In order to qualify to become a member, you must be either a library technician or a librarian, and belong to the OPLA division of OLA. Additionally, you must be actively involved in the organization, management, or provision of public library service to children and/or youth, and have experience in building or maintaining the collection within that department.
The OLA Best Bets Committee reads and evaluates Canadian books (either written or illustrated by a Canadian or someone living in Canada) that were published in the given year. The committee attempts to read everything that qualifies for the award. For titles to be considered for our final selection of the "Best Bets", at least 4 committee members must read that title. On average, the committee read and considered approximately 400 titles per year. Some publishers provided review copies (ARCs) of their eligible titles, while others were sourced from members’ own libraries. In some cases, e-galleys were also considered.
A large portion of our monthly meetings is discussing the books we've read in the past month and 'sussing' out the likely winning titles so that we ensure enough members read potential Best Bets candidates. The Committee selects books on the basis of their literary/artistic merit as well as their appeal for children and young adults. Text and illustrations are of equal importance in illustrated works.
We present our Best Bets lists at the Ontario Library Association's Super Conference in the following year. Committee members may also be involved in various forms of outreach in collaboration with other OPLA committees. The Co-Chairs of the committee liaise with the OPLA council on behalf of the committee and provide quarterly reports to the council.
We will accept applicants from across Ontario, although the majority of the members must be able to attend meetings in the Greater Toronto Area in person. Meetings are monthly (with a break during July & August) and take place on Thursday mornings (roughly 9am-12pm).
Please confirm with your employer that you are able to commit to participating on this committee before submitting your application.
The call for applications will close once the positions are filled. Applicants who are selected will be contacted by email.