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Wyoming Buckaroo Book Award Committee

Committee Members

Buckaroo questions to be sent to:
Bonnie Stahla: [email protected]
Holly Baker: [email protected]
Richard Landreth (Advisor): [email protected]

Name Term # ORG. Both Email County

Bonnie Stahla

 CC 2021  WLA-P  x [email protected] Crook
Rita Heath  2020  1  WLA-P   [email protected] Sublette
Katherine Bjornestad 2019   WLA-S   [email protected] Crook
Cassandra Messersmith Kvenild 2020 1 WLA-S 1 [email protected] Albany
Holly Baker CC 2019   4  WSRC  x [email protected] Park
Sandra Pokallus 2019  3  WSRC   [email protected] Campbell
Carolin Hardesty 2020  1  WSRC   c[email protected] Campbell
Eva Dahlgren  2020  1  WSRC    [email protected] Teton


Information for the Buckaroo Book Awards

The BUCKAROO BOOK AWARD is the joint project of the Wyoming State Reading Council and the Wyoming Library Association.


The Wyoming Buckaroo Book Award was initiated in 1997 through the Wyoming Reading Council (WRC) for Wyoming children in Kindergarten through third grade. In 1999 the Wyoming Library Association (WLA) joined with the WRC to support this reading program for children.

The first reading list was compiled from adult suggestions and included books regardless of award or copyright criteria. Thereafter nominations have been solicited by teachers and librarians directly from the students in Kindergarten through third grade.

The first winner of the Wyoming Buckaroo Book Award in the spring of 1998 was Stellaluna by Janell Cannon. Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg was the second place winner, and The Napping House by Audrey Wood was third.

The Buckaroo Book Award is the joint project of the Wyoming State Reading Council and the Wyoming Library Association.


The Buckaroo Book Award will provide the opportunity for Wyoming children in grades Kindergarten through third to select favorite books they have read or have listened to and to honor the authors of these books.


  • To help children become acquainted with the best contemporary authors.
  • To help children become aware of the qualities of good books.
  • To accustom younger children to concepts of choice, critical reading, and voting procedures which will help them participate in choosing other book awards.
  • To honor an author whose book has been enjoyed by Wyoming children.

Buckaroo Book Award Guidelines

How the Books are Chosen for the List

The Buckaroo book Award will consist of one list for grades K-3. Librarians and teachers will solicit nominations from Wyoming students in grades K-3. The nominations are sent to the committee by March 15. The award committee meets to finalize a list of titles which becomes the ballot for the next year.

Guidelines for Nominations

  • Books may be fiction or nonfiction picture books, easy-to-read books, high interest/low level books, grade level chapter books, etc.
  • Books must not have appeared first as a movie or TV show
  • Books cannot have won a past Buckaroo Award

Committee Guidelines for Lists

  • Use "Guidelines for Nominations"
  • Must have at least two positive recommendations in professional book reviewing publications (exception: Books of local interest or by Wyoming authors may be considered on their own merit)
  • Only one title by each author can appear on the list
  • The winning author cannot appear on the list for the following year
  • The list must exclude winning titles from Indian Paintbrush list
  • Books may not appear on any past Buckaroo list
  • Consider grade level appropriateness and variety of genre


  1. Wyoming children from kindergarten through third grade are encouraged to read or listen to as many of the nominated books as possible (a minimum of three) and to vote for their favorite.
  2. Libraries will reproduce the sample ballot & set up their own procedures for voting
  3. Each participating child will vote for only one book
  4. Participants must have read or listened to at least 3 books in order to vote
  5. Voting will take place during late February or early March. Results are due to the Committee by March 15th

Composition and Procedures

  • 8 members--four from each sponsoring organization, appointed by governing members of the organization or designees
  • 3-year terms with 4-year terms expiring annually, provided not more than half the committee is new
  • 3 consecutive terms allowed
  • Terms begin in October
  • 2 members shall act as co-chairs, one from each organization (WRC and WLA)
  • Members must be on the committee for at least one year before becoming a chair
  • Co-chairs terms of office should expire on alternate years
  • Expenses will be submitted to the WLA Secretary who bills the WRC for one-half of the expenses

Committee Responsibilities

Chair Responsibilities:

  • Coordinates nominations and voting
  • Arranges and conducts meetings
  • Arranges spring meeting to finalize list
  • Casts tie-breaking vote
  • Arranges tabulation of ballot tallies
  • Notifies author, publisher, sections, and association of the results
  • Notifies journals, Children's Book Council, media, and WLA Awards Chair of results
  • Public relations for the award-new releases, etc.
  • Keeps records of the committee
  • Reports to the WLA Executive Board throughout the year
  • Sends February mailing/e-mail to remind participants of voting nomination deadline
  • Releases winner's announcement/voting results to public libraries and schools in April
  • Sets up display of nominated books at fall conference
  • Produces annual packet
  • Organizes booktalk program for fall conference

Committee Member Responsibilities

  • Assist Chair with above responsibilities
  • Meet to evaluate reviews and develop new list of nominations
  • Assist Chair in producing annual packet
  • Participates in the Booktalk Presentation at the fall conference


The committee will produce a camera-ready copy of the Buckaroo packet and mail it to all public and school libraries in Wyoming. The camera-ready copy should be sent to the WLA secretary, Laura Grott, in August. These packets will be a sent in all mailings with the Indian Paintbrush packets and reminders. The packet should include:

  • announcement of winning book
  • current nominated book title list
  • ordering information
  • the nominating and voting guidelines including necessary forms (student ballot, nomination ballot, tally ballot)
  • a master copy of the bookmark and stickers

Budget Outline

Buckaroo Book Award Program Mailing Expenditures

Spring Winners' List copy cost: (2 pages)$62.27Mailing: $45
Program copy cost: (approx. 8 pages) $101.50 Mailing: $45
Voting Reminder copy cost: (1 page) $62.27 Mailing: $45
Spring Meeting in Capser to determine winners (Food/Meal) $40.00
Buckaroo Book Award $100


Buckaroo Award Timeline

Sept/Oct Booktalk Program present at WLA conference. Award presented to author of previous year's winning book at the Fall Conference (If the author can't be present, the award is mailed and an announcement will be made at the conference.)
Nov - Feb Students continue reading or listening to the nominated books and continue to nominate books for the next year's list.
Feb Reminder is sent to participants regarding nominations and voting due March 15 via e-mail when possible. A ballot tally and nomination form will be available upon request.
March 15 Student voting is finished and tallies are returned for this year's List. Book nominations are also due for next year's list. Nominations tallied and guidelines checked by committee chair.
April Spring Meeting for committee members
April/May Winning book and a new book list is announced in organization's newsletter, city newspapers, and information sent to publishers. The winning author will be contacted by the committee and announcement notices will be sent to all participating Wyoming schools and public libraries (via e-mail where possible).
AUGUST Idea packet sent by committee to all Wyoming libraries and participating schools.

©1999. Compiled on August 11th, 1999 by interested WLA and WRC members who met in Casper, Wyoming. Information was taken from the WRC Guidelines for the Buckaroo Book Award and the WLA/WRC Soaring Eagle Award and the WLA Indian Paintbrush Award.


[email protected]