The Choice is Yours: Bringing the Young Reader’s Choice Award to Life in Your Library
Sara Saxton’s session on the Young Reader’s Choice Award (YRCA) reinforced the idea that students should have a voice in determining their favorite books and circulating the information to their peers. The YRCA is sponsored by PNLA (Pacific Northwest Library Association), which is geared mostly toward public and academic librarians, but welcomes all librarians. Awards are in three categories: Junior (grades 4-6), Intermediate (grades 7-9), and Senior (grades 10-12). Nominations for the award, drawn from books published 3 years earlier, may be made by librarians, teachers, parents, students, and others. These are submitted to a state rep, and when the finalists are determined, only students may vote, but must read more than one book in a category to be eligible for those votes. Voting takes place between March 15 and April 15, with the presentation to the author at the August PNLA conference. Last year more than 50,000 kids voted. Since most of them were from Alberta, Canada, so there is a need to increase participation from Alaska students. The plan is to get kids excited about the program (read, nominate), make sure that enthusiasm continues as kids read books in various categories, and prepare to vote.