INF330: Young people’s book awards


book awards


Activity: Create and upload a virtual presentation for children or young adults. 


For this activity an interactive virtual presentation was created using ThingLink with the view to promote the shortlist for fiction for Years 7-9 for The Young Australians Best Book Awards (YABBA) 2016. The YABBA awards aspire to give young people a voice within the Australian Children’s book industry by encouraging children to recommend, read,rate and reward their favourite Australian books. The ThingLink platform allowed me to upload and attach to the book covers of this year’s finalists, videos of book trailers, author’s readings or discussions about each book, as well as short synopsis, excerpts or reviews. These were made visible through simply scrolling over a button on the book cover. In my view this could be an effective way to generate interest and engagement with these books by taking the viewer beyond the cover alone, and in turn encourage participation in the process of a children’s choice book award.

Children’s choice book award programs can be seen to be a successful strategy for motivating children and young adults to read. Crow (2010, p.12) suggests that this is because the programs are built on positive involvement with books, and that the more positive experiences the participants have with books the more likely they are to develop a connection with reading. This connection, explains Crow (2012, p.12) can be attributed to the transactional theory of reader response which suggests that when the readers are surrounded by, and encouraged to respond to quality books, they begin to develop personal ties with the material as they bring their own experiences to the texts as they read. Furthermore, Crow (2010, p.12) writes that once this personal bond with books is formed, the reader is likely to return to reading on their own once the program ends as there is a desire to repeat the positive experience. Encouraging an enjoyment of, and a desire to continue to read can be seen to have positive implications that may benefit individuals beyond improved literacy levels. Merga (2014, p.1), explains that whilst developing reading skills through establishing a reading habit is generally associated with higher literacy scores and reading achievement, in her view the larger benefit can be seen to be an improvement in life prospects, as improved literacy outcomes positively influence academic performance and post-school vocational outcomes.

Through this activity I learned that a young people’s book awards that encourages active involvement and allows the child to have a say can be effective in motivating children to read and fostering a love of reading. Additionally, that allowing children to aid selection may guard against the “necessary fallibility and idiosyncrasies of individual judges and judging panels” (Hately, 2012, p.197) and allow for an unbiased choice of books that young people may find a connection with. Armed with this knowledge I would endeavour to actively promote the YABBA and any other children’s choice book awards within the library. As I was researching material for my presentation I realised how unaware I was about the quality and variety of books included in these awards. This could be remedied by familiarising myself with shortlisted books so that I might best promote them and the awards.




Crow, S. R. (2010). Children’s Choice Book Award Programs: Effective Weapons in the Battle to Get and Keep Kids Reading. School Library Monthly, 26(9), 12-13.  Retrieved from

Hateley, E. (2012). And the Winner Is…?: Thinking About Australian Book Awards in the Library. The Australian Library Journal, 61(3), 189-199. doi:10.1080/00049670.2012.10736074


Merga, M. K. (2014). What would make them read more? Insights from Western Australian adolescents. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 1-16. doi:10.1080/02188791.2014.961898


INF330: Diversity



Activity: Observe and document a program delivered for children or young adults at a local library, reflect on the experience.

Woollahra Library presents a weekly Storytime program for pre-school children (3-5 yrs.) which aims to promote reading readiness through language, rhythm and rhyme. I have attended and assisted with this program a number of times in the course of my work duties and have observed a themed approach which runs through the course of the half hour program which begins with a story read with the use of props or toys, followed by a related song and culminating in a simple craft activity. The themes have been seen to range from occupations, transportation, book characters, food and nutrition and animals. Multicultural themes are explored annually on Harmony day and indigenous themes are the focus during Naidoc week.

Whilst the topics and structure of the program can be seen to be age appropriate, in my observation there is a shortfall in the frequency and scope of culturally diverse themes. One explanation for this could be that demographically speaking the areas serviced by the library are not highly represented by those from CALD backgrounds. However, in Overton’s (2016. P.13) view, children should be allowed to develop a sense of familiarity with diversity, regardless of their background, through stories and images that reflect and celebrate individual differences in regards to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, physical abilities and religion. Importantly too, Overton suggests that featuring diversity only at certain times of the year may encourage the notion of’ “the other”, which can be seen to be in direct opposition to the promotion of diversity. In Naidoo’s (2014 p.5) view the library is an ideal environment to introduce positive representations of diversity to children which may help them develop favourable attitudes to those perceived as “the other”. Furthermore, Hunter (2015. P.34) explains that by exposing our children to other lives and other stories a commonality may be found, which in turn may engender empathy, and, in his view this may also be an effective way to eradicate racism.

On reflection I have been able to understand the importance of promoting diversity within the community. I see that the Library’s Storytime program is an opportunity to allow children to develop a sense of familiarity with diversity through exposing them to stories and cultures different to their own with the view of creating respect for each other’s differences.

This new understanding can be seen to be relevant to my professional practice as a CYA librarian as I will be sure to include books and stories representing an array of cultures, to move beyond representing our own community, and to do so on a regular basis.

My previous understanding was that the library seemingly supported diversity through the inclusion of annual multicultural programming, this could be seen to reflect a gap in my knowledge. I now understand that multicultural themes should be a regular inclusion in programs and need not be based entirely upon demographic information about the cultures of the community of which we serve, to do so could be seen to truly cater to diversity.






Hunter, S. (2015). Promoting Diversity at Your Library. The Booklist, 111(11), 43.  Retrieved from


Naidoo, C. (2014). The importance of diversity in library programs and material collections forchildren. Retrieved from


Overton, N. (2016, Jan/Feb) Libraries Need Diverse Books. Public Libraries, 55, 13-14. Retrieved from