Who are we?

Matt Imrie is the librarian at Farringtons School, Chislehurst and the YLG London judge.

We are the ones that select many of the books that you see on the shelves in the library.

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We are the ones whom you approach when looking for a book to encourage your son/daughter/grandchild/niece/nephew to read when you have no idea where to begin.

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We are the ones that encouraged you to pick up the book that may have turned you into a reader as a child.

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Individually we may not know or have read EVERY book in the library but when you put us together our knowledge spans the centuries.

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We are Librarians

This is what you get when the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Judges get together to consider the books nominated for the medals.

We nominate what we have read and we read what has been nominated. Not once, not twice but repeatedly…

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…and yet, and yet there are observers of the awards that voice the opinion that adults cannot and should not judge awards that are given to books for young readers. That somehow we lack an understanding of what young readers want or would like to read.

This position is formed from out of a fundamental misunderstanding of what the CKG Medals are for. I will come back to the medals another time as I want to discuss the judges.

Above our qualifications and beyond our professional knowledge we are passionate about recognizing and celebrating outstanding literature for young people.

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We are the small threads that bind together outstanding illustration and writing over the years and through the decades. We remain largely anonymous, for when gazing upon the tapestry of the awards over the years only the outstanding books that were awarded the medals annually are remembered.

This is how it is and how it should be for when taking up the mantle of a judge we know that our personal views and ambitions come second to the process that recognizes greatness in books for children and young people.



One thought on “Who are we?

  1. I was so pleased to get an insight into how the judging works at the SCBWI shadowing event this week – I’ll be rereading the picture books with that in mind because I missed so much first time round! Librarians – always teaching us something. Thanks all of you for bringing us these wonderful awards, for recognising great books and raising their profile.

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