Almost every state has it’s own children’s or YA or both book award. Some states have several. State Book Awards
For Kentucky, we have the Bluegrass Award. The Kentucky Bluegrass Award may be old hat for most of you, but some of you may not know what I am talking about. Each Spring we anxiously await for the new list of KBA nominated books so that we can acquire them in our libraries for the next school year so that our students can vote for their favorites. One thing I love about this award is that the kids choose the winners.
There are committees that review and pick a list of newly released books for various age levels. The lists are then shared with Kentucky School Librarians for them to promote in their schools. Students get to vote for their favorites until April 1st. After April 1st, the votes are tallied and each level has a winner.
There are 4 grade levels of lists for students to vote from. K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12
School librarians have been very creative in how they promote these books to encourage students to read the books and vote. Some make book trailers for the books to share with their students, some have special KBA book displays in their library, some even go classroom to classroom talking about the books on the KBA list for that year. Some school librarians have even created cute bookmarks with age appropriate voting ballots on them to encourage students to read and vote for the books. If you have ever attended the KLA/KASL Fall Conference or the KASL Summer Refresher, then you had an opportunity to attend a session on the new books or how to promote the KBA in your school.
Narrative History of the Kentucky Bluegrass Award
For many years, Dr. Jennifer Smith at Northern Kentucky University was the head of this well oiled machine called the KBA. She has passed the torch on to the KASL board to fill her shoes. We thank Dr. Smith for the years she has dedicated to the time and hard work she has put forth in promoting and organizing the Kentucky Bluegrass Award. KASL recently nominated a KBA Coordinator Chairperson to oversee the committees of the KBA. 2016-2017 will be a transition year, so please be patient as we reorganize.
The final voting date is coming up soon, Friday, April 1st. Submit your votes via the KBA tally web site.
The winners will be announced the following week of April 4, 2016.