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Black-Eyed Susan Program: LMS Information

Guidelines for Participation

Guidelines for Participation

The purpose of the Black-Eyed Susan Book Award Program is to promote life-long reading habits by encouraging students to read and enjoy quality contemporary literature that broadens understanding of the human experience.

The books selected as nominees for the Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Book Award have positive reviews from respected journals and have been read by members of the committees. However, it is recommended that each school and/or each school system apply its own selection policy and determine whether or not every book is appropriate for the recommended age level, as well as the intended use.

1. Coordinate the program through the library media specialist or other program coordinator.

2. Obtain the support and authorization of the principal.

3. Provide information about participation in the award program to teachers, students, and parents.

4. Provide a reasonable selection of the nominated books to provide students as broad a choice as possible.

5. To participate, a student must read, or have read to them, a minimum number of books in each category. Those minimums are as follows:

a. Picture Books: 8 nominees

b. All other categories: 3 nominees

6. All grades do not have to participate. The coordinator makes that decision in cooperation with teachers and administrators. The time of year in which the program functions is up to each individual school. Older students may read from early in the school year until voting time; younger students do best if reading is done the last few months before voting.

7. Each student has one vote in each of the categories. Many coordinators have used charts or graphs and bulletin board displays to share the results of the program in their schools.

8. Submit the TOTAL votes for each book read via the online forms or the tally sheet and send to the address listed on the sheet by April 25 (extended to May 25 for 2020) of that voting year.

Thank you for participating in the Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Book Award Program! If you have questions or concerns, you can contact our committee chairs:

Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Book Award
c/o Marge Shaffer and Dedra Van Gelder

Options for BES Voting

Voting Process

Voting runs from January 2 through May 25, 2020 (this closing date is extended due to Covid) and closes at midnight. EVERY STUDENT VOTE COUNTS!  You can submit your student votes in ONE AND ONLY ONE of the following ways:

Option 1:  Online 

Students can cast their votes OR librarians & teachers can enter bulk votes from this link. All votes submitted through this form will be counted towards the final vote. Please do not post the link publicly.  We want to ensure that only Maryland students are voting.

Online Voting Link  (open to the public for 2020 due to the coronavirus)

We have a Sandbox link available to teach students how to vote, to create how-to videos, to make sure your school is listed, to check for errors before student voting, etc. ALL votes cast at this address will be DELETED on a regular basis and WILL NOT count towards the final vote.

If you have any trouble accessing either link, please email for assistance.

Option 2:  E-mail

Use the links below to access the relevant tally forms and fill them out, then e-mail to Please use a separate tally for each category; entering votes by grade level on the tally is optional. You will receive a confirmation that your email votes were received; please do not email votes and send them via US mail as well.

Option 3:  Submission via US Mail

MASL no longer has a post office box.  If you would like to vote via US mail, please click on the links below for the appropriate voting tally.  Please use a separate tally for each category; entering votes by grade level on the tally is optional. Please type or print. Votes sent via US mail must be postmarked by May 25 and sent to the address listed on the tally sheets.

Vote Tallies:

EVERY STUDENT VOTE COUNTS!  Please enter the total number of votes for each title for which votes are cast.

Vote for Picture Books

Vote for Grades 4-6 Chapter Books

Vote for Graphic Novels 4-6

Vote for Grades 6-9 Chapter Books

Vote for Graphic Novels 6-9

Vote for High School Books

For questions, please contact Marge Shaffer or Dedra Van Gelder at