Category Archives: Kate Greenaway

The CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Medals: a change has come

Full disclosure: I am a member of CILIP and a former judge for the 2015 & 16 CILIP CKG Medals.

I knew it was coming, and was even expecting it, but what with some changes in my life and location, the announcement that the CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Awards Independent Diversity Review Final Report was published on Thursday 27th September still managed to catch me by surprise.

As an ardent fan (although not an uncritical one), follower and commentator of the Medals, I was excited to read the recommendations, but still approached them with a sense of trepidation; owing possibly to the sense of ownership I felt as a librarian and as a member of CILIP and the Youth Libraries Group. Nevertheless I shook off these feelings and approached the report with a cautious optimism and told myself that the Awards do not belong to me, that I know they are a living thing that can and have changed in the past and that change is good.

The ten recommendations made in the final report are:

  • Explicitly champion diversity through the Awards’ strategies, development plans and messages including a statement of a robust and proactive strategy for the Awards that clearly states a commitment to diversity and inclusion with clear vision, objectives, and positive action towards stated intended outcomes.
  • Recognise a diverse range of voices and perspectives in the nominations, longlist, shortlist and prize winners.
  • Expand the diversity profile of the judges by increasing the variety of backgrounds and lived-experiences amongst CILIP’s panel of librarian judges.
  • Establish an equality, diversity and inclusion advisory panel to accelerate the embedding of diversity and inclusion throughout the Awards.
  • Strengthen the diversity training that librarian judges receive to instil heightened awareness of diversity and inclusion and understanding of the impact of power dynamics, as well as acknowledgement of inevitable personal biases in all members of the panel.
  • Review the Awards criteria through an open and collaborative process that includes a diversity of perspectives and lived-experience. Consider the inclusion of criteria for innovation, shifting perceptions, or writing about different backgrounds and experience as indicators of quality and excellence.
  • Empower and celebrate the children and young people involved in the Awards through the shadowing scheme by giving them a significant voice and visible presence in the process and prize giving.
  • Strengthen the governance that supports the Awards’ strategic direction, calling on internal and external experts to lead the Awards through a sustainable change process over the short and long term.
  • Raise greater awareness of diverse books amongst librarians and identify opportunities for further championing of diversity with the library supply sector.
  • Increase outreach by opening up and amplifying the nominations process, discovering and recognising new and diverse talent and forging new partnerships.

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    CILIP’s immediate actions are to:

  • Creating a new mission for the Awards: To inspire and empower the next generation to create a better world through books and reading.
  • Opening up the nominations process to external nominating bodies as well as librarians including BookTrust, CLPE, Commonword, IBBY, Inclusive Minds, National Literacy Trust and RNIB.
  • Creating a list of eligible books by diverse authors and illustrators, to raise awareness amongst CILIP members.
  • Expanding the judging panel to bring in a broader range of perspectives and experiences into the judging process.
  • Setting up an equality, diversity and inclusion advisory panel to bring greater representation and lived experience into the Awards process.
  • Providing judges with enhanced diversity training including coaching sessions, bias testing and guidance notes on identifying inclusion in children’s books.
  • Introducing a new children’s choice prize to be presented by participants of the Shadowing scheme at the June Awards ceremony.
  • Celebrating new and emerging talent though a quarterly publication of top 10 new voices eligible for the upcoming Medals.

  •  
    The recommendations and actions that give me a sense of joy and elation are that future Awards will include recognition from the Shadowing scheme, I and many other judges and observers over the years have asked for and pushed for this, or something like it to be included in the ceremony. The already excellent training that judges go through before they sit on the panel is to be improved with diversity training to assist judges in identifying bias and inclusion.

    I must admit to feeling a bit smug at being ahead of the curve when I read that CILIP is curating a list of eligible diverse books for the 2019 awards as that is something I was working on for the 2018 Awards; such lists are important, for, as I wrote then: I believe that it is possible for books to slip past fairly easily, due to the sheer volume of books published for children and young readers and the limits that publishers publicity departments face with regard to budget, many books are released with little or no official fanfare at all.

    Maintaining awareness of new books is an on-going struggle for library workers, this is made more difficult with services such as supplier selection which removes choice from staff in libraries; often popular titles and authors are purchased to the exclusion of new authors and illustrators or small and independent publishers. I will just say that many of my best sources of information about new and diverse books are librarians that I know personally and on-line as we are passionate about discovering new authors to enable us to put books in the hands of readers who will enjoy them.

    Allied with this is the inclusion of new nominating bodies, including IBBY, CLPE, Booktrust, Inclusive Minds, the RNIB, CommonWord and the National Literacy Trust. At first I was skeptical of opening nominations to outside organisations but after some reflection I have come to realise that the organisations involved are all allied in some way with CILIP and may catch and nominate diverse titles that are missed by librarian nominators.

    Expanding diversity and experience among the judging panel is a process that has already begun with judges being recruited from a wider pool within CILIP, the first judges recruited in this way will be judging the 2019 Medals.

    I am curious as to why the panel is being enlarged to 14 judges; in previous years judges have represented the 12 YLG regions in the UK. I am assuming that the extras will be chosen from the pool of applications for the original 12 places. An added point of concern is that it will place more pressure on finding judges, as I am aware that in the past filling slots on the panel has been a bit fraught due to a lack of available librarians. I wonder whether the extra judges be chosen in rotation from the different regions every two years in the interests of balance and equality?

    The call to review the awards criteria is one that I feel may be redundant, as the criteria are already regularly reviewed and updated when short-comings are discovered. The most recent example of this is the addition of the illustrator’s name to illustrated novels nominated for the Carnegie Medal in 2016 . I do however recognise that the explicit language used may be needed to inform those unaware of how the criteria are governed and updated.

    Adding an equality, diversity and inclusion advisory panel to the panel that already exists to advise and monitor the awards process can only assist the judges in their deliberations and making the strongest possible selections. I will watch with interest and look forward to discovering who will make up the panel.

    The championing of new voices is a great idea and one that will lead to a closer working relationship between CILIP and publishers & authors in the UK and abroad.

    The creation of a new mission for the CKG Awards firmly embeds the purpose of the awards and extends it to make them two of the most inclusive book awards, and not just for books and illustration for children and young people:

    Mission

    To inspire and empower the next generation to create a better world through books and reading.

    We will do this by:

  • Celebrating outstanding writing and illustration for children and young people.
  • Recognising a broad range of perspectives, experiences and voices.
  • Championing the power of librarians to connect children and young people with outstanding books that represent their identities and help them shape a better world.
  • Encouraging authors, illustrators and publishers to create more books for children and young people that reflect all identities and promote diversity.
  • Promoting a readership and market that values diversity, representation and inclusion in books for books for children and young people.
  • Challenging children and young people with a diversity of ideas and perspectives to promote empathy, tolerance and understanding.
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    The CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Awards have been in existence for over 80 and 60 years respectively, and under the stewardship of the Youth Libraries Group and CILIP they have grown in prestige and awareness over the decades. I trust the stewards to do the right thing for the awards, to make them stronger and ever more inclusive; in supporting the judges as the work that they do grows ever harder with no end in sight to the growth in publishing for young people.

    I look forward to watching the awards progress in coming years, to see how the largest changes in over a generation affect them; but remain confident that it will be change for the better, as their defining purpose, the recognition of outstanding writing and illustration for children and young people, has not changed!

    Links

    CILIP post on the Final Report

    Independent Diversity Review: Final Report

    Bookseller article: CILIP makes changes at Carnegie and Kate Greenaway following diversity review

    Guardian article: Carnegie medal promises immediate action over lack of diversity

    CKG18 awards winners

    In case you somehow managed to miss the news yesterday, the CILIP CKG awards ceremony was held at the British Library.

    It was a fantastic event that is well worth watching again for the eloquent speeches. I’m just going to share a link to clips of some of the event, and Jake Hope’s post about the awards and the winners.

    Head to twitter and look over the #CKG18 hashtag to catch up on opinions and photos.

    It marked the end of my two year judging tenure. It has been such a joy to be involved in the process, although really hard to not join in public conversations about the books! I now have a huge TBR pile to catch up on, ready to pick my nominations for 2019…and TALK ABOUT!

    Whatever Happened to the CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Medals?

    The Time: Next week?

    The Place: Austerity UK

    When the last Libraries closed and the final Librarians and Library workers packed off the retraining facilities or retired it was realised that the minute savings made from destroying the public library service made no impact on reducing the deficit or ending austerity.

    Still every little helps (or not as the case may be)
     
    CILIP quietly disbanded the YLG and felt guilty about it, without Children’s & Young Peoples Librarians there were no facilitators, no organisers, no judges so the awards just did not happen. There was shock and disbelief that awards with such a prestigious and high profile history could end but what could one do? The librarians were just not there anymore – who knew this could happen?
     
    Oh sure there were a few protests and people shouting about how important they were but apart from a few column inches here and blog posts there they just faded into history.
     
    Without authors and illustrators there would be no need for the Awards, but without Librarians there would be no Awards.

    That may be the future but it is not this day!

    Today the CKG Medal winners are announced, the 81st CILIP Carnegie Medal will be awarded to the most outstanding book for children and young people and the 61st Kate Greenaway Medal will be awarded to the most outstanding illustrated work.

    It is amazing, for years I have been fascinated by the Medals and then I was selected to join the Judging Panel and became one of a select few to see behind the curtain and now I am more engaged with the awards than ever before! Knowing how much work, dedication and personal sacrifice goes in to running and judging the awards is mind-boggling.

    Seriously if you want to know more about how the awards function then get hold of a judge and speak to them! You will learn that Librarians are Super Heores!

    The fact that the awards are run wholly and solely by librarians is often overlooked, and in the current era of cuts and closures this makes them vulnerable. The threat is very real, and the loss of prestigious awards such as the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals is something that could be used by Library Activists protesting the ongoing loss and deprofessionalisation of Libraries in the UK.

    That, however is a consideration for Tuesday morning, for today is a day for celebrating literature, reading, authors and librarians!

    If you excited about the 81st CILIP Carnegie Medal and the 61st CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal recipients then you can watch live here: http://carnegiegreenawauk/sty.org.ream.php from 12pm and join the celebrations on social media using the #CKG18 hashtag.

    So Long, and Thanks For All the Fics, Non-Fics and Pic Bks*

    *Fiction, Non-Fiction and Picture Books

    So… this is it, for the first time in two years I am out of the club of Judges, I have handed in my badge and secret decoder ring; the codes on the doors have been changed and my e-mail address removed from the judges mailing list.

    Yesterday the 2016 CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Awards for the most outstanding books were awarded to Sarah Crossan for One and to Chris Riddell for The Sleeper and the Spindle.

    This marked the end of my active invlovement as a CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Judge, having read (and reread) a combined number of 325 books over two years, and in that time winnowed them down to four outstanding books I am now free! Not that I really want to be but the CKG Awards always require fresh blood periodically.

    I have worked with amazing librarians from across the country, people I previously only knew from twitter, e-mail (and some not at all), became friends and allies in the battle to recognise the most outstanding books for young people. In no particular order these stellar examples of librarian judges are (in no particular order):

    Kara
    Victoria
    Sophie
    Kathryn
    Jan
    Lucy
    Tom
    Elizabeth
    Isobel
    Alison
    Amy
    Joy
    Agnes
    Siobhan
    Jenna
    Tracey
    Jillian
    Jennifer
    Tanja
    Martha
    Ellen

    Thank you all! I owe everyone a debt of gratitude for making me welcome and for the experience of critically examining and discussing some of the best books published for children and young people in the UK.

    I get so little time in my daily life to sit down and discuss books with other people that are as passionate and excitable about literature as I am that each time we met to discuss the nominations, long and short lists it was like a holiday – admittedly one where there was disagreement and arguments about the suitability of the books we were championing. It was pure heaven!

    This year I was proud to be involved in helping to organise the inaugural CKG Judges Blog Tour, if you have not had the opportunity to read the interviews and would like some insight into the judging process you can find them (in order) here:

    https://churchillacademylrc.wordpress.com/2016/06/14/ckg-2016-judges-blog-tour/

    http://mythoughtsaboutbooks.blogspot.co.uk/2016/06/carnegie-judges-blog-tour-2016.html

    http://www.minervareads.com/an-interview-with-the-ckg-judges/

    https://picturebooksblogger.wordpress.com/2016/06/15/ckg/

    https://ylgnorthwest.wordpress.com/2016/06/16/all-about-the-feels-judges-blog-tour-2016/

    http://bookfairyhaven.blogspot.co.uk/2016/06/the-2016-cilip-carnegie-kate-greenaway.html

    http://www.serendipityreviews.co.uk/2016/06/cilip-carnegie-kate-greenaway-childrens.html

    http://thedistrictcebookworms.primaryblogger.co.uk/2016/06/17/an-interview-with-ckg-judge-matt-imrie/

    http://booksniffingpug.blogspot.co.uk/2016/06/the-cilip-kate-greenaway-award-behind.html

    I now have to go cold turkey from the judging process and am frantically looking for other awards that may be in need of an experienced judge, so if you are involved with the Kitschies, the YA Book Prize or any other national award and have a vacancy please let me know! Hell I’ll even take on the Booker!

    Now, to all members of CILIP and the YLG I urge and implore you to consider getting involved with your regional committee and putting yourself forward to become a representative on the judges panel! You will not regret it!

    The CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway (CKG) Awards process

  • The Awards are overseen by the Youth Libraries Group (YLG) which is a special interest group within the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP)
  • Books can be nominated by any member of CILIP
  • Each member can nominate up to two books for each award
  • The CKG Judges as CILIP members are also allowed to nominate titles
  • Nominations for the 2015 Awards were open from the 1st September to the 6th October
  • Nominated titles are then checked for eligibility by the CKG Working Party & CILIP:

    Titles must have been first published in the UK between 1 September 2013 and 31 August 2014

    Books first published in another country must have been co-published in the UK within three months of the original publication date

  • When the nominations lists are made public the judges receive a full set of each of the Awards titles and start reading
  • From the nominations list a long-list of around 20 titles is selected by the judges working together under guidance from the Chair of Judges and referring to the full criteria for each award
  • The long-list is then be made public (10th February 2015)
  • The judges revisit and reread each of the books and scrutinise them even more closely before making a decision on short-listing, selecting six to eight of the titles for the short-list
  • The short-list is then made public (17th March 2015)
  • The hardest part of the judges’ task begins: selecting the most outstanding titles from the short-list
  • The winning titles are made public in June.
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    The CILIP Carnegie Medal is awarded annually for an outstanding book for children and young people
    The Carnegie Award is a gold medal and comes with £500 worth of books that the author can donate to the library of their choice.

    The CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal is awarded annually for an outstanding book in terms of illustration for children and young people
    The Kate Greenaway Award is also a gold medal and comes with £500 worth of books but also the Colin Mears Award which is a £5000 bequest left to the winner of the Kate Greenaway Award by Colin Mears, this has been awarded annually since the year 2000.

    Diary of a (soon to be) Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Medal Judge

    ckg

    It is official

    I received my call-up e-mail today!

    I will be attending CKG Judge training on the 16th October at Seven Stories in Newcastle.

    After which I will be able to call myself a CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Judge

    I have been reading towards the Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Medals since September last year. My reading has ramped up a bit over the past couple of months as there are so many good books that I missed (and that are still being published).

    I have no idea which titles will be nominated, I know that some of the books I have read so far will be on the nominations list

    I fear that the nominations list will be longer than last year which is one of the main reasons for starting to read early. I have heard that the nominations date is being brought forward to give judges enough time to read all the nominations and give due consideration to each; but by how much I do not know.