 2021

You can read through the course syllabus here. 

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn about the history, terms, and definitions of the Newbery Medal
  • Participate in book discussions
  • Look at the evolving nature in children's literature and its impact on the Newbery selection process 
  • Become familiar with how the medal impacts librarians, authors, publishers and children
  • Develop skills in holding mock Newbery discussions with children and other programming ideas

Who Should Attend

Children’s librarians in public libraries and schools; library paraprofessional and support staff who are working with students, parents and teachers.


Kathleen T. Horning, Director, Cooperative Children's Book Center, University of Wisconsin- Madison



Class size is limited to 30 students.

ALSC Personal Member: $215
ALA Personal Member: $260
Nonmember: $289

Member rates apply to personal memberships only. Interested in joining ALSC?  Click here to learn more about ALSC and how to join.

How to Register

Registration for this course has now closed. Please check back for future offerings of this course. 

Cancellation and Transfer Policy

Cancellations must be made in writing to Sarah Polen, Program Officer for Continuing Education, no later than seven days before the class starts. Cancellations will result in a full refund less a $35 processing fee.  NO phone cancellations will be accepted.  Refunds will be processed two weeks after the start of the course. ALSC reserves the right to cancel a course for reasons including insufficient numbers of students. Cancellations after the course has begun will not be accepted.

If you are registered but unable to take a course you may transfer your registration to another student if that student falls under the same registration category.  For instance, an ALSC member may transfer her registration to another ALSC member free of charge.  If you would like to transfer your registration to someone in a different category the difference between prices must be paid at the time of transfer.  All requests for registration transfers must be made in writing no later than seven days before the start of the course.  Please address all requests, including the reason for the transfer and both parties' membership numbers, to ALSC Program Officer for Continuing Education, Sarah Polen.  Transfers may not be made once a course has started.

Tech Requirements

Computer, internet connection, web browser.

Contact Hours

A certificate of completion will be sent to each participant upon successful completion for each course taken, with estimated contact hours for the course.


If you have questions about the course material, please contact the course instructor KT Horning.

If you have questions about registration, please contact ALA's Member and Registration Services by email or by calling 800-545-2433 ext. 5.

All other inquiries, including sponsorship questions, can be directed to Sarah Polen, ALSC Program Officer for Continuing Education, via email or by calling (312) 280-4026.