Frequently Asked Questions
1. How can I learn more about the Golden Sower Award program?
This website should provide helpful information about the history of the award, the program calendar, nominees, voting requirements, past winners of the award and more. Download this promotional flyer to help introduce and communicate the purpose of the Golden Sower Award.
2. What do I do about the nominated books that are too difficult or too simple for the students in my classroom or program?
The Golden Sower Award committee has frequently discussed the 'grade' or 'reading' levels of the books and how to address those concerns expressed by teachers and librarians. One important thing to remember is that a child only needs to read four nominees within a category to be eligible to vote within that category.
The books in every category represent a range of reading levels, interests and topics in order to have broad reader appeal. Books may be read 'to' or 'with' children in order to extend their experience and ability to understand and enjoy the literature. The Chapter Books and Golden Sower Novels are generally more demanding reading material than the Picture Books. Although the books in any category tend to be more appropriate for students at those age or grade levels, each child has unique needs and abilities.
It is also good to keep in mind that even picture books may have messages and themes appropriate for adults. Most quality literature may be enjoyed on a number of levels of appreciation and understanding.
Our purpose with the Golden Sower Award is to promote quality literature to "enrich lives and sow seeds for a finer future life" to a wide spectrum of readers rather than to provide grade appropriate reading material to meet the needs of the school curriculum. It is true, however, that often the books chosen for the award achieve both of those objectives.
The most important criteria is that each child find books to read, enjoy and appreciate and that each child feel welcome to participate in the Golden Sower Award program and to cultivate an interest in lifelong learning and reading.
3. Is it acceptable for a reader to vote in a different category than his or her grade level?
Readers will generally want to vote in their grade level category since titles are carefully selected to match the category. However, there may be instances (i.e., high ability, low ability, mature reader, interest level, etc.) where readers decide to vote in a category other than their grade level.
A student must read a minimum of four of the current nominees on a list in order to vote, and may only vote for one (1) book on that list. However, readers may vote in more than one category as long as they do the required reading.
4. Each GSA category has 10 titles but sometimes only 9 titles are eligible for voting. What does this mean?
A category will always have 10 nominated titles. However, depending on the outcome of the previous year's voting, a title may become ineligible.
Our criteria states, "The winning Golden Sower Award author and /or illustrator of any one year will e excluded from competition the following year." In addition, "Newbery or Caldecott Award winners are not eligible for nomination: however, Honor Books may be nominated."
An ineligible title only means that no votes can be cast for the title. The title is still HONORED as a Golden Sower Award Nominee and DOES COUNT as one of the four titles readers can select in order to be eligible to vote in a category, but the title is not included in the voting process because it is not eligible to win.
5. Why do ineligible titles remain on the nominee list?
The nomination of Golden Sower Award Nominee titles is a complex and time-sensitive process. Simply removing a title from a list is not an option.
A title becomes a nominee approximately 12 months before readers begin reading! During the process a team of volunteer readers determine the nominee list, publishers and authors and/or illustrators are notified of the honor, libraries are provided with ordering information, and lastly, readers spend 8-10 months reading before casting their votes. When nominees are selected, the volunteer readers have no idea which titles may receive awards in the upcoming months. If an author and/or illustrator is on a Golden Sower Award nominee list for consecutive years or even in a different category fro a consecutive year, the author and/or illustrator may become ineligible if they win a Golden Sower Award, Newbery Award, or Caldecott Award.
To remove a nominated title would be nearly impossible. The Golden Sower Award Committee cannot rescind the honor of being nominated after the nominees become public.
In the history of the Golden Sower Award program, there are only a few instances where titles have become ineligible. The Golden Sower Committee asks for everyone's understanding regarding this matter.
6. May I use the Golden Sower Award logo for my own publications?
Not without written permission of the Golden Sower Award Committee. The Golden Sower Award Committee has adopted several logos for use on the stickers, manuals, and other merchandise that have become part of the Award. The sale of these items is crucial to the funding of the program, and the committee is willing to add inventory to meet the needs of those implementing it across the state. The logos are the property of the Golden Sower Award Committee and the Nebraska Library Association.
Requests to use any of these logos must be submitted to the committee in writing and must comply with criteria listed below. The request must indicate a specific use and the period of time or number of imprints of the logo and the purpose of the request. Use of the Golden Sower Award triangle or nominee circle on websites or in printed materials is permissible with the following stipulations:
Any reference to the Golden Sower Award, Nebraska's Children's Choice Award program, must include the word AWARD.
The image must include the phrase "Property of the Golden Sower Award Committee. Used with permission."
Golden Sower Award logos must be used "as is" without alterations.
Use of any Golden Sower Award logo must be for education, noncommercial, non-fund-raising purposes ONLY.
Use of the Golden Sower Award logos must not conflict with the purpose, goals or intentions of the Golden Sower Award program.
Any use of the logos must immediately be discontinued if requested by the Golden Sower Award Committee.
A written response indicating that permission has been granted or denied will be sent within two weeks of the receipt of the inquiry. Submit requests to:
1312 Sheridan Dr.
Hastings, NE 68901
7. Where can I obtain the Golden sower Award images?
8. Even though the Golden Sower Award manual is sold in the GSA Store, could it be posted electronically so individuals could access materials and print using one's own computer?
The Golden Sower Award Committee has considered requests about the manual being online, but there are several reasons why this probably won't happen in the near future.
First, the manual is the Golden Sower Award program's main revenue resource to fund the program. The money raised goes to making the winning authors' and illustrator(s') visit to Nebraska possible.
Secondly, the creation of a manual is an enormous "labor of love" by many contributing people who volunteer their time and talent. Since the committee struggles to recruit volunteer contributors, this is a challenging task in the print arena...let alone a cyber-manual that would be "web-able". Also if the committee tried to sell the manual via a secure website or on a CD-ROM disk, there would be additional worries, such as whether or not the format would work with the customer's computer or if the material violates copyright (the whole range from author/publisher to the submitted activities/ideas). This is a lot to think about for a volunteer labor force!
9. Since the jacket art of nominees appears on the Golden Sower Award website, may I download, print and/or use it for promotional activities in my local Golden Sower Award program?
NO. When the Golden Sower Award Committee contacts publishers for permission to post jacket art on the GSA website, the request specifically "seeks permission from the Permissions Department to use the cover art for our website <http://www.goldensower.org>. The Golden Sower Award Committee does not request or receive permission to use jacket art for any other purpose. This explains why jacket art is not used anywhere else in our program, including the printed manual.
Some publishers provide and require exact permission language to be posted with the jacket art. Permissions granted to the Golden Sower Award Committee DO NOT EXTEND to public and/or school libraries in their efforts to promote the Golden Sower Award program. Please observe copyright laws.
10. May publishers submit books for the consideration of the committee members who choose the titles that the children read/hear?
The Golden Sower Award Committee is always seeking current, quality literature for the young readers of Nebraska. A publisher or author may submit titles for consideration with the understanding that the Golden Sower Award Committee and it's designated nominee contact(s) are under no monetary obligations to you or your company. Nor is the committee of readers under any obligation to assure your publisher's titles are included on the reader's list or nominee list. Selection criteria can be found here.