Coming Soon: The 2020 Heavy Medal Award Committee
Though January is still 60+ days away, it’s time to take a peek ahead at our plans for the third annual Heavy Medal Award Committee. The HMAC will be made of dedicated Heavy Medal readers engaging in intense online book discussion, culminating in a mock vote for the Heavy Medal Newbery Medal book. Here’s how it all will work:
On December 13th, the Heavy Medal Finalists will be announced. This is a list of 12 or more eligible titles that the HMAC will discuss and eventually vote upon. Annisha, Roxanne, and I will select the titles based on Heavy Medal Nominations (those begin next week!), starred reviews, variety of genres and age levels, and our own personal whims. Just kidding…no whims. We take the selection very seriously. But yes, there will be some titles left off that will disappoint some people.
Shortly after that, we will call for HMAC Volunteers. Members will need to commit to reading all of the books on the list and then participate in some pretty intense online discussion of each title. We will also ask most or all of the HMAC to introduce one of the titles to start the discussion. Book discussions will run from January 2nd through January 17th, with a new book up every weekday.
On January 18th, members will take part in the Heavy Medal Newbery Balloting. We’ll follow the official Newbery voting procedure as closely as we can. Voting may continue for several days, since re-balloting is often required to reach a clear winner. We will have a winner by January 23rd at the latest. (The real Newbery will be announced on January 27th).
If you’re curious about how those discussions go, you can take a look at last year’s posts from January 2019. (I just re-read a bunch of these posts: some truly excellent in-depth discussions!)
Non-HMAC members can also participate by adding your own comments to the January book discussion posts. We will also conduct on online vote for all readers in mid-January.
We’ll continue with more book posts and the first round of reader Nominations next week. If you have any questions about how the HMAC procedure works, you can post them below or email Annisha, Roxanne, or myself directly. We’re also interested in suggestions: if you have ideas about how we might make the HMAC even better, let us know!
Filed under: Process
About Steven Engelfried
Steven Engelfried was the Library Services Manager at the Wilsonville Public Library in Oregon until he retired after 35 years as a full-time librarian. He served on the 2010 Newbery committee, chaired the 2013 Newbery Committee, and also served on the 2002 Caldecott committee. You can reach him at email@example.com.
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