Here is the background on this issue, brought to our meeting at Midwinter where we began to consider it. (Please also refer back to Document 22 from our Midwinter meeting.)
The ALSC Executive Committee reviewed the task force’s report during their Midwinter Meeting and recommended the last sentence of the task force’s charge should be part of the new terms (Poetry is not eligible EXCEPT as a format or vehicle to convey information.)
The members of the taskforce did discuss whether or not to include this sentence and decided it did not need to be included as it is covered in the definition and criteria, and wanted to go with something simpler. Susan Veltfort reported that Bob Sibert (donor) said that the criteria didn’t spell out that poetry wasn’t eligible, and he felt it could be eligible. It was recommended that simpler language would be clearer over time (for future committees that don’t have the context of this discussion), but that examples would be good.
Since the task force report only pulled out parts of the terms and criteria, the Board decided that we should review the manual for full context, and continue the discussion after conference.
So, we are first looking at the terms and definitions in their entirety in the manual here: http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/sibertmedal/sibertslct
Then we are determining what changes should be made to “terms” in the manual. As reference, prior to the Board discussion the Task Force recommended this new wording:
“There are no limitations as to the character of the book provided it is an original work. Works of traditional literature (e.g. folktales) are ineligible.”
The Executive Committee, prior to the Board discussion, recommended this new wording:
"There are no limitations as to the character of the book provided it is an original work. Traditional literature (e.g. folktales) are not eligible. Poetry is not eligible EXCEPT as a format or vehicle to convey information."
We spoke of providing examples for clarification of what is and isn't eligible (Joyce Sidman and Old Elm Speaks were mentioned).
Our goal here is agreement on specifically what the terms should say, including examples.