I had the distinct pleasure of serving on the 2011 Caldecott Medal Selection Committee and as my involvement ends, I pause to muse over the experience in its entirety and take a quick account of what I have gained. Of course for starters there is the massive shipment of books from publishers (over 600!), the wonderful collection of selected works, the late night soirées after long committee meetings and the responsibility of submitting commendable nominations. However the highlight has been connecting and collaborating with new peers.
Because of this experience, I have an even greater appreciation for award committees and have begun to think of ways to incorporate elements from my experience into future library-related endeavors. For example, one goal is to connect more with others who share similar interests regardless of their occupation. On the Caldecott Committee, I had the opportunity to collaborate with teachers, librarians and even an award winning author. Each unique background lent a richness and depth to the work of our committee. As a result, I am considering forming a “think tank” or “sounding board” group that will consist of librarians and non-librarians.
Paying attention to details but not missing the big picture or broader context is another lesson learned in my experience. All in all, I cannot fully describe the delight and reward of serving on the award committee, but what I can say is that it was truly enriching and will not be soon forgotten.