Monday, January 03, 2005

Life of a Newbery jurist

Writer, Abigail Tucker has a profile of Ruth Anne Champion who is serving as a jurist on the Newbery committee. She is a librarian and has read over 400 books so far. It is very interesting to get a glimpse of the "behind the scenes" work that goes on in the committee.
"Books at work, at lunch, when I get home, always before bed, sometimes in the evening," said Champion, who selects new children's books for the Pratt collection. "Sometimes, I read before I get up."
Comments from former jurists:

"I'm still trying to catch up from that year," said Debbie Taylor, the library's coordinator of school and student services, who judged in 2002. She recalls reading at the car wash, and while soaking in the bathtub.

"You brush your teeth and you read," said Selma Levi, the supervisor of the children's department and a former Newbery judge. "I still read books going down the stairs."

... In August 2002, the Association for Library Service to Children elected Champion to the committee. Imagining the task ahead, she charged off to Target to buy a new bookcase.

She bragged to a friend about her far-sighted purchase, but that friend had once judged the Newberies. Her advice to Champion: "Better buy two."

Champion did. Now they're overflowing.

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