The Newbery Medal: Past, Present and Future

Monday, 10/3/2022

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 October 3, 2022.

You can read through the syllabus for a recent offering of this course here.

Learning Outcomes

Participants will:

  • 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 is the former director of the Cooperative Children's Book Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her book, From Cover to Cover: Evaluating and Reviewing Children's Books, is considered the definitive text on evaluation in children's literature. KT has served on numerous children's book evaluation committees and brings that expertise and knowledge of the Newbery and its history to this course.



Class size is limited to 30 students.

ALSC Personal Member: $216.75
ALA Personal Member: $260.10
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 eCourse is now open!

Refund and Transfer Policy

Refunds may be requested for facilitated eCourses until the date the course starts. Refunds may be requested for live webinars until the webinar starts. To request a refund, please email ALA Membership and Registration Services.

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 their 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 Sarah Polen, ALSC Program Officer for Continuing Education, and ALA Membership and Registration Services. Transfers may not be made once a course has started.

Tech Requirements

ALSC webinars are held in Zoom. Speakers or a headset for listening to the presentation are required. Closed captioning is available in the Zoom platform. You may interact with the presenter and ask questions through text-based chat. The webinar will be recorded and the link to the recording shared with registrants shortly after the live event.


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

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