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Guidelines for Participation

The purpose of the Black-Eyed Susan Book Award Program is to promote life-long reading habits by encouraging students to read and enjoy quality contemporary literature that broadens understanding of the human experience.

The books selected as nominees for the Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Book Award have positive reviews from respected journals and have been read by members of the committees. However, it is recommended that each school and/or each school system apply its own selection policy and determine whether or not every book is appropriate for the recommended age level, as well as the intended use.

1. Coordinate the program through the library media specialist or other program coordinator.

2. Obtain the support and authorization of the principal.

3. Provide information about participation in the award program to teachers, students, and parents.

4. Provide a reasonable selection of the nominated books to provide students as broad a choice as possible.

5. To participate, a student must read, or have read to them, a minimum number of books in each category. Those minimums are as follows:

a. Picture Books: 8 nominees

b. All other categories: 3 nominees

6. All grades do not have to participate. The coordinator makes that decision in cooperation with teachers and administrators. The time of year in which the program functions is up to each individual school. Older students may read from early in the school year until voting time; younger students do best if reading is done the last few months before voting.

7. Each student has one vote in each of the categories. Many coordinators have used charts or graphs and bulletin board displays to share the results of the program in their schools.

8. Submit the TOTAL votes for each book read via the online forms or the tally sheet and send to the address listed on the sheet by April 25 of that voting year.

Thank you for participating in the Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Book Award Program! If you have questions or concerns, you can contact our committee chairs:

Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Book Award
c/o Marge Shaffer and Dedra Van Gelder
[email protected]

Guidelines for Participation | Voting Process | Current Nominees | Most Recent Winners | Past Winners | Order Stickers | Join the Committee