May 18, 2022

ALA Releases Longlist for 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction

From the American Library Association:

A total of 46 books (26 fiction, 20 nonfiction) has been selected for the longlist for the 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction.

The six-title shortlist—three each for the fiction and nonfiction medals—will be chosen from longlist titles and announced on November 17, 2020. The two medal winners will be announced by 2021 selection committee chair Bill Kelly at the Reference and User Services Association’s (RUSA) Book and Media Awards (BMAs) event, which will take place virtually on Thursday, February 4, 2021, 3-4 p.m. CT.

The awards are funded through a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York and are cosponsored and administered by Booklist and RUSA. Booklist also sponsors the Michael L. Printz Award, Odyssey Award, and Alex Awards. RUSA’s CODES administers the Notable Books List, The Reading List, The Listen List, and the Sophie Brody Medal.

The first single-book awards for adult titles given by the ALA, the Andrew Carnegie Medals reflect the expert judgment and insight of library and book professionals who work closely with adult readers. Together, the Medals and the lists leading up to the selection of the winners serve as a guide to selecting quality reading material.

The Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction selection committee, appointed annually, includes Booklist editors or contributors, members of RUSA’s Collection Development and Evaluation Section’s (CODES) Notable Books Council, and a representative of the American Booksellers Association. Adult Programming Manager for Cuyahoga County (OH) Public Library and 2021 selection committee chair Bill Kelly is joined on the committee by Alicia Ahlvers, Public Services Administrator, Henrico County Public Library, Henrico, Virginia; Terry Hong, Contributing Reviewer and Advisory Board Member, Booklist, Washington, D.C.; Nancy Pearl, author, independent book reviewer, and readers’ advisory guru, Seattle, WA; Bill Ott, Contributing Editor, and former Editor & Publisher, Booklist, Chicago, IL;  Javier Ramirez, Co-owner of Exile in Bookville, Chicago, IL; and Donna Seaman, Adult Books Editor, Booklist, Chicago, IL.

“This was unquestionably a challenging year for all the obvious reasons,” said Bill Kelly. “There were times one didn’t feel especially like reading. The news was bleak; the outcomes were dire. And yet, in the end, reading proved to be just the balm one needs to sustain us, to give hope and strength and resilience in the face of an oppressively uncertain future. We know that reading has shown to increase empathy, to reduce stress, and even lower blood pressure. More importantly, however, we discovered that the diversity of voices with which we were able to so deeply engage, the breadth of fascinating subject matter in which we were able to so fully immerse ourselves proved to be the greatest testament to the human spirit. In that sense, 2020 was a great year to be a reader of outstanding books and the Carnegie committee sincerely hopes that others will find the same power we did in the books on this year’s longlist.”

Find out more about the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction visit .

Direct to Complete Longlist For 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.