The CILIP Carnegie Greenaway Awards

The nomination and judging processes for book awards provide excellent teaching and discussion tools for school librarians.

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Outstanding literature for children and young people

The UK's Chartered Institute for Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) grants these annual awards, dedicated to Andrew Carnegie and Kate Greenaway, for outstanding children's books. 

The Carnegie Award is for an outstanding piece of literature for children and young people originally published in the UK that year, and the Kate Greenaway is for an outstanding illustrated work.  The Award is managed by the Youth Libraries Group of CILIP and has had private sponsorship in recent years from Renaissance Learning, a company that produces literacy tools for schools.

The nomination process

Every member of CILIP is given the opportunity to nominate two books for each category in September and the long-lists are announced on the website in November.  These long-lists include every book nominated, that meets the basic criteria.  Then a team of judges (all children's librarians) whittle them down to short-lists based on some very strict criteria. 

Have a look at the website if you would like to know the detail but in brief, they are looking for excellent plot, characterisation and style for the Carnegie while the Greenaway highlights the artistic style, format and 'visual experience'.  The awards having been going for over 70 years now and there is a wonderful archive on the website, as well as the current long-lists.

 Shadowing the judging process

The short-lists are published before Easter with the winning titles announced at the end of June.  These dates are very deliberate, allowing school and public library reading groups to shadow the judging process.  Although it is only the judging panel that actually has any say in who finally wins, the shadowing scheme has been going from strength to strength, with thousands of children across the country joining groups and choosing their winners.  There is a shadowing website that groups can use to publish book reviews, blogs, vlogs and post photos and pictures, as well as share their favourites with other groups registered across the country.

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