It’s snowing in Denver this Sunday morning. I’m at the Internet Cafe in the Convention Center, directly across from the Press Room where award committee chairs have–as of 10am–turned in their press releases. Press Office staff and ALSC, YALSA, Coretta Scott King, and Reforma leadership will be busy until late tonight finalizing the announcements, and calling publishers to ask for author’s phone numbers (the publishers are asked to keep this confidential…and even they don’t know which award their author has won!). Some committees call their authors tonight; others–including the Newbery and Caldecott–gather before 6am at the Press Office tomorrow to call and congratulate their author on speaker phone. Then: to the Announcements, where the hundreds of us not in the know may scan the publishers faces in the crowd for any "tells."
Meanwhile, a myriad of other work committees have been chugging away all weekend. The ALSC Board meeting agenda is packed, and they are finalzing work on updated manuals for the award committees which should give more explicit clarification on eligibility and criteria, among other things. There are other possible changes afoot in the process and structure to make the deliberations more efficient, some the result of the Award Eligibility Task Force that met last year. Watch for updated manuals on the Newbery and Caldecott websites, hopefully within a month.
And the award committee members? If they are still awake and have a sense of adventure, they may be finally browsing the conference exhibits, where people who recognize them may try to tease a hint about their results. I hope those who need it are soundly asleep in their hotels, savoring their accomplishment–a wonderful secret they share with only fourteen other individuals…until tomorrow morning.