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About Librarians Choices 2004

MISSION STATEMENT

Participants in this project were students enrolled in a graduate course in the School of Library and Information Studies at Texas Woman's University, LS 5903 Reviewing New Books for Children and Young Adults. These individuals were teachers, current librarians, and librarians-in-training. They spent the fall, 2004, semester reading and discussing hundreds of new books for children and young adults provided by major publishers. In addition, other titles by other publishers were also sought out, read, and discussed. As the semester progressed, students determined which titles were most outstanding based on developing skills in literary analysis, experience with choosing books appealing to children, the responses and consensus of participants and other audiences, and a comparative study of other professional review sources. In the end, a limit of 100 titles was set, with approximately half of the list being designated for picture books and half of the list designated for novels. Poetry and nonfiction titles were also incorporated as appropriate. As a culminating project, each participant chose a few titles to study closely and review. These reviews included a complete bibliography of each title with a summary and analysis of the book, as well as connections for sharing the book with child/teen audiences and recommendations for related books to combine or compare with the featured title. The goals of the project were twofold, to develop participant knowledge base about current books for children and young adults and the ability to read and write critically about these books and to use this experience to create a professional resource for others interested in choosing outstanding and intriguing books for the young people they serve.

PARAMETERS

*Books for children and young adults (grades K-12)
*Books must be published in English (may also be dual language or bilingual)
*Must be published in 2004 in the U.S.
*Can be first U.S. edition (of a book published previously in another country)
*Can NOT be a reissue of a book previously published (most paperbacks)
*Can be books you find on your own (not provided at TWU)
*Includes all genres, all publishers
*Approximately half of the list is designated for picture books and half of the list for novels
*Poetry and nonfiction titles also incorporated as appropriate
*Multicultural qualities to receive particular consideration (non-European)
*Books that receive starred reviews in HORN BOOK, SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL, and/or BOOKLIST will receive consideration
*Books that appear on other "best" lists and "mock" award lists can receive consideration
*Vardell reserves the right to vote, cast the swing vote, and/or veto

CRITERIA

*Literary quality
*Outstanding, intriguing, distinctive, unique
*Appealing to child and/or young adult readers
*Worth buying, worth sharing, worth remembering

The information above was taken from handouts and/or the syllabus for the course LS 5903 taught by Dr. Vardell at Texas Woman's University. It is posted here to provide context.

The students involved in selecting LIBRARIANS CHOICES 2004 were: S. Zulema Silva Bewley, Julie Brinker, Rose Brock, Lisa Erickson, Cay Geisler, Tammy Korns, Becky Laney, Rebecca McKee, Erin Miklauz, Melissa Neece, Ellen Reed, Kim Southwell, and Andrea L. Williams.

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Comparing LIBRARIANS CHOICES 2004 with other "best" lists...

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