Awards with rewards: Implications and perceptions for collection development for youth

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Including award-winning literature in children’s library collections is often openly stated in a library’s collection development policy. Hateley (2012) notes these “meaningful markers” as a way “to grant our wish of someone somewhere, somehow having read all the books, and worked out which one is best” (p. 190). In an age where librarians are pushed to their limits with time, budget, and curriculum, such designators are useful in helping to develop and maintain a quality collection. At the same time, Hateley (2012) enlists readers to acknowledge the unavoidable human subjectivity involved in the judging process of literary book awards:

What must not be forgotten, however, is that this superhuman work is undertaken by humans—passionate and knowledgeable humans, to be sure, but humans nonetheless. To automatically rely on award winners for collection development may mask the necessary fallibility and idiosyncrasies of individual judges or judging panels. (p. 197)

In a study of “Children’s-Choice” State Book Awards in the US, Storey (1992) further notes censorship issues associated with the selection of books on the award lists and, thus, the availability of books to the children readers meant to select the winners. Storey’s (1992) research reports on a survey of school librarians about censorship related to these book awards. The librarians in the study noted that censorship was “expected and accepted” (Storey, 1992, p. 1). They also supported the use of award lists for selection and collection development which is the focus of the current study reported in this paper. Specifically, the purpose was to investigate youth librarians’ perceptions of using award lists for collection development and to also survey their collections for the presence of five children’s book awards.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2015: IASL Conference Proceedings
Subtitle of host publicationThe school library rocks: Living it, learning it, loving it
Place of PublicationUnited States
PublisherInternational Association of School Librarianship
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventThe 44th Annual International Conference & 17th International Forum on Research in School Librarianship - Maastricht Exhibition and Conference Centre, Maastricht, Netherlands
Duration: 28 Jun 201502 Jul 2015 (Archived page)


ConferenceThe 44th Annual International Conference & 17th International Forum on Research in School Librarianship
OtherObjectives / Goals (but not limited) of the Conference are:

- Advocate the important role of the school library function in compulsory education in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, rest of Europe and globally
- Bring together stakeholders and influence the decision-making process for the implementation of school libraries and school library training
- Professionalise school librarians, teachers and other stakeholders
- Promote exchange and sharing of information on school librarianship
- Promote IASL and its role in school librarianship in the region
- Offer a platform physically and online for school library professionals to meet, create networks and make friends
- Arouse bustle and an atmosphere of ‘revitalisation’ of the school library
- Give all participants a backpack full of information, ideas, friendships and positive feelings to take home with them

The conference includes keynotes, presentations, workshops, award ceremonies, school visits, social events and an information market. Pre- and post-conference workshops and an online conference are part of the total IASL 2015 event.
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