The Mildred. L Batchelder Award for translated children's literature will now require books submitted for award consideration to credit both the author and translator on their covers.
The board of directors of the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, voted in January to revise the Batchelder Award's submission criteria to add requirements regarding translator credits. The new language approved by the Board requires that “the translator(s)’ name(s) shall appear, at minimum, on the title page along with the author(s)' name(s), and ideally the translator(s)’ name(s) shall appear on the cover along with the author(s)' name(s) as well.”
In addition to the criteria change, which will take effect in time for the conferral of the 2023 Batchelder Award, certificates will be presented to translators to acknowledge their work.
In a statement, the ALA called the recommendation for change "member-driven" and developed in consultation with ALSC members, publishers of translated titles, and other members of the translation community.
“ALSC is making a vital commitment to acknowledge translators," said ALSC president Lucia Gonzalez, "and this decision attests to the importance of literary translations as a creative art that requires skill and a strong sensibility to language, writing, and the reading experience of children. The success of a translated title for children depends heavily on the merit of its translation.”
Since 1966, the Batchelder Award has recognized children's books originating outside the U.S. that have been translated into English and published by a U.S. publisher. It is announced annually at the ALA's winter conference.