I cannot believe how LONG January lasted. Between the cold weather, and what seemed like endless days, I sure am glad February has arrived! I also cannot believe I read a total of 44 books this past month!
Full confession, 25 of those were picture books – yes, I read picture books. As the incoming chairperson for the 2018-19 South Carolina Book Awards Committee it is my responsibility to request consideration copies from vendors for our committees (Picture, Children’s, Junior, and Young Adult). A HUGE THANK YOU to all of the vendors who have sent in books and continue to send books! There are too many to individually name here as it would take up this entire post! Anyway, since I’ve been receiving the books, I’ve been sneaking a few readings here and there – shhh! Don’t tell anyone! I’d review some here, but then you’d know what books are coming up!
Speaking of the SC Book Award Committees, we are still in need of volunteers! For more information about book awards you can see the webpage and access the application, too! Here is a breakdown of the responsibilities for being a book award committee member:
- membership on a committee is a two year commitment
- members must maintain SCASL membership for the length of your term on the book award committee
- members agree to attend four Columba area meetings (2018 dates are May 19, Aug. 4, Oct. 20, and Dec. 8) [missing more than one meeting automatically removes you from the committee] – UPDATED: the meeting dates were incorrect and have been fixed!
- members read approximately 100 (YABA), 150 (JBA), 175 (CBA) or 200 (PBA) books to narrow the titles down to the top 20 best books. [The committee you serve as a parent, student, teacher, librarian, etc. is determined by the level you work or the grade your child attends: PBA is grades 4K-3; CBA is grades 3-6; JBA is grades 6-9; and YABA is grades 9-12.]
- members submit 12 titles for the next years consideration list
- members assist in the creation of an online activity guide for your committee’s nominees [Members are required to create an activity guide for at least one nominee title.]
- members attend the SCASL conference, are present at the appropriate book talk sessions and present a booktalk for at least one book [While this is a requirement, there is an understanding that not all principals will allow for their staff to attend conferences. Not being able to fulfill this requirement will not automatically remove you from the committee. However, it is strongly encouraged that members do their best to try to attend conference – at least on the one day of their committee’s session.]
- members work one shift in the Book Award section of the conference store during the SCASL annual conference.
While reading the above sounds like a lot (especially the reading) it really isn’t. And it is well worth it. I’ve been a Young Adult Book Award Committee member three times and enjoyed it every time. It forces you to read books you wouldn’t normally have chosen to read – and discover books you wouldn’t have thought you’d enjoy! You are able to discuss books more knowledgeably with your students. And you get to have discussions about books with teachers, parents, STUDENTS, and librarian from all over the state. It is an awesome experience. [Oh, and in December you get to keep some of those consideration copies those WONDERFUL vendors so graciously donated to our committees! My school/students sure did love those extra book donations!]