The Polls Are Open!
It is time to proceed to the online ballot! Have you:
- Read all of the titles on our shortlist?
- Read and considered the Newbery Terms & Criteria? Considered each of these 10 titles against the criteria, and against each other using them, only?
- Participated in the discussion here, and listened to what other commenters have had to say in balancing one book against the other?
If you’ve answered yes to all three, then please imagine the weighty task you have in casting a ballot for our Mock Newbery. Our voting only works if we have succeeded in coming to some vaguely communal “decisions” about which books stand out, and the strengths and weaknesses of each. Your voting is anonymous, and unlike other online polls, this one is not about getting your horse across the line first. It’s about establishing a group consensus on the “most distinguished contribution to American literature for children” among the 10 on our list.
Now, establishing that consensus will be a bit of a trick. With a committee of 15, the actual committee uses the following formula:
- · In tabulating ballot results, the tellers assign four points to each first place vote, three points to each second place vote, and two points to each third place vote.
- · There is a formula to determine the winner. A book must receive at least 8 first choices at four points per vote for a total of at least 32 points, and it must have an 8 point lead over the book receiving the next highest number of points.
This formula works really well with 15 members and the several/many dozen titles they’re usually voting on. We have no way of knowing how many votes will be cast, and we only have 10 books to vote on. Pretty soon after the polls close, I’ll post our results and we’ll see what it looks like. Last year, when we tried this for the first time, I called our first ballot “inconclusive,” which in retrospect was probably a mistake… but it was interesting to reopen the ballot a second time and see what happened. (Not much changed). In my experience with Mock Newberies, it’s most satisfying when you can come up with a winner in the first round; there generally just aren’t enough books under discussion to shift votes in any substantial way in future voting. But let’s see where we get.
You can vote here. Polls remain open until 6am PST Wednesday January 11th.
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About Nina Lindsay
Nina Lindsay is the Children's Services Coordinator at the Oakland Public Library, CA. She chaired the 2008 Newbery Committee, and served on the 2004 and 1998 committees. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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