Review of CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Awards creates and promotes opportunities for improvement in diversity, representation and inclusion in children’s books
Independently chaired Diversity Review sees actions taken to ensure greater diversity and representation in the country’s oldest book awards for children and young people.
The final report from a Diversity Review of the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Awards has been published today following consultation with over 600 people including young readers, publishers, authors, illustrators and librarians.
Independently chaired by Dr Margaret Casely-Hayford CBE, Chair of Shakespeare’s Globe and Chancellor of Coventry University, the Review examined visible and invisible diversities − looking at the representation of age, gender, ethnicity, disability, sexuality, social class and education − and makes ten recommendations to CILIP, the library and information association, to ensure that diversity and inclusion are central to the Awards.
The Diversity Review launched in June 2017 following criticism of the 2017 Carnegie Medal longlist as it included no Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic (BAME) authors. Through open consultation, the Review has examined how the Awards can best champion diversity, inclusion and representation.
Review Chair Margaret Casely-Hayford said, “I have been honoured to chair this Review of the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Awards and sincerely thank everyone who has contributed their time, energy and ideas to help CILIP enhance and improve the Awards. I am encouraged by the solidarity and collaborative spirit of participants that indicates a genuine commitment and enthusiasm for change.”
“It is so important that the Awards processes recognise, and are inclusive of, a full breadth of diversity giving all young people growing up in the UK today access to the same opportunities through books and reading. Through the Awards CILIP has a unique opportunity to recognise, celebrate and promote diverse talent and to encourage greater diversity within the books published for children and young people. This would create a virtuous circle, providing a broader range of role models to inspire young readers to become the writers and illustrators of the future."
"I am immensely pleased that CILIP have taken immediate actions based on the Review recommendations, and as part of an ongoing process I anticipate they will make a real and lasting difference.”
In the final report Margaret Casely-Hayford makes ten recommendations, to:
- Explicitly champion diversity through the Awards’ strategies, development plans and messages including a statement of a robust and proactive strategy for the Awards that clearly states a commitment to diversity and inclusion with clear vision, objectives, and positive action towards stated intended outcomes.
- Recognise a diverse range of voices and perspectives in the nominations, longlist, shortlist and prize winners.
- Expand the diversity profile of the judges by increasing the variety of backgrounds and lived-experiences amongst CILIP’s panel of librarian judges.
- Establish an equality, diversity and inclusion advisory panel to accelerate the embedding of diversity and inclusion throughout the Awards.
- Strengthen the diversity training that librarian judges receive to instil heightened awareness of diversity and inclusion and understanding of the impact of power dynamics, as well as acknowledgement of inevitable personal biases in all members of the panel.
- Review the Awards criteria through an open and collaborative process that includes a diversity of perspectives and lived-experience. Consider the inclusion of criteria for innovation, shifting perceptions, or writing about different backgrounds and experience as indicators of quality and excellence.
- Empower and celebrate the children and young people involved in the Awards through the shadowing scheme by giving them a significant voice and visible presence in the process and prize giving.
- Strengthen the governance that supports the Awards’ strategic direction, calling on internal and external experts to lead the Awards through a sustainable change process over the short and long term.
- Raise greater awareness of diverse books amongst librarians and identify opportunities for further championing of diversity with the library supply sector.
- Increase outreach by opening up and amplifying the nominations process, discovering and recognising new and diverse talent and forging new partnerships.
Nick Poole, Chief Executive of CILIP, said, “We wholeheartedly welcome this report and thank Margaret Casely-Hayford for her skilful chairing and leadership. Children’s literature and illustration have a unique power to shine a light on the world as it is and to help us to imagine a better one – and because of this we have an immense responsibility in how we develop and promote these Awards as ethical librarians.”
"This review provides an opportunity to recognise and reinforce the message that width of diversity and quality are synonymous. CILIP and the CILIP Youth Libraries Group are committed to ensuring that the Awards are a positive force to promote readership and diversity across the industry. I am pleased that we have been able to take action that will impact immediately, as well as looking ahead to long-term change."
CILIP’s immediate actions include:
- Creating a new mission for the Awards: To inspire and empower the next generation to create a better world through books and reading.
- Opening up the nominations process to external nominating bodies as well as librarians including BookTrust, CLPE, Commonword, IBBY, Inclusive Minds, National Literacy Trust and RNIB.
- Creating a list of eligible books by diverse authors and illustrators, to raise awareness amongst CILIP members.
- Expanding the judging panel to bring in a broader range of perspectives and experiences into the judging process.
- Setting up an equality, diversity and inclusion advisory panel to bring greater representation and lived experience into the Awards process.
- Providing judges with enhanced diversity training including coaching sessions, bias testing and guidance notes on identifying inclusion in children’s books.
- Introducing a new children’s choice prize to be presented by participants of the Shadowing scheme at the June Awards ceremony.
- Celebrating new and emerging talent though a quarterly publication of top 10 new voices eligible for the upcoming Medals.
The Diversity Review Final Report
includes further details about CILIP’s immediate and longer-term actions, and the research methodology and findings.
Appendix A: CILIP's Diversity Review Interim Report
Appendix B: Coventry University Survey Results and Analysis
Appendix C: Children's Survey Results
Appendix D: Focus Groups Report