Editor’s Note

Sharon Verbeten

In a world full of political uncertainty, when even friends (and not just some Facebook “friends”) are spouting their full-charged opinions on social media, I find it comforting to be a librarian. And an a-political one at that.

Oh, I don’t mean I don’t vote or I don’t have an opinion; I do. And I share it when appropriate.

But in the midst of all the upheaval and uncertainty in January, especially after inauguration day, I was happy to have something bigger and better to focus on—the Youth Media Awards! And, of course, as we all know by now, it was certainly a momentous day with John Lewis’ March: Book Three sweeping the awards, well deservedly so.

And it was uncertainty about weather in the Frozen Tundra of Green Bay, Wisconsin, I call home that grounded me from even getting to the YMAs this year—the first time in fifteen years I’ve missed it in person. Thick fog and ice cancelled two of my flights, and I was unable to fly out of three of the closest airports. Thankfully, I watched live online and cheered with you all, but there’s nothing like being in the room.

A female author wins the Newbery. An African American nabs the Caldecott. And a civil rights icon leads the charge. Of course, ceilings have been shattered before, and we’ve been making much progress in recognizing diversity (and seeing more of it in award-worthy titles). But, still, it was just a great time to be a librarian—to champion freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. I don’t expect that to change anytime soon, and that makes me even more proud.

See you in Chicago . . . I promise there won’t be any fog or ice to keep me home! &


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