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Post Midwinter Conference Committee Report

Form D.2, Post-Midwinter Meeting/Annual Conference Committee Report


NOTE: Please use this form during conference to take notes. Submit one copy of the completed report (electronically) to the ALSC Executive Director before leaving the conference, if possible, or within three weeks of the end of the conference. Also, submit one copy of this form (electronically) to the following individuals: your priority group consultant, President, and Vice-President/ President Elect. Retain one copy to share with committee members.


Please note: Additionally, please upload your report to your ALAConnect committee environment at http://connect.ala.org (and mark the document as public), so that all ALSC members interested in your committee work may access your report.  If your committee is a professional or book and media award committee, please do not include confidential information in your report.


Please check one:

q Annual Conference Report                                                x Midwinter Meeting Report


Name of Committee: __2012 Notable Children’s Books ______________________


Priority Group Number: __II_ Priority Group Consultant: ___ Julie Roach _____________


Committee Chair: Kathleen Isaacs                          Date: ___1/20-1/24/2012_______


Members Attending:



Meagan Albright

Miriam Lang Budin

Dana Buttler

Patty Carleton

Rosemary Chance

Barbara Chatton

Edith Ching
Betsy Fraser


Maryann Owen
Linda Perkins


Members Absent: None



Booklist Liason: Ilene Cooper

Perhaps 400 observers over the course of the 4 days of public discussion. (175 handouts were taken; the room was almost full at times on Saturday and Sunday but observers came and went).  Two observers came for the voting session


Summarize Committee discussion, any decisions reached, and follow-up action needed, including suggestions for future programs or publications based on the committee’s work.


Our charge was to select a list of notable books for children published in the US in 2011 from the 5000 or so published this year. (That estimate comes from our Booklist liason.) Our committee members received around 1800 submissions from publishers, and read widely among those books and others available in libraries and bookstores. Over the course of the year we nominated and voted to include in our discussions 287 books. At this meeting we discussed 96 new books and reviewed 54. Our discussion list was made available on the web and also as a handout for the audience. We voted to select our top 75 and ended up with a list of 79, to which we added the 24 titles which had received ALSC awards.  We wrote annotations for all books we had selected, submitting a final list in spreadsheet form to Booklist and the ALSC office



How did the Committee’s activities during this conference help to achieve your objectives and meet the timetable set by the Committee?


Our discussions were thoughtful, civil, lively, productive – and full of good humor. We kept to our own timetable and met the ALSC deadlines, producing a varied list the division can be proud to share.  We modeled good discussion practice and introduced a goodly number of significant books to our audience in the room.



How did the Committee’s activities help to further ALSC’s Strategic Plan? Specifically, which goal areas and objectives are addressed by these activities?

Goal Area:  Advocacy

ALSC will promote and advance excellent library service for all children.

Objective 1:  Increase awareness of the value of excellent library service for all children.

 Our committee helped to support ALSC’s role in fostering awareness of the best in children’s literature through ALSC blog publication of the winter discussion list and the production of a final 2012 list. 

Goal Area: Education

ALSC will strengthen, support, and advance research and education in the area of library services to children.

Objective 1:    Enhance continuing education opportunities for children’s librarians, youth service staff, and other internal and external stakeholders.

Our committee helped to support ALSC’s role in continuing education by articulating the qualities that distinguish notable children’s literature and modeling the book discussion process during our public meetings.



What problems did you encounter? What were the highlights of the committee meeting(s)?


It could have been a problem that the conference xerographic department didn’t open until noon Friday and our first open meetings were at 1:30. We had a lengthy booklist and needed 200 copies. The ALSC staff made this happen and brought us the lists in time. (Thank you, Jenny.)


The room was not secure. We locked it every night but it was open for us every morning except Tuesday.  Our books are on display in that room. No books were lost but the cleaners did clean up all our carefully saved plastic water bottles.


Our room was at a far end of the convention center, hard to find because of the layout of the facility. Since this is a public program, some signage might help. On the positive side it was quiet and the AV support staff were always nearby and exceptionally helpful.  Water and bathrooms were also nearby.


We had 5 microphones and 2 power strips. We could have used 6 mikes and 3 power strips since many members were using electronic devices.


Betsy Fraser produced an excellent slide show, which she manipulated capably from her own computer while also using it for her own notes. This was an impressive feat!


The layout of the tables – an open rhombus that seems to include the audience – was often praised. We liked it because we could hear and see each other but the audience also felt welcomed to listen in.



Do you have any recommendations for changes in your committee structure or charge?


I have no recommendations for change in the structure or charge of the committee.

I would, however, recommend stronger wording on the website about submitting books early. Our timetable required that we essentially finish our reading by early December. That allows for a last-minute ballot and for getting the discussion list to the ALSC office and blog in a timely fashion. Some publishers and over 50 self-publishers submitted books AFTER our December12 last big ballot.  Since self-published books must be circulated among the committee, if they are to be considered, it is unrealistic to expect consideration after October 31.  I would suggest a line on the website that encourages everyone to submit books by October 31 unless finished copies are not yet available


What are your objectives and timetable for work to do between now and the next conference?


Our committee’s work is over except for the ongoing work of publicizing our list.

About half the committee will go on to serve on next year’s Notable Children’s Books Committee. I expect they will provide strong models. 




___Kathleen T. Isaacs________________________________       __1/26/2012__

Signature of person reporting                                                                            date