To select from the year’s publications, and prepare an annual annotated bibliography of books displaying appealing literary quality that relate to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQIA+) experience and are recommended for young readers from birth through age 18.
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The Rainbow Book List Committee creates an annual book list of recommended LGBTQIA+ fiction and nonfiction titles for young readers from birth through age 18. Books on the final bibliography are published within the assigned calendar year or between July 1 and December 31 of the previous calendar year.
We invite recommendations for this bibliography from anyone prior to September 30 of each year. A short statement explaining the book's merit should accompany the recommendation. Titles for consideration from jury members are to be submitted by October 31.
Titles under consideration and information about the bibliography can be found on the Rainbow Book List website.
Please use the Contact and Suggestions tabs on the committee website to send questions or your title recommendations to the committee.
Committee Composition and Terms
The committee consists of eight to twelve members (jurors) and is led by a chair. The committee will have a liaison from the RRT Executive Board.
Chair and Jurors begin their terms following the conclusion of the ALA Midwinter Meeting. Rainbow Book List Jurors serve two years, after which they must complete a one-year hiatus before being eligible for another appointment to the committee.
The Chair serves a one-year term and assumes all leadership duties of the committee.
When possible, appointments will take into consideration geographical regions of the United States, racial and ethnic groups, types of libraries, and gender.
Subcommitees and Task Forces
The committee consists of members appointed by the RRT Board, serving one-year terms with the option to renew for a second year. Each annual cycle will be led by an appointed chair.The committee has the support of a liaison from the RRT Board and an ALA Staff Liaison.
Requirements/Duties of Rainbow Book List Committee Jury Members
- Must be members of the American Library Association and the Rainbow Round Table.
- Maintain knowledge of current LGBTQIA+publishing, actively seeking appropriate books.
- Read and critically evaluate current LGBTQIA+ books.
- Submit LGBTQIA+ books to consider throughout the year.
- Participate regularly in jury discussions of LGBTQIA+ books.
- Regularly read books nominated for the Rainbow Book List bibliography.
- Communicate book reviews and other pertinent information regarding LGBTQIA+ books with other jury members during the year.
- Follow the rules and procedures of the Rainbow Book List Committee and meet the deadlines established by the jury chair.
- Perform other duties that the jury chair and chair-elect deem necessary.
Requirements and Duties of the Rainbow Book List Committee Liaison
- Must be a member of the American Library Association and the Rainbow Round Table.
- Maintain the Rainbow Book List blog.
- Help with publicity.
- Request preview copies of titles under consideration from publishers and authors on behalf of the Rainbow Book List and Stonewall Children’s and Young Adult Committee jurors.
Requirements and Duties of the Rainbow Book List Committee Chair
In addition to the requirements and duties of jurors, the Chair has the following responsibilities:
- Offer the Rainbow Round Table Chair-elect/Chair recommendations for committee members who will maintain a balance of geographical regions of the United States, racial and ethnic groups, and types of libraries. Every effort will be made to maintain gender parity.
- Ensure that the Rainbow Book List Committee complies with policies and procedures.
- Maintain an accurate database of all nominated titles.
- Communicate frequently with jury members regarding nominated books.
- Report to the Office of Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services (ODLOS), and RRT as needed.
- Provide publicity as needed regarding the Rainbow Book List Committee and its bibliographies.
- Facilitate Committee discussion.
- Provide the final bibliography to publishers.
- Attend to all other business matters and duties as deemed necessary by the Rainbow Book List Committee.
Eligibility of Books
Books considered for the bibliography must have been published within the assigned calendar year or between July 1 and December 31 of the previous calendar year. Eligibility of books originally published outside the United States will be determined according to the original publication dates in the United States. Books must be distributed in the United States during the period of eligibility to be considered for the list. Revisions of previously published titles will be considered if the revision is to such an extent as to make the book substantially different from the previous edition. Any book removed from consideration the previous year is eligible for consideration during the following year if it meets the eligibility requirements. Any book considered and discussed during final deliberations will be ineligible for nomination during the following year.
Both fiction and nonfiction shall have readable text and format appealing to children and/or teens. Although the list attempts to present a variety of reading tastes and levels, no effort will be made to balance the list according to subject, area of interest, age, or genre. Annotations for the bibliography are written so as to attract the young reader.
Bibliography Selection Process
Committee jury members will regularly recommend titles, discuss recommendations, and participate in straw polls virtually.This non-binding vote indicates the status of books within six weeks before the ALA Midwinter Meeting. The results of this straw poll will be compiled and disseminated to the jury members of the Committee within a week.
After the results of the straw poll, a book may be withdrawn by the person who recommended the title. If another Committee jury member wishes to keep that title on the list for discussion, that person must indicate this; otherwise the book is dropped from the recommended titles list.
The final discussion and selection of the bibliography will be conducted within six weeks of the ALA Midwinter Meeting. Decisions will be reached by consensus, meaning that each member accepts the decision. If the group cannot come to consensus, the decision will be made with no more than one person dissenting. For a book to be put on the list, at least five jury members must have read the book and agreed to its inclusion. Consideration for the final list is not based on a certain number of fiction or nonfiction titles, nor is it based on a certain number of titles for different age groups. Only jury members participating in all discussions about the book will be allowed to vote on a specific title. Jury members can vote only on books they have read in their entirety. The top four or five and the top ten books are also selected for purposes of highlighting exceptional titles for publicity. After the final discussion and selection, titles are then annotated by the committee.
The committee will provide the ALA Public Information Office with the final list of selected titles in the form of a press release. The press release will be posted on the Rainbow Book List website and made available to RRT and SRRT for their websites and other communication channels, and provided to various sources such as magazines directed toward teens, LGBTQIA+ issues, and library professionals and discussion groups on the Internet. The final bibliography, or a portion of it, will also appear in a spring issue of Booklist.
- 2018 October Amendments PDF - Amendments to further align procedures with a board vote to make the OTR a virtual committee, board terms, and adoption of the term LGBTQIA+
- 2014 July Amendments PDF 312kb -- Amendments to further align procedures with the GLBTRT Bylaws, the GLBTRT Leadership Responsibilities document and a board vote about the use of the word nomination at the March 2014 board meeting.
- 2012 July amendments to procedures PDF: 245kb -- Alignment of procedures with the GLBTRT Bylaws adopted 2011 ALA Election and the GLBTRT Leadership Responsibilities document adopted on 7 March 2012 by GLBTRT Steering Committee.
The Rainbow Book List Committee was created as a grass-roots effort in 2007 to provide young people with books that reflect LGBTQIA+ individuals, groups, and experiences. Although many more books with LGBTQIA+ content are available to this audience than in the past, many of these are not identified as such, necessitating such a bibliography. The Rainbow Book List Committee was originally a Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT) task force but became affiliated also with Rainbow Round Table (formerly the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table, GLBTRT) during the ALA Midwinter Meeting 2009.
RRT Membership Meeting Documents, 2009 ALA Annual Conference:
- Membership Meeting Minutes: Not Submitted By Secretary
- Membership Meeting Agenda: [pdf: 68kb]
Project Proposal Documents:
- Amendment to RRT Bylaws for 2009 ALA Annual Conference, RRT Membership Meeting
- 2009 Committee Procedures: [pdf: 82kb]
The Rainbow Book List Committee was officially voted a virtual committee by the RRT Executive Board at its meeting September 2018.
Serving on a Rainbow Round Table committee requires membership in ALA and RRT. Learn more by visiting our membership page. To volunteer for a committee, visit our volunteer form page.