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Christie Gibrich's picture

Rainbow Project Post 2013 Midwdinter Meeting Update

Rainbow Project Committee Report
Seattle, Washington – January 2013
The goal of The Rainbow List Project is to further the mission of the GLBTRT and SRRT by promoting quality GLBTQ literature for youth ages birth through teens through creating an annual recommended  bibliography.  We provide readers with guidance in selecting realistic and recommended books that reflect the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning experience and communities, which is becoming ever so important in today’s world.  In creating our annual bibliography we also provide a tool in which librarians and libraries can locate and retain materials within their collections.

During the Midwinter Meeting in Seattle, Washington, the committee met Saturday, January 26 from 2-5 and Sunday, January 27 from 9-5, and discussed 63 titles. Of those 63 titles, 49 made the finished list, from over 30 different imprints. The list was released on the blog at 1 a.m. Seattle time on Monday, January 28, and authors were contacted via Twitter that morning.  Publishers who were at the ALA Midwinter Meeting were notified during the Monday exhibits hours.  The posting was picked up on Google reader, Twitter feeds, and a variety of RSS feeds as well. The meetings consisted of 7 members: Christie Gibrich, (incoming 2014 Chair), Grand Prairie, Texas; Francesca Burgress, Brooklyn, NY; Jane Cothron, Newport, OR; Christine Jenkins, Champaign, IL; Adela Peskorz, St. Paul, MN; Victor Schill, Houston, TX; and Anna White, Baltimore, MD.

The Top Ten will be in the March edition of Booklist.  All of the youth Stonewall Books were on the Rainbow Project List, and a few of the literature and non-fiction awards were, as well.

Following completion of the list, annotations were assigned and completed, and an introduction and press release were created.
During the meeting time on Sunday, January 27, a business meeting was held to discuss various topic of interest to the committee, and hopefully have a smoother running during the 2013-2014 year.  Notes from that discussion are below:

Letters of Appreciation
Those who wanted letters of appreciation for their service on the committee are to give their contact information to Christie, and she will mail out letters to supervisors the week of February 10.
Addresses and contact information
Once the committee for the 2013-2014 year is set, we will need to gather new contact information. ALA Connect and the ALA listserv that David is putting together for us will use the email that is used for your ALA registration, so if that is NOT the email you prefer for discussions, please go in and change that.

Adding additional book formats to rainbow project
The committee feels that if a library cannot purchase a book to add to their collection then we should not consider it, and that opening the door to publish-on-demand could possibly open the door to web-only published/websites, and other media that is outside the workflow of the committee.  Edocuments such as egalleys and pdfs for consideration (such as review copies) are acceptable, but published/completed works still need to be in the hands of the committee in order to give final consideration for the Midwinter Meeting discussions.  The committee will continue to discuss the question of additional book formats as new formats develop in the future.

Committee Workflow
Committee members felt that having a monthly chat/discussion on ALA Connect would be worthwhile to try, keeping discussion and the flow of the committee more open.  Keeping the request/nominations on Google docs also makes sense as it’s something that can be changed by all committee members, and will be made accessible to all committee members (which was not the case last year).  Committee members will check off titles that they have received when they get them to better track communications with the publishers, and we will devise a color coding/marking system for separating out request to view titles from actual nominations.

Another important point brought up was to keep communication open, talk and discuss more on email, ALA Connect, and that those that are at Annual meet up using the SRRT All Committee time, or another agreeable offsite time that can be arranged closer to date.  Also, post in Google docs and possibly the ALA Connect site a timeline of what committee members should be doing when, and have a *lot* more communication from the chair/chair elect about what should be going on, what committee members should be doing.  Finally, mark all emails from rainbow committee members with RAINBOW PROJECT in the subject (hopefully, this will be made a bit better with the new listserv).

All nominations must include the proper format and a one to two sentence annotation to make things easier during midwinter, no reason to have to be re-writing everything during conference.  Also, have a midpoint straw poll for nominated titles after Annual, with the option to resurrect titles during the December straw poll if someone feels strongly that it needs to be discussed.

Committee members decided to keep one person as contact for publishers in order to streamline the process and lighten the load for publishers and for committee members.  Jane Cothron, who is stepping down from the committee, volunteered to be the publisher contact so that no sitting committee member would have to do that job, and the committee accepted.

Online presence
Christie Gibrich has been the online presence of the Rainbow Project since it started, and as Chair it might be too much to do all at once.  Anna White volunteered to take over the blog and other social media aspects of the Project, and they will work together to get everything transferred.

Thoughts for Annual Program in 2014

  • GLBTQ Jeopardy- teens in the area and other librarians against committee/roundtable members using book covers and authors
    Pairing with YALSA and the Popular Paperback committee since one of their highlights in 2014 will be GLBTQ books
  • Contacting local libraries in Vegas and bringing together a GLBTQ teen panel to talk about GLBTQ teen books and what they like/don’t like
  • Author panels with previous winners in the area.

After the 2013 Midwinter Meetings, we have 5 openings as Jane Cothron, Francesca Burgress, and Adela Peskorz are stepping down.  Christie Gibrich (incoming chair), Christine Jenkins, Victor Schill, and Anna White will return for the 2013 committee. David Vess, GLBT-RT chair, and Laura Koltutsky, SRRT Coordinator, are filling positions, and we hope to be up to full speed by mid- to late-February.

Respectfully submitted,
Christie Gibrich