If you’re familiar with the way ALA Committees work, Bloomers may come as a bit of a shock. First off, we’re creating a booklist, not crowning the best book, so our list can be anywhere from one book (hasn’t happened yet!) to hundreds (that hasn’t happened either).
Second, we work by consensus, which means that the group has to agree that a book will benefit the list- it’s not a majority vote, it’s all parties in agreement. Ideally we aim for all members of the committee to agree; however, we will take someone passing if they haven’t read the book, or if someone can “live with” the book on the list. If there’s a strong objection by the end of discussion, it doesn’t go on because consensus hasn’t been reached.
Third, we work with books published within the last 18 months. For the most recent list (coming soon- we have the titles, just working on annotations), we looked at books published in the U.S. between July 2007 and December 2008. For the next list (to be finalized at Midwinter 2010 in Boston), we’ll be looking at books published between July 2008 and December 2009.
Finally, we’re very open and honest about what we do- come sit in with us during discussion, or feel free to contact us if you have a question. We do take what we call “field submissions,” which are books recommended by non committee members, and if a committee member feels that it fits the list, it gets nominated. Only committee members can nominate books for the list; however, field submissions are given every chance to be included.