Two of my fellow category chairs have posted about Cybils since the call for judges was posted. Both Jennifer and Melissa are eloquent about the process. Please go read their posts because I don't want to just repeat what they said.
I would like to encourage other bloggers to consider applying to be a judge. The beauty of Cybils is that nominations come from the public and the judges are a mix of teachers, librarians, parents, and book bloggers. I like the emphasis that is placed on kid appeal. Often I read major award winning books and I wonder about the amount of kid appeal (or lack thereof) that they have.
I've always enjoyed poetry. I started writing it in middle school and kept on through high school, college, and grad school. In high school, I read classic poets: Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Edgar Lee Masters, etc. I didn't discover poetry written for children and young adults until I took a children's literature class in college. It was love at first read. As a youth services librarian, I look nothing more than sharing poetry with kids and teens either at the library or in their schools. I always share poetry during my April outreach at schools to promote National Poetry Month. I've done poetry storytimes, book spine poetry with kids and teens, a variety of poetry activities with a homeschool group, put poetry on display, and even made poetry themed bulletin boards. To sum it up, I love both reading, writing, and sharing poetry with anyone who will stand still long enough.
The poetry category usually has a smaller amount of nominations than other categories. So that's less potential reading for Round 1 Panelists. Plus, poetry and verse novels are quick reads. Yes, you might want to give some another read, but on the whole the process of reading and selecting a short list is not as involved as you might think for poetry.
If you can't apply to be a judge, please nominate your favorite books and help us spread the word on social media. #cybils