Carnegie Corporation of New York, American Library Association Announce New Literary Prizes for Adult Best Fiction, Nonfiction Books of Year
CHICAGO, March 5, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Winners of two new annual literary prizes–the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction –will be announced in June at the American Library Association Annual Conference in Anaheim, Calif.
The awards will be given to the author of the best book for adult readers in two categories–fiction and nonfiction– each year. Two additional authors will be shortlisted as finalists in each of the categories.
Winning authors will receive a $5,000 cash award. Finalists will each receive $1,500. The list of finalists will be announced in May.
The awards are made possible by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York on the occasion of the foundation’s centennial and in recognition of Andrew Carnegie, one of the greatest benefactors of libraries both in the United States and around the globe, who recognized libraries as indispensable to the progress of society.
Cosponsors of the award are American Library Association’s Booklist and the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), with the 50 titles under consideration for the prize being drawn from the annual Booklist Editors’ Choice and RUSA CODES Notable Books lists.
“The Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction recognize literary excellence,” said Vartan Gregorian, president of Carnegie Corporation and past president of the New York Public Library. “But more, they also celebrate the important role librarians play in opening up the world of imagination, education, and aspiration to new readers and avid book lovers alike.”
Nancy Pearl will serve as chair of the first selection committee, which will comprise of seven professionals from the library community with expertise in adult literature.
Pearl, a long-time librarian, developed the program “If All of Seattle Read the Same Book,” which spread across the country. The former Executive Director of the Washington Center for the Book, Pearl celebrates the written word by speaking at bookstores and libraries across the country and on her monthly television program “Book Lust with Nancy Pearl” on the Seattle Channel. She is a regular commentator about books on National Public Radio and was named the 50th winner of the Women’s National Book Association Award for her contribution to the world of books.
This is the first time that ALA, which sponsors the prestigious Youth Media Awards, including the John Newbery and Randolph Caldecott Medals for children’s literature, will offer single-book awards for adult trade fiction and nonfiction.
“Librarians devote their lives to helping the public–people from all walks of life and backgrounds–to become lifelong learners. The awards will celebrate the best of the best and serve as a guide to help adults select quality reading material, making a real contribution to our country being a nation of readers,” says ALA President Molly Raphael.
“Libraries play a vital role in their communities nationwide, and librarians are at the heart of it all. Each works on a day-to-day basis with a community of readers that discover and explore everything from best-sellers to scholarly works, and each has a unique perspective on what people love to read. We are very pleased to collaborate on a new project with Carnegie Corporation that nourishes the public’s love of learning and reading,” says Keith Michael Fiels, executive director, ALA.
About Carnegie Corporation of New York
Carnegie Corporation of New York was created by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding. In keeping with this mandate, the corporation’s work focuses on the issues that Andrew Carnegie considered of paramount importance: international peace, the advancement of education and knowledge, and the strength of our democracy.
Booklist is the book review magazine of the American Library Association, considered an essential collection development and readers’ advisory tool by thousands of librarians for more than 100 years. Booklist Online includes a growing archive of 135,000+ reviews available to subscribers as well as a wealth of free content offering the latest news and views on books and media.
About Reference and User Services Association (RUSA)
The Reference and User Services Association is responsible for stimulating and supporting excellence in the delivery of general library services and materials, and the provision of reference and information services, collection development, readers’ advisory, and resource sharing for all ages, in every type of library.
About the ALA
Established in 1876, the American Library Association (ALA) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization created to provide leadership for the development, promotion, and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.
SOURCE American Library Association