Have an interest in GLBTQI/ Quiltbag books for youth and teens? Are you a member of the American Library Association or can be? Are you a member of the Gay, Lesbian, Bixsexual and Transgender Round Table or can be?
Then consider volunteering to be a part of either the Rainbow Project or the Stonewall Youth Awards committee!
The Rainbow Project is an annual bibliography that searches through the newest published materials for youth (ages birth through 18) and creates the best of the best list for the year. Consisting of nine members, book nominations go from the previous July to the current December, and the list is discussed, created, and announced at the Midwinter Meeting. Appointments are for two years, and the list is one of the few that are created by consensus minus one. Those wishing to be a part of the Rainbow Project must also be a member of the Social Responsibilities Round Table.
The Youth Stonewall Award, formally the Mike Morgan and Larry Romans Children’s and Young Adult Literature Award, is a new formation out of the Stonewall Committee this year. In previous years, the Stonewall Committee looked at all formats of GLBTQI materials (adult, youth, poetry), and picked their award winners and top picks. Now, there will be two committees, one focused on the adult materials (18 and older) and one focused on the youth materials (18 and under), and GLBT-RT is specifically looking for committee members with experience with youth literature.
If you are interested, and want to make an impact, fill out the form and apply today! Deadline is Wednesday, October 1.
Personal aside: Having been on the Rainbow Project, including being the chair, I can say that it is an extremely rewarding experience and you do make a difference in the lives of youths and teens, even if you don’t see the immediate impact. Creating these bibliographies and handing out these awards has an impact- it makes publishers aware that we NEED these books in the hands of youths, it makes the library directors and library boards aware that we NEED these books on the shelves, and it gives librarians and libraries a way to get them on the shelves and bolster defenses in case of challenges. It shows teens and kids that are GLBTQI/ Quiltbag that there are others out there like them, at a time when they may not know there are others, or may not know how to figure out themselves. They can use this award and this list to find awesome books and stories about people like them, and know that someone else is out there- that they’re not alone.
And that can make all the difference in the world.