Should Awards Committee Conversations Remain Confidential?


Under current rules, all Newbery and Caldecott Award Selection Committee deliberations must remain strictly confidential. Should those conversations stay sealed forever—or made public, as some have recently argued, so that scholars, authors, illustrators, and readers may benefit from knowing how decisions were made? Three experts weigh in.  
I Could Tell You About the Newbery and Caldecott Committees. But I Can’t.
Kathleen T. Horning, director of the Cooperative Children's Book Center of the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
"The Nobel Prize raises the veil of confidentiality after 50 years. Congress has unsealed the Warren Commission documents related to John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Do the Newbery/Caldecott records hide some sort of national security risk that’s not obvious to us?..."
Why You Don’t Want To Know More About the Newbery and Caldecott
Dan Santat, 2015 Caldecott Medal recipient for The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend
"To a writer or artist like myself, hearing about committee proceedings would only create feelings of self-doubt and raise ‘what if?’ questions. It wouldn’t make non-winners think about what they did ‘right.’ Rather, they would ask what they did ‘wrong.’..."
Let Book Awards Committee Members Blab
Ed Spicer, educator who has served on the Caldecott, Printz, and many other ALA awards committees
"I would dearly love to talk about my experiences on children’s book awards committees. Ending the confidentiality requirement would also allow members to discuss those books and illustrators who truly did fabulous work but weren’t winners or honorees...."