Margaret A. Edwards Committee Description

Type: Standing

Date of Establishment: 1988

Date of Completion: Continuing

Membership: Committee size: 6 virtual members


  • Current membership in YALSA
  • Experience in evaluating library materials, such as relevant course work, on the job materials evaluation experience, writing reviews and/or relevant articles, previous selection committee experience, etc.
  • Ability to attend both ALA's Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference during your term of appointment on the committee.
  • Ability to dedicate a significant amount of time to seeking out and reading relevant titles.
  • No conflicts of interest in accordance with YALSA’s Award & Selection Committee Conflict of Interest Policy.
  • Good time management and organizational skills
  • High ethical standards
  • Previous service on a YALSA committee/jury/taskforce is preferred.

For information on the responsibilities of committee/jury/taskforce members, visit YALSA's Handbook.

Term of Office: 12 months, commencing February 1 and ending January 31, twelve months later. Committee members, including administrative assistants and chairs, who have completed one full term on any of YALSA’s six award committees may not be appointed to the same or another YALSA award committee for two years from the conclusion of their term. In extreme circumstances, and at the President’s discretion, an exception may be made if a committee member resigns suddenly or if there is a shortage of qualified candidates for positions. The President, after discussion with the Executive Director and Committee Chair, may determine that the best course of action is to appoint a member regardless of his/her recent committee service history.

Function: To select a living author or co-author whose book or books, over a period of time, have been accepted by young people as an authentic voice that continues to illuminate their experiences and emotions, giving insight into their lives. The book or books should enable them to understand themselves, the world in which they live, and their relationship with others and with society.

Procedures: See Edwards Award page:

History: The Margaret A. Edwards Award, established in 1988, honors an author's significant and lasting achievement for writing books that have been popular with teenagers. The award is named in honor of the late Margaret A. Edwards, an administrator of young adult programs at Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, MD for more than 30 years. She spent her professional life bringing books and young adults together, pioneering outreach services for teenagers and establishing a stringent training program designed especially for librarians beginning their work with adolescents. Edwards is the author of The Fair Garden and the Swarm of Beasts: The Library and the Young Adult (ALA Editions, 2002) which explains her philosophy for turning young adults into readers. The publication remains a source of inspiration and guidance for librarians who work with young adults in school and public libraries.