Guest Post: The Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction

by Gary White, Penn State University Libraries, RUSA President

We at RUSA are extremely pleased and excited about two new awards sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation, the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction. RUSA and Booklist are co-sponsoring and administering the awards. The first winners of these new annual literary prizes will be announced at the Awards Ceremony at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim.

The awards will be given to the author of the best book for adult readers in two categories—fiction and nonfiction— each year. Two additional authors will be shortlisted as finalists in each of the categories.  Winning authors will receive a $5,000 cash award, and finalists will each receive $1,500. The list of this year’s finalists were announced in May.  The awards are made possible by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York on the occasion of the foundation’s centennial and in recognition of Andrew Carnegie, one of the greatest benefactors of libraries both in the United States and around the globe, who recognized libraries as indispensable to the progress of society.  The 50 titles under consideration for the prize are being drawn from the annual Booklist Editors’ Choice and RUSA CODES Notable Books lists.  Nancy Pearl is serving as the chair of the awards committee and will bring national recognition to this award.

This is the first time that ALA will offer single-book awards for adult trade fiction and nonfiction.  All of us at RUSA are incredibly thrilled about these new awards and we hope that you will be able to join us this June to see the first winners. The Carnegie Awards reception will be held Sunday, June 24, 2012, 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm at the Hilton Anaheim Pacific Ballroom A&B.  Please note that there is a greatly reduced rate of $25 for RUSA members to attend.  Hope to see you there!

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