The Sibert Medal

The award and award committee service

An ALA smore report by Caitlin Jacobson, Ketchikan

I served as Chair this year for the ALA Sibert Informational Book award, which gave the 2017 Medal to Congressman John Lewis and his fellow collaborators for March: Book Three.

My 8 teammates and I read and evaluated several hundred books from the 2016 calendar year, then met at Midwinter for nearly 26 hours to discuss our titles!

The Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award

"Information books are defined as those written and illustrated to present, organize, and interpret documentable, factual material for children. There are no limitations as to the character of the book, although traditional literature (e.g., folktales) is not eligible. Poetry is not eligible except as a format or vehicle to convey information. Honor books may be named; they shall be books that are truly distinguished. The first award was announced at the Midwinter Meeting in 2001 and then presented at the ALSC Membership Meeting held during the Annual Conference." (From the Sibert page.)

Our winner!

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How do book awards help front line staff?

It's an easy way to find books for your library!

It's an easy way to promote great books for your patrons!

A Sibert Medal Infographic

Facts about the medal from The Nonfiction Detectives blog. Find more of their great recommendations at
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Diversity is an issue for award committees

Following a few glaring absences of color in awards (remember #OscarsSoWhite?), ALA has given more attention to diverse literature. The new organization We Need Diverse Books has been on the forefront of bringing attention to the issue.

As part of our training on ALA ALSC award committees, we viewed a terrific podcast by longtime ALA member K.T. Horning. See below!

SLJ Diversity Course: Keynote Lecture by KT Horning