Newbery Work Plan

The goal of this project is to collect the biographical and subject matter of the Newbery Medal and Honor Books to determine if there is an accurate representation of diversity amongst the honorees. The project will consist of four stages: gathering the data, organizing the data into the pre-approved format, analyzing the data using the visualization software Tableau Public, and then disseminating the results by creating a website dedicated to displaying our research and findings. Gathering the data from the four hundred and fifteen Newbery books will take the longest and involve the entire team. With guidance from the project director, the team will organize the data into the following categories: Year; Winner/Honor; Title; Author; Author’s Gender, Race, and Ethnicity; Protagonist’s Gender, Race and Ethnicity; and Themes. The first four categories are available on the ALA’s Newbery site. The team will find the author’s gender, race, and ethnicity on the authors’ websites, publishers’ sites, or an internet search (author interviews, etc.). The books’ protagonists and themes will be found with the Library of Congress’ and New York Public Library’s bibliographic records. The programmer will expand her understanding of Python to scrape data where possible.

The team will then organize and input the data using a pre-approved format into an Excel spreadsheet. The third stage is to enter all data into Tableau Public and create visualizations and analyze the findings. The final stage will include the creation of a user-friendly website to display an interactive visualization for those who wish to explore, along with recommended readings to help users think more critically about the role of awards in children’s literature. In addition, the designer and outreach specialist will lead the team in creating a shareable graphic for teachers and librarians that capture the most provocative of their findings. The project team will also submit proposals to present their findings at the American Library Association’s Annual Conference and the Association for Library Service to Children’s Midwinter Meetings and National Institute.