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.

3 Thoughts on “Whatever Happened to the CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Medals?

  1. Mary Olive on June 18, 2018 at 11:43 am said:

    Hi Matt, you’re right – a lot of work goes into the CKG awards. If they are to survive, and librarians likewise, we need to engage fully with our user groups. In every school I’ve worked in (5 so far), we’ve shadowed the awards and chosen our favourites. But when the winners are announced, we’re sometimes mystified about what the criteria actually means. “Best” is subjective where books are concerned. Any librarian worth their salt knows that what is wonderful for one child is awful for another. Could there not be an element of these awards that is actually voted for by the children? Another small gripe is the fact that many people appear on long and shortlists over and over again. There are so many good authors, especially first-time and children’s authors who are overlooked. There should be more effort made to spread the net more widely.

  2. Agnès Guyon on June 19, 2018 at 11:45 am said:

    Or an alternative dystopia:
    No librarian, no problem! Why don’t we get publishers to nominate books and get a few celebrities to judge the books? Maybe someone like David Walliams, he wrote books didn’t he? He’d be an ideal chair! And you will be able to ensure that your panel has the right composition, make) female ration etc.. But, of course, these people are busy so you can’t expect them to read all the books and they will need to be paid, so they’ll all read a few or maybe some parts of the books and a few reviews and look at how well the book selks, after all, it’s an award for children, right, so how hard can it be? And hey presto, you have a shortlist if celebrity high profile books!

    Thank goodness, we are still far from that and yesterday ceremony was brilliant! A real tribute to Jake, Joy, Amy and the judges!

  3. Agnès Guyon on June 19, 2018 at 12:00 pm said:

    Mary Olive, The criteria are available online and believe me they are followed to the letter. There two people who are attending the meeting and are not participating, but their job is to ensure the criteria are adhered to, that nobody is able to skew the discussion and that nothing is missed. As for children participating, there is nothing wrong with that, but it is a different award, the Carnegie is the librarians’ award and that’s what makes it special. Lastly,with over 200 books nominated, I think that the net is pretty wide. The Greenaway winner when I was chair was William Grill, and it was his first book, not well known at all. If the book is nominated, it will be judged with the same criteria as all the others. The YLG has a newsletter with publishers highlighting their new books and we all activity seek out any hidden gem.. that’s all we can do, we also have day job and do all that on our own time. Please join us! You sound like someone who is engaged with the profession, I am sure your local committee would love to hear from you.

Post Navigation