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2013 Award and Notable Chairs Orientation . January 25, 2013 7:00-9:00 PM Sheraton Seattle, Cedar A. 1. Introductions. 2. Discussion: What makes an effective committee chair?. 3. Roles of the Chair/PGC/ALSC Staff/Executive Committee.

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2013 award and notable chairs orientation

2013 Award and Notable Chairs Orientation

January 25, 2013

7:00-9:00 PM

Sheraton Seattle, Cedar A

3 roles of the chair pgc alsc staff executive committee
3. Roles of the Chair/PGC/ALSC Staff/Executive Committee

  • Chair sets the calendar and meeting agendas, runs the meetings, compiles suggestion/nomination lists, communicates with publishers, and maintains regular communication with committee members.

    • The Chair should be familiar with all committee policies and procedures, and should communicate with the previous chair(s) to learn from their experience. Try to make your initial contact with the previous chair as soon as possible.

  • Priority Group Consultants serve as liaisons between Chairs and ALSC Staff.

  • ALSC Awards Coordinator manages conference arrangements and administrative issues.

  • ALSC Marketing Specialist (Dan Rude) can assist with ALA Connect.

  • ALSC Executive Committee may be called upon to make final eligibility determinations in ambiguous cases.

Contacts for chairs
Contacts for Chairs

  • Priority Consultant Group II: Priority Consultant Group V :

    Evaluation of Media Awards

    Julie Roach Judy Zuckerman

    jul_roach@yahoo.com j.zuckerman@brooklynpubliclibrary.org

  • ALSC Awards Coordinator:

    • Caroline Jewell cjewell@ala.orgor 312-280-5839

  • Executive Committee:

    • Executive Director Aimee Strittmatterastrittmatter@ala.org

    • Past President Mary Fellows maryalsc@gmail.com

    • President Carolyn Brodiecarolynalsc@gmail.com

    • President Elect Starr LaTronicastarralsc@gmail.com

Email communications between chair and pgc alsc
Email Communications Between Chair and PGC/ALSC

  • Keep all relevant persons in the loop.

  • All conference reports and related documents should be sent to Caroline, with a cc to the Priority Group Consultant, the Executive Director, the Past President, the President and the President-Elect.

  • All eligibility issues related to interpretation of terms and criteria that cannot be decided by the committee should be sent to the Priority Group Consultant. The Chair and PGC will confer, and in some cases may decide to refer the question to the Executive Committee for final eligibility determination.

  • Suggestions and nominations are sent to Caroline beginning in September.

  • If you anticipate that the committee will want to suggest future changes to the terms and criteria for the award, please cc the PGC and Caroline on relevant discussions.

  • Questions from the chairs to the publishers regarding eligibility and material requests should be copied to the PGC and Caroline. Committee members should not contact publishers.

Annual conference meeting
Annual Conference Meeting

  • ALSC works under the auspices of ALA Conference Services for Annual and Midwinter. They schedule over 2,000 meetings and programs at each conference.

    • ALSC must adhere to their deadlines and room availability.

    • The ALSC office sent you a spreadsheet in mid November with the dates and times of your meetings at Annual 2013 and Midwinter 2014. Room assignments will be made a few weeks before each conference.

    • The ALSC office requests that your meetings be set in conference table style with theater seating for any guests in attendance. You may be placed in a room that is larger than your needs.

    • You do not have a locked room at Annual but Conference Services tries to accommodate the use of the same room on the same day. Your meeting may be scheduled in a separate location the following day.

    • The office does not send books to Annual. The chair arranges for copies of the practice discussion titles to be brought by different committee members. However, the office will send all discussion titles to your Midwinter meeting.

  • Chairs will meet with PGCs at Annual for an orientation meeting to prepare for Midwinter.

Internet access during committee meetings
Internet Access During Committee Meetings

  • Due to the high cost (several hundred dollars per day), ALSC is unable to provide computers and Internet access in your committee meeting room. Do not ask the hotel if you can obtain Internet access. They will do it, but then charge ALA’s account and we do not have the funds to cover this expense.

  • If you need to use the Internet for your committee work, you may use part of your committee budget ($400 total) to pay for Internet access in your hotel sleeping room if you have a laptop to use.  This is usually only $10-$12 per day or free in some hotels. 

  • If you choose to access the Internet, you will need to submit your original hotel receipt to ALSC for reimbursement using Form A from the Division Leadership Manual (tip: ask for two receipts when you checkout so that you still have a receipt for yourself). 

  • You may be able to freely access the Internet through your personal mobile device (smartphone/tablet with 3G or 4G, tethering, etc.) You are welcome to take advantage of this if you are able.

Agendas and reports
Agendas and Reports

  • A Meeting Agenda and a Pre-Midwinter or Annual Conference Agenda Cover Sheet (Form D.1) should be submitted one month prior to the Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference.

    • Send to Awards Coordinator Caroline Jewell.

    • Cc Priority Group Consultant, Executive Director, ALSC President, Vice-President/President Elect, Past President.

    • Chair should post the Agenda on ALA Connect.

  • A Post-Midwinter Meeting/Annual Conference Committee Report Form D.2 must be submitted no later than 21 days after the end of the Meeting or Conference.

    • Nothing confidential should appear in the body of your report, but recommendations relating to the committee’s charge and procedures can be included.

    • Chair should also post Form D.2 on ALA Connect.

Open vs closed meetings and visiting experts
“Open” vs. “Closed” Meetings and Visiting Experts

  • For award committees, the first Midwinter Meeting of the year under consideration is open to non-committee members and visitors.

  • For award committees, the committee meetings at the Annual Conference of the year under consideration are closed, and the Midwinter Selection Meeting of next year is closed.

  • Notables discussion meetings are open to non-committee members and visitors. However, portions of the voting process may be closed, as outlined in committee manuals.

  • Chairs are welcome to invite a guest “expert” to address the committee. Former Chairs make great visiting experts. However, all visiting experts must be in compliance with the Policy for Service on Award Committees.

5 suggestions and nominations

5. Suggestions and Nominations

Not all committees utilize suggestions and nominations. Specifics for your committee will be discussed in the breakout groups.

Committee chair s responsibilities
Committee Chair’s Responsibilities

  • Chair creates a calendar with deadlines for suggestions and nominations, following the guidelines in the manual for dates.

  • Chair compiles a cumulative suggestions list with newly added titles highlighted. Chair turns around the list in a week or less.

  • Suggestions are anonymous.

  • Titles may be removed from the Suggestions List at the Annual Meeting, but only on request of the person or persons who suggested them.

  • Follow procedures for nominations as outlined in the committee manual.

  • Beginning in September, Chair begins forwarding the cumulative suggestions/nominations lists to Caroline.

  • Chair calls for final suggestions of titles received after the December nominations are submitted.

  • At the Midwinter Meeting only nominated titles and late suggestions are discussed by Caldecott, Newbery, Sibert, and the Notables committees. Odyssey discusses nominated titles only. Batchelder, Belpré, and Geisel discuss suggested and nominated titles.

Participation of the alsc membership
Participation of the ALSC Membership

  • Suggestions from the ALSC membership-at-large are an important source of titles.

  • The Chair will place a notice on the ALSC-L electronic list and on the ALSC blog; the ALSC Program Officer will post a notice on the ALSC website, in the newsletter ALSConnect, and in Children and Libraries: The Journal of the Association for Library Service to Children.

  • The Chair may place a notice directly on ALSC-L; the notice for the ALSC Blog should be submitted to the ALSC Blog Manager at alscblog@gmail.com.

Sample membership suggestions notice
Sample Membership Suggestions Notice

  • ALSC Personal Members are invited to suggest titles for the 2013 Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award given to the most distinguished informational book for children published in the United States during 2012. Please remember that only books from this publishing year are under consideration for the 2013 award.

  • You may send recommendations with full bibliographic information to (Chair) at (email).

  • The award will be announced at the press conference during the ALA Midwinter Meeting in January 2013.

  • For more information about the award, visit the ALSC website at http://www.ala.org/alsc/. Click on “Awards and Grants” in the left-hand navigation bar; then click on “ALSC Book & Media Awards.” Next, scroll down to the “Sibert Medal Home Page” to learn more specifics about the award.

6 committee budget
6. Committee Budget

  • $400.00

  • Covers photocopying, supplies (post-its, notebooks, dividers, etc.), telephone (including conference calls), postage, and hotel Internet access (in sleeping room only) for Chairs during conferences.

  • Submit original receipts and completed Form A: Request for Reimbursement (found in the DLM) to Caroline in the ALSC office.

  • If committee members are sharing books and media, they can submit original receipts from postage to the Chair for reimbursement. Chair will then fill out Form A for their reimbursement so she or he can track expenses.

  • Tip: Request duplicate receipts from hotel so you can submit an original and keep one.

Attendance at meetings and resignations
Attendance at Meetings and Resignations

  • Committee members must commit to attendance at the Annual and Midwinter meetings, must be up-to-date on their division dues, and must be registered for the conference.

  • A resignation to the ALSC President must be tendered in the event a committee member is unable to attend a required meeting.

  • The President shall then appoint a new committee member to fill the vacancy.

  • If a suitable replacement cannot be found in time for the Midwinter Selection Meeting, the committee will operate one member down and will have to reformulate the voting process to vote one member down. Refer to the award manual for guidelines.

  • The timing of the resignation may determine the course of action.

Concerns about committee members
Concerns About Committee Members

  • These are most often related to a lack of communication and failure to meet deadlines.

  • If possible, talk to the member on the phone about concerns.

  • If the situation doesn’t improve, contact the PGC.

  • Unforeseen personal and professional circumstances arise that may interfere with a committee member’s service; there is no shame in stepping down.


  • The list of committee members on the ALA website includes names only.

  • The information shared with publishers will be taken from the ALA membership records. Please have your members double-check that their ALA member record is up-to-date ASAP.

  • A member may update his/her record online at www.ala.org. After logging in, and click “update your profile.” S/he may also call the Member & Customer Service Department at 1-800-545-2433, ext.5 or email membership@ala.org. Be sure it is an address where you can receive numerous shipments of review material.

  • Provide an address that is usable for the length of the entire term. It takes several weeks for publishers to update their inventory systems, with changes resulting in lost shipments.

  • Chairs will be sent a draft roster for verification before addresses are sent to publishers.

  • The Chair verifies addresses with their committee preferably before Midwinter, but no later than the end of the Midwinter Meeting. If any changes are needed, the Chair has the member update their record immediately.

Change of address
Change of Address

  • If a member should need to change his/her address, the member updates his/her member record with ALA as previously mentioned.

  • The member contacts the chair one month prior with details of address change. Chair then notifies ALSC Awards Coordinator Caroline Jewell.

  • Caroline will send an e-mail to publishers and notify them of the change.

  • Member should routinely check the old address for any missed shipments.

Conflict of interest
Conflict of Interest

  • Review the conflict of interest policy included in the manual with committee members at the first optional Midwinter meeting and/or at the required Annual meeting.

Email within the committee
Email Within the Committee

  • As a practical matter, email is not used for substantive discussion. It is not a substitute for face-to-face book discussion. During the year, committee members may wish to discuss matters of concern having to do with eligibility or factual errors in a book. Questions on such matters are directed to the Chair who decides whether or not to bring a particular question to the full committee.

  • Since the committee’s electronic communication is generally confidential, take measures to insure confidentiality. For email, include the word “confidential” on the subject line or as part of the transmission options. Some committees select a “code phrase” that does not include the committee name.

  • Alert committee members who work on public or shared computers that they must find a way to maintain confidentiality.


  • Feel free to express your personal opinions about books/media.

  • However, ALL committee discussions, in person AND online, are confidential. This requirement for confidentiality does not expire; there is no time when committee confidentiality may be breached.

Reviewing and blogging
Reviewing and Blogging

  • Committee members who review for professional journals may continue to do so, as long as they do not review books in the context of the awards. ALSC leaders advise that committee members avoid reviewing eligible books during their term of service. Since we understand that this is not practical for those who review full time, we leave this to the judgment of individual committee members.

  • Committee members who blog or participate in other forms of social networking are asked to observe the same standards for confidentiality that they would for any other kind of written or oral communication related to the awards. Committee members cannot discuss award committee work and cannot discuss eligible books in the context of the awards.

  • Committee members on social networking sites or other similar sites should avoid posting hints such as a photograph of their bookshelves filling up with materials under consideration.

Relationship with publishers
Relationship With Publishers

  • Feel free to accept invitations from publishers for meals, etc., as long as they do not interfere with committee meetings. However, do not solicit invitations.

  • Let publishers know that eligibility issues are decided in committee and are confidential. Refer publishers to the award manual and Priority Group Consultant. As chair, publishers may ask you if a particular item is eligible, and the standard response is that eligibility issues are decided in committee and remain confidential, and all materials published within the award time frame are considered. You will not be able to reveal whether or not an item was determined to be eligible.

Requesting materials from publishers
Requesting Materials From Publishers

  • Publishers submit books as a courtesy.

  • A condition of committee service is that committee members have access to eligible materials.

  • The PGC and the committee chair can make requests; committee members


  • Make requests after materials have been published. You should start to receive review copies in the spring. However, committee members should not wait for publisher submissions. They can begin by reading reviews, looking at publisher catalogs, Amazon.com, and can utilize their library, ILL, or visits to the bookstore to obtain or look at books.

  • Use diplomatic language (“We want to make sure we haven’t missed anything.”)

  • Request two copies: one for the ALSC office, the other for the chair to share with committee members and if possible, books for each committee member.

  • Copy requests to your PGC and Caroline to keep them in the loop.

  • Many of the larger publishers will send copies to all members but smaller publishers may not.

  • The ALSC Office has a listing of book publishers and audio/video producers’ marketing contacts that they will send to Chairs in the spring.

Author illustrator and publisher eligibility
Author, Illustrator, and Publisher Eligibility

  • Refer to your committee manual for the current terms, criteria, and definitions, including the Appendix: EXPANDED DEFINITIONS & EXAMPLES, rather than to precedent or past winners to determine eligibility.

  • It is important for committee members to check on the eligibility of both the publisher and author/illustrator of the work--the year of publication, the citizenship and/or residency of the author, and the locale of the publisher (or in the case of Carnegie, producer).

  • Chairs and committee members are empowered to do their own research and make eligibility decisions within the committee. In some cases there may be a need to request additional information from the publisher. Please remember that all eligibility decisions are confidential.

  • In ambiguous cases, committee members notify the Chair who consults with the Priority Group Consultant on eligibility questions. Occasionally the PGC and Chair will refer questions to the ALSC Executive Committee for a final eligibility determination.

Book eligibility original work and new formats
Book Eligibility: Original Work and New Formats

  • The intent is to insure that a book is a NEW creation, and not a re-creation from some other work.

  • This does not mean that some minor portion of the work cannot have appeared elsewhere. It does mean, however, that no significant part of the book under consideration was originally part of another work.

  • Not all cases are clear-cut, and each committee must make its own judgments about originality.

  • New formats (e.g., books that first appeared on a blog or website) can make eligibility issues particularly tricky.

  • Where consensus is not easily reached or is especially contentious, the Chair should discuss the issue with the Priority Group Consultant.

  • The Priority Group Consultant may also consult with the President, the Executive Director, the Board or previous chairs.

Self published books
Self-Published Books

  • Self-published authors and illustrators can be extremely persistent.

  • Since rosters are no longer published online, individuals interested in submitting works (books/recordings/videos) for consideration must contact the ALSC office. They will be given details on sending their works to the committee Chair and the ALSC Office, not to the entire committee.

  • You may be contacted repeatedly for feedback. It is best to refer the individuals to the award terms and criteria on the website.

  • If you are asked for confirmation that their works have been received, it is fine to say, “Due to the volume of mail, receipt of submissions cannot be acknowledged. All books received are read and evaluated by committee members.”


You and your committee members will undoubtedly have more questions as you progress with your work. Where can you go for answers?

  • This presentation – please save it for future reference

  • Your committee manual

  • Previous committee chairs

  • Your Priority Group Consultant