The Smithy Award
January 23, 2013
Smithville staff was discussing award books and wondered about the whole process of how nominee books are chosen and who votes for the winners. So we decided we would go through whole procedure for ourselves, but on a much smaller scale.
We had one member who had been on the Building Block Committee for many years, so we used the Missouri Building Block Picture Book Award Bylaws and Handbook to guide us. You can access their website to review the restrictions and regulations for choosing nominees. Unlike the Show-Me, Mark Twain, Truman, or Gateway Awards, which are given from MASL (Missouri School Librarians Association), this award is presented by the Missouri Library Association.
For months, we called in picture books from all over the MCPL collection that had a 2012 publication date. (We only used one year - not two years- and only books available in the MCPL collection. Thus, our choices were additionally limited by these restrictions.) We removed any books that turned out to be a holiday or toy book. These books were not used, as some of the public do not recognize certain holidays, and toy books are judged on more than just the text and illustrations.
During this time, we met once a month to read the collected books and to discuss any that we thought might not fit the rules. In December, all of us turned in our votes based on a scale of 0 - 5. 0 was for a book you could not stand and a 5 for a book you loved so much you wanted to own it yourself! These scores were added up and divided by the number of people who voted for that title to determine the individual score.
The winner for 2012 Smithy Award is - drum roll please - Small Bunny's Blue Blanket by Tatyana Feeney.