professornana (professornana) wrote,

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And the ALAYMA go to...

I was up early this morning, so I could set up the computer for the live webcast of the ALA Youth Media Awards. After I did that, I joined in an online conversation with some friends about the titles we thought we might hear, about one author who let slip early that she had won an award (big oopsie), and about how our credit cards were going to be hit HARD today. This was the first time in 25 years I was not in the magic room where the announcements take place. There is a constant hum and buzz and it is contagious. It is also the first time in so many years that I was not part of one of the selection committees, and I felt more nervous than I thought possible about whether or not I would be as energized about the announcements as if I were there and on one of the committees.

Well, as soon as that first award was announced, the tears began. I cheered, danced, cried, got goosebumps, did fist pumps (and one bump with a rather startled Scout). My BH came into the room during a break in the action to ask if I was enjoying myself. He said it certainly sounded that way to him. You know what? I loved every minute of it even though I was dying to be there in person. My joy was not diminished one bit. I am happy to report that I had read many of the award winning books this year, maybe more than in the past. One reasons for this was that I was NOT on a committee that narrowed my focus (last year, it was audio; before that, Morris debut books). Here's the deal (and I say this every single year), committee members did not read FLORA AND ULYSSES or LOCOMOTIVE or ELEANOR AND PARK once and decide it was a winner or honor title. They read books over and over and over again. They read more widely and more deeply than folks not on the committee. And then they talked about their repeated readings for long swaths of time. Finally, they voted.

So, let me say here: thanks to all of the committee members for their incredible service and dedication. Here's hoping for more energy for the committees whose work is not concluded (QP, BFYA, Notables to mention a few). I am ordering the books I missed and plan to hit those as soon as I finish my own committee work (Audies and Cybils). I look forward to seeing the winners at the annual ALA conference in Vegas in June.

Here is the link to the announcements:
Tags: ala, awards, books, yma

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