2016 News Releases

Vardell elected to prestigious Caldecott Medal selection committee

portrait of TWU professor Sylvia Vardell standing behind a bookshelf

Sylvia Vardell, Ph.D., a professor in the Texas Woman’s University School of Library and Information Studies, will help select the winner of the 2018 Caldecott Medal, a prestigious award presented to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.

“It’s the dream of a lifetime,” Vardell said of being elected to the committee. Her term begins July 1. The committee will review each picture book published for children during 2017 and will select one winner and possibly several “honor” books. The awards will be announced during the annual American Library Association (ALA) press conference in January 2018.

Vardell teaches graduate-level courses in children’s literature and materials and services for children and young adults at TWU. She has authored or co-authored more than 100 published articles, authored or contributed chapters to more than 25 books, and has given more than 150 presentations at the national and regional levels. Vardell originated and edits Librarians’ Choices, an annual review and selection guide for the latest books for children and young adults. She was the 2014 recipient of the ALA’s Scholastic Library Publishing Award and the 2016 TWU Distinction in Scholarship Award.

The Caldecott Medal was established in 1937 amid concerns that, while authors of children’s books were awarded the esteemed Newbery Medal, the artists creating picture books for children also were deserving of honor and encouragement.

Twenty-five original illustrations created for popular children's books are on display in the TWU Blagg-Huey Library's Children's Collection. The Clarabel Tanner Collection of Children's Book Art contains 11 works by winners of the Caldecott Medal, eight pieces by Caldecott Honor Books illustrators and a 19th century woodblock by Randolph Caldecott, the man for whom the award is named. Both TWU's Caldecott woodblock and the Caldecott Medal feature artwork the artist created in 1879 for the children's book The Diverting History of John Gilpin.

The Caldecott Medal is awarded annually by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.

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Page last updated 3:24 PM, April 30, 2020