Each year on a chilly January morning — this year it’s January 27 — a select group of authors and illustrators receive an early morning phone call from a committee of excited librarians, naming them as the newest recipient of one of the American Library Association’s Youth Media Awards, including the prestigious Caldecott, Newbery, Printz, and Coretta Scott King Awards. At that same moment, scores of librarians attending ALA's Midwinter Meeting — this year it’s in Philadelphia —  will be lining up to get a good seat at the press conference where the winners are announced.

It's the most highly anticipated event of the year in the children's book world. Winning an ALA Youth Media Award often translates into a bump in sales for the winning titles and a flurry of press and media attention for the book's author. The awards serve as a time-honored guide for parents and educators interested in providing children and teens the very best books and media.

A live webcast and Facebook livestream are available for everyone who can't be in Philadelphia for the 2020 announcements, and we're excited to have you watch online with us. Join us for the 2020 Youth Media Awards Pajama Party on Monday, January 27 by sharing your experience on social media with the hashtag #YMApjparty. As in previous years, we'll be awarding prizes!

  • Best Pajamas will win a $50 gift card for the ALA Store and an official certificate of bragging rights.
  • Best Snack or Beverage will win hot chocolate and a set of YMA mugs and an official certificate of bragging rights.
  • Best Reaction Shot as the winners are announced will win a $100 Visa gift card and an official certificate of bragging rights.
  • Best Group/Classroom Shot will receive a selection of Youth Media Award-winning books and an official certificate of bragging rights.

Rules: To be entered in the 2020 YMA Pajama Party Promotion, post your photos or videos to Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #YMApjparty from 7:00 a.m. ET on January 27 through 11:59 p.m. ET on January 28. Entries can also be posted to the I Love Libraries Facebook page. Promotion is open only to residents of the United States. Prizes cannot be shipped to areas outside the United States. Decision of the judge(s) is final.

Official rules (PDF)

Check out the 2019 winners!

Best Reaction

@mrsmegtreg's students LOOVVVEEEEE NEWBERY BOOKS!!!!!


Best Pajamas

Tweet from Taylor Deushane showing custom designed Newbery Pajamas: @MsDReadsTooMuch Well, they arrived about 12 hours too late for #YMApjparty, but my Newbery pajamas are still incredible.  10/10 would recommend owning pants with a picture of The Witch of Blackbird Pond on them.

Best Snack

Tweet from Lakers Fifth Grade showing snacks for their school party to watch theALA Youth Media Awards. @Grade5Rockstars #YMApjparty #Newbery2019 Oh our book inspired snacks were amazing!! We had a blast! #SunapeeCentral

Best Group or Classroom Photo

Tweet from Aliceson Brandt: @alicesonbrandt Our class photo after watching the YMA awards! It was so fun to see our favorites win today! #YMApjparty

Meg Medina on Pura Belpré

American Library Association Youth Media Awards, 2020 awards announced January 27!

Behind the Scenes at 2015 YMAs

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Established in 1996, the Pura Belpré Award honors the works of Latino/Latina writers and illustrators whose work best portrays, affirms and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth. The award is named after Pura Belpré, the first Latina librarian at the New York Public Library, and is given during the American Library Association's Midwinter Meeting during the annual Youth Media Awards celebration. The upcoming year promises to be extra special, with the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the award.  Held at the 2016 American Library Association Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida, the celebration will feature speeches by the 2016 Pura Belpré award-winning authors and illustrators, book signings, light snacks and entertainment. The event will also feature a silent auction of original artwork by Belpré award-winning illustrators, sales of the new commemorative book “The Pura Belpré Award: Twenty Years of Outstanding Latino Children’s Literature” and a presentation by keynote speaker Carmen Agra Deedy. READ MORE