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Nevada Library Association Handbook

Board of Trustees
Interest Group

Nevada Young Readers' Award (NYRA)

Nevada Young Readers’ Award
Rules of Procedure
Adopted March 13, 2004
Revised bylaws approved by board on October 2012

The Nevada Young Readers’ Award was first established in the fall of 1987 by the Nevada Department of Education with generous support of librarians and teachers. In its first year, only 4,104 students from 16 schools voted. As of 1990, Nevada Library Association and the Nevada Department of Education sponsor the Award jointly. By 2004, there were 30,423 voters from 243 schools and public libraries.


  • 1990-92 Joyce Betts, Churchill County Library
  • 1993 Maria Champlain, Clark County Library
  • 1994 Del Bean, Helen Smith Elementary School, Las Vegas
  • 1995 Maria Champlain, Clark County Library
  • 1996 Frankie Lukasko, Washoe County School District
  • 1997 Dorothy Neeley, Battle Mountain Junior High
  • 1998 Jan Passo, Las Vegas Clark County Library District
  • 1999 Jackie Soden, Charles Silvestri Junior High School, Las Vegas
  • 2000 Barbara Talbot, O’Brien Middle School, Reno
  • 2001 Betsy Johnson, Henderson District Public Libraries
  • 2002 Jeanette Moore, Elko Lander Eureka County Libraries
  • 2003 Carol Rapacz, Douglas County Public Library
  • 2004 Jennifer Fabbi, UNLV Libraries & Angela Pfeil, Librarians by Request
  • 2005 Debbie Jacobs, Clayton Middle School Library, Reno
  • 2006 Vicki Switzer, Elizondo E.S., North Las Vegas & Jan Barbour, retired CCSD librarian
  • 2007, Beth Heggeness, Traner Middle School Librarian (Reno)
  • 2008, Carla Land, , Summerlin Library, Las Vegas-Clark County Library District, and Sherida Stefen, Lucille Rogers ES, Clark County School District
  • 2009, Robbie Nickel
  • 2010, Amy Johnson, UNLV & Karen Eggers, CCSD
  • 2011, Karen Deadmond, WCSD librarian, retired & Beth Heggeness, WCSD librarian, retired
  • 2012, Debra McCracken, UNLV Curriculum Materials Library, Mary Nakashima, Las Vegas-Clark County Library District and Irene Frazier
  • 2013, Kristen Stathes, Washoe County Library System
  • 2014, Sasha Ferrell, Las Vegas-Clark County Library District
  • 2015, Andi Morency, The Honors Academy of Literature and J-Lynn Van Pelt, The Honors Academy of Literature
  • 2016, Kristy Isla, Las Vegas-Clark County Library District and Stefanie Bailey, Las Vegas-Clark County Library District
  • 2017, Kristen Ryan, Washoe County Library System and Martha Schwalbe, Washoe County School District
  • 2018, Margaret "Joy" Lane, Las Vegas, Clark County Library District
  • 2019, Megan McGuire, Doral Academy and Rebecca Zisch, Las Vegas, Clark County Library District
  • 2020, Rebecca Zisch, Las Vegas-Clark County Library District
  • 2021-2022, Pamela Larsen, Washoe County Library System
  • 2023, Jennifer Cole, Washoe County Library System


    The name of the organization shall be “Nevada Young Readers’ Award,” abbreviated as “NYRA.”

    The purposes of the organization shall be:
    1. To encourage Nevada youth to read modern works of literature.
    2. To encourage Nevada youth to develop a love of reading and lifelong reading habits.
    3. To promote a sense of community through a statewide reading program.
    4. To honor works in literature at many reading and interest levels.

NYRA is an interest group of the Nevada Library Association, as defined by Article V, Section 2 of the Nevada Library Association Bylaws.  Any party interested in participating in NYRA, must be a member of the Nevada Library Association as stated in NLA bylaws.

Section 1. Eligibility
Any current member of NYRA is eligible for office.

Section 2. Election
The officers of this organization shall consist of a chairperson and a chairperson-elect, elected by a majority of NYRA members present at the NYRA Business meeting at the annual NLA Conference. The chairperson-elect shall be elected one full calendar year prior to his/her term and shall assist with functions designated by the current chairperson. The chairperson-elect needs to reside in the NLA conference area for the year they will be chairperson.

Section 3. Term
The term of office for the chairperson will be for approximately one year, from January to December, not to exceed two consecutive terms.

Section 4. Responsibilities
The responsibilities of the chairperson shall be:
· To act as a facilitator of all communications within the interest group, including dissemination of the reading list as new titles are added.
· To submit information regarding group activities to the editor of Nevada Libraries and to the NLA webmaster.
· To act as coordinator for business meetings of the interest group, including soliciting agenda items, reserving appropriate time and space, and conducting business of the interest group.
· To plan programs and/or appoint a NYRA program chairperson for the NLA annual conference.
· To contact winning authors and picture book illustrators and their publishers.
· To submit a budget request and program justification to the NLA Finance Committee by the publicized deadline of each year preceding the year for which the budget is requested.

Meetings will be held at least two times per year. There shall be one statewide business meeting coinciding with the NLA Annual Conference. There shall be one statewide business meeting in March. These meetings may be held via videoconference, phone conference, online, or in person. The main purpose of the March meeting is to choose nominations from the current reading list to be placed on the following year’s ballot.

Other meetings may be called with at least 30 days advance notice, and may be held electronically.

To enhance communication, the current chairperson will appoint a coordinator for each district and/or region.

The chairperson shall appoint a committee as necessary to carry out the functions of the interest group.

The award is presented in four categories:
Picture Books (K-2 and general audience)
Young Reader (3-5)
Intermediate (6-8)
Young Adult (9-12)

Section 1. Limitations to Recommendations
Recommended books must:
1. Appeal to the category in which it is nominated
2. Be a title recommended by a Nevada young reader
3. Have been published in the United States within the last three years (including the current year)

Section 2. Recommendation Submissions
Recommendations are accepted if submitted by the readers to their school or public librarian or classroom teacher, or online. The current Recommendation form must be filled out online, or an email sent to the current chairperson with the required information. This form is available on the NYRA Website. Recommendations are due by November 15th of each year to give the Interest Group members ample time to read and consider all of the recommended books.

Recommended books will be placed in the category noted on the Recommendation Form. The Interest Group cannot move a book from its current specified reading level. Only if a recommendation is received for the same title to be placed in a separate category will it appear in two reading areas.

Section 3. Nominated Titles
Recommended books are read by the Interest Group members and narrowed down to a list of six to eight books in each category at the March meeting by using the following criteria:

  • Titles are considered for appeal, popularity and literary quality.
  • Suitability of content, vocabulary, comprehension for the intended age levels are all considered, as well as character development.
  • Topics that address children’s concerns and experiences will be considered.
  • There will be an attempt to balance the nominated list between various genres, student age, interest, and subject areas.
  • Caldecott, Newbery, and Printz award winners are not eligible.
  • Both the author and the illustrator of the winning picture book will receive awards.
  • Books in series will only be considered if it is the first book in the series, or if the series book can be read as a stand-alone title.

The Nevada Young Readers Award committee encourages parents, teachers, school and public librarians to discuss these books with their children.

Once this list is created, books are considered “Nominated Titles”.

A recommended title that does not make the nominated titles list is eligible to be recommended again as long as it meets the copyright date requirements, and the recommendation is made by a Nevada young reader.

Nominated Titles will be made public and distributed to schools and libraries after the March meeting and are read and voted on by young readers from June of the current year through May of the following year.

Section 1. Eligibility
Readers have one vote in each reading category as long as they have been exposed to the nominated titles by:

  • Reading the book(s) themselves, or
  • Having the book(s) read to them, or
  • A combination of the above, and
  • Have read at least half of the nominated titles in that category.

Readers should vote at only one location.

Section 2. Procedures
School and public librarians and classroom teachers should forward a tally of all student votes to the current NYRA chairperson using the online form available on the website. The chairperson and two current NLA members will merge all ballots to determine the total number of votes for each title. The book receiving the highest number of votes in each category will be deemed the winning title.

November 15th – Deadline for submission of recommended titles to be considered for the Nominations list.

March 15th (or closest Saturday) – Members meet to determine the ballot for the following year from all recommendations received through November 15th of previous year.

May 15th – Deadline for submission of final ballot voting forms.

These Rules of Procedure may be amended by two-thirds of the legal votes cast, provided that copies of such changes have been circulated to the membership at least thirty days in advance of the meeting at which discussion will take place. Voting by mail and email may be used for NYRA business items provided there has been an opportunity for discussion at any meeting.

Nevada Library Association

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